Lemongrass Essential Oil
Cymbopogon citratus / Cymbopogon flexuosus
Lemongrass Essential Oil sourced from West India (Cymbopogon citratus) is sometimes known as Xiang Mao. Lemongrass Essential Oil is also routinely sourced from East India (Cymbopogon flexuosus). As with all essential oils, it's important to doublecheck the botanical name of the oil that you are working with.
Lemongrass Essential Oil is one of the first three essential oils that I purchased in my aromatherapy journey. The aroma is so lemony, fresh, invigorating and uplifting, and it was an important essential oil for me to begin with.
If you're looking to work with an essential oil that has an intensely strong lemon aroma, Lemongrass Essential Oil is for you. It's a beautiful essential oil to work with if you are looking for an essential oil that can help give you an emotional boost when life is challenging. It's wonderful to include in blends for use when you are emotionally or physically lethargic or when you need help focusing.
Lemongrass Essential Oil is abundant in citral (geranial and neral). It can pose a significant risk of skin sensitization when used over 0.7% in topical applications. A little goes a very long way in topical formulations.
Lemongrass Essential Oil can be helpful when carefully used in very-very low dilution by those that are challenged with acne-prone skin.
Aromatically, Lemongrass Essential Oil blends well with essential oils in the citrus, wood, mint and herbaceous families. Like Geranium Essential Oil and Peppermint Essential Oil, Lemongrass Essential Oil can easily overpower a blend, so use it minimally at first.
For Mind and Spirit, Robbie Zeck shares this about Lemongrass Essential Oil: "The intense, radiant energy of Lemongrass inspires expansion on all levels. Whenever there is a sense of restriction or limitation in life, Lemongrass lifts the spirits and gets things moving again." [Robbi Zeck, ND, The Blossoming Heart: Aromatherapy for Healing and Transformation (Victoria, Australia: Aroma Tours, 2008), 92.]
Lemongrass Essential Oil Benefits and Uses
- Muscular Aches And Pains
- Gastrointestinal Disorders
- Physical And Mental Exhaustion
- Insect Repellent
Source: Valerie Ann Worwood, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, 25th Anniversary Edition (Novato, CA: New World Library, 2016, 599.
Acne, athlete's foot, excessive perspiration, flatulence, insect repellent, muscle aches, oily skin, scabies, stress. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 56-67.]
Common Method of Extraction
Plant Part Typically Used
Pale Yellow to Vivid Yellow
Strength of Initial Aroma
Lemongrass Essential Oil smells fresh, lemony and slightly herbaceous.
Major Constituents of East Indian Lemongrass Essential Oil (Cymbopogon flexuosus)
- Geranyl Acetate
Major Constituents of West Indian Lemongrass Essential Oil (Cymbopogon citratus)
- Limonene oxide
See Essential Oil Safety for more complete list of typical constituents.
Source of constituents for both East Indian and West Indian Lemongrass Essential Oil: B.M. Lawrence, Essential Oils 1981-1987 (Wheaton: Allured Publishing, 1989), 111. L. Zhu, Y. Li, B. Li, et al. Aromatic Plants and Essential Constituents. (South China Institute of Botany, HK, 1993), 200. L.S. Chagonda, C. Makanda. Essential Oils of Cultivated Cymbopogon winterianus (Jowitt) and of C. citratus (DC) (Stapf) from Zimbabwe. (Journal of Essential Oil Research 12, 2000), 478-480. Sources cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 334.
Lemongrass Essential Oil Safety Information
Tisserand and Young caution that a drug interaction may occur if using drugs metabolized by CYP2B6 and that there is a risk of teratogenicity. They precaution against topical use in children and infants under age 2 and for those with hypersensitive/diseased/damaged skin. They recommend a dermal maximum of 0.7%. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 334-335.]
This essential oil poses a higher risk of causing irritation and sensitization when used in the bath. Avoid using it in the bath, even if it is solubilized/diluted.
General Safety Information
Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. For general dilution information, read AromaWeb's Guide to Diluting Essential Oils. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and be sure to first read the recommended dilution ratios for children. Consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications. Before using this or any essential oil, carefully read AromaWeb's Essential Oil Safety Information page. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
Important Information About the Profiles
The essential oil information provided on AromaWeb is intended for basic educational purposes only. The references to safety information, test results, constituents and percentages is generalized information. Essential oils can vary greatly in composition. The data is not necessary complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate. The essential oil photos are intended to represent the typical and approximate color of each essential oil. However, essential oil composition and color can vary based on harvesting, distillation, age of the essential oil and other factors. Profiles for several CO2 Extracts and absolutes are included within the directory, and are denoted as such.