Lemongrass Essential Oil


Lemon-grass-bannerNature’s super glue for the human body is the right way to honor Lemongrass essential oil because it is as quick and fast as any branded adhesive glue in repairing torn tendons, ligaments, cartilages, tenosynovitis, inflamed tissues and certain other connective tissue injuries. This oil smells heavenly and is much similar to the aroma of Lemon oil but with a comparatively gentle, sweet and soothing aroma.

Used as a celebrated culinary herb in Thai and Chinese cuisines, Lemongrass is often used to substitute Lemon.  This essential oil is extracted from the grassy leaves through steam distillation process. Ayurveda makes use of this ancient herb in treating weak digestion, poor circulation, poor concentration, fever, varicose veins, intestinal infections and certain infectious skin problems.

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Historical uses of Lemongrass and its essential oil:

Indigenous to the southern parts of India, this spectacular herb is also found growing in South East Asian countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is also cultivated in United States especially in Florida and California.

Lemongrass is a celebrated culinary herb in the Caribbean and Chinese cuisines. This aromatic herb blends well with garlic, ginger, cilantro and other spices used in flavoring a wide variety of Caribbean soups especially the seafood soups. Powdered Lemongrass has been used in Asia for giving incredible flavor to traditional dishes made with meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables. It is also used in spicing up pickles and marinades.

Widely known as ‘Fever Grass’, Lemongrass is popular in the Asian countries since the primordial times for its ability to bring down fever and normalize the body temperature during hot weather. It is either used in tea or in foot-baths for reducing fever and excess heat in the body. This tea is also believed to treat ringworm, lice, scabies and few other skin problems.

The Traditional Chinese Medicine used Lemongrass for treating headache, rheumatism, abdominal pain and cold. This herb was also a part of the Brazilian folklore medicine for calming the mind, treating muscular spasms, cramps and fatigue. Powdered along with black pepper, Lemongrass was used as a powerful Ayurvedic remedy for relieving menstrual cramps, nausea, irregular periods, fever and other infectious diseases.

Therapeutic properties of Lemongrass essential oil:

The remedial properties of Lemongrass essential oil are antiseptic, anti-rheumatic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, analgesic, sedative, deodorant, galactogogue, nervine, tonic, carminative, antimicrobial, antidepressant, febrifuge, bactericidal, fungicidal, deodorant, antipyretic and nervine.

Chemical constituents or Gas Chromatography Report of Lemongrass essential oil:

According to the Gas chromatography report, Lemongrass oil constitutes of 5 chemical components that contribute to its exotic fragrance, therapeutic properties and quality.

The major chemical constituents of this oil are citral (Geranial and Neral – approximately 85% of the oil), geraniol, geranyl acetate and beta-Caryophyllene.

Just click on:

for getting to know more about the exclusive information of these key constituents of Lemongrass oil.

The table below on the Gas Chromatography report talks about the principal chemical constituents and its role in granting the therapeutic and other attributes to Lemongrass oil.

Lemongrass-oilAyurvedic health benefits of Lemongrass essential oil:

Ayurveda uses infinite number of herbs in the process of healing humanity and Lemongrass is one such vital herbal whiz kid that has been helping mankind in treating innumerable diseases.

Known as Sera and Bhustrina in India, Lemongrass has been used in various Ayurvedic treatments for treating kidney infections, headache, problems with connective tissues, weak immune system and depression.

More than 5,000 years old, Ayurveda is by far the oldest of all healing sciences on earth and is the Mother of other complementary and alternative medicinal practices like Siddha, Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Unani and much more. This science of wisdom has left behind innumerable complex healing systems using simple methodologies.

The ancient Ayurvedic philosophers Charaka and Sushruta encompassed the most important Ayurvedic remedies for all sorts of diseases. The most intricate medical practices even with today’s contemporary medicinal equipments and techniques are C-section surgery and Plastic surgery. Won’t you simply be amazed if I say that these two were a part of the Ayurvedic treatments???!!!! Yes.

Sushruta is called as the father of Plastic surgery and C-section deliveries were executed for the most critical cases where the baby or the mother turns breathless at the time of delivery.

The magnificence of Ayurvedic healing lies in its trust and usage of natural remedies like herbs, healthy and balanced diet, essential oils, yoga, simple physical exercises, meditation with an Ayurvedic routine. This aims at treating illnesses, preventing them in future along with healthy aging. Ayurvedic texts define health as a combination of physical, mental and spiritual wellness.

Every human being is made of a unique individual constitution that comprises of three biological energies known as doshas namely pitta, vata and kapha. A person’s physical setup, personality and behavior are determined by the predominance of any one of these doshas.

Imbalance between these doshas is responsible for ill-health and Ayurvedic remedies focus on balancing these doshas. Lemongrass essential oil alleviates excess kapha and pitta dosha while it has a neutral effect on vata dosha.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Lemongrass essential oil are as follows:

Lemongrass-broucher1. Fights against harmful micro-organisms:

Lemongrass essential oil has been proved effective against micro-organisms like bacteria, fungi and certain other microbes. Few studies witnessed that Lemongrass oil is more potent than streptomycin or penicillin in fighting against staph infection. Staphylococcus is the major bacterium responsible for making wounds turn septic.

Applying 2 drops of Lemongrass oil mixed with 15 to 20 drops of coconut oil on wounds, cuts, acne, burns, sores and other skin infections aids in healing the wounds and curbs the growth of micro-organisms that worsen skin problems. This effect can also be attributed to the antiseptic properties of this oil.

A 2008 study on ‘Antifungal activity of the Lemongrass oil and citral against Candida spp’ state that Lemongrass essential oil and citral are effective against various types of yeasts of Candida species including Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, Candida krusei, Candida parapsilosis and Candida tropicalis, proving its potent in vitro activity against Candida spp, responsible for the most common fungal infection Candidiasis.

Certain other studies suggest that Lemongrass oil can also assist in combating the growth of fungi like Alternaria alternata, which is said to cause infections in the upper respiratory tract.

Gently massaging your body with 5 drops of Lemongrass oil blended with 2.5 ml olive oil can assist in inhibiting the growth of bacteria and microbes both externally and internally. This aids in treating microbial infections in the respiratory system, skin, stomach, colon, urinary tracts and other parts of the body.

2. Reduces fever and pain:

Being an anti-pyretic and febrifuge, the essential oil of Lemongrass reduces fever by fighting against infections causing fever, promote sweating and by eliminating the harmful toxins in the body through urine. According to the Ayurvedic philosophy, pitta dosha is responsible for body temperature and fever is an indication of increased pitta energy.

Lemongrass essential oil is known to reduce pitta dosha and by this way it lessens the body temperature even during high fevers. Add 2 drops of this oil in warm water for a remedial foot bath for reducing fever or massage your foot soles with 2 drops of Lemongrass oil mixed with 1 ml of coconut oil for relief from fever.

This oil also lessens excess of kapha energy that causes fluid retention in the body causing respiratory problems, rheumatism, pain and inflammation.

Gently massaging the painful areas with 2 drops of Lemongrass oil mixed with 1 ml of sesame oil helps in relieving pain, inflammation and rheumatism by eliminating the excess fluids and toxic substances through urine and sweat.  The analgesic action of this oil helps in soothing pain, tired muscles, headache, joint pain and back pain.

3. Enhances immunity and strengthens the nervous system:

Lemongrass herb and its essential oil have excellent nutrients and chemical components that benefit the entire system and augment the immune power, which makes the body naturally resistant against diseases. It acts as a tonic to the human body and strengthens the functioning of the digestive system, nervous system, excretory system and respiratory system by stimulating the process of absorbing essential nutrients by the body.

Lemongrass oil is used in Ayurvedic massaging for fortifying the nerves, limbs, muscles and tissues. Massaging your body with 6 drops of Lemongrass oil blended with 3 ml of olive oil can assist in treating nervous problems like vertigo, convulsions, Alzheimer’s disease, sluggishness, Parkinson’s disease and nervousness.

4. Eliminates toxic substances in the body:

Stagnation of ama (toxic substances) in the body is one of the primary reason for illnesses according to Ayurveda. The diaphoretic and diuretic properties of Lemongrass Oil increase the frequency and quantity of urination through which the harmful toxins in the body are vented out.

This action also aids in improving digestion, cleansing the kidneys and discharging harmful infection causing foreign bodies. You can add 2 drops of Lemongrass oil in warm bathing water or in foot bath or massage your body with 3 drops of this oil with 2 ml of sesame oil for getting rid of all the toxic substances from your body.

5. Combats cancer cells and supports the digestive system:

A 2009 study on the anticancer activity of Lemongrass essential oil against 12 human cancer cell lines proved that Lemongrass oil “has a promising anticancer activity and causes loss in tumor cell viability by activating the apoptotic process as identified by electron microscopy.” Certain other studies also state that the presence of a-limonene and geraniol showed inhibition of cancer cells in intestinal mucous membrane and liver in mice.

Excess of pitta energy causes cholera, flatulence, intestinal gas and weak digestion. Lemongrass essential oil reduces pitta dosha and normalizes the process of digestion. Gently massaging your abdomen with 2 drops of Lemongrass oil blended with 1 ml of sesame oil will assist in improving digestion. Inhaling the aroma of this oil by applying 1 drop of Lemongrass oil on your wrist or to your hankie can stimulate weak digestion.

6. Treats obesity and depression:

Obesity is a universal problem and excess of kapha dosha causes fluid retention, excess deposits of fat and stagnation of water and other toxic substances in the body. Stress, tension and depression also cause metabolic changes and contribute to obesity. Lemongrass essential oil lessens kapha dosha by decreasing the appetite, removing excess water and fat deposits from the body through urine and sweat.

A study by the Department of Nutritional Sciences of University of Wisconsin studied the effect of Lemongrass and cholesterol in 22 people with high levels of cholesterol where they took 140mg of lemongrass oil capsules daily. This study came up with an amazing result where the cholesterol level was reduced from 310 to 294 on an average basis, which was a significant amount of decrease in the amount of blood fats.

Using 5 drops of Lemongrass oil blended with 2.5 ml of coconut oil as a massage oil or 3 drops of this oil added to warm bathing water can help in discharging excess fat, water and fluid retention in your body and helps you in reducing your excess weight.

In the book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’, Bryan Miller states that Lemongrass essential oil is an excellent antidepressant oil that can assist in alleviating stress, depression, fatigue, negative feelings, emotional trauma and distress. Using 2 drops of Lemongrass oil in vaporizer, burner or diffuser can assist in driving away negative emotions, insomnia, loneliness, emotional instability, mental stagnation and lack of self-confidence.

The Journal of Ethno pharmacology published a 2011 study, which stated that Lemongrass essential oil possess anti-anxiety properties that would aid in lessening anxiety by stimulating the brain levels of the neurotransmitter gamma-amino butyric acid.

Other health benefits:

Lemongrass essential oil is also a great natural remedy for treating menstrual problems and its galactogogue properties help improve the quality and quantity of breast milk in nursing mothers. It is a trusted insect repellant and can also serve as a natural air freshener with its refreshing aroma.

Disclaimer:

Pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids so never take them internally. Always remember to dilute essential oils before using it topically. This article is only for the purpose of education and is not meant to diagnose or replace any prescribed medicines or professional advice. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before using essential oils that would fit your unique individual constitution and state of health.

The MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) of Lemongrass oil is readily available for your enhanced safety and optimal usage.

Gas Chromatography Report of Lemongrass essential oil

Thought for the day:

Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence. 

-Hal Borland

Suggested Reading:

  1. HEALING POWERS OF LEMONGRASS OIL (The Aromatherapy Professional) by KG Stiles
  2. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils In Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health, and Well Being by Julia Lawless
  3. Skin Delivery of Lemongrass Oil by Microemulsion Technique: Herbal formulation for Acne Vulgaris by Md Faiyazuddin, Sanjula Baboota
  4. Lemongrass Essential Oils: Biosynthesis and Regulation by Deepak Ganjewala

Reference Links:

  1. Antifungal activity of the lemongrass oil and citral against Candida spp by Silva Cde B, Guterres SS, Weisheimer V, Schapoval EE published in PubMed
  2. Health Benefits of Lemongrass Essential Oil by Organic Facts
  3. Anticancer activity of an essential oil from Cymbopogon flexuosus by Sharma PR, Mondhe DM, Muthiah S, Pal HC, Shahi AK, Saxena AK, Qazi GN, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, India published in PubMed
  4. Lemongrass Health Benefits and Healing Properties by PlanetWell Ayurvedic Wellness
  5. Lemongrass Herbal Medicine by Medical Health Guide

St John’s Wort Essential Oil


What comes to your mind when I say ‘Amber Touch-and-heal’? Sounds like a magical spell right? But won’t you be surprised and delighted if I say that it’s the other popular name of St. John’s Wort herb? Absolutely yes! The star-shaped bright yellow flowers are the most mesmerizing part of St. John’s Wort herb.

St-john-bannerNature’s beauty meets healing quality through these flowers as the essential oil of St. John’s Wort is extracted by steam distillation from these flowers. St. John’s Wort herb is claimed as “one of the most commonly purchased herbal products in the United States”.

This herb is named after St. John, the Baptist mainly because the admirable flowers of this plant were said to bloom initially around 24th June when the birthday of St. John is celebrated. Scientifically known as Hypericum Perforatum L, this herb is a member of the Guttiferae plant family. Ayurvedic system of healing use this medicated oil as a traditional remedy for treating joint pains, skin problems, symptoms of aging, inflammation, trauma, cracking and irritation.

Purchase St Johns Wort Essential Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

Historical Uses of St. John’s Wort:

St. John’s Wort herb and its essential oil have a long history and were used by Naturopaths and Physicians of all the predominant traditions in the world. This herb is indigenous to Europe, Western Asia and North Africa and is used for various therapeutic applications for more than 3,000 years. St. John’s Wort was popularly known as ‘Arnica of the nerves’ during the thirteenth century from the time it was used to treat psychiatric problems by the Swiss Physician Paracelsus.

The impeccable use of this herb starts from Greece, where the renowned Greek physicians like Hippocrates, Dioscorides, Theophrastus and Galen used this herb for treating numerous illnesses including neuralgic conditions, nervous disorders and wounds.

Native Americans used St. John’s Wort herb as a natural antiseptic and was also used for its astringent and anti-inflammatory properties for treating pain, inflammation, spinal irritation and certain other health conditions. This herb was also used as a traditional abortifacient agent. St. John’s Wort is also an important part of many well-liked dietary supplements in various forms like oil infusion, aqueous infusion, capsules, powders, alcoholic tinctures etc, in the United States.

The American Physicians of the nineteenth century prescribed St. John’s Wort herb to treat nervous afflictions with depression and hysteria. This herb was also trusted to ward off evil spirits and helps in getting the blessings of St. John, the Baptist for another year. The anti-depressant properties of this herb are attributed to the presence of the active components hyperforin and hypericin.

Studies prove that this healing quality has made this herb vital in treating depression and it is demonstrated to have lesser side effects than many other over-the-counter antidepressants.

With all these historical importance, St. John’s Wort is regarded as an official herb in the national pharmacopeias of Russia, Czechoslovakia, Romania, France and Poland. It is also approved as a standardized medicine by the Commission E monographs and is listed in the German Drug Codex.

Ayurvedic health benefits of St. John’s Wort Essential Oil:

Ayurveda is a common sense science that aims at bringing perfect health and harmony through natural and practical methodologies. The ancient Ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita talk about all kinds of illnesses and the simple Ayurvedic approaches to treat those health conditions.

In addition to this, these Ayurvedic encyclopedias also insist on following an Ayurvedic routine that helps us to follow a systematic living for healthy aging and longevity.

According to Ayurveda human body is made up of a combination of 3 energy elements known as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha. Every individual has all the 3 doshas with the predominance of any 1 of these and this predominant Ayurvedic body type determines the characteristics and behavior of an individual. The imbalance of any one of these doshas causes illnesses indicating that the body is of out of balance with nature.

Before suggesting Ayurvedic remedies, every Ayurvedic physician will thoroughly examine your medical history, Ayurvedic body type, your preferences, dislikes and other factors affecting your physical, mental, social, environmental, emotional and spiritual well-being.

Herbs, yoga, essential oils, meditation, physical exercises, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage therapy and a balanced lifestyle are all the major pillars of an Ayurvedic treatment. St. John’s Wort herb and its oil according to Ayurveda is good for reducing the excess of pitta and kapha doshas and aids in supporting vata deficiency (P K- and V+).

Claimed as ‘The long-time favorite herb of Herbalists’, St. John’s Wort essential oil is said to have numerous health benefits and the most predominant ones among them are:

St-john-broucher1. Hemorrhoids:

Adding few drops of St. John’s Wort essential oil to soothing carrier oils like jojoba oil aids in treating the painful symptoms of hemorrhoids. The flavonoids and hypericin compounds in this oil assists in reducing the burning and itching sensation while alleviating inflammation.

You can also add few drops of this oil to any of your skin care creams or lotions and apply it directly on the affected area to treat both external and internal hemorrhoids. Few drops of this oil added to your warm bathing water can also grant relief from external hemorrhoids.

2. Rheumatism and arthritis:

Swollen and inflamed joints along with excruciating pain are the predominant symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis. Using St. John’s Wort essential oil for treating rheumatic conditions remains as a popular herbal remedy since the primordial times.

Applying few drops of this essential oil blended with mild carrier oils like coconut oil can help reduce inflammation and pain associated with rheumatism.

Ayurvedic texts say that rheumatoid arthritis occur due to excess of pitta, the fire element and kapha, the water element along with the deficit of vata, the air element. As St. John’s Wort oil has the potential to control the excess of pitta and kapha and normalize vata shortfall, using this oil as therapeutic massage oil, bath oil or in vapor therapy can help control the symptoms of rheumatism.

3. Pain and inflammation:

The anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antiseptic properties of St. John’s Wort essential oil makes it an ideal remedy for treating muscular pains, bruises, sores, sprains, tennis elbow, nervous afflictions, stiff achy joints, varicose veins and burns.

You’ll be amazed to know that St. John’s Wort oil is prescribed to neuropathic patients and also for treating incision pain after surgery. Using this oil as massage oil or remedial oil for external application along with any of your skin creams and lotions can grant you relief and foster speedy recovery.

4. Wounds:

St. John’s Wort essential oil has astringent and antibacterial properties that help in killing microbes and other harmful foreign bodies that worsen wounds and other skin infections. This oil can be used as a tincture and topical application of this oil on the affected areas augments the epithelialization of wounds. The presence of flavonoids and tannins supports the protein precipitating action for quicker healing.

5. Fibrositis, menopause and PMS:

These 3 disorders looks like a chain of womanly problems that often cause sharp pain and interrupt the normal functioning of the body. Fibrositis or fibromyalgia means pain in the muscle and connective tissue.

Numerous research studies have proved the effectiveness of St. John’s Wort essential oil in treating physical pain and emotional disturbances of premenstrual syndrome along with cramps, nausea, breast tenderness etc., anxiety and mood fluctuations during menopause and the muscular and tissue pains associated with fibromyalgia.

Massaging with few drops of St. John’s Wort oil added to soothing carrier oils like sesame oil can grant you complete relief. You can also use it as a bath oil by adding 2 drops of this oil to warm bathing water for assisting your health in a refreshing manner.

6. Other health benefits:

Kurt Schnaubelt rightly quoted the aroma of St. John’s Wort essential oil as “The penetrating smell can be felt as a warm pleasant relaxed feeling, travelling from the nose to the brain”.

The cooling and moisturizing energies of this oil aids in treating anxiety, social phobia, Obsessive compulsive disorder, stomach inflammation, smoking cessation, nervous pain, insomnia, sciatica, dysentery, pulmonary complaints, elimination of toxins in the body, bed-wetting, peptic ulcers and many other health disorders. ‘The Aromatherapy Book’ by Jeanne Rose states the use of this oil in the treatment of AIDS.

Disclaimer:

This is only for information purpose and is not recommended to replace any prescribed medicines or the consultation of your medical professional. Do not use essential oils directly on your skin or take it internally without the advice of your Ayurvedic Practitioner as it may cause negative effects.  Essential oils are highly concentrated so keep it away from children.

Thought for the day:

Earth laughs in flowers.    –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. St. John’s Wort: The Herbal Way to Feeling Good by Norman Rosenthal
  2. St. John’s Wort: The Premier Herb for Relieving Depression, Healing Wounds and Easing Nerve Pain (Keats Good Herb Guide Series) by Roy Upton
  3. Natural Care Library St. John’s Wort: Safe and Effective Self-Care for Anxiety, Inflammation and Pain Relief by Stephanie Pedersen

Reference Links:

  1. St. John’s Wort by American Botanical Council
  2. St. John’s Wort by University of Maryland Medical Center
  3. St. John’s Wort by American Family Physician