Lemongrass Oil – Uses, Benefits, and How to Make it at Home
YoIf you want to pamper yourself, nothing beats soaking in a tub or falling asleep surrounded by the sweet scent of lemongrass oil. Its benefits are not just skin deep, and you can easily make it at home.
Want to know how? Read on.
- What is Lemongrass?
- What is lemongrass infused oil
- How To make Lemongrass Oil
- Lemongrass oil for hair
- Lemongrass Oil for Skin
What is Lemongrass?
Lemongrass, also known as Cymbopogon citratus, is a tropical plant that is native to India and Sri Lanka, but easily found across tropical and subtropical regions like Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America, and Central America. It is known by several other names like Cochin grass, Malabar grass, citronella grass, barbed wire grass, and silky head. This plant is used for various culinary, medical, and cosmetic purposes.
As a medicinal herb, it is used to treat various conditions like blood pressure, digestive problems, skin irritations and infections, problems with the nervous system, to name a few.It is also used to treat oxidative stress and has anti-inflammatory properties. Oxidative stress takes place when there is an imbalance of free radicals in the body. (1)
Lemongrass tea is a popular type of tea that is well favoured thanks to its lemon-like taste and fragrance, as well as its soothing properties. (2)
What is lemongrass infused oil
Lemongrass oil, is essentially made from lemongrass leaves and stalks. Lemongrass has a strong earthy undertone, coupled with a subtle lemony fragrance and flavour. It is chock full of antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it one of the most preferred herbs.
The composition of lemongrass oil mainly includes neral, geranial, geranyl acetate, undecyne, myrcene, and of course citrus. The amount of citrus it contains, determines the quality of the plant. (3)
How To make Lemongrass Oil
It is easy to find lemongrass oil in stores, as well as on online portals. Most of the time, these oils are made through the steam distillation process. However, if you have these wonder herbs growing in your backyard, or if you simply want to make it yourself, then that is possible as well.
To make lemongrass oil, you will need the help of a carrier oil. The carrier oil is like the base oil, to which extracts from lemongrass will be added or infused.
To make lemongrass oil at home, you will require the following –
- Three or four stalks of lemongrass
- A carrier oil. For this, you can use olive oil, sweet almond oil, virgin coconut oil, almond oil, and grapeseed oil.
- A clean, dry, fine cheesecloth
- A rolling pin or a mortar and pestle
- A glass jars or bowl with lid
- A dark glass bottle with tight lid (4)
Once you’ve got all these ingredients in place, follow the procedure given below to make your lemongrass oil.
- Take the stalks of lemongrass or the leaves. Cut them into half or at a length of five to six inches if they are too long. With the help of a rolling pin, crush the leaves. You can cut them smaller and use a mortar and pestle instead of a rolling pin as well.
- Fill the glass jar with the base or carrier oil. Add the crushed stalks or lemongrass leaves into this glass jar. Make sure you seal or cover it with the lid.
- Place this jar in a cool, dry place, exposed to maximum sunlight.
- Wait for around two days. After this, take the cheesecloth and use it to strain the oil that was kept in the jar.
- Repeat this process with some more crushed lemongrass stalks. You can keep this for two days in the same place, exposed to sunlight.
- You can repeat this a third time or until you are satisfied with the potency of the oil. The more lemony the oil smells, the more potent it is.
- As a final step, strain the oil again with the help of the cheese cloth.
- Transfer the lemongrass oil into the darker glass jar. This time, keep the jar in a dark, cool, dry place away from sunlight. (5)
Lemongrass oil for hair
If your tresses are in need of some tender loving care, consider incorporating some lemongrass oil into your hair care regime. It has several health benefits, and its wonderful fragrance is an added bonus. As mentioned above, it has antibacterial and antifungal properties, so that keeps all the bacterial and fungal infections your hair is threatened with, at bay. It can deep-cleanse a dry, flaky scalp, and of course maintain the shine and good health of your hair. Here are its many benefits for your hair –
- Helps treat and prevent dandruff, psoriasis, eczema, and other scalp related infections.
- Protects the hair from dust, pollution, and dirt
- Removes dust and clogging of the hair follicles
- Can strengthen hair and improve its quality
- Helps with blood circulation, thereby promoting hair growth
- Helps prevent hair fall
- Can get rid of lice in hair (6)
DIY Lemongrass oil hair recipes
Here are a few lemongrass oil hair recipes that you can try out at home –
Lemongrass oil and coconut oil
Most people will swear by the benefits of coconut oil for hair. And there is good reason for this. Coconut oil helps promote hair growth by strengthening the hair follicles. It also makes your hair shiny and strong. This, along with lemongrass oil is an excellent recipe for your hair.
You will require one cup of coconut oil and around three to four drops of lemongrass essential oil.
Mix both together so it has become a homogeneous mixture. You can then apply this to your scalp and along the length of your hair. Do this before you sleep at night. (7)
Lemongrass oil and apple cider vinegar
If you are suffering from scalp issues like dandruff, flaky scalp, and psoriasis, then this one’s for you.
Lemongrass oil and apple cider vinegar can help soothe inflammation and prevent dryness, as well as treat infections.
For this, you will require one cup of distilled water, half a cup of apple cider vinegar, and four to five drops of lemongrass oil.
Mix all of these together till they form a homogeneous mixture. You can then apply it to your scalp and along the length of your hair. Let it sit for around ten minutes. After this, wash your hair with warm water. To observe best results from this, repeat the process twice a week. (8)
Lemongrass Oil for Skin
Researchers suggest that lemongrass oil is great for your skin. Here are a few benefits of lemongrass oil for your skin:
- You can apply it on small cuts and bruises to prevent infection
- It helps make the skin soft and supple, so it can be used for this purpose
- Since it has antiseptic properties, it can be used to treat skin acne and breakouts.
- It can be used to soothe skin irritations and rashes (9)
DIY Lemongrass oil skin recipes
Here are a few lemongrass oil skin recipes that you can try out at home –
Lemongrass oil and tea tree oil
You can make a facial steam with this recipe. Add a few drops of lemongrass oil and a few drops of tea tree oil into a vessel of hot water. Use this to steam your face. Lemongrass oil has antibacterial properties while tea tree oil has detoxifying properties. (10)
Lemongrass, olive oil, and sea salt
Take a few drops of lemongrass oil, and mix it with olive oil. To this, add some fine sea salt. Use this paste as a facial scrub to remove dead skin cells. (11)
Lemongrass Oil in Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is a type of holistic therapeutic process. It includes the use of natural herbs and fragrances to enhance mental and physical health and well-being.
As a therapeutic product, lemongrass oil is favoured because of its calming fragrance and subtle hints of citrus. One of the effects of lemongrass is its ability to relieve pain and stress, making it of great value in aromatherapy. Inhaling its scent has shown to to treat insomnia and anxiety. It can also relieve headaches. In some cases, lemongrass oil is also used in aromatherapy to treat depression. (12)
How to use for aromatherapy
You can use lemongrass oil for aromatherapy with the help of a diffuser. Fill a diffuser with water, and add a few drops of lemongrass essential oil. Use this whenever necessary. If you want to carry this around, then you can do so with the help of an inhaler or a sachet. Additionally, you can simply dab a few drops of lemongrass oil on a piece of clean cloth, and carry it around if you want.
For some good sleep and a well-rested night, consider using a diffuser to spray the lemongrass oil in your room before you go to bed. Lemongrass also happens to have a very mild sedative effect, which can help treat insomnia and restlessness. You can also consider inhaling the oil before going to sleep. (13)
How to use lemongrass oil as room freshener
Lemongrass oil is popularly used for cosmetic and healthcare purposes, but that is not all. You can use it at home as well, as an insect repellent. Thanks to its high geraniol and citral content, it can keep mosquitoes and flies at bay. You can also use lemongrass oil with or without other scented essential oils as a room freshener. Use a diffuser to spray the contents around in your house. (14)
Side effects and caution
Make sure you consult a healthcare professional in case you are ingesting or orally consuming lemongrass oil.
Lemongrass oil is considered safe, but in some cases, people experience skin irritations and rashes. To avoid this, do a skin patch test on yourself using the essential oil. Put a small drop on the back of your palms, on a small patch of skin. Wait for a day for any negative reactions. If any, avoid using the oil.
Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding mothers are advised against the use of lemongrass oil, especially if being ingested or applied on skin. This might have a negative reaction. Also, lemongrass is said to have period inducing qualities, which is a strict no during pregnancy. People who are suffering from health conditions like kidney or liver diseases must avoid the use of lemongrass as well. (15)
Lemongrass essential oil Links (amazon)
A few popular lemongrass essential oils that are available online include –
1. Khadi Natural Lemongrass Oil
You can use Khadi’s Natural lemongrass oil for skin and muscle toning, as well as for nervous exhaustion, headaches, fungal infections, and to treat acne.
It is available on Amazon.
2. Naturoman Lemongrass Oil
You can use this product for therapeutic purposes. Use it as a room freshener with the help of a diffuser.
It is available on Amazon.
3. Naaya Lemongrass Oil
This organic product can be used for various medicinal, cosmetic, and therapeutic purposes. Naaya also has carrier oils that you can purchase, in case you want to make lemongrass oil at home.
It is available on Amazon
4. Soulflower Lemongrass Oil
You can use Soulflower lemongrass oil for both hair and skin. This particular product is for external use, and not for ingestion.
It is available on Amazon.