Overview

Lemongrass is a plant. The leaves and the oil are used to make medicine.

Lemongrass is commonly taken orally, applied directly to the skin, or inhaled as aromatherapy for many different conditions. But there is limited scientific research to support any of its common uses.

In food and beverages, lemongrass is used as a flavoring. For example, lemongrass leaves are commonly used as "lemon" flavoring in herbal teas.

In manufacturing, lemongrass is used as a fragrance in deodorants, soaps, and cosmetics. Lemongrass is also used in making vitamin A and natural citral.

How does it work ?

Lemongrass might help prevent the growth of some bacteria and yeast. Lemongrass also contains substances that are thought to relieve pain and swelling, reduce fever, improve levels of sugar and cholesterol in the blood, stimulate the uterus and menstrual flow, and have antioxidant properties.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Dandruff. Early research suggests that applying a lemongrass oil solution to the hair reduces dandruff in some people.
  • High cholesterol. Early research suggests that taking lemongrass oil by mouth does not reduce cholesterol levels in people with high cholesterol.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Early research suggests that applying lemongrass oil to the skin can decrease pain in adults with RA. However, more research is needed to know if this is more than just a placebo effect.
  • Yeast infection in the mouth (thrush). Early research suggests that drinking lemongrass tea decreases symptoms of thrush in people with HIV/AIDS.
  • Stomach and intestinal cramps.
  • Stomach ache.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Convulsions.
  • Pain and swelling.
  • Vomiting.
  • Cough.
  • Achy joints (rheumatism).
  • Fever.
  • Common cold.
  • Diabetes.
  • Exhaustion.
  • Headache.
  • Use as an antiseptic and astringent.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of lemongrass for these uses.

Side Effects

Lemongrass is LIKELY SAFE for most people when used in food amounts. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth, applied to the skin, or inhaled as aromatherapy short-term for medicinal purposes. Rarely, lemongrass oil might cause a rash of skin irritation when applied to the skin. However, there have been some toxic side effects, such as lung problems after inhaling lemongrass and a fatal poisoning after a child swallowed a lemongrass oil-based insect repellent.

Special Precautions and Warnings

Lemongrass is LIKELY SAFE for most people when used in food amounts. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth, applied to the skin, or inhaled as aromatherapy short-term for medicinal purposes. Rarely, lemongrass oil might cause a rash of skin irritation when applied to the skin. However, there have been some toxic side effects, such as lung problems after inhaling lemongrass and a fatal poisoning after a child swallowed a lemongrass oil-based insect repellent.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is LIKELY UNSAFE to take lemongrass by mouth during pregnancy. Lemongrass seems to be able to start menstrual flow, so there is a concern that it might cause a miscarriage.

There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking lemongrass if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Interactions ?

    Moderate Interaction

    Be cautious with this combination

  • Pentobarbital interacts with LEMONGRASS

    Lemongrass oil might make people sleepy. If it is taken in combination with a sedative drug like pentobarbital (Nembutal), it might increase side effects and feelings of sleepiness.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1) substrates) interacts with LEMONGRASS

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Lemongrass might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking lemongrass along with some medications that are broken down by the liver might increase the effects and side effects of some medications.
    Some medications that are changed by the liver include chlorzoxazone, theophylline, and bufuralol.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) interacts with LEMONGRASS

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Lemongrass might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking lemongrass along with some medications that are broken down by the liver might increase the effects and side effects of some medications.
    Some medications that are changed by the liver include amitriptyline (Elavil), amiodarone (Cordarone), citalopram (Celexa), felodipine (Plendil), lansoprazole (Prevacid), ondansetron (Zofran), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), sertraline (Zoloft), sibutramine (Meridia), and many others.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Glucuronidated drugs) interacts with LEMONGRASS

    The body breaks down some medications to get rid of them. The liver helps break down these medications. Taking lemongrass might affect how quickly the liver breaks down drugs. This could increase or decrease how well some of these medications work.
    Some of these medications changed by the liver include acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) and oxazepam (Serax), haloperidol (Haldol), lamotrigine (Lamictal), morphine (MS Contin, Roxanol), zidovudine (AZT, Retrovir), and others.

Dosing

The appropriate dose of lemongrass depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for lemongrass. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.