LEMONGRASS

OTHER NAME(S):

Abafado, Andropogon citratus, Andropogon flexuosus, British Indian Lemongrass, Cana Santa, Capim-Cidrao, Capim-Santo, Ceylon Citronella Grass, Cimbopogone, Citronella, Citrongräss, Citronnelle, Citronnelle de Ceylan, Citronnelle des Indes, Citronnelle de Java, Citronnelle de Madagascar, Cochin Lemongrass, Cymbopogon citratus, Cymbopogon flexuosus, Cymbopogon nardis, East Indian Lemongrass, Fever Grass, Grass Tea, Guatemala Lemongrass, Herbe Citron, Hierba de Limón, Jonc Odorant, Lemon Grass, Lemon Grass Stalk, Limonaria, Limon Out, Madagascar Lemongrass, Sakumau, Sera, Sereh, Squinant, Ta-Khraj, Tej-Sar, Verveine Indienne, West Indian Lemongrass, Zacate Limon.<br/><br/>

Overview

Overview Information

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 doedorants, 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

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.
  • Yeast infection in the mouth (thrush). Early research suggests that drinking a 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

Side Effects & Safety

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 & Warnings:

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

Interactions?

We currently have no information for LEMONGRASS Interactions.

Dosing

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.

View References

REFERENCES:

  • Abe, S., Maruyama, N., Hayama, K., Inouye, S., Oshima, H., and Yamaguchi, H. Suppression of neutrophil recruitment in mice by geranium essential oil. Mediators.Inflamm. 2004;13(1):21-24. View abstract.
  • Abe, S., Sato, Y., Inoue, S., Ishibashi, H., Maruyama, N., Takizawa, T., Oshima, H., and Yamaguchi, H. [Anti-Candida albicans activity of essential oils including Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) oil and its component, citral]. Nippon Ishinkin.Gakkai Zasshi 2003;44(4):285-291. View abstract.
  • Adeneye, A. A. and Agbaje, E. O. Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of fresh leaf aqueous extract of Cymbopogon citratus Stapf. in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 7-25-2007;112(3):440-444. View abstract.
  • Blanco, M. M., Costa, C. A., Freire, A. O., Santos, J. G., Jr., and Costa, M. Neurobehavioral effect of essential oil of Cymbopogon citratus in mice. Phytomedicine 2009;16(2-3):265-270. View abstract.
  • Bleasel, N., Tate, B., and Rademaker, M. Allergic contact dermatitis following exposure to essential oils. Australas.J Dermatol 2002;43(3):211-213. View abstract.
  • Carbajal, D., Casaco, A., Arruzazabala, L., Gonzalez, R., and Tolon, Z. Pharmacological study of Cymbopogon citratus leaves. J Ethnopharmacol 1989;25(1):103-107. View abstract.
  • Carlini, E. A., Contar, J. de DP, Silva-Filho, A. R., Silveira-Filho, N. G., Frochtengarten, M. L., and Bueno, O. F. Pharmacology of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus Stapf). I. Effects of teas prepared from the leaves on laboratory animals. J.Ethnopharmacol. 1986;17(1):37-64. View abstract.
  • Cheel, J., Theoduloz, C., Rodriguez, J., and Schmeda-Hirschmann, G. Free radical scavengers and antioxidants from Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf.). J Agric.Food Chem 4-6-2005;53(7):2511-2517. View abstract.
  • Elson, C. E., Underbakke, G. L., Hanson, P., Shrago, E., Wainberg, R. H., and Qureshi, A. A. Impact of lemongrass oil, an essential oil, on serum cholesterol. Lipids 1989;24(8):677-679. View abstract.
  • Fandohan, P., Gnonlonfin, B., Laleye, A., Gbenou, J. D., Darboux, R., and Moudachirou, M. Toxicity and gastric tolerance of essential oils from Cymbopogon citratus, Ocimum gratissimum and Ocimum basilicum in Wistar rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 2008;46(7):2493-2497. View abstract.
  • Figueirinha, A., Cruz, M. T., Francisco, V., Lopes, M. C., and Batista, M. T. Anti-inflammatory activity of Cymbopogon citratus leaf infusion in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated dendritic cells: contribution of the polyphenols. J Med Food 2010;13(3):681-690. View abstract.
  • Frosch, P. J., Johansen, J. D., Menne, T., Pirker, C., Rastogi, S. C., Andersen, K. E., Bruze, M., Goossens, A., Lepoittevin, J. P., and White, I. R. Further important sensitizers in patients sensitive to fragrances. Contact Dermatitis 2002;47(5):279-287. View abstract.
  • Lalko, J. and Api, A. M. Investigation of the dermal sensitization potential of various essential oils in the local lymph node assay. Food Chem Toxicol 2006;44(5):739-746. View abstract.
  • Lee, H. J., Jeong, H. S., Kim, D. J., Noh, Y. H., Yuk, D. Y., and Hong, J. T. Inhibitory effect of citral on NO production by suppression of iNOS expression and NF-kappa B activation in RAW264.7 cells. Arch Pharm.Res 2008;31(3):342-349. View abstract.
  • Logarto, Parra A., Silva, Yhebra R., Guerra, Sardinas, I, and Iglesias, Buela L. Comparative study of the assay of Artemia salina L. and the estimate of the medium lethal dose (LD50 value) in mice, to determine oral acute toxicity of plant extracts. Phytomedicine. 2001;8(5):395-400. View abstract.
  • Lorenzetti, B. B., Souza, G. E., Sarti, S. J., Santos, Filho D., and Ferreira, S. H. Myrcene mimics the peripheral analgesic activity of lemongrass tea. J Ethnopharmacol 1991;34(1):43-48. View abstract.
  • Nakamura, Y., Miyamoto, M., Murakami, A., Ohigashi, H., Osawa, T., and Uchida, K. A phase II detoxification enzyme inducer from lemongrass: identification of citral and involvement of electrophilic reaction in the enzyme induction. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 3-14-2003;302(3):593-600. View abstract.
  • Ohno, T., Kita, M., Yamaoka, Y., Imamura, S., Yamamoto, T., Mitsufuji, S., Kodama, T., Kashima, K., and Imanishi, J. Antimicrobial activity of essential oils against Helicobacter pylori. Helicobacter. 2003;8(3):207-215. View abstract.
  • Oliveira, V. C., Moura, D. M., Lopes, J. A., de Andrade, P. P., da Silva, N. H., and Figueiredo, R. C. Effects of essential oils from Cymbopogon citratus (DC) Stapf., Lippia sidoides Cham., and Ocimum gratissimum L. on growth and ultrastructure of Leishmania chagasi promastigotes. Parasitol.Res 2009;104(5):1053-1059. View abstract.
  • Pereira, R. P., Fachinetto, R., de Souza, Prestes A., Puntel, R. L., Santos da Silva, G. N., Heinzmann, B. M., Boschetti, T. K., Athayde, M. L., Burger, M. E., Morel, A. F., Morsch, V. M., and Rocha, J. B. Antioxidant effects of different extracts from Melissa officinalis, Matricaria recutita and Cymbopogon citratus. Neurochem.Res. 2009;34(5):973-983. View abstract.
  • Pushpanathan, T., Jebanesan, A., and Govindarajan, M. Larvicidal, ovicidal and repellent activities of Cymbopogan citratus Stapf (Graminae) essential oil against the filarial mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus (Say) (Diptera : Culicidae). Trop.Biomed. 2006;23(2):208-212. View abstract.
  • Rao, V. S., Menezes, A. M., and Viana, G. S. Effect of myrcene on nociception in mice. J Pharm Pharmacol 1990;42(12):877-878. View abstract.
  • Santin, M. R., dos Santos, A. O., Nakamura, C. V., Dias Filho, B. P., Ferreira, I. C., and Ueda-Nakamura, T. In vitro activity of the essential oil of Cymbopogon citratus and its major component (citral) on Leishmania amazonensis. Parasitol.Res 2009;105(6):1489-1496. View abstract.
  • Santoro, G. F., Cardoso, M. G., Guimaraes, L. G., Freire, J. M., and Soares, M. J. Anti-proliferative effect of the essential oil of Cymbopogon citratus (DC) Stapf (lemongrass) on intracellular amastigotes, bloodstream trypomastigotes and culture epimastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi (Protozoa: Kinetoplastida). Parasitology 2007;134(Pt 11):1649-1656. View abstract.
  • Sforcin, J. M., Amaral, J. T., Fernandes, A., Jr., Sousa, J. P., and Bastos, J. K. Lemongrass effects on IL-1beta and IL-6 production by macrophages. Nat.Prod.Res 2009;23(12):1151-1159. View abstract.
  • Silva, M. R., Ximenes, R. M., da Costa, J. G., Leal, L. K., de Lopes, A. A., and Viana, G. S. Comparative anticonvulsant activities of the essential oils (EOs) from Cymbopogon winterianus Jowitt and Cymbopogon citratus (DC) Stapf. in mice. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol 2010;381(5):415-426. View abstract.
  • Souza Formigoni, M. L., Lodder, H. M., Gianotti, Filho O., Ferreira, T. M., and Carlini, E. A. Pharmacology of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus Stapf). II. Effects of daily two month administration in male and female rats and in offspring exposed "in utero". J.Ethnopharmacol. 1986;17(1):65-74. View abstract.
  • Tapia, A., Cheel, J., Theoduloz, C., Rodriguez, J., Schmeda-Hirschmann, G., Gerth, A., Wilken, D., Jordan, M., Jimenez-Gonzalez, E., Gomez-Kosky, R., and Mendoza, E. Q. Free radical scavengers from Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) stapf plants cultivated in bioreactors by the temporary immersion (TIS) principle. Z.Naturforsch.C 2007;62(5-6):447-457. View abstract.
  • Tchoumbougnang, F., Zollo, P. H., Dagne, E., and Mekonnen, Y. In vivo antimalarial activity of essential oils from Cymbopogon citratus and Ocimum gratissimum on mice infected with Plasmodium berghei. Planta Med 2005;71(1):20-23. View abstract.
  • Trongtokit, Y., Rongsriyam, Y., Komalamisra, N., and Apiwathnasorn, C. Comparative repellency of 38 essential oils against mosquito bites. Phytother Res 2005;19(4):303-309. View abstract.
  • Viana, G. S., Vale, T. G., Pinho, R. S., and Matos, F. J. Antinociceptive effect of the essential oil from Cymbopogon citratus in mice. J Ethnopharmacol 2000;70(3):323-327. View abstract.
  • Wohrl, S., Hemmer, W., Focke, M., Gotz, M., and Jarisch, R. The significance of fragrance mix, balsam of Peru, colophony and propolis as screening tools in the detection of fragrance allergy. Br.J Dermatol. 2001;145(2):268-273. View abstract.
  • Wright, S. C., Maree, J. E., and Sibanyoni, M. Treatment of oral thrush in HIV/AIDS patients with lemon juice and lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) and gentian violet. Phytomedicine 2009;16(2-3):118-124. View abstract.
  • Adukwu EC, Bowles M, Edwards-Jones V, Bone H. Antimicrobial activity, cytotoxicity and chemical analysis of lemongrass essential oil (Cymbopogon flexuosus) and pure citral. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 2016;100(22):9619-27. View abstract.
  • Avoseh O, Oyedeji O, Rungqu P, Nkeh-Chungag B, Oyedeji A. Cymbopogon species; ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry and the pharmacological importance. Molecules 2015;20(5):7438-53. View abstract.
  • Boukhatem MN, Ferhat MA, Kameli A, Saidi F, Kebir H93T. Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) essential oil as a potent anti-inflammatory and antifungal drugs. Libyan J Med 2014;9:25431. View abstract.
  • Buckle J. Use of aromatherapy as a complementary treatment for chronic pain. Altern Ther Health Med 1999;5:42-51. View abstract.
  • Chaisripipat W, Lourith N, Kanlayavattanakul M. Anti-dandruff hair tonic containing lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus) oil. Forsch Komplementmed 2015;22(4):226-9. View abstract.
  • Chukwuocha UM, Fernández-Rivera O, Legorreta-Herrera M. Exploring the antimalarial potential of whole Cymbopogon citratus plant therapy. J Ethnopharmacol 2016;193:517-23. View abstract.
  • Costa CA, Kohn DO, de Lima VM, Gargano AC, Flório JC, Costa M. The GABAergic system contributes to the anxiolytic-like effect of essential oil from Cymbopogon citratus (lemongrass). J Ethnopharmacol 2011;137(1):828-36. View abstract.
  • Dorman HJ, Deans SG. Antimicrobial agents from plants: antibacterial activity of plant volatile oils. J Appl Microbiol 2000;88:308-16. View abstract.
  • Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Available at: http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke/.
  • Dudai N, Weinstein Y, Krup M, et al. Citral is a new inducer of caspase-3 in tumor cell lines. Planta Med 2005;71:484-8. View abstract.
  • Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182
  • Halabi MF, Sheikh BY. Anti-proliferative effect and phytochemical analysis of Cymbopogon citratus extract. Biomed Res Int 2014;2014:906239. View abstract.
  • Kimutai A, Ngeiywa M, Mulaa M, et al. Repellent effects of the essential oils of Cymbopogon citratus and Tagetes minuta on the sandfly, Phlebotomus duboscqi. BMC Res Notes 2017;10(1):98. View abstract.
  • Leite JR, Seabra Mde L, Maluf E, et al. Pharmacology of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus Stapf). III. Assessment of eventual toxic, hypnotic and anxiolytic effects on humans. J Ethnopharmacol 1986;17:75-83. View abstract.
  • Shah G, Shri R, Panchal V, Sharma N, Singh B, Mann AS. Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Cymbopogon citratus, stapf (Lemon grass). J Adv Pharm Technol Res 2011;2(1):3-8. View abstract.
  • Soonwera M, Phasomkusolsil S. Effect of Cymbopogon citratus (lemongrass) and Syzygium aromaticum (clove) oils on the morphology and mortality of Aedes aegypti and Anopheles dirus larvae. Parasitol Res 2016;115(4):1691-703. View abstract.

More Resources for LEMONGRASS

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 2018.