Our Not-So-Secret Love Affair With Lemongrass Essential Oil
With its powerful antimicrobial properties and an inviting fragrance very much like that of fresh lemons, lemongrass essential oil is a rejuvenating EO that provides a burst of sunshiny citrus anytime you crave it. This uplifting oil is more than a sweet smelling experience, though; it’s also an excellent addition to any natural home care or beauty routine.
We’ve recently fallen head over heels for this amazing oil and all of its incredible applications that can benefit your skin, your home, and your well-being, so we’re giving it some special attention.
All About Lemongrass Oil
Native to Oceania, Africa, and Southeast Asia, lemongrass has been treasured for centuries, not only for its delicious flavor in recipes, but also for its health enhancing properties. The essential oil from this herb is rich in vitamins and minerals, along with a variety of antioxidants and terpenes that can benefit both you and your home environment.1,2
Not all lemongrass oils on the market are high quality, and some may not even contain much lemongrass at all. When selecting a product, look for a single ingredient, unrefined, sustainably sourced, cruelty-free essential oil like Valentia Lemongrass Oil, that’s free from parabens, sulfates, preservatives, GMOs, detergents, and any other synthetic additives. Dark amber glass packaging is a huge plus because it helps keep all that lemony goodness fresh for as long as two years.
Try it for:
- Revitalizing moisture: For a radiant, hydrated glow, simply add a few drops of lemongrass essential oil to your favorite carrier oil or moisturizer and massage into face, neck, and body. Lemongrass oil’s unique blend of nutrients encourages a toned, firm, vibrant complexion at any age.
- Refreshing toning: Lemongrass is a natural astringent that helps minimize the appearance of pores and lifts away excess sebum without overly drying the skin. To create your own lemongrass toner, mix 1 cup of distilled water, 2½ tablespoons of witch hazel, and 5 drops of lemongrass essential oil in a spray bottle. Shake well and mist face lightly before moisturizing.
The astringent properties of this oil also make it an excellent oil to support long, strong, healthy (and great smelling) hair. Add two or three drops to your regular shampoo or conditioner—or for an intense conditioning treatment, you can combine about a tablespoon of carrier oil (such as castor or argan oil) with three to four drops of lemongrass essential oil. Massage into hair and scalp, and leave in for a few minutes or longer before shampooing out.
After your shower, there’s no need to expose yourself to toxic chemicals in order to stay fresh and feel confident all day long. You can whip up a batch of your own natural lemongrass deodorant spray with this easy recipe:
Reveal Stunning Skin and Hair
Lemongrass essential oil takes any natural skincare and beauty routine to the next level. Like all essential oils, it’s too powerful to use directly on the skin by itself, but it adds a tangible benefit (and lovely fragrance!) when you mix a few drops into a botanical carrier oil like rosehip or jojoba. Used in this way, it’s calming and soothing—even on sensitive skin.3,4
DIY Lemongrass Deodorant
- 1 cup distilled water
- ½ cup witch hazel
- 6 drops lemongrass essential oil
- 3 drops lavender essential oil
- 2 drops frankincense essential oil
Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well before each use.
Lemongrass Oil for Home and Garden
While lemongrass oil is a bold beauty booster, it’s also a perfect ingredient to create a fresh, relaxed, and joyful environment:
The scent of lemongrass has been well studied for its ability to encourage a calm, positive mood along with deeper, better quality sleep.5,6 For a peaceful yet upbeat atmosphere anytime of day, add a few drops of lemongrass oil to a diffuser. And to set the mood for restful sleep, you can diffuse with lemongrass oil on its own or combine it with lavender oil.
Even if you don’t have a diffuser, you can still enjoy the aromatherapy magic of lemongrass. Try mixing a few drops into a carrier oil and massaging into wrists, neck, and feet—or add some of the oil to a warm, candlelit bath. In a pinch, you can even just inhale the fragrance directly from the bottle. And if you like creating your own original fragrances, lemongrass is the perfect choice to add a bright, uplifting note to any signature fragrance blend.
DIY all-purpose cleaner
Lemongrass essential oil offers a safe, effective way to help keep your home sparkling clean and fragrant. This recipe gets the job done without any dangerous toxins or harsh ingredients:
- 1 cup distilled water
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 30 drops lemongrass essential oil
Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well before wiping down kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
DIY air freshener
Most commercial air fresheners contain harmful chemicals that may smell nice, but in truth are polluting the air you and your family breathe. Keep your house smelling fresh and cheerful safely and naturally by adding 18-20 drops of lemongrass essential oil to 2 cups of distilled water in a spray bottle. Shake well and give your home a refreshing spritz any time.
Naturally keep the bugs away
The types of insects that ruin outdoor fun seem to dislike the scent of lemongrass just as much as we humans love it!7 Lemongrass is rich in citral and geraniol, which help it safely discourage mosquitoes, ticks, and other annoying insects from hanging around. This means that when you use lemongrass oil as a beauty treatment, you’re getting the added bonus of sending insects a message to keep their distance, without having to rely on dangerous chemicals like DEET. You can also run a diffuser with lemongrass on your patio or balcony to create a broader space where bugs likely won’t want to linger.
Just a drop or two of lemongrass essential oil reveals the best in you and your surroundings with a happy, citrusy burst—no wonder we’re all so in love with it!
- Aicha, N., Ines, S., Mohamed, B. S., Ines, B., Soumaya, K., Kamel, G., … Leila, C. (2008). Chemical Composition, Mutagenic and Antimutagenic Activities of Essential Oils from (Tunisian) Artemisia campestris and Artemisia herba-alba. Journal of Essential Oil Research, 20(5), 471-477. doi:10.1080/10412905.2008.9700061
- Cheel, J., Theoduloz, C., Rodríguez, J., & Schmeda-Hirschmann, G. (2005). Free Radical Scavengers and Antioxidants from Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus(DC.) Stapf.). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 53(7), 2511-2517. doi:10.1021/jf0479766
- Tzortzakis, N. G., & Economakis, C. D. (2007). Antifungal activity of lemongrass (Cympopogon citratus L.) essential oil against key postharvest pathogens. Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies, 8(2), 253-258. doi:10.1016/j.ifset.2007.01.002
- Boukhatem, M. N., Ferhat, M. A., Kameli, A., Saidi, F., & Kebir, H. T. (2014). Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) essential oil as a potent anti-inflammatory and antifungal drugs. Libyan Journal of Medicine, 9(1), 25431. doi:10.3402/ljm.v9.25431
- Shah, G., Shri, R., Panchal, V., Sharma, N., Singh, B., & Mann, A. (2011). Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Cymbopogon citratus, stapf (Lemon grass). Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research, 2(1), 3. doi:10.4103/2231-4040.79796
- Costa, C. A., Kohn, D. O., De Lima, V. M., Gargano, A. C., Flório, J. C., & Costa, M. (2011). The GABAergic system contributes to the anxiolytic-like effect of essential oil from Cymbopogon citratus (lemongrass). Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 137(1), 828-836. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2011.07.003
- Chukwuocha, U. M., Fernández-Rivera, O., & Legorreta-Herrera, M. (2016). Exploring the antimalarial potential of whole Cymbopogon citratus plant therapy. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 193, 517-523. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2016.09.056