Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citrates) is used in Cuban folk medicine to lower high blood pressure and as an anti-inflammatory. In India, lemongrass is used as a medicinal herb and in perfumes. It is also used in Brazilian folk medicine in a tea called "abafado" as a sedative, for gastrointestinal problems, and for fever. Lemongrass oil is a yellow/brown oil with a tinge of red. It has a fresh, strong, lemon-like and pungent odor with herbal and leaf aspects. Lemongrass oil is an essential oil used in deodorants, herbal teas, skin care products, fragrances, insect repellents, and for aromatherapy.
Currently, there is very little scientific evidence investigating the use of lemongrass in humans and more evidence is needed to make strong recommendations for its use as a sedative or for lowering high cholesterol. Lemongrass is not approved by the German Commission E, but does have generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status in the United States.
Abafado (Portuguese), alpha-citral, alpha-terpineole, Andropogon citratus, Andropogon nardus, bai mak nao (Lao), beta-citral (neral), beta-myrcene, bhustrina (Indian), British Indian lemongrass, capim-cidrao, Ceylon citronella grass, citral, Cochin lemongrass, Cymbopogon ambiguus, Cymbopogon citrates, Cymbopogon citratus DC, Cymbopogon excavatus, Cymbopogon flexuosus, Cymbopogon goeringii, Cymbopogon martinii, Cymbopogon nardus, Cymbopogon proximus, Cymbopogon schoenanthus L., Cymbopogon winterianus, East Indian lemongrass, erba di limone (Italian), essência de capim-limão (Portuguese), farnesol, fever grass, geraniol, geranium grass, geranyl acetate, Graminaeae (family), Guatemala lemongrass, Halfa barr, herbe de citron (French), hierba de limon (Spanish), java citronella, lemon grass, lemon grass extract (LGE), lemongrass oil, lemongrass stalk, lemon herbs, Madagascar lemongrass, Melissa grass, myrcene, palmarosa, pinene, piperitone, Poaceae (family), proximadiol, Santalum acuminatum, sera (Indian, Sinhalese), serai (Malay), sere (Indonesian), sereh (Indonesian), Sudanese flora, takrai (Thai), terpene beta-myrcene, West Indian lemongrass, Zitronengras (German).
Note: This review does not include citronella oil or stone root.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol)
Early research has not shown any effect of lemongrass on serum cholesterol. However, more research is warranted in this area.
Lemongrass is used in Brazilian folklore for nervous disturbances; however, early study of lemongrass has not confirmed this use. More research is warranted in this area.