What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are organic compounds extracted from the bark, flower, fruit, leaf, seed or root of a plant or tree and have several healing properties. The oils in the plants are made up of very small molecules that can penetrate your cells, and some can even penetrate the blood-brain barrier. These oils are highly concentrated and have a strong aroma and can be used in aromatherapy and their benefits range from mental to physical healing.
What Is Lemongrass Essential Oil?
Lemongrass is also known as Cymbopogon and is an herb that belongs to the grass family of Poaceae. It grows in dense clumps that can grow 6 feet high and 4 feet in width. It is native to India, Southeast Asia and Oceania which are warm tropical regions. In India, it is used as a medicinal herb while it is most commonly used in Asian cuisine. In South American and African countries, it is mainly used for making tea.
Lemongrass essential oil has a light and fresh lemony smell with earthy undertones and it comes from the leaves or grass of the lemongrass plant. In aromatherapy, Lemongrass essential oils are mainly used for its stimulating, relaxing, balancing and soothing properties.
Benefits of Lemongrass Essential Oil
Stress and Anxiety Reducer
Lemongrass is one of the top essential oils used for anxiety and the calming and mild aroma is known to relieve anxiety and irritability. You smell the oils directly from the bottle, or create your own massage oil or body lotion. Add a few drops of high quality, therapeutic grade lemongrass essential oil to your tea at night right before bed to experience a calming sensation.
The calming and soothing effects of lemongrass essential oil has the power to relieve pain, tension or pressure that can cause headaches. This is why it is one of the most recommended oils for headache relief. Try diluting lemongrass and rubbing it on your temples and breathe in the relaxing lemony aromas.
Natural Muscle Relaxer
If you are experiencing sore muscles, muscle spasms or cramps, lemongrass can help alleviate them. By rubbing diluted lemongrass oil on your body in the affected areas, you can help relieve the pain and increase circulation.
Most of the diseases that are around now have inflammation as their root cause. So, bringing down inflammation is a big deal when trying to combat these diseases and illnesses. When used both internally and externally, lemongrass was shown to have powerful anti-inflammatory abilities.
Menstrual Cramp Relief
It’s that time of the month again and those annoying and painful menstrual cramps are back at full throttle accompanied by irritability. Oh joy. Try drinking 1-2 cups of lemongrass tea a day to relieve the pain and symptoms. Although there is no scientific research on this, it is known that lemongrass is soothing internally and stress reducing which is why it may help.
Fights Flu and Colds
Lemongrass essential oil has the power to fight bacteria that causes colds and the flu. This is mainly due to the antimicrobial and anti-bacterial properties of this essential oil. Add a few drops to a vaporizer to help get rid of airborne illnesses.
Lemongrass has cooling properties and substances that are believed to reduce a fever and also relieve swelling and pain.
Natural Deodorizer and Cleaner
If you are looking for a more safe and natural way to clean and deodorize your home, you can opt for lemongrass essential oil. Add a few drops of oil to water and use it as a mist or add it to your oil diffuser or vaporizer. You can also customize your own natural fragrance by adding other essential oils such as lavender or tea tree oil.
You can use lemongrass essential oil to help you get rid of infections such as ringworm, athlete’s foot and other types of fungus. This is mainly due to the anti-bacterial and antimicrobial properties of lemongrass essential oil.
Improves Skin Health
Lemongrass essential oil is known to have skin healing properties. Its antiseptic and astringent properties make this oil great for getting even and glowing skin and is an effective cleanser for all skin types. It can sterilize your pores and serve as your natural toner, so it is the perfect oil to add to your natural skin care routine. You can also add lemongrass essential oil to shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, soaps and lotions. By simply rubbing this oil into your hair, scalp and body, you can alleviate muscle pain and headaches.
Improves Hair Health
If you are struggling with hair loss or an itchy or irritated scalp, massage a few drops of lemongrass essential oil into your scalp for about 2 minutes, then rinse. Lemongrass essential oil can help strengthen your hair follicles. You will leave your hair shiny, fresh and odor free due to the soothing and bacteria killing properties.
Natural Bug Repellent
Lemongrass essential oil has a high citral and geraniol content which is great for naturally repelling insects such as mosquitoes and ants. It can be sprayed directly on your skin and has a mild smell. If you add about 5 drops of oil to water, you can create a spray and apply it to your fur baby’s coat to kill fleas.
Essential Oil Applications
Essential oils can be used to help with many ailments ranging from mental to physical ailments. You can find an essential oil that helps with just about anything. Think of them as nature’s gifts. We can reap the benefits of essential oils through aromatherapy, oral application or topically. Each application has its own benefits and its own precautions.
Aromatherapy is a term used when we use essential oils aromatically. When the aromas of an essential oil Is inhaled, the molecules enter the nasal cavities and stimulate mental responses in the limbic system which can trigger a powerful emotional response.
Aromatherapy can be obtained by adding a few drops of oils to your bath or shower, by relaxing in a warm bath with bath salts and essential oils, by diffusing the oils in an essential oil diffuser, using room or body sprays containing essential oils, essential oil nasal inhalers, essential oil roll ons used as perfumes or colognes, or just simply inhaling the aromas from the bottle.
Topical application is the process of placing essential oils on your skin, hair, mouth, teeth, nails or mucous membranes of the body. When the oils are applied to the skin, they are absorbed and penetrate the skin rapidly due to their small molecular makeup.
Most essential oils need to be diluted with carrier oils such as coconut oil or almond oil before direct application to the skin. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can cause serious harm or negative skin reactions if not diluted or used properly. Once mixed with a carrier oil, you can apply the mixture directly to the bottom of your feet, pulse points, the affected area, rims of the ears or using a compress.
You can use essential oils topically through body butters, lotions, bath salts, body scrubs, essential oil rollers or massage oils that contain essential oils in them.
Many essential oils can be ingested- taken by the mouth or eaten. You can cook with foods that contain essential oils in them such as lemongrass, ginger or cinnamon. You can also use them in teas to create our own herbal tea remedy. A few popular teas would be chamomile tea or peppermint tea. A few other common ways to ingest them is through capsule form, adding a few drops to your beverage or food dish or by adding a few drops of essential oils under your tongue for fast absorption.
Lemongrass Essential Oil Precautions
Some people have experienced negative side effects such as lung problems after inhaling lemongrass essential oil. When used as aromatherapy in a diffuser, it is important to remember that a little goes a long way.
If you choose to use lemongrass essential oil topically and have sensitive skin, you may encounter side effects such as a rash, discomfort and even a burning sensation. Remember to dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil such as coconut oil or jojoba oil and perform a patch test before full body application. If irritation occurs, stop use immediately and speak to your healthcare physician.
If you are pregnant you may want to stay clear of lemongrass essential oil. Lemongrass is known to stimulate menstrual flow and there may be a slight chance of a miscarriage. Lemongrass essential oil should not be used while breastfeeding and it should not be used topically on children under the age of 2.
Speak with your healthcare physician before using lemongrass essential oil if you are being treated for a medical condition, or are currently taking medication, especially if taking internally.
Essential Oil Precautions
When using any type of essential oil topically for the first time, it is always safe practice to perform a patch test on a small part of your skin before full body application. To do this, dilute the essential oils in a 1:1 ratio, then apply a small amount to the inner part of your forearm or a sensitive part of skin. Wait 24- 48 hours to be sure that no negative skin irritations occur such as swelling, redness, hives or rashes. It is best to start with an even ratio, then work your way up slowly to avoid any irritations.
When inhaling essential oils for the first time, keep the amount of exposure at a minimum to be sure you or anyone else in the household doesn’t experience any negative effects of the aromas. If you do, then ventilate the room being diffused immediately. If irritations continue to occur, seek medical or professional help.
If you are ingesting essential oils, it is critical to make sure that the essential oils you use are safe and pure and are a very high quality, organic, “therapeutic grade” brand. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers these safe for consumption and has approved some essential oils generically for internal use and given them the generally recognized as safe (GRAS) designation for human consumption.
It is best to talk to your doctor if you are unsure how using essential oil will impact existing health conditions such as heart disease, liver damage, cancer or skin disorders. If you have a reaction, or unsure about using any type of essential oils, it is best to speak with your doctor.
If you are taking any medications that you are not sure if they will interact with essential oils, be sure to speak to your physician before use. If you are pregnant, nursing, or elderly, be sure to speak to a physician or professionally before using essential oils.
Read more on essential oil safety
Essential Oil Storage
Be sure to keep essential oils out of direct sunlight. Some essential oils are light sensitive and will lose their benefits if exposed to direct sunlight or heat. Some essential oils can be corrosive if used in plastic in their concentrated form. This is also why most essential oils or products that contain essential oils in them are packaged in deep amber or cobalt glass bottles.
Be sure to keep your essential oils in a cool dry place out of the reach of children and pets.
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The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. Self Verve is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. Be sure to contact your physician before trying any of the items stated in the above article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. Self Verve does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.