Article Index
LEMONGRASS
1. Medicinal Properties & Use
2. Botany & Varieties
3. Chemical Constituents
4. Types
5. Improved Varieties
6. Soil & Climate
7. Propagation
8. Planting & Aftercare
9. Pest & Diseases
10. Harvest & Processing
11. Distillation
12. Purification & Storage
13. Seed Harvest
All Pages

MEDICINAL PROPERTIES & uSE

Parts used: Oil, oleoresin, leaf, spent grass

Perfumery and cosmetic uses
Oil is used   in making of citrusy soaps and perfumes. 
Oil is used in floor cleaning lotions and personal care products, like deodorant.
Taking bath in water with a few drops of  oil in it, gets rid of body odour.

Medicinal uses
Lemongrass oil helps relieve pain in muscles, joints, toothache and headache etc. resulting from viral infections like cough and cold, influenza, fever, pox etc.

Oil also helps cure body pain resulting from sudden exercises, sports etc.

The oil is diluted with coconut oil five times and massaged for rheumatic pains.
Steam Inhalation with boiled leaves is a cure for cold and influenza.
Taking in of two to three drops of oil mixed with powdered sugar candy (kalkandam), dried ginger and pepper will get rid of fever and cough.
The oil when given with tea can bring down fever.
Oil is used on various types of skin infections, usually as a wash or compress and is especially effective on ringworm and infected sores. Application of a  paste of the leaves of lemon grass made in butter milk  is useful in treating ringworm.

It is good for curing external and internal wounds and hence an ingredient of the anti septic lotions and creams.

It strengthens stomach, stimulates appetite, promotes digestion, and regulates nervous system and vascular expansion.

Lemongrass oil can relieve gas trouble.

Lemon grass oil prevents formation of pimples and acne and acts as a muscle and tissue toner. It reduces the puffiness in skin and is a good hair tonic.

Lemongrass also finds use in aromatherapy. Fresh herb or oil of lemongrass is used for foot bath. The patient additionally benefits by inhaling the scent.  It also treats pain arising from rheumatism and nerve conditions. This refreshing fragrance reduces headache and prevent drowsiness and rejuvenates mind and soul. It is also used to make aroma therapy candles.

The oil should be mixed with a carrier oil before application on the body. Its use may be avoided during pregnancy.  

Insect repellant
Lemongrass is quite popular as an insect repellent. It is widely used in mosquito repelling formulations.
It helps to keep pets clean of fleas, ticks and lice. It is used in pet shampoos as a bug repellant.

Culinary Flavouring
Leaves
Lemongrass flavour  has an edge over the Lemon flavor since this oil is not acidic in nature.

Dried lemongrass leaves are widely used as a lemon flavour ingredient in herbal teas, prepared either by decoction or infusion of 2-3 leaves in 250 or 500 ml of water  and other formulations.

Lemongrass tea is a diuretic and imparts no biochemical changes to the body in comparison with the ordinary tea.
Lemongrass iced tea is prepared by steeping several stalks in a few quarts of boiling water. This can also be combined with green or black teas.
It is also used in instant beverages. It not only adds lemon flavor but also provide vitamin A and promotes digestion of fat.

Lemongrass is commonly used in Asian cooking. It is used extensively in Thai cuisine in the form of fresh grass or dried and ground grass. The dishes include soup, grilled chicken and curries. It adds a lemon taste to the food.

Essential oil
Lemongrass oil is used in culinary flavouring. It is used in most of the major categories of food including alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages, frozen dairy desserts, candy baked foods, gelatins and puddings, meat and meat products and fat and oils.
It is used to improve the flavour of some fish and can be used to flavour wines, sauces etc.

Oleoresin
Oleoresin, comprising of the volatile and non-volatile components responsible for the characteristic flavour and aroma, can be separated by subjecting the herb to extraction with a suitable solvent or a mixture of solvents. The solvent residue in the product should be   minimal; typically less than 25-30 ppm. The oleoresin is a concentrated wholesome product with better storage characteristics.
Oleoresin is mainly used in flavouring foods, drinks and bakery preparations. It is very good for flavouring tea.


Spent grass (Plant residue after extraction of oil)
It can be used as cattle feed fresh or after ensilaging.
It can be used for mulching or manuring crops as such or after composting.
Dried spent grass can be used as a fuel for distillation. 
It is also a cheap packing material.
Leaves of lemongrass can be used as a source of cellulose in manufacture of paper and cardboard
It can be made use of in mushroom production.


Production of aromatic constituents
Pure citral is isolated from lemongrass oil and it is used as a precursor in the synthesis of Vitamin A and other industrially important products.
 
Citral is also used in the production of soft drinks, beverages, desserts, confectioneries, bakery items, chewing gums etc.