Fragrance Facts: The Uses of Lemongrass Oil
Lemongrass may be a common component of Asian cuisine, its smoky citrus aroma adding satisfying fragrance to a variety of Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese dishes. But it’s also highly prized as an essential oil. Used for centuries to purify the skin, eliminate odour-causing bacteria, and promote digestive health when taken orally.
Here, we take a closer look at the uses of lemongrass, exploring its origins and history. The potential benefits it offers when used as a natural fragrance.
Where Does Lemongrass Come From?
Lemongrass is predominantly grown in the wetlands of Southern India, in regions renowned for heavy rainfall. It’s also found in Asian countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand, where it’s used extensively in regional cooking.
Harvesting and extracting lemongrass essential oil is a time-consuming and labour-intensive process, and one that’s become a way of life for the farmers who cultivate it. Most lemongrass crops are harvested by hand using a sickle, with a 100-acre plantation taking around a week to collect. This is made more demanding by the fact lemongrass is commonly grown in upland areas, with the farmers having to hike miles uphill to gather their crops.
The raw lemongrass is then distilled, with its crude oil passed on to local manufacturers. Who filter the blend and transform it into an essential oil. The essential oil is often combined it with other natural and herbal ingredients. Including peppermint, basil and cardamom, to create different aromas.
What Are the Historic Uses of Lemongrass?
Lemongrass has been harvested for thousands of years, and was historically used as a base for soups, curries, and other Asian foods. In Sri Lanka, where lemongrass remains highly popular in cuisine, the plant was historically used to produce a specialist medicinal plant called ‘fever tea’ . A traditional herbal blend used to remedy fevers, colds, and flu. Lemongrass is also thought to be effective in treating digestive issues, when consumed in the form of a diffused beverage.
While lemongrass has been used in Asian countries for centuries, its essential oil didn’t find global appeal until the 1950s. The growth in sales of lemongrass oil can be attributed to the work of Sri Lankan researcher JF Jovit. Who in 1905, began testing and researching the potential uses and benefits of lemongrass and its essential oil. Jovit soon discovered that the plant offered many benefits and applications, both as a medicinal product intended for consumption. As an essential oil diffused into the home.
Thanks to Jovit’s research, lemongrass is now one of the world’s most popular essential oils. It is used extensively in perfume making, cooking, home fragrance, and as an effective insect repellent. It’s also renowned for its soothing properties. With many people using the oil to overcome anxiety and nervousness, and promoting a more positive outlook.
Lemongrass Facts and Information
Owing to its chemical make-up, lemongrass oil has a surprising number of different uses. Here, we list facts, information, and uses for lemongrass that you might not know.
- Lemongrass oil has eight different chemical constituents, including myrcene, citral, citronellal, geranyl acetate, nerol, geraniol, and neral. These individual forms of oil offer different properties and attributes. For example, citronellal is used as an anti-inflammatory as well as an effective insect repellent. Whilst myrcene offers antibiotic properties and can also be used as a mild sedative. Making it great for use in teas and other hot, soothing beverages.
- Owing to its refreshing yet soothing aroma, lemongrass oil is commonly used in massage treatments. Some forms of lemongrass oil are also highly-prized for their anti-inflammatory properties. These can be effective in treating mild muscle and joint pain. This, coupled with the oil’s purifying benefits for the skin, make it a popular choice for spa and beauty treatments.
- Thanks to its purifying properties, many believe that lemongrass oil is an effective skin toner. Helping to promote healthy and toned skin throughout the body. The oil is also commonly applied to fingernails and toenails, making them look and feel clean, bright, and healthy. Helping to promote growth.
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