Lemongrass Essential Oil in Chinese Medicine
Common Name: Lemongrass
Botanical Name: Cymbopogon citratus
Pin Yin Name: Níngméng cǎo
- Earth Element (Spleen, Stomach), Wood Element (Liver), Fire Element (Heart, San Jiao)
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Benefits of Lemongrass Essential Oil in Chinese Medicine
The use of lemongrass essential oil therapeutic applications have long been employed in Ayurvedic medicine. It is a prized remedy for its’ ability to Expel “Exterior Wind-Heat” and reduce fevers at both the “Shaoyang” and “Yanming” stages of viral infections; it is sometimes referred to as fever grass by inhabitants of the Caribbean islands. In addition to its’ anti-viral and anti-infectant properties, lemongrass is antispasmodic, soothing muscle tension and cramping.
Lemongrass removes lymphatic congestion and clears inflammation and toxins in the body; it is excellent at treating Gu Syndromes by pushing out latent pathogens. Topically, it is used for fungal infections and bacterial infections. Lemongrass is also prized for its harmonizing effect on emotions and the nervous system helping those stuck in a “fight or flight” autonomic sympathetic nervous system loop.
Lemongrass essential oils is typically used as part of a more complex essential oils remedy rather than as a single (by itself).
Properties: Cool, pungent, bitter, astringing, Yin (moisturizing)
Nature: Dispersing, uplifting, relaxing, transforming, renewing, circulating, clarifying, expanding, reviving, harmonizing, purifying
Imbalances Treated with Lemongrass Essential Oil in Chinese Medicine
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, each energetic organ system is assigned to one of the Five Elements. Each element has both physical and emotional symptoms that would indicate imbalances in one or more of the related organ systems Learn more here!
Wood Element Energetic Organ Systems: Liver, Gallbladder
- Feeling stuck emotionally
- Anger and agitation
- Loss of foresight
- Damp-Bi pain of the joints
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Liver Congestion
- Liver Heat
Fire Element Energetic Organ Systems: Heart, Small Intestine, Pericardium, San Jiao
- Poor concentration
- Poor memory
- Inability to concentrate and focus
- Calms the Shen
Earth Element Energetic Organ Systems: Spleen, Stomach
Metal Element Energetic Organ Systems: Lung, Large Intestine
- Inability to let go of past emotional traumas
- Lack of organizational skills
- Nervous digestive problems
- Sluggish digestion
- Intestinal spasms
- Excessive sweating
- Aging skin that lacks tone
Plant description: the non-hardy perennial grass grows vigorously in warm and tropical climates. It can be cultivated from seed or plant division; it can even be started from a fresh stalk bought at a Chinese market that still has a bit of a stem at the base by simply sticking the stalk in moist potting soil. The main regions of commercial production are Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Madagascar, and South Africa.
Part used: Leaves
Note: Top citrus notes with rich grassy medium notes
Safety and Contraindications
- No known cumulative toxicity used topically
- Dilute to 6% so not to irritate the skin
- Recommendations for topical use only
Pregnant or nursing women and children-infants should only use essential oils under the guidance of their local practitioner
de Groot A, Schmidt E. Essential Oils, Part V: Peppermint Oil, Lavender Oil, and Lemongrass Oil. Dermatitis. 2016 Nov/Dec;27(6):325-332. doi: 10.1097/DER.0000000000000218. PMID: 27775966.
Sahal G, Woerdenbag HJ, Hinrichs WLJ, Visser A, Tepper PG, Quax WJ, van der Mei HC, Bilkay IS. Antifungal and biofilm inhibitory effect of Cymbopogon citratus (lemongrass) essential oil on biofilm forming by Candida tropicalis isolates; an in vitro study. J Ethnopharmacol. 2020 Jan 10;246:112188. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2019.112188. Epub 2019 Aug 27. PMID: 31470085.
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This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.