Lemon grass is a popular culinary and ornamental herb. Its many therapeutic benefits include pain relief, improved digestion, reduced perspiration, more energy and cold symptom relief. It also helps to kill viruses, bacteria, fungi and other microbes. In one study published in the "Letters of Applied Microbiology" in April 2009, researchers found that the vapours from lemon grass oil even inhibit the growth of airborne bacteria. For pain relief and skin conditions, lemon grass oil is best used topically--on the skin. For digestive disorders and to fight infections, it works better when taken internally.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Lemon grass oil
- Goat's milk or agave nectar
Dilute the lemon grass oil in an oil-soluble carrier like olive oil, agave nectar or goat's milk. Use a tablespoon of carrier liquid per two- to three-drop dose of lemon grass oil. Limit doses to three to six in a day.
Drink the diluted lemon grass oil directly or, if you're using agave nectar or goat's milk as your carrier, mix it into a mug of tea after you've diluted it.
Apply diluted lemon grass oil directly to the skin to treat acne or to relieve pain from strains or bruises. For topical use, use olive oil or a high quality vegetable oil as the carrier liquid. Mix two drops of oil per teaspoon of carrier liquid. Stay out of the sun for several hours after using lemon grass oil on the skin. It is photo-reactive, and sun exposure can cause a rash or irritation.
Tips and warnings
- Lemon grass oil is an essential oil, meaning one that is derived from plant parts--flowers, stems, leaves or bark--using a distillation process. The oil is highly concentrated, thus it is potent and must be taken internally with care. It is safest to do so under the guidance of a health care professional.
- Never take undiluted lemon grass oil. It is highly concentrated and can be dangerous to your health.
- Lemon grass oil is believed to be generally safe for use, even when taken internally, but if you experience an adverse reaction, call your doctor or the local poison control centre immediately.
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