What Are the Health Benefits of Lemongrass Essential Oil?

Possible health benefits of lemongrass essential oil include anti-fungal effects and anti-anxiety effects, according to About.com. Individuals also use lemongrass oil as an insect repellent or to relieve pain and stress, and others use it in aromatherapy to treat acne, athlete’s foot, indigestion, excessive sweating and headaches. Few scientific studies exist to substantiate the health benefits of lemongrass essential oil.

A 2011 study using mice found that lemongrass essential oil may help reduce anxiety by influencing levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid in the brain, according to About.com. Preliminary research also shows that lemongrass oil may slow the growth of certain types of fungi, such as Alternaria alternata, a fungus associated with infections in the upper respiratory tract. The essential oil may help prevent the growth of certain yeast and bacteria, adds WebMD. A lemongrass infusion may be effective for treating symptoms of oral thrush when consumed for 10 days. Early research suggests that patients with high cholesterol who take lemongrass oil orally for three months experience no cholesterol-lowering effects.

Some individuals apply lemongrass essential oil directly to the skin to treat stomach ache, headache, abdominal pain and muscle pain, confirms WebMD. Certain substances in lemongrass may play a role in reducing fever, relieving pain and stimulating the uterus, and they may have antioxidant properties.

Researchers have found that hand gel containing lemongrass oil reduce MRSA on the skin, making it a promising means for controlling the spread of MRSA infections in hospitals, advises The Atlantic. The essential oil may also prove to be useful in preventing skin cancer due to its antioxidant properties, according to Drugs.com. South American, Indian and Chinese cultures have used lemongrass for disorders to treat nervous and gastrointestinal disorders, fevers, headaches, stomach aches and rheumatic pain.