Lemongrass

Botanical: Cymbopogan flexuosus / Andropogan citratus
Country of origin / distribution Cochin, Guatemala, Sri Lanka
Part of plant used: Grass: Partially dried grass
Family: Graminaceae
Note: Top Note
Chakra Solar plexus, Sacral
Energy: Cooling / moisturising
Planet: Mercury
Aroma /Characteristics : A fresh, grassy citrus aroma.
Dosha effect: PK-,Vo

Description: A fast growing, aromatic perennial grass up to 1.5 meters high.
History/ Herbal: Used in India for Infectious diseases.
Extraction: Steam distillation.
Chemical Const: citral 65 – 85 %, myrcene, citronello, farnesol,
Properties: Analgesic, antidepressant, antimicrobial, anti oxidant, antipyretic, antiseptic, astringent, bactericidal, carminative, deodorant, febrifuge, fungicidal, galactagogue, insecticide, nervine, sedative, tonic.

Safety/ contraindications Can be irritating to the skin, use in very small concentration in bath, may increase agitation or aggression when used when tired.

Cardiovascular: Infectious illnesses, stimulate lymphatic.

Digestive; Antiseptic gargle, colitis, liver stimulant, stimulates muscles of digestion, intestinal enteritis.
Genito – urinary Stimulates glandular secretions, promotes lactation.
Immune: Fevers, infection, supports thymus gland, stimulates immune system.
Muscular/ Skeletal: Improves muscle tone, aching muscles.
Respiratory: Air borne infections.
Skin: Astringent, blackheads, cleansing, toning, open pores, infected acne, tinea, insect repellent, fungicide.

Uses: Mind: Lifts the spirits and promotes action.

Nervous: Calming, stimulates parasympathetic nervous system, anti -depressant. stress.
Other: Lemongrass is great to use in flea collars for animals and to add to pet shampoos or add 2- 4 drops in a spray gun make sure it is well mixed then spray a little on to your pets fur and brush in, this will deter fleas, tics, and lice. Lemongrass can irritate the skin when used in too high a dilation I would not add more than 3 drops to a bath and no more than 2 – 3 drops in a massage blend.

I am cautious of vapourising lemongrass in the evening or when tired, as over the years I have found that the aroma can make some people quite aggressive. In a class many years ago I had 2 students who did not get along, the male was receiving psychiatric treatment at the time and was encouraged to attend my class by the staff at the hospital. One evening we were studying Lemongrass and so I had this vapourising. Halfway through the class the man went outside for his usually smoke, the female student whom he had be arguing with at each class but more pronounced on this evening attempted to shut the door on him and a further argument broke out. I asked the guy to go off and have a coffee and a smoke away from the class. On his return, he informed me that it was the oil that was making him feel uptight and aggressive. I replaced the lemongrass with ylang ylang on the vapouriser; ylang ylang is great for when you are feeling uptight and angry. The next week the man who had previously trained as a boxer and was currently assisting with boxing training, told me that he planned to use Lavender with the boxers before a fight and just before they went into the ring he would give them a big inhalation of the lemongrass to increase their aggression.
This is one of a number of times I have witnessed people becoming aggressive when lemongrass was vapourised, in each instance it has been in the evening, this leads me to believe that it has something to do with tiredness. So now I never use lemongrass around people who are feeling tired, but I do still use it during the day or when full of energy.