Lemongrass 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 vapors from lemongrass oil even inhibit the growth of airborne bacteria. For pain relief and skin conditions, lemongrass oil is best used topically--on the skin. For digestive disorders and to fight infections, it works better when taken internally.
Dilute the lemongrass 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 lemongrass oil. Limit doses to three to six in a day.
Drink the diluted lemongrass 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 lemongrass 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 lemongrass oil on the skin. It is photo-reactive, and sun exposure can cause a rash or irritation.
Lemongrass 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.