Studies show that a particular essential oil may provide a solid defense against various cancers. Lemongrass essential oil, which contains high levels of an aromatic terpene known as linalool, has been used traditionally in tropical countries in the treatment of various health conditions. What’s even more exciting is that some of the latest in vitro and in vivo animal studies suggest that it could be at least as effective as chemotherapy in targeting cancer cells – without the harmful toxic effects of chemotherapy.
Long prized for its aroma-therapeutic qualities, Cymbopogon citratus (lemongrass or lemon grass) is loaded with key nutrient compounds that present powerful antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer potential. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research outlines the dozens of unique phytoconstituents present in lemongrass, including a diverse array of terpenes, ketones, esters, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds.
The Long List of Health Benefits of Lemongrass Essential Oil
The paper also highlights the many scientifically-confirmed benefits of lemongrass which are that it:
- Destroys harmful pathogens
- Promotes healthy stools
- Inhibits damaging fungi
- Reduces inflammation
- Protects against DNA damage
- Guards against malaria
- Neutralizes damaging free radicals
- Helps to balance cholesterol levels
- Modulates healthy sleep patterns
- And so much more
According to the report authors…
Studies indicate that Cymbopogon citratus (a variety of lemongrass) possesses various pharmacological activities such as anti-amoebic, antibacterial, antidiarrheal, antifilarial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
Various other effects such as antimalarial, antimutagenicity, antimycobacterial, antioxidants, hypoglycemic, and neurobehavioral have also been studied.
Could Lemongrass Really Fight More Than a Dozen Different Types of Cancer?
Where lemongrass really seems to shine, particularly in light of the growing cancer epidemic, is in its ability to destroy cancer cells. A 2009 study published in the journal Chemico-Biological Interactions revealed that lemongrass essential oil is effective in targeting at least 12 different human cancer cell lines. Animal trials showed that direct injection of lemongrass essential oil inhibited cancer tumors in a dose-dependent way, meaning the higher the dose of the oil, the better the outcome.
When administered at a dosage of 200 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) concentration, lemongrass essential oil was shown to inhibit both ascitic (in the fluid of the abdominal cavity) and solid tumors of Ehrlich Ascites (a type of tumor cell line) by 97.34 percent and 57.83 percent, respectively. For Sarcoma-180 tumor cells, the same dosage resulted in ascitic and solid tumor inhibition of 94.07 percent and 36.97 percent, respectively. As stated by the researchers:
Our results indicate that the oil has a promising anticancer activity and causes loss in tumor cell viability by activating the apoptotic process as identified by electron microscopy.
Can Lemongrass Essential Oil Stop the Spread of Cervical Cancer?
A more recent in vitro study published in the journal Pharmacognosy Communications in 2013 reveals that lemongrass was also effective against cervical cancer. Researchers found that lemongrass not only stopped cervical cancer cells (as well as several other types of cancer cells) from spreading, but it also initiated cancer cell apoptosis, also known as programmed cell death.
All the results suggest lemongrass oil and citral emulsion could be considered as potent candidates for anticancer agents,” the authors concluded.
Uses of Lemongrass Essential Oil
As we’ve seen, lemongrass oil shows great promise in laboratory studies for its potential anticancer benefits. However there are also several additional benefits of lemongrass essential oil. Let’s take a look now at some incredible lemongrass essential oil uses that can enhance your health and your overall lifestyle.
Here are some popular ways to incorporate the various lemongrass oil uses into your diet and daily life to reap all of the many potential health benefits:
- Use lemongrass oil as a fresh citrus seasoning. You may choose to incorporate it in a Malaysian, Cambodian, Vietnamese, or Thai dish
- Make lemongrass tea
- Make a natural air freshener by mixing it with other oils like lavender essential oil and peppermint for a fresh scent
- Add it to shampoos, conditioners, and soaps and harness its antiseptic and astringent qualities
- Use it as mosquito repellant
- Put in a diffuser to improve your sleep and reduce your anxiety
- Dilute it and apply it to sore muscles and massage to relax them
- Use it to detox your digestive tract and liver
- Women can use it to relieve menstrual cramps
- Use it to soothe a headache
Where to Buy Lemongrass Oil
You can easily find lemongrass oil in many different places. When using essential oils for health purposes, always look for the highest quality oil available that has does not contain fillers. In cases where it’s difficult to find lemongrass oil, lemon zest or lemon essential oil can serve as an effective lemongrass substitute. Or you may choose to make your own lemongrass oil.
How to Make Lemongrass Essential Oil
If you have access to organic lemongrass, some people prefer to make their own lemongrass essential oil. This can ensure it is as fresh and potent as possible by taking it directly from the stalks of the lemongrass plant.
Here are some basic instructions on how to make lemongrass oil:
- Crush two lemongrass stalks
- Place them in a jar and cover them with a quality carrier oil, seal the lid, and put the jar in a sunny place
- Strain the oil with cheesecloth
- Repeat the process with additional stalks until you reach your desired potency
- Store oil in a dark glass jar