Lemongrass also spelled Lemon Grass
April 22 2017 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Lemongrass tea has been used as a sedative in folk medicine. Lemongrass has many antioxidant, anti-tumor, antibacterial, and antifungal agents. Lemongrass is an important flavoring in Thai and Vietnamese cooking.

What's in lemongrass?
Citral is the major constituent of lemon grass. Additional compounds in lemongrass include Isoorientin, isoscoparin, swertiajaponin, isoorientin rhamnoside, orientin, chlorogenic acid, and caffeic acid. Citral, dimethyl-2,6-octadien-1-al, a key component of the lemon-scented essential oils extracted from several herbal plants such as lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus), melissa (Melissa officinalis), verbena (Verbena officinalis) is used as a food additive and as a fragrance in cosmetics.

Food Chemistry. 2014. Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) polyphenols protect human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVECs) from oxidative damage induced by high glucose, hydrogen peroxide and oxidised low-density lipoprotein.

Biomed Res Int. 2014. Anti-proliferative effect and phytochemical analysis of Cymbopogon citratus extract. The antiproliferative and antioxidant potential of Cymbopogon citratus (Lemon grass) extracts were investigated. Results suggested antiproliferative efficacy of C. citratus ethanolic extract against human cancer cell lines.

Lemongrass for hypertension, high blood pressure
Pharmacological study of Cymbopogon citratus leaves.
J Ethnopharmacol. 1989. Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, National Center for Scientific Research, Havana, Cuba.
Lemongrass leaves are employed by the Cuban population as an antihypertensive and anti-inflammatory folk medicine. A 10% or 20% decoction of leaves was tested using arterial pressure in rats, urine production and carrageenan-induced edema in rats. The decoction showed some dose-related hypotensive effects given intravenously and some weak diuretic and anti-inflammatory effect when given orally.

Safety of lemongrass
Pharmacology of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus). II. Effects of daily two month administration in male and female rats and in offspring exposed "in utero". J Ethnopharmacol. 1986.
An infusion prepared from leaves of lemongrass administered orally to adult rats for 2 months, in doses up to 20 times larger than the estimated corresponding human dosage, did not induce any effect which could be taken as evidence of toxicity. An absence of effects was also noted in male and female rats and in their offspring when the lemongrass infusion was administered prior to mating or during pregnancy. These data strongly suggest that lemongrass, as used in Brazilian folk medicine, has no toxic properties.

Lemongrass as analgesic
Oral administration of an infusion of lemongrass fresh leaves to rats produces dose-dependent analgesia.

Lemongrass essential oil
Anti-Candida albicans activity of essential oils including Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) oil and its component, citral.
Nippon Ishinkin Gakkai Zasshi. Teikyo University Institute of Medical Mycology, Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan.
The effects of 12 essential oils, popularly used as antifungal treatments in aromatherapy, on growth of Candida albicans were investigated. Mycelial growth of C. albicans, which is known to give the fungus the capacity to invade mucosal tissues, was inhibited in the medium containing 100 micro g/ml of the oils: lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) and cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica). Not only lemongrass oil but also citral, a major component of lemongrass oil (80%), in the range of 25 and 200 micro g/ml inhibited the mycelial growth but allowed yeast-form growth. More than 200 micro g/ml of citral clearly inhibited both mycelial and yeast-form growth of C. albicans. These results provide experimental evidence suggesting the potential value of lemongrass oil for the treatment of oral or vaginal candidiasis.

I am interested in learning more about lemongrass. is it a MAO inhibitor? What could it relate to the diet of one with Parkinson's or Alzheimers? It is used in Thai foods and in India foods.
   I have not seen any such research as of 2017.

I'm researching the oils / scents of peppermint and lemongrass and the effects on drivers fatigue. Do you know of anyone I could speak to in regards to this?
   A. Sorry, I do not.