Most scientific research on lemongrass essential oil has been done on animals or in vitro — not on humans. As a result, there’s no standardized dose to treat any condition. It’s unclear if animal doses would have the same effects on humans.
To use lemongrass in aromatherapy, add up to 12 drops of essential oil to 1 teaspoon carrier oil, such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil. Mix into a warm bath or massage into your skin.
It’s a good idea to do a patch test before using a diluted essential oil more widely on your skin. This will help you see how your skin reacts to the substance. Here’s how to perform one:
- Wash your forearm with mild, unscented soap, then pat the area dry.
- Apply a few drops of the diluted essential oil to a small patch of skin on your forearm.
- Cover the area with a bandage, then wait 24 hours.
If you notice any signs of discomfort within the 24 hours, such as redness, blistering, or irritation, remove the bandage and wash your skin with mild soap and water. But if you don’t experience any discomfort after 24 hours, the diluted essential oil is likely safe for use.
Never apply essential oils directly to your skin.
You can also inhale lemongrass essential oil directly. Add a few drops to a cotton ball or handkerchief and breathe in the aroma. Some people massage the diluted essential oil into their temples to help relieve headaches.
Shop for the essentials online:
Remember that essential oils aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It’s hard to know for sure if you’re buying a pure product, so you should only purchase from manufacturers you trust.
Lemongrass essential oil is highly concentrated. Its side effects aren’t well-studied. In some people, they may be stronger than the side effects of the lemongrass plant.
Lemongrass may cause an allergic reaction or skin irritation when used topically.
Other reported side effects of oral lemongrass include:
- increased appetite
- increased urination
Essential oils may be toxic when ingested. You shouldn’t ingest lemongrass essential oil unless you are under the care of a healthcare provider who will monitor your treatment.
Lemongrass, in its plant form, is generally safe to use in food and beverages. Higher amounts may increase your risk of developing side effects.
You should also talk to your doctor before use if you:
- have diabetes or low blood sugar
- have a respiratory condition, such as asthma
- have liver disease
- are undergoing chemotherapy
- are pregnant
- are breastfeeding
You shouldn’t use lemongrass as a complementary therapy or in place of your regular treatment for any condition, unless under your doctor’s guidance and supervision.