Lemongrass essential oil is one of the safest oils available on the market today. It can be mixed with many other solutions, applied topically by itself or diluted with a carrier oil, inhaled or added in small amounts to foods and beverages. It is used to treat bladder infections, sooth sore muscles, help with symptoms of the common cold and improve mental clarity. There are some precautions that should be taken but for the most part the oil is safe for human use. Here is a brief overview of how to safely incorporate lemongrass essential oil into a daily or an as needed routine and benefit from its healing properties.
Can you consume lemongrass oil?
Lemongrass is categorized as likely safe for most people when consumed, either through food or beverage. However, as with just about any essential oil, it needs to be ingested in small amounts and never on its own. The suggested daily consumption amount without being considered dangerous is 0.7 mg/kg a day. This number can fluctuate depending on age, health and other factors. Lemongrass oil can be taken in a capsule form or added to teas or soups.
Can you inhale lemongrass oil?
A common way to administer essential oils is by adding the oil to a pot of boiling water and inhaling the steam. It can even be applied in small amounts directly onto the hands, rubbed on the skin and then inhaled. This is considered an acceptable way to reap the rewards of lemongrass oil but precautions should be taken. While the oil can help with congestion in the lungs, it has been linked to a few cases of lung problems after inhalation. If there is any difficulty in breathing after inhaling lemongrass oil, seek medical help immediately.
Can you put lemongrass oil on your skin?
Yes, lemongrass may be applied to the skin. Depending on what you are trying to treat with the oil, it might be best to dilute with a carrier oil just for easier application. For example, when treating a sprain with the oil a few drops can simply be rubbed into the skin. But if treating a sore back, it would be easier to mix the oil with a carrier oil. Contact should be avoided with the eyes and mucous membranes. The oil should also never be applied on broken skin.
Lemongrass can also safely be applied to the scalp either alone in small amounts or mixed with another solution, such as shampoo or a carrier oil. It can help to monitor oil secretions and make hair healthier and thicker.
Can lemongrass oil be used on children or infants?
Lemongrass is considered to be generally safe for children of a certain age. It should not be used on infants or children under two. Research is limited regarding essential oils and children so before using any essential oil on your child, consult with a medical professional. Consumption should be limited, as there is an incident on record of a child being poisoned after consuming an insect repellent with lemongrass essential oil as a main ingredient.
Should pregnant women use lemongrass oil?
Most essential oils are to be avoided by pregnant women but lemongrass is one that should be completely avoided. Lemongrass essential oil has shown the capability of being able to start a woman’s menstrual flow and for that reason it should be avoided to reduce the risk of a possible miscarriage. It should also be avoided while a woman is breastfeeding, both topically and internally.
Should lemongrass oil be diluted?
In very small doses (one to two drops) lemongrass oil is usually safe to be applied directly to the skin. However, if the skin is sensitive or more than a few drops are needed it should be mixed with a carrier oil. For every tablespoon of carrier oil mix in two to three drops of lemongrass oil. This ratio can be adjusted depending on the individual’s tolerance to the oil. Before applying lemongrass oil to large portions of the body, try a test patch first. Place a drop of the oil on the inside of the arm and wait for a full day. If there is no sign of redness or irritation, there should be no issues when applied to larger surface areas.
Can pets be given lemongrass oil?
Lemongrass oil is considered safe for dogs. It can be added to their shampoo or a few drops can be placed on their collar to help keep fleas and lice from making a home in their fur. A little goes a long way and because dogs have such a keen sense of smell, too much of the oil can bother them.
Cats are able to eat lemongrass as an herb but the essential oil should be avoided. Cats lack a liver enzyme that is required to break down most essential oils, including lemongrass. Without this enzyme the oil will act as a poison and can result in death.
Precautions to take with lemongrass oil
As with any type of medicine, there are certain precautions and situations to look out for when using lemongrass essential oil. There are no known problems of lemongrass mixing with other types of medications. However, if choosing to medicate with lemongrass, speak to your medical professional first. If any type of rash or irritation appears, you may either try using a less potent mixture of lemongrass or stop using, depending on the severity of the irritation.
Lemongrass oil should be avoided by people with kidney or liver disease. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also avoid the oil. It should never be used on a child younger than the age of two and should be approved by a doctor before use on children above the age of two. If it is administered to a child, keep a close watch for allergic reactions.
Keep the oil out of the eyes and nostrils. If there is contact, rinse well immediately. Avoid contact with broken skin. To remove essential oils from the skin, use vegetable or a similar oil. Water will not rinse the oil off.