Raw Materials Lemongrass

Lemongrass

07/14/13 07:48:56 (4 comments)

by: Dr. Chandra Shekhar Gupta

Scientific name:
Cymbopogon flexuosus, Cymbopogon citratus

Common names:
The species C. citratus is commonly known as West Indian lemongrass and Madagascar lemongrass, while species C. flexuosus is known as East Indian lemongrass, cochin lemongrass, France Indian verbena and malabar lemongrass

Family:
Gramineae/Poaceae


Lemongrass is a plant of great interest due to its commercially valuable essential oils, and it is widely used in food technology as well as in traditional medicine.


ORIGIN AND DISTRIBUTION

Lemongrass is an aromatic plant which is widely cultivated in many parts of tropical and sub-tropical South East Asia and Africa. It is native to South Africa and Australia. West Indian lemongrass has its origin in the Indo-Burma region and is native to India, Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand; another related species, C. citrates , or the West Indian lemongrass, has its origin in the Malaysian region. In India, lemongrass is commercially cultivated in Western Ghats, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Assam and foothills of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
 

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION

Cymbopogon flexuosus is a tall, fast-growing, lemon-scented, perennial grass reaching a height of 1 m. It has distinct, dark-green foliage and also produces seeds. Cymbopogon citratus is a fast-growing, lemon-scented, perennial ornamental grass reaching a height of 1 m and has distinct bluish-green leaves and usually does not produce seeds. Both these grasses produce many bulbous stems that increase the clump diameter as the plants mature.

Blends well with... Attar of rose, rose geranium or palmarosa, citrus, lime and orange.

Color... Pale yellow to vivid yellow with a watery viscosity.

Odor Profile...  The odor is strong, sharp, pungent and fresh-grassy-lemoney, herbaceous or tea-like.


PHOTOCHEMICALS

The essential oil is extracted from fresh plant material (stem and leaves) by means of steam distillation. The main chemical component of lemongrass oil is citral. Geranial,  neral, geraniol, limonene and β-myrcene are the major constituents of the stalks' and leaves’ lemongrass essential oil.
 


USES

• A very important ingredient of lemongrass oil is Citral. It can be further processed to extract a violet-like fragrance for perfumery, and is a source of vitamins A and E.

• Lemongrass oil is also used in deodorants, waxes, polishes, detergents and insecticides where its low cost is attractive.

• Lemongrass oil is used as a fragrance component in soaps, detergents, and cosmetics. It is also used in aromatherapy and improves circulation and muscle development.

• Astringent and toning, a lemongrass facial is administered through steam inhalation. It tightens, refines and firms sluggish, lackluster and oily skin. In aromatherapy it is used as a tissue toner.

• A lemongrass foot bath scent refreshes sweaty feet while its antibacterial properties prevent fungal infections.

• The fresh bulbous stem and leaf are used in oriental cooking. Due to its distinct lemon flavor it is in great demand for a variety of dishes.

• Dried leaves are used to make tea. They can be used on their own, but are mostly used blended with Indian and other teas.
 

Some fragrances with the note Lemongrass:


Photos: Akuppa, AlmaGamil_Philippines, Redbulbul, DanGrebb

 

 

Dr. Chandra Shekhar Gupta

Dr. Chandra Shekhar is a botanist, plant pathologist and nature-loving person. Dr. Shekkar works as an Assistant Scientific Officer at the National Institute of Plant Health Management, Ministry of Agriculture, Hyderabad, India.

A Fragrantica writer since 2011, Dr. Shekhar contributes educational content about raw materials (plants).

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 



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Jitterbug Perfume Lover
Jitterbug Perfume Lover

I love the smell of lemongrass. I buy it shredded in frozen tubs from my local Asian market and use it for cooking and in baths. It makes my whole house smell wonderful when I boil it in water. I wish it was used more in perfumery because it has such a fresh, clean smell.

Dec
05
2014
ChouliGaloria
ChouliGaloria

I use Toms of Maine lemongrass deodorant. Works great.
Lemongrass has that "green" vibe. Great for wearing in the summer.

Jul
15
2013
LunaPearl
LunaPearl

I light up lemongrass scented candles after dinner to get rid of unwanted cooking smells, and also to brighten up stodgy gloomy Winter days.
Its sort of like an anti-depressent- the crisp, sharp melody of lemony-grassy characteristics brings clarity and joy.

Jul
14
2013
chayaruchama
chayaruchama

I love lemongrass in all its forms and uses !
[I even use the absolute in vinaigrette for salads ;0]

Thank you for always informing us, Dr. G !

Jul
14
2013

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