Lemon Grass

Scientific Names: Cymbopogon citratus

Common names:

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names: Chao jiang, Feng mao, Ning meng chao, Ning meng xiang mao, Xiang mao cao, Xiang ba mao, Xiang mao shu, Cang-mao

Bangladesh names: Leman gras, Gandhabena

Arabic names:

Rain Forest names:


Approximate Number of Species Known:

Common Parts Used: 





Known Constituents: 

Constituents Explained:

Description:   (please note: this is the general characteristics –  colour, flavor etc)

Traditional Use:

Clinical Studies:

A study investigated the safety and efficacy of lemon juice and lemon grass in the treatment of oral thrush in HIV/AIDS patients when compared with the control group using gentian violet aqueous solution 0.5%.

Oral thrush is a frequent complication of HIV infection. Gentian violet, the first line medication for oral thrush in South Africa, is not preferred by the primary health clinic patients due to the visible purple stain which leads them to being stigmatized as HIV-positive. Cymbopogon citratus and Citrus limon have known antifungal properties.

he study design was a randomised controlled trial. Ninety patients were randomly assigned to one of three groups: gentian violet, lemon juice or lemon grass. Inclusion criteria included being HIV-positive with a diagnosis of oral thrush.

The study period was 11 days and patients were followed up every second day. International ethical principles were adhered to during the study.

In the analysis of the participants who actually completed the trial, the lemon juice showed better results than the gentian violet aqueous solution 0.5% in the treatment of oral thrush in an HIV-positive population.

Though the patient population was small, the use of lemon juice and lemon grass for the treatment of oral candidiasis in an HIV population was validated by the randomised controlled trial.


Wright SC, Maree JE, Sibanyoni M. “Treatment Of Oral Thrush In HIV/AIDS Patients With Lemon Juice And Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon Citratus) And Gentian Violet.” 2009 March http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19109001


Lemon grass

Herb Name: Lemon grass

Others names: 

Barbed wire grass

Silky heads

Citronella grass

Fever grass 

Hierba Luisa 

Scientific name: Cymopogon citratus

Family:  Gramineae Grasses

Common part used:  Stalk, essential oil

Lemon grass is an aromatic, perennial, tall grass with rhizomes and densely tufted fibrous roots. It has short underground stems with ringed segments; coarse, green slightly leathery leaves in dense clusters, terminating in a long bristly point. The blades of the grass are about 90 cm long and 0.5 cm wide.

Lemon grass contains an essential oil. This oil is sherry colored with a pungent taste and lemon like odor with citral as the principal constituent. The content of this oil varies with the age of the grass. Fresh lemon grass contains an essential oil which has substantial amount of citral. Dry herb yields 0.4 percent essential oil containing 72.3 percent citral.

Lemon grass and its oil are carminative, effective in relieving flatulence. It is given in doses of 3 to 6 drops with sugar as an emulsion. The emulsion is prepared by mixing 3 to 6 drops of common lemon grass oil with sugar.

Medicinal uses: The grass induces copious perspiration and brings down temperature. It also produces a feeling of coolness. Raw juice or decoction of the grass can also be taken.

Lemon grass is beneficial in strengthening the functions of stomach and promoting its action. It is beneficial in the treatment of indigestion. Lemon grass oil also treats spasmodic affections of the bowels, gastric irritability and cholera.An infusion of the grass, mixed with black pepper is given in painful and difficult menstruation. Raw juice or decoction of the grass may be taken in such a condition.

Leaves of lemon grass are valuable remedy in treating ringworm as a local application. A paste of the leaves made with buttermilk should be applied on the affected part.Lemon grass is used locally over rheumatic joints, lumbago and sprains. Lemon grass oil mixed with twice its bulk of coconut oil is a stimulating ointment for rheumatism, lumbago, neuralgia, sprains and other painful affections. In chronic cases, the undiluted oil may be used for better results. It can also be taken internally in the same manner as for fevers.