Lemongrass is an herb grown mostly in Southeast Asia, however it is commonly obtained from East and West India, South America, Africa, Australia, and the United States. It has been known for years for its fungal cleansing properties. It has also been used for decades as an insect repellant.
In fact, recently an article published by the U.S. Government Department of Science and Technology, touted lemongrass as a topical eye ointment. The article dated February 10, 2005 stated “Grasses and weeds have long been regarded as pests by farmers worldwide. Unknown to many, some of these lowly grasses have remarkable chemical properties, which could be used for various health complaints.” One of them is the lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) or locally known as tanglad.
The Industrial Technology Development Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (ITDI-DOST), through its Chemicals & Minerals Division has tapped the lemongrass oil as a potential fungal cleansing option.
In a study conducted by experts, lemongrass oil is found to have strong properties when tested against keratomycosis in rabbits. Keratomycosis is the irritation of the cornea often characterized by burning or blurring of vision.
Also, earlier studies have shown that lemongrass oil possesses strong properties against both gram- positive (e.g. Staphylococcus aureus) and gram-negative bacteria (e.g. Escherichia coli). Moreover, it has also been found to have strong chemical properties that have strong fungal cleansing possibilities.
Aside from its medical uses, lemongrass is also valued for economic and environmental reasons such as: a cost-effective alternative to commercial topical ophthalmic fungal cleansing products.”
While there are several species of lemongrass, Cymbopogon citratus is the variety most often recommended. Only the fresh or dried leaves of lemongrass, and the essential oil derived from them, are used for their health benefits. When using Lemongrass for nail fungus, toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, candida or other yeast infections, it is important to use only organically grown sources, as these are free from pesticides and herbicides. These pesticides and herbicides damage the plant and can alter the beneficial properties.
Pure organic Lemongrass, such as that found in Mycozil, is considered by herbalists to have several useful properties, including fungal cleansing effects. Some of these claims have been supported by animal and laboratory studies. In one test-tube investigation, published in the medical journal Microbios in 1996, (read complete abstract below) researchers demonstrated that lemongrass was effective against 22 strains of bacteria and 12 types of fungi. A very famous herbalist James Duke recommends drinking one to four cups of lemongrass tea a day to benefit from its fungal cleansing properties.
Lemongrass is commonly used in cooking, candy and baked goods as well as a topical preparation for athlete’s foot, nail fungus, toenail fungus, ringworm, candida, back pain and muscle soreness. Lemongrass is believed to be a central nervous system depressant and has also been used for harmful organisms, stomach disorders, and more.
A study in Phytotherapy Research showed that lemongrass had strong fungal cleansing properties when applied topically. Research suggests that it is the chemical (citral) that is responsible for those properties of this herb.
It is important to note that the large volume of research performed on specific herbs seems to correlate that more than one herb mixed together in a preparation is more synergistically effective than a single herb. This is why it is critical to mix herbs that display the same fungal cleansing benefits to increase effectiveness. Fungus Research, L.L.C. is aware of the complexity and synergism of herbs when cleansing fungus and that is why the herbs in Mycozil were carefully selected for optimum effectiveness against nail fungus, toenail fungus, candida, yeast infections and athlete’s foot.
Below are some resources and an abstract, which clearly shows the proven effectiveness of lemongrass. To find more similar abstracts, search our articles or go directly to pubmed.com and perform a search for “lemongrass.”
- Gruenwald, Joerg. PDR for Herbal Medicines. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics, 1998.
- Price, Shirley. Practical Aromatherapy. London: Thorsons/HarperCollins, 1994.
- Bleasel, N., B. Tate, and M. Rademaker. “Allergic Contact Dermatitis Following Exposure to Essential Oils.” Australasian Journal of Dermatology 43 (August 2002): 211-213.
- Melo, S. F., S. F. Soares, R. F. da Costa, et al. “Effect of the Cymbopogon citratus, Maytenus ilicifolia, and Baccharis genistelloides Extracts Against the Stannous Chloride Oxidative Damage in Escherichia coli.” Mutation Research 496 (September 20, 2001): 33-38.
- Wilson, N. D., M. S. Ivanova, R. A. Watt, and A. C. Moffat. “The Quantification of Citral in Lemongrass and Lemon Oils by Near-Infrared Spectroscopy.” Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 54 (September 2002): 1257-1263.
Topical Home Remedies for Athelete’s Foot, Nail Fungus, and Toenail Fungus
- Soak for Athlete’s Foot: 3 drops of Lemongrass and 2 drops of Patchouli in a basin of hot water make a great foot bath.
- Athlete’s Foot and Nail Fungus Spray: Combine 10 drops Lemongrass, 10 drops Patchouli, 5 drops of oregano oil and 5 drops Myrrh in 50mL of distilled water in an atomizer. Shake well and spray daily onto affected areas.
- Fungal Cleansing Foot Soak: Add 2 drops of Lemongrass, 2 drops of Patchouli, 2 drops of oregano oil and 2 drops of Tea Tree oil into a foot bath.
- American Botanical Council. PO Box 144345. Austin, TX 78714-4345.
- Microbios. 1996;86(349):237-46. Related Articles, Links
- Antibacterial and anti-fungal activity of ten essential oils in vitro.
- Pattnaik S, Subramanyam VR, Kole C.
- Regional Medical Research Centre, (Indian Council of Medical Research), Bhubaneswar, India.
- The essential oils of aegle, ageratum, citronella, eucalyptus, geranium, lemongrass, orange, palmarosa, patchouli and peppermint, were tested for antibacterial activity against 22 bacteria, including Gram-positive cocci and rods and Gram-negative rods, and twelve fungi (3 yeast-like and 9 filamentous) by the disc diffusion method. Lemongrass, eucalyptus, peppermint and orange oils were effective against all the 22 bacterial strains. Aegle and palmarosa oils inhibited 21 bacteria; patchouli and ageratum oils inhibited 20 bacteria and citronella and geranium oils were inhibitory to 15 and 12 bacterial strains, respectively. All twelve fungi were inhibited by seven oils (aegle, citronella, geranium, lemongrass, orange, palmarosa and patchouli). Eucalyptus and peppermint oils were effective against eleven fungi. Ageratum oil was inhibitory to only four fungi tested. The MIC of eucalyptus, lemongrass, palmarosa and peppermint oils ranged from 0.16 to > 20 microliters ml-1 for eighteen bacteria and from 0.25 to 10 microliters ml-1 for twelve fungi.
Reprinted with permission from PubMed.