- Family Graminaeae
- Cymbopogon citratus syn. Andropogon citratus
- Citronella, Fevergrass
- Spanish: Té Limón, Zacate Limón, Ocozacatl
- Do not take the essential oil internally without professional supervision.
- The continual use of salves for skin complaints has sometimes led to signs of allergy.
Native to southern India and Sri Lanka, this sweetly scented grass grows in large clumps up to five feet, producing narrow leaf blades and branched stalks of flowers. It is cultivated in tropical regions around the world, especially in Central and South America, as well as Queensland in Australia, for its oil used in perfumes, as a culinary flavouring and as a medicine.
- None listed.
- digestive aid
- volatile oil (mainly 70% citral, citronellal, and myrcene)
- Leaves, essential oil.
- The components of the volatile oil are markedly sedating.
It is used mainly as a tea for digestive problems. It relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract, relieves cramping pains and flatulence, and is particularly suitable for children.
In the Caribbean, it is mainly regarded as a fever-reducing herb, especially where there is significant congestion.
Applied externally as a poultice or as a diluted essential oil, it eases pain, including that of arthritis and rheumatic pain, lumbago, neuralgia, sprains, or as a mild astringent.
Internally, it is also used for mild states of agitation.
In India, a paste of the leaves is smeared on patches of ringworm.
In Ayurvedic medicine, it is used for intestinal parasites, stomach complaints, flatulence, leprosy, bronchitits, and fever.
Mexicans combine the herb with spearmint or one of the other mints to brew a calming tea.
Related species (C. martinii and C. nardus) yield essential oils that are widely used in soaps and detergents.