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The Aromahead Blog - Aromatherapy Education and Resources

A Great Gentle Lemongrass Chemotype

by Andrea Butje on October 08, 2010

I love Lemongrass, Cymbopogon citratus. The thing is, it can be skin irritating. I use it carefully, being sure to dilute it well.

One great quality of Lemongrass is that it's anti-fungal, due to the high levels of citral (neral and geranial). Sometimes I choose to use Geranium, Pelargonium graveolens, instead--its geraniol content is anti-fungal, but the oil is also skin nourishing. Sometimes I blend Geranium and Lemongrass together.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered this new Lemongrass chemotype, Cymbopogon citratus ct. rhodinol.

It is made up primarily of rhodinol (a combination of geraniol and citronellol).

I had never seen a monoterpenol-rich Lemongrass before. I had only ever know Lemongrass as rich in aldehydes (citral), and therefore potentially skin irritating. Most monoterpenol components are not skin irritating, and often oils high in monoterpenols are skin nourishing!

Discovering this monoterpenol chemotype, I felt like such an aroma nerd--I was crazy happy! An anti-fungal oil made up of 70% citronellol and geraniol? Heaven!

Here are the research properties of each component, revealing the potential effects of our new Lemongrass chemotype:

Citronellol

  • anti-inflammatory
  • antianxiety
  • antifungal
  • antifungal (candida)
  • antioxidant
  • kills dust mites
  • central nervous system sedative

Geraniol:

  • airborne antimicrobial 
  • anti-inflammatory 
  • antibacterial
  • antifungal 
  • antifungal (candida) 
  • antioxidant 
  • cooling 
  • kills dust mites

The oil has a softer scent, less herbaceous, with a citrus aroma and an added rosy note. It is a beautiful addition to my collection!

Andrea Butje is an internationally-recognized Aromatherapist who has changed the educational paradigm through her inspired approach to teaching essential oils and Aromatherapy Certification. Check out her book, The Heart of Aromatherapy, at Aromatics International!

Topics: citronellol, lemongrass, antifungal, Essential Oils, geraniol, rhodinol

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