West Indian: Cymbopogon citratus
East Indian: Cymbopogon flexuosus
Common Method of Extraction
Plant Part Typically Used
Pale Yellow to Vivid Yellow
Strength of Initial Aroma
Lemongrass Essential Oil smells fresh, lemony and slightly herbaceous.
Lemongrass Essential Oil Uses
- Muscular Aches And Pains
- Gastrointestinal Disorders
- Physical And Mental Exhaustion
- Insect Repellent
Major Constituents of East Indian Lemongrass Essential Oil (Cymbopogon flexuosus)
- Geranyl Acetate
Major Constituents of West Indian Lemongrass Essential Oil (Cymbopogon citratus)
- Limonene oxide
LEMONGRASS Essential Oil Distillation Requirements & Process
The Plant: Lemongrass is a perennial aromatic grass, which yields essential oil having lemony odour due to high citral content (75-85%) in its oil. Three types of essential oils are popular in trade i.e. East Indian, West Indian and Jammu Lemongrass. It is about 2-2.5 mtrs. tall with dark green or yellowish green leaves. The oil is present in the tissues of leaves. Leaf sheath are glabrous, with hair at the junction blade, leaf blade one-metre long and 1.5 cm. wide.
Soil and Climate: Lemongrass is a very hardy crop, which can be adapted to a varied nature of soil and climate. It grows best in well-drained sandy loam and medium loam soils having good water holding capacity. It can be grown in a varied pH range of soils. But, it prefers neutral pH soils, which support good growth of plants. It can also be grown in soil with poor fertility, marginal and sub- marginal land. It grows best in warm and humid climate with bright sunshine and well distribution of rainfall throughout the year.
Propagation: Lemongrass is propagated through vegetative parts called slips. A slip is separated from a bunch of tillers of one-year-old plantation. Slips should be selected from healthy and disease free plant population. Propagation is done in the month of July/August during monsoon season. However, it can also be planted in February /March. One or two slips are planted in a hole at a distance of 45 cm. and 60 cm. apart. It can also be grown by sowing seeds in nursery in may/June and seedlings of 6 weeks of age are supposed to be transplanted in the main field with an appropriate distance in monsoon season.
Fertilizers Requirement: It is a leafy crop and responds well to use of fertilizers and manures from the soil. Fertilizers application to lemongrass varies from soil to soil and region to region. The fertilizers and manure requirement in heavy soils is less than that of the soils of poor fertility. In average fertility soils, 120 kg. Nitrogen, 60 kg. Phosphorus and 30 kg. Potash is recommended; 60 kg. of Nitrogen, all phosphorus and potash is applied at the time of planting and rest amount of nitrogen is applied into three equal splits during growth period of crop.
Distillation: Lemongrass essential oil distillation can be done by steam or hydro-steam distillation method. The latter is more common among the growers because it is cheaper than the earlier. The distillation unit is run by using waste of lemongrass as a fuel so as to make distillation process cheaper. The distillation is over within 4-5 hours and 0.4-0.8% oil yield is recovered in normal condition.