If you are looking for a more natural alternative to treat a yeast infection, lemongrass essential oil has been validated as an effective option. Lemongrass is also known by the scientific taxonomy “Cymbopogon citratus.” There are other species of lemongrass, but citratus is preferred for medical use. Lemongrass is a perennial plant that has sharp leaves and is similar in appearance to grass. It prefers tropical and subtropical areas to grow in and can be found in India, China, and other areas of Southeast Asia.
It is often wise to use a mixture of various Candicidal essential oils when you want to get rid of a yeast infection. Mixing herbs together for an improved cure is advocated by the renowned Dr. James A. Duke. Dr. Duke suggested in his book, The Green Pharmacy, that using multiple herbs together in a natural remedy would probably always work better than a single herb. Make sure you choose actual essential oils that can stop yeast though; not just any oil will do. To learn about a few more essential oils to use, consider checking out this page: essential oils for yeast infection.
Allergic reactions are rare; however, to be safe, conduct a patch test of lemongrass oil on your skin to see how you react to it.
The Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases published one very interesting study of lemongrass essential oil’s interaction with various strains of Candida that typically arrest the health of humans. This study focused on 4 strains of Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, and other less prevalent Candida species. Interestingly enough, a common conventional fungicidal drug, nystatin, was also studied on these same fungi.
The study showed that a few milliliters of lemongrass oil was very effective at inhibiting all the various types of Candida. Compared to nystatin, lemongrass essential oil was typically at least twice as effective as nystatin. This indicates there is no real need to use a conventional, potentially dangerous, prescription drug for mycosis. It is highly unlikely that a yeast other than those studied in the aforementioned research would attack your body. Nearly all vaginal yeast infections should be a result of one of the strains of Candida studied by these scientists.
Biofilm Inhibition by Lemongrass Oil
Candida biofilm is a slime that Candida creates to cover itself and defend itself against attack. This biofilm is actually quite a big deal. A study published in the Journal of Bacteriology [183.18 (2001): 5385-5394] analyzed the effects biofilm had on Candida’s resistance to four prescription antifungal drugs. The drugs used in the study were fluconazole, amphotericin B, nystatin, and chlorhexidine. The study let the yeast grow for up to 72 hours; the yeast was then tested periodically for its susceptibility to the drugs. The study found that after 72 hours of development, the established biofilm drastically increased Candida’s resistance to the prescription drugs. The graph below was taken from the study and illustrates just how biofilm’s presence affects drug efficacy. The shaded bars on the graph show the amount of each prescription drug required to inhibit the yeast--the amount is in micrograms / milliliter.
So, can lemongrass cut through Candida biofilm and stop an entrenched yeast infection? The answer is “yes!” A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology [140.2 (2012): 416-423] demonstrated that lemongrass essential oil was a powerful way to stop biofilm entrenched Candida albicans. The study found that lemongrass essential oil killed sessile Candida albicans cells (sessile cells are those covered with biofilm) as easily as cells without biofilm protecting them. The study also reported that low concentrations of lemongrass essential oil worked to break up Candida biofilm. The researchers did find that a mixture of clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil worked the best at inhibiting the development of biofilm. And, biofilm presence only increased Candida albican’s resistance to clove oil by two times.
Biofilm may be a key reason why you have found yourself unable to cure a yeast infection quickly using prescription drugs. Research often indicates that the effectiveness of essential oils and prescription drugs together is greater than prescription drugs alone. So, even if you are taking an antifungal drug; add in some essential oils to give yeast a more powerful blow.
Citral: A Key Component of Lemongrass Essential Oil
Perhaps the major chemical constituent of lemongrass oil is citral. Citral is a somewhat common chemical produced by a variety of plants. It has been studied and there are no known serious health issues associated with this substance.
One study, published in the Japanese Journal of Medical Mycology, used pure citral on Candida albicans. The researchers found that, by itself, citral inhibited both mycelial and yeast-form growth of this species of fungus. Additionally this study found that lemongrass oil when mixed with other various oils--thyme (Thymus vulgaris), patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) and cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)--was able to successfully inhibit Candida albicans.
To properly treat a vaginal yeast infection, consider mixing several antifungal essential oils together to increase their potency. As mentioned elsewhere on this website, Dr. James Duke, the renowned herbalist, suggests mixing natural remedies creates a synergistic effect. Try a few essential oils together as an effective remedy for yeast infection. You could use the oils mentioned in the study above as a start.
How to Take Lemongrass Oil
- Topical Use: You may use this oil undiluted directly on the area of concern.
- Oral Use: Lemongrass oil is generally regarded as safe for human consumption by the U.S. FDA. Put one drop of this oil in 4 ounces of liquid or 1 teaspoon of honey. Do not allow children under 6 years of age to ingest this oil!
- Cautions: This oil may cause extreme skin irritation. This oil may cause phototoxicity; meaning that if you expose the area you applied it to direct sunlight, damage to the skin may occur.
Other Uses for Lemongrass Essential Oil
- Digestive Problems -- If you suffer from flatulence, have a stomach ache, or are constipated, you may find some relief by ingesting a little lemongrass oil.
- Inflammation -- Lemongrass oil is one of the best essential oils to use for treating inflammation. It is also an analgesic which can ameliorate pain in the body.
- Hair Maladies -- If you have scalp conditions or oily hair, lemongrass might be able to mitigate these problems to a degree. Lemongrass can improve your hair follicles. You may want to mix up a solution with water and use every day when you shower.
- Infection -- Lemongrass, as stated, is an antiviral; but this oil is also an antibacterial. If you have a bacterial or fungal skin condition, try using this oil on the problem area.
Fast, Safe, 12 Hour Cure for Candida
One woman you may want to know about is Sarah Summer. Sarah, like many unfortunate women, suffered from recurrent vaginal yeast infections. It seemed like no matter what she did, she inevitably got another yeast infection shortly after getting rid of one. This problem went on for some time until Sarah developed a particularly severe infection. Worried about this unusual outbreak of Candida, she quickly went to her physician.
After examining Sarah, the doctor told her that her yeast infection was particularly severe. The doctor said not only was it difficult to treat, it was impossible to cure. Faced with having to deal with her problem indefinitely, Sarah decided to attempt to find answers herself. Together with her husband Robert, the two diligently studied medical information and tried many therapies. Sarah decided to focus on the root causes of her infection; as she had plenty of experiencing only treating the symptoms.
Once Sarah addressed the root causes of her problem, and applied natural medicine, she found she was totally free of her terrible yeast infection. Sarah found that those she shared her treatment with got relief from their Candida problems in about 12 hours. Sarah’s website has many letters of thanks from happy people who got rid of their infections.
Sarah has now published a book that details exactly how to repeat her success. The book is published by a large firm, which is a subsidiary of Keynetics Incorporated. Sarah wants to help, so she offers a full 8 week, 100% money back guarantee. If you get her book, and decide it wasn’t worth it, you can keep the book and get all your money back. Sarah wants to take the risk out of trying her product--she knows all too well the feeling of disappointment from bad products. If you would like to find out more about Sarah, her book, or other’s stories of their battle with Candida, you can check out Sarah Summer’s website.
- http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-86702008000100014 -- Silva, Cristiane de Bona da, et al. "Antifungal activity of the lemongrass oil and citral against Candida spp." Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases 12.1 (2008): 63-66.
- http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JB.183.18.5385-5394.2001 -- Chandra, Jyotsna, et al. "Biofilm formation by the fungal pathogen Candida albicans: development, architecture, and drug resistance." Journal of bacteriology 183.18 (2001): 5385-5394. PubMed Full Text
- http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2012.01.045 -- Khan, Mohd Sajjad Ahmad, and Iqbal Ahmad. "Biofilm inhibition by Cymbopogon citratus and Syzygium aromaticum essential oils in the strains of Candida albicans." Journal of ethnopharmacology 140.2 (2012): 416-423. PDF Available Here, PubMed
- http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/14615795 -- Abe, S., et al. "[Anti-Candida albicans activity of essential oils including Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) oil and its component, citral]." Nihon Ishinkin Gakkai zasshi. Japanese journal of medical mycology 44.4 (2002): 285-291.
- Google Books -- Duke, J. A. (1997). The green pharmacy: New discoveries in herbal remedies for common diseases and conditions from the world's foremost authority on healing herbs. Emmaus, Pa: Rodale Press.
- Google Books -- Higley, Connie, and Alan Higley. Reference guide for essential oils. Abundant Health, 1998.
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