Cultivation, Processing of herbs and Essential Oils

LEMONGRASS OIL

Botanical Name Cymbopogon flexuosus (Nees ex Steud.),W. Watson
Synonyms -
Family Gramineae
Local Name Lemongrass
English Name Lemongrass

Plant Description

Lemongrass is found cultivated in East and Central Nepal within the altitude of 200m-1100m. It is a perennial aromatic herb reaching up to l.Sm in height. It has extensive and well developed root system and new plant arises from the robust roots. Leaves are linear and lanceolate. Flowering occurs in October and fruits on January-March. Propagation by roots,seeds and slips.

Extraction

Lemongrass oil is extracted by the steam distillation of the fresh or partly dried leaves of Cymbopogon flexuosus.

Uses

The essential oil is used as fragrance components to soaps, cream, lotion, perfume etc. It is also used to flavour alcoholic drinks. The oil is used as analgesic, antidepressant, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antipyretic, antiseptic, astringent, carminative etc. The oil is used as skin care, digestive system, respiratory system, immune system,nervous system in aromatherapy.

Organoleptic Properties

Appearance: Fluid liquid
Colour: Deep Yellow to Orange Brown
Aroma: Fresh grassy lemon type

Active Constituents

Citral-a and Citral-b constitutes 75-85% of Lemongrass oil. Other constituents include terpinene, -terpineol, a-terpineol, myrcene, triphenyl acetate, borneol, dipentene, methyl heptenone, linalol, geraniol, nerol, citronellol and farnesol.

Physico-Chemical Properties

Specific gravity 0.8725 to 0.8965 at 2so C?>
Optical rotation [-]1.25° to [-]so at 25° C?>
Refractive index 1.4850 to 1.4936 at 25° C?>
Acid number 2 to 10
Ester number 15 to 40
Ester number 220 to 260 (after acetylation)
Solubility Soluble in 0.5 to 1.5 vol. of 80%alcohol