Lemongrass

Common Name: Lemongrass
Scientific Name: Cymbopogon citratus

Lemongrass or Tanglad is a tufted and perennial grass. Leaves grow to a length of up to 1 meter, about 1 to 1.5 centimeters wide, scabrous, flat, long-acuminate, and smooth. Panicles are 30 to 80 centimeters long, interrupted below; the branches and branchlets somewhat nodding. Perfect spikelets are linear-lanceolate, pointed, not awned, and about 6 millimeters long.

– Distillation of the fresh plant yields lemon-grass oil, verbena oil, and Indian Molissa oil.
– Plant contains small amounts of methyl heptenone and terpenes (limonene and dipentene).- Contains citral, an aldehyde found in lemon peel oil and other natural essential oils.
– Main constituents of essential oil are citral (aldehydes geranial and neral) and terpenes (myrcene, monoterpene and geranial-terpenic alcohol).
– The exact value of the oil depends on the amount of citral it contains. High grade oil contains about 70 to 80 percent citral.
– Study of essential oil yields hydrocarbon terpenes, alcohols, ketones, esters and aldehydes.
– Leaves and roots have yielded alkaloids, saponin, a-sitosterol, terpenes, alcohol, ketone, flavonoids, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid and sugars.
– Plant yields flavonoids and phenolic compounds–luteolin, isoorientin 2′-O-rhamnoside, quercetin, kaempferol, and apigenin.
– Study for essential oil composition yielded (percentage of components): citral-α 40.8, citral-ß 32, nerol 4.18, geraniol 3.04, citronellal 2.10, terpinolene 1.23, geranyl acetate 0.83, myrecene 0.72, terpinol 0.45, methylheptenone 0.2, borneol 0.1-0.4, linalyl acetate 0.1, α-pinene 0.07, ß-pinene 0.04, traces of limonene, linalool and ß-caryophyllene. (10)
– GC-MS analysis of methanol leaf extract yielded six compounds viz., hexadecanoic acid (8.11%) (1), hepta-9,10,11-trienoic acid (17.43%) (2), octadecenoic acid (8.41%) (3), 2-ethenyltetradecan-1-ol (13.28%) (4), eicosane aldehyde (37.56%) (5) and 1-ethoxyoctadecane (15.20%) (6). (32)
– GC-MS analysis of leaf sheath oil yielded 23 compounds representing 96.9% of the oil, with major compounds of geranial (42.4%), neral (29.8%), myrcene (8.9%), and geraniol (8.5%). (see study below) (33)