Inhibitory effect of formulated lemongrass shampoo on Malassezia furfur: a yeast associated with dandruff

Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2011 Mar;42(2):363-9.


Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus Stapf) has been used in cooking and in many traditional medicines; the essential oil contains citral as a major constituent. This study evaluated the antifungal activity of lemongrass oil against Malassezia furfur, an opportunistic yeast associated with dandruff, by using a broth dilution assay. From the minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) obtained, the oil was then incorporated at different percentages into shampoo formulations. The formulated shampoos were kept at room temperature (28 degrees-30 degrees C) and under accelerated condition (45 degrees C). At the end of the first and sixth weeks, after preparation, all formulations were tested again and the appearance was recorded. Selection of an appropriate formula was based on antifungal activity against M. furfur, the physical appearance, the chemical properties and stability of the formula. Two percent lemongrass oil shampoo provided the required qualities necessary for commercial use. After being kept for 6 weeks at 28 degrees-30 degrees C and 45 degrees C, this formulated shampoo gave MFCs against M. furfur of 75 microl/ml and 18.75 microl/ml, respectively.

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cymbopogon
  • Dermatitis / microbiology
  • Hair Preparations / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Malassezia / drug effects*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Terpenes / pharmacology*


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Hair Preparations
  • Plant Oils
  • Terpenes
  • lemongrass oil