Cymbopogon citratus, Stapf (Lemon grass) is a widely used herb in tropical countries, especially in Southeast Asia. The essential oil of the plant is used in aromatherapy. The compounds identified in Cymbopogon citratus are mainly terpenes, alcohols, ketones, aldehyde and esters. Some of the reported phytoconstituents are essential oils that contain Citral α, Citral β, Nerol Geraniol, Citronellal, Terpinolene, Geranyl acetate, Myrecene and Terpinol Methylheptenone. The plant also contains reported phytoconstituents such as flavonoids and phenolic compounds, which consist of luteolin, isoorientin 2'-O-rhamnoside, quercetin, kaempferol and apiginin. Studies indicate that Cymbopogon citratus possesses various pharmacological activities such as anti-amoebic, antibacterial, antidiarrheal, antifilarial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Various other effects like antimalarial, antimutagenicity, antimycobacterial, antioxidants, hypoglycemic and neurobehaviorial have also been studied. These results are very encouraging and indicate that this herb should be studied more extensively to confirm these results and reveal other potential therapeutic effects.
Keywords: Cymbopogon citratus; essential oil; flavonoids; phytoconstituents.