Within the Graminaceae family we also find a very interesting plant such as lemongrass.
It is a particularly widespread plant in nature, which has a subdivision into the two main species: we are talking about the Cymbopogon nardus (which is also called with the name of lemongrass of Ceylon), as well as of Cymbopogon winterianus (which is often called by the name of lemongrass of Java).
In any case, in the first case, it is that particular lemongrass that has a characteristic and typical lemon aroma that has the advantage of being able to ward off mosquitoes and which is extremely useful during the summer season, or the period in which they rage these insects.
In any case, between the two species, the one that is considered most valuable corresponds to the Java lemongrass: the reason is very simple and refers to the thicker presence of essential oils and, moreover, to the fact that it is particularly widespread on the world market. .
However, when we talk about species belonging to lemongrass, we refer to herbaceous perennial plants, which are also part of the evergreen category.
These plants originated mainly within those countries that can boast a tropical climate in the south-eastern part of the Asian continent.
We are talking about plants that have a typical bushy habit and that have the particularity of being able to reach a meter in height with great ease.
As for the "physical" characteristics of the plant, the stem is always very rigid, with an erect posture that allows a number of ribbon-like leaves, which are characterized by the fact that they have an almost paper consistency and a bright green color.
As for watering, we must emphasize that it is necessary to carry out this operation regularly, every 2-3 weeks, wetting the soil deeply and always waiting for it to dry completely before proceeding with a new one. watering.
The development of this plant is erect and to ensure balanced growth it is necessary to place the lemongrass plant in a semi-shady position, where it can enjoy direct sunlight only during the coolest hours of the day.
It is also important to mix the watering water with a specific fertilizer for green plants every two weeks, which is extremely rich in potassium and nitrogen.
From both species of citronella previously described we find a particular essence which is obviously called with the same name.
The citronella essence is characterized, first of all, by an intense lemon aroma, due to the large presence of citronellol (which exceeds a percentage of 50%, in addition to gerianol (which only reaches up to 45%): lemongrass is the only species in nature that can boast a similar amount of these two constituents.
In any case, the active ingredients present within the citronella species certainly do not stop with gerianol and citronellol, since we can also find camphene, borneol, which have the particular characteristic of producing a secondary aroma that, in some way, it can bring to mind particularly moldy vegetation.
This latter feature is certainly more marked in Ceylon lemongrass than in Java lemongrass.
For each, the latter species is characterized, however, by having a certainly higher quantity of citronellol, which represents the ideal repellent to fight mosquitoes and many other insects.
Among the most interesting properties of lemongrass essential oils we also find that vermifuge, tonic and fungicide.
First of all, it must be emphasized that the parts that are most used of the lemongrass plant are represented by the stems and leaves, especially as regards the extraction of essential oils.
Following the extraction operation, the lemongrass leaves must always undergo a drying process, so that they wither and then provide for the extraction, through the distillation operation, of the lemongrass essence.
In any case, there are a good number of species of lemongrass that are traditionally and habitually exploited within the Asian continent, for which both fresh leaves and their powder are used, without forgetting the use of the most central part of the stem.
First of all, lemongrass should be used as an excellent liniment, thanks to its interesting rubefacient properties: this explains why lemongrass is frequently used for the treatment of lumbago, rheumatism, arthritis, neuralgia and sprains.
Among the main characteristics of lemongrass we also find the fact that it can carry out an important antispasmodic action, which is of considerable help in dealing with various gastro-intestinal problems.
We must not forget how lemongrass carries out an important vermifuge action, but in some cases also antibacterial, which represents a considerable help in all those cases where it is necessary to provide for the treatment of parasitic infections that affect the intestinal system.
It is a plant that is also frequently exploited within oriental medicine and aromatherapy, while above all because of its constituents, it is appreciated and widely used in the cosmetics and perfumery sector, especially for the production of perfumes and soaps.
However, lemongrass is undoubtedly more famous as a repellent to ward off mosquitoes, both in the case that it is sold in the form of candles, and as a lotion, to be spread on the various areas of the body that are at risk of bites.