In this first experiment, I tested lemongrass essential oil for its ability to inhibit bacterial growth. The aim was to create an experiment comparing several brands of lemongrass to observe the potential differences in the amount of bacterial inhibition by each product.

The Science.

Antibacterial and antifungal activity of ten essential oils in vitro. "Lemongrass, eucalyptus, peppermint and orange oils were effective against all the 22 bacterial strains... All twelve fungi were inhibited by [lemongrass and six other essential oils]."

Brands Tested.

Now, Edens Garden, Aura Cacia, doTERRA, Young Living, Plant Therapy, Native American Nutritionals/Rocky Mountain Oils, and Mountain Rose Herbs (not pictured).

All brands of lemongrass are of the variety Cymbopogon flexuosus, except for NAN, which is Cymbopogon citratus.

For methods, please check the "About Me" section.

Observations & Results.

Two different types of bacteria colonies grew on the plates. This is observed most clearly in the control. In the test group, both types of bacteria were inhibited from growing in each plate. The degree of inhibition and number of colonies that grew varied slightly, depending on the oil. All brands of lemongrass inhibited bacterial growth.


One potential flaw in this experiment is that the amount of essential oil tested may have not been as consistent as intended. Though one drop of oil was used for each test, the existing droppers from each brand's bottle produces a different amount of oil in each drop due to the varying size of the dropper. To a lesser extent, viscosity of each oil may also be a factor. In future experiments, existing droppers will be removed and individual identical glass droppers for each oil will be used.

Lemongrass essential oil has several uses, and is effective for other applications - it's not just an antibacterial. For example, it has been found in one study to have potential anticancer activity. I have personally used it to help heal a ganglion cyst in my wrist and I enjoy diffusing it when I'm feeling like disinfecting the air in my home. Want to learn more? Head to Pub Med and search for studies involving lemongrass.


I call this a win for all brands of lemongrass and essential oils in general. You can see that some oils inhibited the growth of bacteria a bit more than others. In one dish, it appears that the oil inhibited one type of bacteria entirely. In some, it appears that the aromatic action of the oil helped to increase the amount of inhibition. Ultimately, all of the oils prevented the growth of bacteria.