Description : Cymbopogon martinii is a species of grass in the lemon grass genus native to India and Indochina but widely cultivated in many places for its aromatic oil. It is best known by the common name palmarosa
Palmarosa is a perennial aromatic grass with stiff, upright, yellow or yellow-green stems supported by a small but penetrating root system. When growing wild, the long and narrow-lanceolate leaves of this plant may attain 2.5 to 3.0 metres in height, forming rounded clumps measuring up to a metre across.
The essential oil content of the bright-green leaves varies along their length, with the very highest concentration of essential oil being found in the tops of the leaves which release a fresh, grassy rose-like aroma when crushed between the fingers. In India, the grass begins to bud during the latter part of August and flowers appear during October. Wild specimens may survive for 10 or 15 years, whereas plants cultivated for the extraction of essential oil remain productive around 6 to 10 years.
Palmarosa is now cultivated for the production of essential oil in Africa, Brazil, Comores, Indonesia, Java, Madagascar and the Seychelle islands, although India currently remains the largest single producer
Uses & Precautions : The essential oil of this plant, which contains the active compound geraniol, is valued for its scent and for a number of traditional medicinal and household uses. Palmarosa oil has been shown to be an effective insect repellent when applied to stored grain and beans, an antihelmintic against nematodes, and an antifungal and mosquito repellent. Palmarosa oil, which has a scent similar to roses, is added to soaps and cosmetics.
- Palmarosa oil calms the mind, yet has an uplifting effect, while clearing muddled thinking.
- It is used to counter physical and nervous exhaustion, stress-related problems and nervousness.
- It is most useful during convalescence and cools the body of fever, while aiding the digestive system, helping to clear intestinal infection, digestive atonia and anorexia nervosa.
- It is effective in relieving sore, stiff muscles.
- Palmarosa oil has no known contra indications and is considered a non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing essential oil.