A Review of Ethnopharmacology, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology of Cymbopogon Species

Document Type : Review


1 Department of Traditional Pharmacy, School of Persian Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Persian Medicine, School of Persian Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Evidence-Based Medicine Group, Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


The genus Cymbopogon belongs to Poaceae family and contain about 54 species, commonly known as "lemongrass". Cymbopogon is a medicinal plant native to tropical and subtropical areas which is applied traditionally for its numerous properties including antirheumatic, antispasmodic, analgesic, antiseptic, hypotensive, antitussive and anticonvulsant ctivities, and as a treatment for gastrointestinal and nervous disorders and fever. The aims of this study were to discuss about current state of phytochemistry, pharmacology, and pharmacological effects of different species of Cymbopogon. Electronic databases including PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane library and Google Scholar were searched with the scientific name and the common name of the plant until November 2019. In spite of the small number of clinical investigations, Cymbopogon genus is widely evaluated for its phytochemistry, ethnopharmacology and biological activities. Monoterpenes specially geranial, citronellol and citral are the chief components of the essential oil. Biological activities including antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, insecticidal, anticancer, hepatoprotective activities as well as its effect on skin, urogenital, gastrointestinal, neuropsychological and cardiovascular systems are proved in cell lines and animal models. Extensive studies have been done on various biological activities of lemongrass; nevertheless, safety and efficacy of Cymbopogon species are not fully evaluated in human and further well-designed clinical trials are required to confirm preclinical findings.


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