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Cymbopogon genus is a member of the family of Gramineae which are herbs known worldwide for their high essential oil content. They are widely distributed across all continents where they are used for various purposes. The commercial and medicinal uses of the various species of Cymbopogon are well documented. Ethnopharmacology evidence shows that they possess a wide array of properties that justifies their use for pest control, in cosmetics and as anti-inflammation agents. These plants may also hold promise as potent anti-tumor and chemopreventive drugs. The chemo-types from this genus have been used as biomarkers for their identification and classification. Pharmacological applications of Cymbopogon citratus are well exploited, though studies show that other species may also useful pharmaceutically. Hence this literature review intends to discuss these species and explore their potential economic importance.
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Molecules 2015, 20, 7438-7453; doi:10.3390/molecules20057438
ISSN 1420-3049
Cymbopogon Species; Ethnopharmacology, Phytochemistry and
the Pharmacological Importance
Opeyemi Avoseh 1, Opeoluwa Oyedeji 1,*, Pamela Rungqu 1, Benedicta Nkeh-Chungag 2 and
Adebola Oyedeji 3
1 Chemistry Department, University of Fort Hare, 5700 Alice, South Africa;
E-Mails: (O.A.); (P.R.)
2 Department of Zoology, Walter Sisulu University, 5099 Mthatha, South Africa;
3 Department of Chemistry, Walter Sisulu University, 5099 Mthatha, South Africa;
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail:;
Tel.: +27-764260280.
Academic Editor: Luca Forti
Received: 25 January 2015 / Accepted: 25 March 2015 / Published: 23 April 2015
Abstract: Cymbopogon genus is a member of the family of Gramineae which are herbs
known worldwide for their high essential oil content. They are widely distributed across all
continents where they are used for various purposes. The commercial and medicinal uses of
the various species of Cymbopogon are well documented. Ethnopharmacology evidence
shows that they possess a wide array of properties that justifies their use for pest control, in
cosmetics and as anti-inflammation agents. These plants may also hold promise as potent
anti-tumor and chemopreventive drugs. The chemo-types from this genus have been used as
biomarkers for their identification and classification. Pharmacological applications of
Cymbopogon citratus are well exploited, though studies show that other species may also
useful pharmaceutically. Hence this literature review intends to discuss these species and
explore their potential economic importance.
Keywords: Cymbopogon; ethnopharmacology; secondary metabolites; terpenes; chemo-types
Molecules 2015, 20 7439
1. Introduction
The presence of secondary metabolites in plants is characterized by their ability to provide defenses
against biotic and abiotic stress [1]. The mechanism of defense varies from plant to plant, their
environmental conditions and climatic variations. However, the presence of these metabolites in plant
are usually in minimum amounts though several molecular techniques are available to either increase or
decrease the quantity of a particular metabolite by blocking competitive pathways and enriching
metabolites of choice [2]. Terpenes, alkaloids (N-containing compounds) and phenolics constitute the
largest groups of secondary metabolites. The shikimic acid pathway is the basis of the biosynthesis of
phenolics while the terpenes which are comprised of isoprene units arise from the mevalonate pathway [3].
Aspirin (1) from white willow, quinine (2) from the cinchona plant and artemisinin (3) from Artemisia
annum are all plant secondary metabolites. The biological application of these metabolites as therapeutic
agents for a broad spectrum of ailments and the microbial infections has been salutary in human history.
The genus Cymbopogon is widely distributed in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia
and America. Comprised of 144 species, this genus is famous for its high content of essential oils which
have been used for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and perfumery applications [4]. Two main species,
C. flexuosus and C. citratus (lemongrass) are commercially cultivated in the Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC), Madagascar, and the Comoros Island. However, the leading exporter of these plants is
Guatemala, trading about 250,000 kg per year and while the USSR sells about 70,000 kg per year [5].
The commercial value of some Cymbopogon species is further enhanced by their ability to grow in
moderate and extremely harsh climatic conditions [6]. In environments where they are not used for
cosmetics, drug or perfumery, such as in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, these plants have
found a good application as roof thatches and grass brooms [7].
2. Ethnopharmacology of Cymbopogon Species
Traditional applications of Cymbopogon genus in different countries shows high applicability as a
common tea, medicinal supplement, insect repellant, insecticide, in flu control, and as
anti-inflammatory and analgesic. Table 1 shows the common names of some species, their relevance and
how they are applied. C. citratus is ranked as one of the most widely distributed of the genus which is
used in every part of the world. Its applications in Nigeria include cures for upset stomach, malaria
therapy, insect repellent and as an antioxidant (tea) [8]. C. citratus and C. flexuosus are the prevailing
species in Eastern and Western India and have been used locally in cosmetics, insecticides, and for the
treatment of digestive disorders and fevers [9,10].
Molecules 2015, 20 7440
Table 1. Several Cymbopogon species, common name, regions, plant part used and the uses.
Species Region Common Name Parts Medicinal Uses References
C. nardus (L.) Rendle India Citronella oil Leaves Insect repellent and as perfumes [11]
C. parkeri Stapf Pakistan Lemon grass Aerial Antiseptic and stomachic treatment [12]
C. excavatus Hoscht South Africa Bread-leavened
Turpentine grass Sheaths Used as insecticides [13]
C. olivieri (Boss) Pakistan Pputar Aerial Pyretic, vomit, diuretic, rheumatism, and as anti-malaria condiment. [14,15]
C. validus (Stapf) Eastern and
Southern Africa African bluegrass Essential oils skin toner, anti-ageing in men, fumigant and for rodent control [16]
C. winterianus (Jowitt) Brazil Java grass Fleshy leaves Treatment of epilepsy and anxiety [17]
C. marginatus (Steud.) South Africa Lemon-Scented grass Root They are used as moth repellent [18]
C. citratus Stapf
India Lemon grass Aerial Fever, digestive disorders [9]
Nigeria Lemon grass Leaves Diabetes, inflammation and nerve disorders [8]
Argentina Limonaria Leaves Against cold and flu, and digestive complaints, stomach
upsets and as decoction with other plants for malaria
Cuba Cana Santa Leaves [20]
Costa Rica Grass tea Leaves To relieve cough, carminative, expectorant and depurative [21]
Colombia Limonaria Rhizome It is chewed and used as toothbrush and for pest control. [22,23]
Brazil Capimsanto Leaves Anxiolytic and anti-hypertensive [24]
Trinidad &
Tobago “fever grass” Grass and rhizomes The teas from it are used to treat cold, flu, fever and diabetes [24]
C. giganteus
(Hochst.) Chiov. Cameroon Tsauri grass
decoctions of leaves
and flowers Cough and arterial hypertension [25]
C. ambiguous
(Hack.) A. Camus. Australia Native Lemon Grass Leaves and stems Headache remedy, chest infections, muscle cramp and Scabies [26,27]
C. procerus
(R.Br.) Domin Australia Scent grass Leaves and stems Leaves and stem are pounded and used as medicinal body wash;
used for headache [28]
C. flexuosus
(Nees ex Steud.) Wats. India Lemon grass Leaves Cosmetics, antiseptic and for treatment of fever [10]
Molecules 2015, 20 7441
Table 1. Cont.
Species Region Common Name Parts Medicinal Uses References
C. pendulus
(Nees ex Steud.) Wats. India Jammu Lemongrass Leaves Antiseptic and for perfumery [29]
C. scheonanthus
(L.) Spreng Saudi Arabia Ethkher Leaves Antidiarrheal, to treat fever, treatment of jaundice and tonic [30]
C. obtectus (S.T. Blake) Central Australia Silky-heads Mixture Cold and flu, headaches, fever and sore throat [27]
C. proximus (Stapf.) Egypt Halfabar Leaves Expulsion of renal and ureteric calculi [31]
Cymbopogon refractus
(R.Brown) A. Camus. Australia Barbed wire grass Leaves Feed for animals [32]
C. densiflorus
(Steud.) Stapf Congo Lemongrass Leaves and rhizome
Employed against asthma, epilepsy, abdominal cramps and
pains and also for interpreting dreams by witch doctors. [33,34]
C. jwarancusa
(Jones) Schult. Egypt Thé Limon The whole plant Condiment and for medicinal purpose [35]
Molecules 2015, 20 7442
In the Middle East, C. olivierri and C. parkeri are more predominant, and they are used as antiseptics,
anti-malarial condiments, diuretics and also to cure rheumatism [12,14,15]. The high amounts of volatile
compounds from these species are responsible for their diverse uses.
Figure 1. Flavonoids and triterpenoids from Cymbopogon species.
10 11 12 13
15 16
17 18
20 21 22
25 26 27 28 29
32 33
34 35
Molecules 2015, 20 7443
3. Phytochemistry
The enormous information gathered from the ethno-pharmacological applications of Cymbopogons
begged the investigation of its chemical constituents. These studies have led to the isolation of alkaloids,
volatile and non-volatile terpenoids, flavonoids, carotenoids and tannins from every part of these plants.
Figure 1 displays some of the compounds isolated from Cymbopogon species.
3.1. Alkaloids
The rhizome of C. citratus from Nigeria was reported to contain about 0.52% alkaloids from 300 g
plant material [36].
3.2. Flavonoids
This class of compounds has potent antioxidant properties. Some of the flavonoids isolated from
Cymbopogon species are presented in Figure 1. Isoorientin (4) and tricin (5) were isolated from the
dichloromethane extract of C. parkeri [37], evaluation of these two compounds revealed their muscle
relaxation activity [38]. Isolation of luteolin (6), luteolin 7-O-glucoside (cynaroside) (7), isoscoparin (8)
and 2''-O-rhamnosyl isoorientin (9) from the leaves and rhizomes of C. citratus has been reported. Other
flavonoid compounds isolated from the aerial parts of C. citratus are quercetin (10), kaempferol (11) and
apigenin (12) [39], isolated elimicin (13), catechol (14), chlorogenic acid (15), caffeic acid (16) and
hydroquinone (17) from the aerial parts of the same species. Isolation of 4-phenylpropanoids from
Australian species of C. ambiguus has been reported. These compounds are eugenol
(4-allyl-2-methoxyphenol) (18); elemicin (5-allyl-1,2,3-trimethoxybenzene) (19); eugenol methylether
(4-allyl-1,2-dimethoxybenzene) (20) and trans-iso-elemicin (1,2,3-trimethoxy-5-(1-propenyl) benzene)
(21) and all these isolates exhibited good inhibition activity against ADP-induced human platelet
serotonin release which is associated with headaches [26].
3.3. Cymbopogon Terpenoids
3.3.1. Non-Volatile Terpenoids
Plants in the Cymbopogon genus contain large amounts of volatile terpenoids though a few species
from this genus are reported to contain non-volatile terpenoids as well. Bottini et al. [40] isolated a novel
bis-monoterpenoid named cymbodiacetal (22) from C. martinii. The triterpenoids cymbopogone (23)
and cymbopogonol (24) (Figure 1) were also reported from the leaves of C. citratus [41].
3.3.2. Volatile Terpenoids of Cymbopogon Species
Different chemotypes of Cymbopogon species contain varying major compounds such as citral,
geraniol, citronellol, piperitone and elemin (Table 2). In the literature, the majority of the C. citratus
analysed showed a remarkably high percentage of neral (25) and geranial (26). Analysis of C. citratus
species from Brazil [42], India [43], West and Eastern Africa [43–49] and Asia [50] showed the high
value of neral and geranial chemotypes. A special distinguishing feature between C. citratus of African
origin is the high amount of myrcene observed in them [44–49]. High occurance of piperitone (27)
Molecules 2015, 20 7444
characterizes the oils of C. parkeri and C. olivieri from Iran. Jiroveltz et al. [25] reported a significant
presence of cis-p-mentha-1(7),8-dien-2-ol (28) and its isomer trans-p-mentha-1(7),8-dien-2-ol (29) in the
oils of C. giganteus from Cameroon [25]. Predominant components observed in other Cymbopogon
species essential oils from around the world include δ-2-carene (30) in C. proximus from Cameroon [51],
linalool (31) from Malaysia’s C. nardus [52], limonene (32) in C. schoenanthus (Tunisia) and
C. giganteus (Burkina Faso) [46] and elemicin (33) from the oils of C. pendulus from India [53].
Observation of the oil of C. winterianus from different parts of Brazil showed two major chemotypes
based on the amount of geraniol (34) and citronellal (35) [17,54–56].
Table 2. Major components observed in some Cymbopogon species.
Compound Species Country/Region Major % References
cis-p-mentha-1(7),8-dien-2-ol (C10H16O) C. giganteus(F)
Cameroon 22.8 [25]
Burkina Faso 12.0 [46]
Madagascar 19.0 [57]
C. giganteus Cameroon 26.5 [25]
C. giganteus Burkina Faso 14.2 [46]
C. densiflorus Zambia 11.1 [57]
C. giganteus Madagascar 22.4 [56]
Limonene (C10H16)
C. giganteus Cameroon 7.4 [25]
C.giganteus Burkina Faso 42.0 [46]
C. proximus Burkina Faso 3.9 [51]
C. schoenanthus Tunisia 24.2 [58]
Elemicin (C12H16O3) C. pendulus India 53.7 [53]
α-Pinene (C10H16) C. pendulus India 6.1 [53]
Camphene (C10H16) C. pendulus India 9.1 [53]
C.winterianus India 8.0 [59]
Geranial (C10H16O)
C. flexuosus India (Kumauon region) 33.1 [60]
India (Bilhar) 42.4 [43]
C. citratus
Burkina Faso 48.1 [46]
Brazil 50.0 [42]
Egypt 40.72 [61]
Zambia 39.0 [47]
Kenya 39.53 [57]
Benin republic 27.04 [62]
Nigeria 33.7 [44]
Angola 40.55 [63]
Congo Brazaville 48.88 [45]
Ivory Coast 34.0 [45]
Mali 45.3 [45]
Iran 39.16 [50]
C. winterianus S.E. Brazil 8.05 [55]
Molecules 2015, 20 7445
Table 2. Cont.
Compound Species Country/Region Major % References
Neral (C10H16O)
C. flexuosus
India 30.0 [60]
Burkina Faso 34.6 [46]
India (Bilhar) 29.8 [43]
Brazil (North) 30.1 [42]
Egypt 34.98 [61]
Zambia 29.4 [47]
Kenya 33.31 [48]
C. giganteus Benin republic 19.93 [62]
Nigeria 26.5 [44]
C. citratus
Angola 28.26 [63]
Malaysia 50.81 [64]
Congo Brazzaville 36.24 [49]
Brazil 4.53 [17]
Ivory Coast 32.5 [45]
Mali 26.3 [45]
Iran 30.95 [50]
Geranyl acetate (C12H20O2) C. flexuosus India 12.0 [60]
Linalool (C10H18O)
C. flexuosus India 2.6 [60]
C.winterianus India 1.5 [59]
C. martini India 2.0 [65]
C. nardus Malaysia 11.0 [52]
Geraniol (C10H18O)
C. winterianus India 23.9 [59]
C. martinii India 84.16 [65]
C. winterianus Brazil 32.82 [17]
Brazil (para state) 16.2 [54]
C. winterianus S.E Brazil 40.06 [55]
Citronellal (C10H18O)
C.winterianus India 32.7 [59]
C. nardus Malaysia 29.6 [52]
C. winterianus Brazil 36.19 [17]
C. winterianus Brazil (para state) 26.5 [54]
C. winterianus S.E. Brazil 27.44 [55]
Citronellol (C10H20O)
C. winterianus India 15.9 [59]
C. winterianus Brazil 11.34 [17]
C. winterianus Brazil (Para state) 7.3 [54]
C. winterianus S.E. Brazil 10.45 [55]
Myrcene (C10H16)
C. citratus
C. citratus
C. citratus
Burkina Faso 11.0 [46]
Egypt 15.69 [61]
Zambia 18.0 [47]
Benin republic 27.83 [62]
Nigeria 25.3 [44]
Angola 10.57 [63]
Ivory Coast 18.1 [45]
Mali 9.1 [45]
Molecules 2015, 20 7446
Table 2. Cont.
Compound Species Country/Region Major % References
Selina-6-en-4-ol (C15H26O) C. citratus Brazil 27.8 [42]
α-Cadinol (C15H26O) C. citratus Brazil 8.2 [42]
Piperitone (C10H16O)
C. olivieri Iran 72.8 [14]
C. parkeri Iran 80.8 [12]
C. proximus Burkina Faso 59.1 [51]
4-Carene (C10H16) C. olivieri Iran 11.8 [12]
Germacrene-D (C15H24) C. parkeri Iran 5.1 [11]
δ-2-Carene (C10H16) C. proximus Burkina Faso 22.3 [51]
β-Phellandrene (C10H16) C. schoenanthus Tunisia 13.4 [58]
3.4. Tannins
A literature search on the phytochemical screening of C. citratus also reveals the presence of tannins,
however, very little effort has been made in the isolation of these compounds despite the appreciable
amounts reported through quantitative phytochemical tests. Figueirinha et al. fractionated extracts of the
species collected from Portugal and reported about 10 mg dry weight of hydrolysable tannins
(prothocyanidins) [66] while C. citratus from Nigeria showed about 0.6% of tannins [36]. C. citratus is
the single species of Cymbopogon which is most exploited for its tannin content.
4. Pharmacology
Several bioassays have confirmed the potency of Cymbopogon species for their several uses
(Table 3). C. citratus was found to have chemoprotective activity by preventing of diethylnitrosamine
(DEN)-initiated hepatocellular lesions in rats [67]. In South Africa, extract from C. citratus was applied for
treatment of oral thrush in patients who tested positive to HIV/AIDS and proved effective [68].
Insecticidal activity is one of the biological effects of most plant of the Cymbopogon genus; it is either
applied as pest control for stored crops or as mosquito repellent/ insecticide. The essential oils of
C. martinii have been studied and found to display high anthelmintic activity against Caenorhabditis
elegans at ED50 value of 125.4 µg/mL, C schoenanthus, C. giganteus and C. citratus essential oils
from Benin Republic in West Africa all displayed about 100% mortality rate against adult Anopheles
gambiae [69]. The essential oil from C. winterianus caused a dose dependent mortality of Culex
quinquefasciatus with LC50 of 0.9% [70].
The anticancer properties of Cymbopogon species have also been studied. The essential oils of
C. flexuosus was effective in inhibiting the growth and killing of Ehrlich and Sarcoma-180 tumors cells.
In this study, it was discovered that at a dose of 200 mg/kg, Ehrlich solid tumor inhibition was about
57.83% compared to the 45.23% inhibition observed with 5-fluorouracil (22 mg/kg) [71]. Inhibition of
early phase of hepatocarcinogenesis was also observed in C. citratus [67]. Positive results in several other
bioassays such as antiprotozoal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-bacterial, anti-diabetic,
anticholinesterase, molluscidal, antifungal and larvicidal activity are also prominent with Cymbopogon
species as outlined in Table 3.
Molecules 2015, 20 7447
Table 3. Pharmacological evidence of some Cymbopogon species.
Cymbopogon Species Pharmacology Activity References
C. citratus
Cytotoxicity Shows high toxicity against Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells (IC50 = 10.63 μg/mL) and moderately
toxic against human fibroblast cell line 138 (W138) cells (IC50 = 39.77 μg/mL). [72]
Insecticidal LC50 of 48.6 μL/L against housefly larvae [43]
Neurobehavioral effects Ability to be active as sedative, anxiolytic and anticonvulsant agent [73]
Antitrypanosomal Modest activity against Trypanasoma brucei IC50 = 1.837 ± 0.13 μg/mL [72]
Anti-diabetic Shows activity against poloxamer-407 induced type 2 diabetic (T2D) in Wistar rats [43]
HIV/AIDS As a highly effective control for oral thrush in HIV/AIDS victims in South Africa [68]
Larvicidal activity It shows high inhibition and mortality rate against larva of A. aegypti [74]
Chemopreventive activity Inhibits the early phase of hepatocarcinogenesis in rats [67]
Anti-inflammations Hexane extract inhibited iNOS (inducible nitric oxide synthase)expression, NO (nitric oxide)
production and various LPS (lipopolysaccharide)-induced pathways [75]
C. schoenanthus
Antioxidant(DPPH) 36%–73.8% activity per 2 μL of oil [58]
Acetylcholinesterase inhibitory IC50 = 0.26 ± 0.03 mg mL1 [58]
Insecticidal activity 2.7 μL/L obtained for LC50 against Callosobruchus maculatus [76]
C. winterianus
Moluscidal LC90 = 97.0mg/L and LC50 = 54.0 mg/L [54]
Larvicidal LC
50 = 181.0mg/L [54]
Anti-fungal Inhibited the growth of 15 strains of Candida albicans at concentrations of 625 μg/mL and 1250 μg/mL [77]
C. giganteus
Antimicrobial High activity against gram +ve and gram ve bacteria [25]
Cytotoxicity Low cytotoxicity against CHO cells and the human non cancer fibroblast cell line (W138) [72]
Anti-trypanosomal IC50 = 0.25 ± 0.11 μg/mL against Trypanasoma brucei [72]
Antiplasmodial High activity with an IC50 20 μg/mL [72]
C. pendulus Antifungal Strong activity against Microsporum audouinii, Trichophyton rubrum and Epidermophyton floccosum at
100% for all the species [78]
C. flexuosus Chemopreventive Potent in vivo activity against Ehrlich and Sarcoma-180 tumors. [71]
C. densiflorus Stapf Antibacterial Gram-negative bacteria. MICs were found to be between 250 and 500 ppm for the
Gram-positive and between 500 and 1000 ppm for the Gram-negative bacteria [79]
C. ambiguus Inflammatory Inhibition of ADP-induced human platelet serotonin release in the cell. [26]
C. nardus Antibacterial MIC values ranged from 0.244 µg/mL to 0.977 µg/mL when tested against the bacterial isolates [52]
C. nervatus Molluscidal activity It inhibits Biomphalaria pfeifferi at LD50 of 213.099 ppm dose dependent [80]
C. olivieri Antimicrobial activity Exhibited excellent antimicrobial activity against gram ±ve organisms [14]
Molecules 2015, 20 7448
5. Conclusions
Cymbopogon species have been used as traditional medicine in many countries. Of all the species
reviewed, C. citratus and C. flexuosus are the most widely used in traditional and in conventional
medicine due to the pharmacological potential of their phytochemicals. The majority of these species
contain a voluminous amount of essential oils which have shown several biological activities such as
insecticidal, anti-protozoan, anticancer, anti-HIV, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetes effects.
The authors are grateful to Govan Mbeki Research office, UFH, Directorates of Research and
Development, WSU and NRF for financial support.
Author Contributions
Opeyemi Avoseh carry out the literature survey and wrote part of first draft of the manuscript. Pamela
Rungqu investigated the essential oil composition of Cymbopogon species found in the Eastern Cape
and wrote part of the first draft of the manuscript. Opeoluwa Oyedeji, Benedicta Nkeh-Chungag and
Adebola Oyedeji are supervisors to the above authors on the chemistry and inflammatory studies of the
essential oils. They also contributed editorial to the writing and editing of the final manuscript
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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... This process will be subject to boiling in water for 15 minutes, cooling, and straining before passing the sufficient cold water which contains a liquid extract [37]. In contrast with infusion methods where soluble components extract from the plants were immersed in hot water without continuous boiling [2], [3], [35], [38]. The solution will be cooling before straining [2], [35], [39]. ...
... Figure 1 shows the simple process flow of steam distillation process including the sample preparation, pretreatment process and extraction process. [2] Drying process [3] Grinding process [4] Pretreatment process [5] Boiling process to generate steam [6] Oil extract using steam distillation process [7] Condensation process [8] Plant extract collection [9] Lemongrass oil is produced ...
... The Cymbopogon extract is good as traditional herbal remedies and have the ability to treat several diseases such as gastrointestinal problems, fever and hypertension [2], [5], [76]. For example, the product extract of C. citratus is known as a folk remedy for such treatment such as a cough, consumption, flu, headache, pneumonia, malaria, digestive problems, diarrhea, stomach ache and vascular disorders [2], [3], [5], [76]. It is mostly taken in the form of tea as a remedy. ...
Cymbopogon citratus and Cymbopogon nardus are plants categorized under the family of Poaceae that have been recognized with high demand in pharmaceutical industry for its wide range of pharmacological activities. The potential bioactive compounds can be obtained either through traditional or conventional methods. The plant extracts are commonly used in numbers of products for culinary, pesticides and cosmetic purposes for its flavours and fragrances. Besides, bioactive compounds extracted from both species possess good biological activities that can be applied in the pharmaceutical field.
... The low mortality observed for myrcene alone is probably the result of a low toxicity of this terpene on A. gemmatalis, considering that toxic, repellent, and attractive effects are also influenced by insect species. As Citral is already acknowledged in the literature as having insecticidal effect against several insect species (AVOSEH et al., 2015;OLADEJI et al., 2019). Hsu, Yen, and Wang (2013) reported that the mixture of citral and myrcene had a synergistic repellent effect on Aedes aegypti (Diptera, Culicidae). ...
... % of geranial. The citral chemotype is regarded as characteristic of C. citratus essential oil, with variations in the secondary major compounds(AVOSEH et al., 2015). ...
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The present work aimed to evaluate the insecticidal activity of Cymbopogon citratus essential oil and its major compounds (citral and myrcene) on Anticarsia gemmatalis. The essential oil, citral, myrcene, and a mixture of citral and myrcene were tested at the concentrations of 0.1, 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, and 0.9 % v/v, plus two negative controls (distilled water and Tween-80® 0.5 % v/v) and a positive control (novaluron 0.075 % w/v). Insect mortality was evaluated in 24, 48, 72, and 96 h. According to the results, C. citratus essential oil and the citral-myrcene mixture at 0.9 % v/v were effective in the control of A. gemmatalis, with 96 % and 88 % mortality, respectively, in the first 24 h. At this concentration, citral caused 100 % mortality after 72 h, whereas myrcene had no effect on the caterpillars even after 96 h of exposure. Thus, C. citratus essential oil can be a potential option for the alternative control of A. gemmatalis.
... Natural herbal products have a long history in health maintenance and disease treatment. Cymbopogon species occupy an important role in traditional medicine as natural remedies for many human ailments [1]. There are 144 species of Cymbopogon, characterized by their high content of essential oil, and grow in different tropical and subtropical areas such as Africa, Australia and others [2]. ...
... C. nardus has various biological properties such an antifungal and antibacterial effect [7][8][9][10]. In the literature, citronella has been also used as an antipyretic, antidiabetic, antioxidant and anticholinesterase [1,11]. Mounting evidence showed that C. nardus essential oil exhibited an excellent cytotoxic effect on human epidermal cell line HaCaT [12]. ...
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Cymbopogon nardus is one of the medicinal plants widely used in folk medicine to cure certain diseases. The current work aims to assess the diuretic potential of Cymbopogon nardus using animal models. Urine electrolytes (Sodium and potassium), serum electrolytes (Sodium, potassium, and chloride), blood urea, creatinine, creatinine clearance, osmolar clearance, urinary osmolarity, and urine flow were determined. To assess the diuretic effect of the studied plant, four groups of rats were used (n = 6). The control group received 10 mL of water, the second and third groups received both studied doses of the plant (100 and 150 mg/kg bw), and the last group received furosemide (10 mg/kg bw), the experiment sustained for seven days. Urine flow and electrolytes levels were studied. The single dose of Cymbopogon nardus extract significantly increased urine flow after oral administration. In addition, daily administration of both doses of Cymbopogon nardus significantly elevated urine excretion as opposite to the first group. Cymbopogon nardus enhanced the urine elimination of sodium and potassium. Importantly, both doses have no effect on serum potassium level. Creatinine clearance was significantly elevated in a dose-dependent manner. This information will be considered as a keystone for further studies forward in applying new process to isolate active compounds of Cymbopogon nardus responsible for its biological properties.
... Stapf was the most mentioned plant species in our ethnobotanical survey. Known as Indian verbena, the plant is native to India, where it is used as a medicinal plant [56]. Its use in Guadalupe represents a legacy of Indian culture and demonstrates how migration-related events can result in the transmission of traditional knowledge from one society to another. ...
... These results are broadly in line with previous ethnobotanical studies. Cymbopogon citratus essential oils, aerial parts, and leaf extracts have been traditionally used against dysmenorrhea, fever, cough, and anxiety [56,57]. Of note, the genus Cymbopogon and specifically Cymbopogon citratus have a wide variety of biologically active phytochemicals and these bioactives have been examined for their antioxidant, antibacterial, and antidiabetic properties both in vivo and in vitro [58][59][60]. ...
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The island of Grande-Terre is a French overseas region that belongs to the Guadeloupean archipelago, a biodiversity hotspot with unique flora. Herbal medicine is widely used in the island for therapeutical purposes; however, there is a significant knowledge gap in the records relating to medicinal plants and their associated uses. Ethnobotanical survey methodology using quantitative parameters (informant consensus factor, species use value, relative frequency of citation, frequency use of a treatment and plant for an ailment) provided insights into the traditional medicinal use of a given plant. Ninety-six different plant species distributed among 56 families were identified and 523 remedies were documented in the survey. After data filtering, 22 plants species were associated with 182 remedies. The most frequent plant families were Poaceae, Myrtaceae, Cucurbitaceae and Rubiaceae. Aerial parts of these plants were the most common parts of the plant used for the remedies and the most frequent mode of administration was oral ingestion. This study highlights a valuable traditional knowledge of folklore medicine and helps to document and preserve the association of a plant with-and its use frequency for-a given ailment. These findings might be the starting point for the identification of biologically active phytocompounds to fight common health debilities.
... Cymbopogon citratus, known commonly as lemon grass, is a perennial aromatic tropical plant which has slender leaves with sharp edges and a pointed apex, belonging to the plant family Poaceae. There are reports of its antipyretic, antimalarial, antiprotozoal, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities (Avoseh et al., 2015;Basera et al., 2019;Oladeji et al., 2019;Subramaniam et al., 2020). Cymbopogon citratus essential oils have been shown to produce an 86.6% suppressive effect on the growth of P. berghei-infected mice in comparison to the standard drug chloroquine (Tchoumbougnang et al., 2005). ...
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The emergence of varying levels of resistance to currently available antimalarial drugs significantly threatens global health. This factor heightens the urgency to explore bioactive compounds from natural products with a view to discovering and developing newer antimalarial drugs with novel mode of actions. Therefore, we evaluated the inhibitory effects of sixteen phytocompounds from Cymbopogon citratus leaf extract against Plasmodium falciparum drug targets such as P. falciparum circumsporozoite protein (PfCSP), P. falciparum merozoite surface protein 1 (PfMSP1) and P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1). In silico approaches including molecular docking, pharmacophore modeling and 3D-QSAR were adopted to analyze the inhibitory activity of the compounds under consideration. The molecular docking results indicated that a compound swertiajaponin from C. citratus exhibited a higher binding affinity (−7.8 kcal/mol) to PfMSP1 as against the standard artesunate-amodiaquine (−6.6 kcal/mol). Swertiajaponin also formed strong hydrogen bond interactions with LYS29, CYS30, TYR34, ASN52, GLY55 and CYS28 amino acid residues. In addition, quercetin another compound from C. citratus exhibited significant binding energies −6.8 and −8.3 kcal/mol with PfCSP and PfEMP1, respectively but slightly lower than the standard artemether-lumefantrine with binding energies of −7.4 kcal/mol against PfCSP and −8.7 kcal/mol against PfEMP1. Overall, the present study provides evidence that swertiajaponin and other phytomolecules from C. citratus have modulatory properties toward P. falciparum drug targets and thus may warrant further exploration in early drug discovery efforts against malaria. Furthermore, these findings lend credence to the folkloric use of C. citratus for malaria treatment. Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma
... Citronella essential oil chiefly contains monoterpenes with major contribution of aldehydes and alcohols 14,15 . The plant possesses a broad range of ethnopharmacological properties that rationalize its utilization in cosmetics, pest control, or as an anti-inflammatory agent 16 and also possesses anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties 17,18 . P. graveolens is an important scented aromatic plant that grows around the world for its essential oil, which is considered among the top 20 essential oils of the globe 19 . ...
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Essential oils are highly concentrated natural extracts obtained from plants, rich in bioactive constituents with antimicrobial properties, but the distinctive climate of the Western Himalayan region influences the same. Aromatic and medicinal plants, viz., Origanum majorana, Origanum vulgare, Cymbopogon winterianus, Pelargonium graveolens, and Nepeta cataria were grown in the foothills of the Western Himalayan condition and evaluated for essential oil content, composition, and their effect on some of the most common pathogenic microorganisms. The essential oil content (%) was 0.77, 0.45, 1.37, 0.15 and 0.17% in O. majorana, O. vulgare, C. winterianus, P. graveolens, and N. cataria, respectively. The major essential oil constituents of the isolated oils were terpinen-4-ol, thymol, citronellal, citronellol, and nepetalactone, contributing 41.24%, 31.81%, 43.13%, 43.35% and 91.43% in O. majorana, O. vulgare, C. winterianus, P. graveolens, and N. cataria, respectively. Well-diffusion assay revealed that the essential oil of O. majorana and O. vulgare was active against both the tested Gram-positive, viz., Bacillus subtilis MTCC 121, Micrococcus luteus MTCC 2470, and Staphylococcus aureus MTCC 96; and Gram-negative, viz., Escherichia coli MTCC 43, Klebsiella pneumoniae MTCC 109, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa MTCC 2453 bacteria, while the essential oil of C. winterianus, P. graveolens, and N. cataria showed activity against only some Gram-positive bacteria. Minimum inhibitory concentration (v/v) values indicated the highest efficacy of O. majorana essential oil against B. subtilis (0.5%), M. luteus (1%), and S. aureus (1%), while O. vulgare was most efficient to E. coli (2%) and K. pneumoniae (2%). C. winterianus essential oil did not inhibit any bacterial strains. M. luteus was susceptible to the essential oil of P. graveolens (1%) and N. cataria (0.5%) at low concentrations. Present findings showed the association between the chemical constituents’ profile of isolated essential oils from the Himalayan region and their antimicrobial activity, indicating their perspective to be utilized as antibacterial means.
... However, although secondary plant metabolites, such as tannins, saponins, and essential oils, seem very promising for reducing enteric CH 4 emissions, the results are inconsistent in the different studies because of the significant variation in the concentration of secondary compounds, doses, and feed compositions. Several authors emphasized that the content of phytochemicals in plants is highly influenced by the geographical region, genetics of herbs, environment, part of the plant used, preservation or extraction method, age, and cutting season [22,28,52,53]. Our results align with the former authors because the most significant antimethanogenic effect of CC was observed when the concentration of CT was the highest, as in Vázquez-Carrillo et al. [35], and then declined as the concentration of CC declined. ...
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Methane production is a waste of energy for ruminants and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the anti-methanogenic effect of increasing the supplementation levels of Cymbopogon citratus (CC) on the dry matter intake (DMI), digestibility, methane (CH 4) production, and partitioning of the gross energy intake in growing beef heifers fed with a diet high in forage (68.6% forage: 31.4% concentrate). An experiment was conducted using Holstein × Charolais heifers distributed in a 4 × 4 Latin square design. The experimental treatments were: (1) control diet (CO), (2) CO + 30 g CC DM/d, (3) CO + 60 g CC DM/d CC, and (4) CO + 90 g CC DM/d. A reduction of 22.4% in methane yield (CH 4 g/kg DMI) and a reduction of 21.2% in the Ym factor was observed with the 30 CC treatment (p ≤ 0.05). However, no significant differences (p > 0.05) were observed for the total daily CH 4 production, DMI, nutrient digestibility, and gross energy intake partitioning in the heifers. Therefore, we concluded that the supplementation of 30 g CC DM/d reduced the CH 4 yield without affecting the animal performance. However, the anti-methanogenic properties of Cymbopogon citratus deserve more investigation.
... Lemongrass oil is analgesic, antiseptic, carminative, astringent, febrifuge, fungicidal, bactericidal nd antidepressant [2] . The main reported components of lemongrass oil were limonene, myrcene, citral, citronellal, citronellol, terpineol, methyl heptenone, dipentene, geraniol, geranial, geranyl acetate, neral, nerol and farnesol [3][4][5] . These compounds possess antifungal, antiseptic, insecticidal and counterirritant properties. ...
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Cymbopogon flexuosus (Nees ex Steud.) W. Watson (Poaceae), known as Lemongrass, yields an essential oil which is used to treat headache, abdominal and muscle pains, stress, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, drowsiness and hair loss. Hydro-distillation of the fresh leaves (1.5 kg) gave a pale yellow essential oil (0.5%). The GLC and GC-MS analysis of the oil indicated that it was composed of large amount of monoterpenes (93.4%). Out of the thirteen monoterpenes, there were five alcohols (54.4%), four aldehydes (31.7%), one ester (0.7%) and three hydrocarbons (6.7%). The predominant monoterpenes characterized were geraniol (51.7%), geranial (29.0%), α-pinene (4.8%), citronellal (1.3%), citronellol (1.2%), myrcene (1.1%) and trans-verbenol (1.0%). Among four identified sesquiterpenes (6.5%), spathulenol (2.9%) and β-selinene (2.0%) were the main constituents. The significant antimicrobial activities were observed with the essential oil and ethanolic extract of the leaves against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger.
... The beneficial activities of C. citratus have been recognized in ethnopharmacology [3,30,31], although some grey zones still exist [3,32]. In particular, citral (3,7-dimethyl-2,6-octadienal), the main monoterpene in C. citratus essential oils, has been studied for its anti-inflammatory capacities involving multiple pathways. ...
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Preparations of the Cymbopogon citratus leaves are used in folk medicine for the treatment of inflammatory processes. The present study investigated the proposed anti-inflammatory properties of C. citratus essential oil (EOCC) in human skin in vivo using the methylnicotinate (MN) microinflammation skin model. Skin exposure to MN causes a disturbance that triggers the production of reactive oxygen species and evokes a short duration microinflammatory reaction that might be explored to meet this objective. Fourteen participants of both sexes were selected after providing informed consent. Three areas (3 cm × 3 cm) were drawn on both forearms. One randomly chosen area was treated for 14 days, twice a day, with a polyacrylic acid gel containing 5% EOCC. Remaining areas were used as controls. Results revealed a clear protective effect at the EOCC-treated site. The MN reaction showed significantly lower transepidermal water loss, blood perfusion, erythema, and edema when compared with the other areas. Furthermore, the methodology here proposed is an innovative approach to study the clinical impact of these substances on human skin, contributing to an evidence-based support regarding the interest of using these products in human health.
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Many fungi including Phytophthora species cause severe pre- and post-harvest damage to agricultural crops. Research focused on plant-derived fungicides and their possible application in agriculture is being intensified as these are having enormous potential to inspire and influence modern agro-chemical research. In this study, we survey the effectiveness of essential oil of Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf. on the mycelium growth of three species of Phytophthora including P. capsici, P. drechsleri and P. melonis. The essential oil was extracted from fresh leaves of C. citratus that were subjected to hydro-distillation through Clevenger's apparatus and its chemical composition was analyzed with Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). á- citral (39.16%), Z- citral (30.95%), limonene (5.83%), and caryophyllene (3.44%) were identified as main components. The rate of growth inhibition were measured after placing 7 days active mycelial plugs of each fungus on petri dishes containing CMA amended with specific concentration of essential oil and incubated at 25 ± 2 oC. Since growth inhibition of studied essential oil was evident in this study, they have potential to control of Phytophthora species and could be considered for developing new fungicides.
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The flowering tops of palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii) consist of spikelets and each spikelet is further composed of racemes and a leaf‐like structure called a spathe. Both racemes and spathe contain essential oil. Changes in fresh weight, dry weight, chlorophyll and essential oil content and its major constituents, viz. geraniol and geranyl acetate, were examined for both racemes and spathe at various stages of spikelet development. The essential oil content was maximal at the unopened spikelets stage and decreased significantly thereafter. At unopened spikelets stage, the proportion of geranyl acetate (58.6%) in the raceme oil was relatively greater compared with geraniol (37.2%), whereas the spathe oil contained more geraniol (61.9%) compared with geranyl acetate (33.4%). The relative percentage of geranyl acetate in both the oils, however, decreased significantly with development and this is accompanied by a corresponding increase in the percentage of geraniol. Analysis of the volatile constituents from racemes and spathes (from mature spikelets) and seeds by capillary GC indicated 28 minor constituents besides the major constituent geraniol. (E)‐Nerolidol was detected for the first time in an essential oil from this species. The geraniol content predominated in the seed oil, whereas the geranyl acetate content was higher in the raceme oil. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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As part of ongoing research on the chemical composition and the antimicrobial properties of Burkinabe plants essential oils alone and in combination, essential oils (EOs) from leaves of Cymbopogon citratus and Cymbopogon giganteus from Burkina Faso were analyzed by GC-FID and GC-MS. Five constituents, which accounted for 96.3% of the oil, were identified in the EO of C. citratus. Geranial (48.1%), neral (34.6%) and myrcene (11.0%) were the major constituents. For C. giganteus a total of eight compounds were identified which represented 86.0% of the oils extracted. The dominant compounds were limonene (42%) and a set of monoterpene alcohols: trans-p-mentha-1(7),8-dien-2-ol (14.2%), cis-p-mentha-1(7),8-dien-2-ol (12%), trans-p-mentha-2,8-dien-1-ol (5.6%) and cis-p-mentha-2,8-dien-1-ol (5.2%). The EOs were tested against nine bacteria by using disc diffusion and microdilution methods. C. giganteus EO showed antimicrobial effects against all microorganisms tested whereas C. citratus EO failed to inhibit Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The antimicrobial activity of combinations of the two EOs was quantified by the checkerboard method. Combinations of the two EOs exerted synergistic, additive and indifferent antimicrobial effects. Results of the present investigation provide evidence that the combinations of plant EOs could be assessed for synergistic activity in order to reduce their minimum effective dose.
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Citronella grass is mainly grown for its commercial essential oils and the systematic study of its chemical composition resulted in several other benefits apart from the development of analytical methods for quality assessment. This quality assessment of the oil gives a basic insight into the chemical composition and the extent to which the main constituents varies in proportion. The studies enabled the systematic monitoring using GLC and Supercritical fluid extraction process, the formulation of ideas on the correct methods of preparation of the plant material and the optimum time for harvesting of the grass. For instance, it was found that immature grass had a higher content of terpene hydrocarbons than the mature ones and that the wilting process was also necessary for the production of good quality oil. Seasonal variations also existed. There are many literatures that demonstrated the therapeutic use of Citronella oil and also analyzed the constituents of its oil simultaneously. The advanced therapeutic studies enabled the systematic and controlled use of Citronella oil as an antifungal agent, anti-parasitic agent, a potent mosquito repellent and antibacterial agent. In addition, the expertise and techniques developed led to the discovery of several possible varieties of Citronella which consistently gave oils of composition different to either Ceylon type or Java type.
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This study evaluates the antidiabetic activities of essential oil obtained by steam distillation of the leaf sheath of Cymbopogon citratus (CCEO) in poloxamer-407 induced type 2 diabetic (T2D) Wistar rats. The sample was then analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GCMS) identifying 23 compounds representing 96.9% of the oil. The major compounds of essential oil were geranial (42.4%), neral (29.8%), myrcene (8.9%) and geraniol (8.5%). When compared to diabetic control rats, the CCEO treated diabetic rats presented significant amelioration of glycaemia, insulinamia and lipid dysmetabolism, accompanied by increased GLP-1 content in cecum and remarkable reduction of oxidative markers. Histopatholgical analysis of pancreas showed increase in β-cell mass, islet number and quality of insulitis. HYBRID and FRED docking were performed for 48 documented CCEO phytoconstituents for putative action mechanism concerning three proteins namely PTP-1B, PPAR-γ and DPP-IV having diabetic therapeutic properties. Phytoconstituents like myrcenol, linalool, α-elemol and β-Eudesmol showed significant interaction with PPAR-γ and DPP-IV while only pimelyl dihydrazide showed interaction with PTP-1B. The results provided a pharmacological evidence of CCEO as antidiabetic mediated by interaction of various phytoconstituents with multiple targets operating in diabetes mellitus.
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The essential oils obtained from blades, sheaths and rhizomes of Cymbopogon citratus were obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by GC-FID and GC-MS. The essential oils from aerial parts (blades and sheaths) from three other specimens also were studied. Neral and geranial were major in blades (30.1 % and 39.9 %, respectively), and sheats (27.8 % and 50.0 %, respectively). Rhizome oils showed a different chemical profile and was characterized by a high amount of selina-6-en-4-ol (27.8 %), followed by α-cadinol (8.2 %), neointermediol (7.2 %) and eudesma-7(11)-en-4-ol (5.3 %).
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Cymbopogon winterianus Jowitt ('Java citronella') is an important essential oil yielding aromatic grass cultivated in India and Brazil and its volatile essential oils extracted from its leaves are used in perfumery, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and flavoring industries. However, there is no report on any psychopharmacological study of C. winterianus leaf essential oil (LEO) available to date. In this study, the pharmacological effects of the LEO were investigated in animal models and its phytochemical analyses. GC-MS analysis showed a mixture of monoterpenes, as citronellal (36.19%), geraniol (32.82%) and citronellol (11.37%). LEO exhibited an inhibitory effect on the locomotor activity of mice, an antinociceptive effect by increasing the reaction time in the writhing and capsaicin tests. All doses induced a significant increase in the sleeping time of animals not having modified however, the latency. The LEO did not alter the remaining time of the animals on the rota-rod apparatus. These results suggest a possible central effect.
As part of ongoing research on the chemical composition and the antimicrobial properties of Burkinabe plants essential oils alone and in combination, essential oils (EOs) from leaves of Cymbopogon citratus and Cymbopogon giganteus from Burkina Faso were analyzed by GC-FID and GC-MS. Five constituents, which accounted for 96.3% of the oil, were identified in the EO of C. citratus. Geranial (48.1%), neral (34.6%) and myrcene (11.0%) were the major constituents. For C. giganteus a total of eight compounds were identified which represented 86.0% of the oils extracted. The dominant compounds were limonene (42%) and a set of monoterpene alcohols: trans-p-mentha-1(7),8-dien-2-ol (14.2%), cis-p-mentha-1(7),8-dien-2-ol (12%), trans-p-mentha-2,8-dien-1-ol (5.6%) and cis-p-mentha-2,8-dien-1-ol (5.2%). The EOs were tested against nine bacteria by using disc diffusion and microdilution methods. C. giganteus EO showed antimicrobial effects against all microorganisms tested whereas C. citratus EO failed to inhibit Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The antimicrobial activity of combinations of the two EOs was quantified by the checkerboard method. Combinations of the two EOs exerted synergistic, additive and indifferent antimicrobial effects. Results of the present investigation provide evidence that the combinations of plant EOs could be assessed for synergistic activity in order to reduce their minimum effective dose.
Hydrodistillation of aerial parts of Cymbopogon olivieri (Boiss.) Bar (Andropogonae) yielded 1.7% v/w of the essential oil. By GC and GC/MS twenty-two components, representing 94.80% of the total oil composition were identified. The major constituents were Δ-3 carene (22.46%), piperitone (44.90%) and α-eudesmol (13.33%). The essential oil of Cymbopogon olivieri (Boiss.) Bar showed interesting activity against larvaes of Anophel stephensi (LD50=321 .902 p.p.m.).