New research on essential oils and stomach ulcers

Poor lab mice.

They are subject to all kinds of humiliations and injuries, all in the name of science.

The latest report is of a group of mice that were given stomach ulcers.

This was to determine whether lemongrass essential oil would help in the healing of said ulcers.

Here’s what the scientists and their mice discovered:


Lemongrass essential oil did have a gastroprotective effect against ulcers. In other words, the oil made the ulcers smaller and less extreme, reducing the ulcer area by more than 50%.

Also, lemongrass essential oil accelerated the healing of the ulcer by 30%.

Pretty impressive, right?

A couple of interesting points, though.

Citral, the compound that makes up 80%-90% of lemongrass oil, didn’t have much of an effect against ulcers.

Geraniol, another lemongrass compound, had a super-powerful effect anti-ulcer effect, reducing the ulcer area by almost 97%, and speeding up healing by 80%, while requiring a lower dose. But geraniol is only present in lemongrass oil in small amounts (up to 7%), while other oils, such as palmarosa, are primarily made up of the stuff. 

And now the big question…

What does this mean for you if you suffer from ulcers?

The news is encouraging, but I don’t think you should swill down a bottle of lemongrass essential oil just yet.

For one thing, these mice ulcers were induced by ethanol (basically, 200-proof drinking alcohol).

Normal ulcers are typically caused by a bacterial infection, and it’s not clear that lemongrass essential oil would be as effective in this case.

Also, the dose that the mice got would translate to about 20 drops of essential oil for a person weighing about 150 lbs. 

That’s a nontrivial amount of essential oils to ingest, and it’s not something you should do without consulting some experts, probably starting with your doctor.

Finally, if it really is geraniol that’s mainly responsible for the anti-ulcer effect, then oils like palmarosa, rather than lemongrass, would be the place to start. 

But like I said, the news is encouraging. If you want to do further research, here’s the link to the paper abstract to get you started:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29248831

John Bejakovic

P.S. Do you want more updates about new essential oil research? You can get them through my email newsletter, by clicking the link below:

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