This study analyses the anti-proliferative effect of lemongrass essential oil and its main constituent (citral) on all 3 evolutive forms of Trypanosoma cruzi. Steam distillation was used to obtain lemongrass essential oil, with chemical composition determined by gas chromatography (GC) and GC coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The IC50/24 h (concentration that reduced the parasite population by 50%) of the oil and of citral upon T. cruzi was determined by cell counting in a Neubauer chamber, while morphological alterations were visualized by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Treatment with the essential oil resulted in epimastigote growth inhibition with IC50=126·5 μg/ml, while the IC50 for trypomastigote lysis was 15·5 μg/ml. The IC50/48 h for the Association Index (% macrophage infection×number of amastigotes per cell) was 5·1 μg/ml, with a strong inhibition of intracellular amastigote proliferation. Ultrastructural analysis demonstrated cytoplasmic and nuclear extraction, while the plasma membrane remained morphologically preserved. Our data show that lemongrass essential oil is effective against T. cruzi trypomastigotes and amastigotes, and that its main component, citral, is responsible for the trypanocidal activity. These results indicate that essential oils can be promising anti-parasitic agents, opening perspectives to the discovery of more effective drugs of vegetal origin for treatment of parasitic diseases. However, additional cytotoxicity experiments on different cell lines and tests in a T. cruzi-mouse model are needed to support these data.