20 November 2008

Citronella Essential Oil is commonly known for it's natural insect repellent properties, though it has many other uses in aromatherapy. This oil is the known as Java citronella, and has a fresh, powerful, lemon-like scent. It is higher in Citronellal and Citronellol than the Ceylon or nardus variety. The oil can effectively be used in a nebulizing or humidifying diffuser for this purpose; when travelling, some folks will place drops on tissues and place them near open windows in their rooms.

Botanical Name
Cymbopogon nardus

It originated in Sri Lanka and Java


Consistency/ Viscosity

Perfumery Note

Citrusy (similar to lemongrass), slightly fruity, fresh, sweet

Strength of Initial Aroma

Extraction Method
It is extracted from the botanical matter using steam distillation

Constituents and Chemical Composition
Borneol, Citronellic, Citronellol, Citral, Citronellal, Camphene, Dipentene, Geraniol, Nerol and Limonene

Therapeutic Properties
Antiseptic, deodorant, insecticide, parasitic, stimulant and tonic

Uses for Health Benefits (Indications)
  • Mostly used for repelling insects
  • It is also used in ridding dogs and cats of fleas
  • It clears the mind and tones the body
  • It may be helpful in the case of flu, cold and minor infections
  • It also has deodorizing qualities
  • Traditionally has been used as an antiseptic, antispasmodic, bactericidal, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, fungicidal, stomachic, tonic and vermifuge
  • Citronella may help with oily skin and excessive perspiration
  • In Chinese medicine, it is used for rheumatic pain
  • Citronella oil is considered to have warming and 'activating' qualities on both mental and physical levels
  • Citronella can be added to a carrier oil at 3 drops per teaspoon and massaged into aching joints and muscles
  • Eucalyptus can be added to enhance the warming effect, or Lavender to bring a soothing balance
  • On a mental level, Citronella can be clarifying and balancing. Combining it with Lemon oil can bring even more of a brightening effect to the mind
  • Possible sensitization
  • Lawless says to avoid Citronella during pregnancy
  • It may irritate skin
  • Always test a small amount of essential oil first for sensitivity or allergic reaction. If pregnant, use under a doctor's care
Blend With
Bergamot, Cedarwood oil, Geranium, Lemon, Lavender, Orange and Pine


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