Citronella oil

Citronella oil


Common Name:  Citronella oil

Botanical Name:  Cymbopogon winterianus

Other Names:  Andropogon nardus, Cymbopogon nardus, Java Citronella, Ceylon Citronella


There are two types of citronella plants, Ceylon citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) and Java type citronella (Cymbopogon winteratus). The leaves are lemon scented and greenish blue. The highly volatile citronella oil is derived by steam distillation of the leaves and stem. Java citronella gives more yields compared to the Ceylon type and is therefore commercially more preferred. The oil is light yellow to colorless and has a distinct grassy lemony odor. The key chemical components of the oil are citronellic acid, borneol, nerol, citral etc. This plant is a native of Africa and Asia.

Uses of Citronella oil

Aromatherapy: The aroma of citronella oil can be useful in dealing with nervous fatigue. It is used as a massage on head for the treatment of stress and depression. It is also useful in treatment of headaches and migraines. It also creates a mild sensation of warmth and therefore useful in relieving muscle pain and arthritis. However, since it is commonly used as an insect repellant, it is generally not preferred in aromatherapy.

Medical uses: The medical uses of citronella oil include the treatment of flu and cold and also in the treatment of minor infections. It is used in the treatment of many lung infections. It is also used in bringing down fever and controlling excessive perspiration.

Culinary properties:  The oil is used as a mild flavoring agent in a variety of dishes.

Other uses: It is widely used in the perfumery industry and as an effective insect repellant and is an essential ingredient of most of the insect repellents available in the market.


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