Citronella (Citronella Java, Cymbopogon winterianus, Cymbopogon nardus)
| Citronella is a grass that mainly grows in some Asian countries and some islands of the South Pacific. It has a rich, crisp lemony aroma and thus bears the name citronella. The essential oil of citronella is extracted from two varieties of citronella. The first one is the Ceylon variety, whose scientific name is Cymbopogon nardus and the second one is Java variety, called Cymbopogon winterianus in botanical terminology. In both cases, the essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of the fresh plant.|
The health benefits of citronella essential oil can be attributed to its properties as an antibacterial, antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, deodorant, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, fungicidal, insect repellent, stomachic, stimulant, tonic, and vermifuge substance.
While the first variety yields an oil whose main components are citronellol, citronellal, geraniol, limonene, and methyl isoeugenol, the oil obtained from the second variety contains citronellal, geraniol, geranyl acetate, and limonene as its chief constituents, with geraniol and citronellal higher in concentrations than the former variety. Hence, the oil obtained from the Java variety is considered to be higher quality. The main producers of this essential oil are China and Indonesia. This oil is also produced by certain other Asian, South & Latin American and African countries in smaller amounts.
Apart from being used as a flavoring agent for foods and beverages, it has varied medicinal uses.
Inhibits Bacterial Growth
Components like methyl isoeugenol and a few others that are found in citronella essential oil are responsible for this property. They kill bacteria and inhibit any further bacterial growth in the body. This is particularly helpful in treating infections in wounds, as well as in the colon, urethra, urinary bladder, stomach, intestines, urinary tracts, prostate, and kidneys.
Citronella oil fights depression and gives relief from anxiety, sadness, and negative feelings. It induces a fresh, happy feeling and hope.
The antiseptic properties of citronella essential oil fight infections in wounds,
Citronella essential oil relieves spasms of the muscles, respiratory system, and nervous system.
Citronella essential oil relieves inflammation and removes toxins from the body
Removes Bad Odor
The crisp, rich citrus or lemon-like aroma of citronella oil drives away body odor and is used in deodorants and body sprays, although in very small quantities, since in heavy doses it may create skin irritations. It can also be mixed with the bath water to have a refreshing bath.
The diaphoretic properties of citronella essential oil increase sweating and promote the removal of toxins and other unwanted materials like excess water, fat, and salts from the body. This makes the body feel lighter, keeps the skin healthy and also reduces fever. This also protects you from certain infections.
Inhibits Fungal Growth
Citronella oil kills fungus and inhibits fungal growth. This is very useful in countering fungal infections in the ear, nose and throat region. Contracting fungal infections in the ears are very common and can be very serious. It eliminates fungal infections in other parts of the body as well.
This is one of the most commonly used properties of citronella essential oil, as it kills and keeps away insects. It has been found particularly effective on a species of mosquito, called Aedes aegypti whose bite causes the dreaded yellow fever. This is also effective on lice, body and head louse, and fleas.
The stimulating effect of the essential oil of citronella stimulates blood circulation, while also increasing activity in the nervous system. This essential oil also stimulates the immune mechanisms and the metabolism of the body.
Furthermore, this oil can be used in the addressing problems like oily skin, oily hair, abnormal palpitations, colitis, migraine, neuralgia, fatigue, headache, nausea.
Word of Caution: There is no inherent toxicity in the essential oil, but it has been seen to produce irritation, dermatitis or sensitization in the skin if used in high concentrations. It should not be used on the skin of small children and should be avoided during pregnancy.
Blending: The essential oil of citronella forms fine blends with the essential oils of cedarwood, clary sage, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, lemon, peppermint, rosemary, and tea tree.
Disclaimer: The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.