Citronella oil has been used as a natural insect repellent for many years, and its scent is common in candles and bug sprays. Citronella oil also has properties that reduce inflammation and pain when used as a natural pain reliever. Certain compounds in citronella fight free radical damage, protecting cells from disease and deterioration. Natural antifungal and antibacterial properties can assist with common skin ailments, such as athlete’s foot and acne. With its strong, fresh scent, citronella oil is the perfect all-natural kitchen cleaner and deodorizer.
• Citrus scent that’s slightly herbaceous.
• Reduces pain and fever.
• Natural insect repellent.
100% Essential oil of citronella
HOW TO USE
Essential oils have the natural ability to heal, soothe, and stimulate. With antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties, essential oils have a wide variety of uses.
Sniff essential oils right from the bottle for an instant pick-me-up, to relive anxiety, or to induce relaxation. Add to carrier oil, such as jojoba, and use in a soothing massage. Place a few drops in diffuser to eliminate household odors. Add to cleaning products for more antibacterial and antimicrobial power. During cold and flu season, diffuse daily to stimulate immunity. Mix with carrier oil and apply to the skin to heal wounds. Add a drop or two to your face serum and apply daily to and protect skin against the signs of aging.
Before applying to skin, do a patch test.
How to patch test – Wash, clean, and dry the area on your upper arm near the crook of your elbow. Apply small amount of essential oil and cover with a bandage. Leave the bandage on for 24 hours, then remove and check for irritation. If skin looks clear and there is no reaction after the allotted test time, the oil is presumably safe to use. If you feel irritation at any time duringthe test, remove bandage and wash area with soap and water.
Citronella Essential Oil
Both intense and both bearing a lemon-like aroma, there are two types of citronella essential oils. First, you have the Java variety (Cymbopogon winterianus) and then you have the Ceylon variety (Cymbopogon nardus).
Today, we will be delving deep into Ceylon citronella oil and find out all there is to know about this fascinating oil. Let’s get started!
What is Citronella Essential Oil Made Of?
Ceylon citronella essential oil is derived from an aromatic grass from the Poaceae family: citronella (meaning “lemon balm” in French). Tall and slender, citronella is often mistaken for lemongrass because of the similarity in their appearance.
Citronella thrives in tropical and subtropical climates as it needs plenty of sunshine and constant rainfall throughout the year. Hence, if you have a look at the medical history of countries like China, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka, you will notice citronella’s prominent presence as a natural remedy.
Today, Ceylon citronella essential oil remains highly-prized not only because of its medicinal properties but also because of its many other benefits.
How is Ceylon Citronella Essential Oil Extracted?
First, the leaves of the citronella are harvested, usually with a sickle. The leaves are then left to dry for approximately 24 hours in order to remove any excess moisture. Next, the leaves are steam distilled to get the yellow essential oil.
This is where hot steam is pushed through the leaves. The steam is then cooled into a mixture of citronella essential oil and water. As the oil will float to the top, it can then be separated from the water.
Benefits of Ceylon Citronella Essential Oil
1. Naturally repels insects
Ceylon citronella essential oil is, of course, most popularly known for its ability to repel insects. In fact, citronella has been registered as a plant-based insect repellent in the United States since 1948.
Studies have found that the oil is effective on mosquitoes — particularly Aedes aegypti, which are responsible for spreading dengue fever and the Zika virus.
Besides that, research published in the Israel Medical Association Journal concluded that citronella can be used as an effective lice-control.
To ward of insects, you can combine several drops of the Ceylon citronella essential oil with coconut oil and use it just like a body lotion. Reapply every few hours or when needed. Alternatively, add the essential oil to a spray bottle with water and spray it all over your body and clothes for fuller coverage.
If your pet is flea-ridden, spray or rub a bit of citronella on its collar to keep those dreaded parasites away from your furkid. Your home can also benefit from the oil as well. Place a few drops of the essential oil into your diffuser to ensure that your home is insect-free.
2. Inhibits fungal growth
Aside from keeping the bugs away, Ceylon citronella essential oil is also an effective antifungal agent. Multiple studies have shown that citronella oil kills fungus and inhibits fungal growth that can cause health problems.
A study in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology explored the antifungal effect of the essential oil against a strain of fungus called Aspergillus niger — a common contaminant of food. The study found that citronella oil ruptures the cell wall of the fungus and ultimately kills the harmful organisms within the cell that can cause infection.
Plus, Ceylon citronella essential oil is also effective in inhibiting Candida fungus, athlete’s foot, and acne.
For an easy at-home remedy to inhibit fungus, dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil (such as coconut oil) and apply topically.
3. Reduces pain
If you are looking for a natural alternative to painkiller pills, Ceylon citronella essential oil is it. While citronella is not as effective as over-the-counter pills (and, therefore, not appropriate for serious pain), its analgesic properties can absolutely help you to manage lower levels of pain.
4. Fights infections and bacteria
Ceylon citronella essential oil targets bacteria like Escherichia coli to prevent infections (in wounds and even infections in the digestive system, urethra, prostate, and kidneys), pneumonia, and food-borne illnesses. Apart from that, even the cultivation of seafood is safer because of citronella essential oil usage as commercial antibiotics for aquaculture use.
Additionally, you can also use citronella oil to clean your home — especially the kitchen and the bathroom. Simply dilute the essential oil with some water in a spray bottle and get to work. Its citrusy and uplifting scent is sure to naturally refresh the house, too.
5. Promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety
As Ceylon citronella essential oil is an anxiolytic, it helps to reduce anxiety and works as a natural stress relief. So, whip out the essential oil and diffuse it in your home when you are having a rough day. It will ease negative feelings such as sadness, stress, and anxiety. The essential oil may even help to lull you to sleep, too.
A study in 2012 also showed that citronella appears to activate both sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous activity. The sympathetic nervous system essentially reinvigorates you and prepares the body for physical activity. It is what is commonly referred to as the fight-or-flight response. The parasympathetic nervous system, on the other hand, slows down and relaxes your body. Thus, citronella oil puts you in the optimum state of being both stimulated and relaxed.
6. Excellent as shampoo and conditioner
If you have not tried using Ceylon citronella oil to cleanse and condition your hair, you are missing out! The essential oil eliminates excess oil, dandruff, grease, and knots while adding shine and volume to your mane.
For a shampoo that rids your hair and scalp of all the undesirable things, mix two to three drops of the essential oil with your regular shampoo. You can do the same for conditioner or, alternatively, warm up a few drops of the essential oil and work it into the ends of your hair. After a couple of minutes, rinse out the oil. You can use the oil to style your locks, too. In this case, a very small amount of citronella oil is needed.
Mixing Ceylon Citronella Essential Oil with Other Essential Oils
Any citrusy essential oils will blend well with Ceylon citronella essential oils. So, try and mix citronella with essential oils like bergamot, lemon, and orange. Apart from that, Ceylon citronella oil also does well with woodsy scents like cedarwood, pine, and sandalwood.
Other Good-to-Know Information
Generally, Ceylon citronella essential oil is considered extremely safe to be used. However, it would be best to still take some precautions.
First, before using the essential oil, always start with a patch test first. This is to ensure that you do not have any adverse reaction to the oil such as swelling, redness, or hives. Besides that, you should also avoid getting the essential oil near your eyes, inner nose, or other especially sensitive areas to prevent side effects. Side effects, in this case, include irritation of the skin, seizures, and more.
Is Ceylon Citronella Essential Oil Right for You?
Brimming with benefits for your skin, body, hair, and home, Ceylon citronella essential oil is considered to be one of the best essential oils in the market. So, there is really no reason to not give this essential oil a try.