Citronella essential oil, cymbopogon nardus, is steam distilled from the leaves (grass), has a distinctly lemony, sharp and camphor like scent. Citronella oil is commonly used to deter insects, flea collars, bug sprays, and candles to keep away mosquitoes and other pesky insects. It is sometimes used to treat colds, infections, and oily complexions, and to help relieve insomnia. It is rarely used in cosmetics as it can irritate the skin. Citronella oil has been used for its aromatic and medicinal value in many cultures. It has been used for fever, intestinal parasites, digestive and menstrual problems, excessive perspiration, oily skin, cold, flu, minor infections, fatigue, headaches, migraine, neuralgia, as a stimulant and insect repellent. Mixed with cedarwood oil in, it was a popular remedy against mosquito attacks before the advent of DDT and modern insecticides.
Citronella is a tall, aromatic, perennial grass, which has derived from the wild- growing "managrass" found in Sri Lanka. This grass is a coarse, clump-forming tropical grass that can grow 5-6 ft (1.5-1.8 m) tall. The stems are cane like and the leaves are grayish green, flat, about 3 ft (0.9 m) long and 1 in (2.5 cm) or so wide. It does not spread by runners, as some grasses do, but the clump increases in size as the plant matures. It is native to Southeast Asia and grown commercially in Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Indonesia and Java. It is widely naturalized in tropical Asia and grown as an ornamental in South Florida and southern California. The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the fresh, partly-dried, or dried grass.
Citronella essential oil, cymbopogon nardus, blends well with the following essential oils: lemongrass, eucalyptus, rosemary, lavender, peppermint, cajeput, vanilla, and bergamot.
Citronella essential oil cautions - It is rarely used in cosmetics as it can irritate the skin.
Citronella essential oil properties - Citronella is commonly used to deter insects flea collars, bug sprays, and candles to keep away mosquitoes and other pesky insects. Sometimes used to treat colds, infections, and oily complexions, and can help relieve insomnia.