Citronella Essential Oil
Citronella, Cymbopogon winterianus, oil is steam distilled from the leaves of a grass plant that resembles and is closely related to lemongrass. There are actually two types of citronella plants from which the oil can be extracted, Cymbopogon winterianus, also called Java citronella which is a bit sweeter and more lemony, and Cymbopogon nardus--both of which are native to Southeast Asia. Both plants will give off a lemony scent as the natural citronella oil evaporates from its leaves.
As a concentrated form of antioxidants and phytochemicals taken from the plant’s stems and leaves, citronella oil has been used for centuries in Asian countries to help decrease rashes, inflammation, infections, pain, and other health conditions. Since it helps increase blood flow, a massage with citronella in a carrier oil can be used to help reduce the pain associated with arthritis problems.
Since it naturally repels mosquitos and other bugs, the most popular use for citronella is as an ingredient in insect repellents. Citronella has been registered as a gentle, plant-based insect repellent in the United States since 1948, and Environmental Protection Agency considers citronella to be a “biopesticide” that has a non-toxic mode of action against insects. Citronella needs to be reapplied often to be an effective mosquito repellent.
Aromatherapy Properties: The aroma of citronella is fresh, lemony, citrus, fruity, and sweet. Obviously, it is most often used to repel insects. It has also been reported to relax the body and mind, help uplift negative moods, ease headaches, and boost energy.
Interesting Note: Like all essential oils, citronella oil is not one pure chemical but is composed of many different compounds. The main components that provide its distinctive scent, geraniol, citronellal, and citronellol, are also found in other plants. The "mosquito" plant found in nurseries in the U.S. is not a true citronella plant. It is actually a strongly scented geranium plant, Pelargonium citrosum. You will notice that its leaves look like geranium leaves and not like lemongrass.
Pregnancy & Children: We do not provide information on the safety of essential oils during Pregnancy or for use in Children because the available information is very ambiguous and often contradictory. If you’re interested in using essential oils during pregnancy or with young children please do your own research and consult your doctor, midwife, or health care professional before use.
Precautions: If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, have a medical condition, or have any medical concerns regarding yourself or your family consult a qualified, licensed health professional prior to use. For external use only. Keep away from eyes and mucous membranes. Keep out of reach of children.
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