Botanical Family: Gramineae (grasses)
Extraction Method/Origin: Steam distillation from grass—Egypt, Philippines, Sri lanka
Chemical Constituents: Alcohols (>35%): geraniol (>16%), citronnellol (8%), borneol (6%); Phenols: methyl ether (<10%), methyl isoeugenol (<10%), isoeugenol (7%); Monoterpenes: d-limonene (<10%); Aldehydes: citronnellal (<7%).
Properties: Antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, deodorizing, and insecticidal.
Common Primary Uses: Bug repellent, insect repellent.
Historical Uses: This oil belongs to the same family of aromatic, oil-rich tropical grasses as lemongrass and palmarosa. It has been used as an insecticide and for rheumatic problems or other aches and pains. The leaves of citronella have been utilized by many diverse cultures for fever, intestinal parasites, digestive and menstrual problems, and as a stimulant. This oil is hardly used alone in therapy, but because of its highly antiseptic and deodorizing properties, it is used a great deal in commercial preparations and in some aromatherapy blends.
Other Possible Uses: Citronella may help with colds, fatigue, flu, headaches, minor infections, migraines, neuralgia, excessive perspiration, and oily skin. Can be used as an antiseptic to sanitize and deodorize surfaces where food has been prepared. Combined with cedarwood, it makes an excellent insect repellent.
Body System(s) Affected: Muscles and Bones, Skin.
Aromatic Influence: May increase the heart rate.
Application: Dilute, and apply directly on area of concern.
Oral Use As Dietary Suppliment: Generally regarded as safe (GRAS) for human consumption by the FDA. Dilute one drop oil in 1 tsp. honey or in 4 oz. of beverage (i.e. soy/rice milk). Not for children under 6 years old; use with caution and in greater dilution for children 6 years old and over.
Safety Data: Repeated use can result in extreme contact sensitization. Use with caution during pregnancy. Can irritate sensitive skin. Inhaling citronella can increase the heart rate.
Blend Classification: Personifier.
Blends With: Bergamot, cedarwood, geranium, lemon, orange, and pine.
Odor: Type: Top Note (5–20% of the blend); Scent: Citrusy, slightly fruity, fresh, sweet; Intensity: 3.