If you’re looking for a multi purpose oil that can provide solutions for pest control, as well as stress relief, citronella oil will do just the trick. This oil is distilled from various species of the lemongrass family. However, these grasses are different from the edible kind that we use in cooking.
Caution: Always use the highest quality of citronella oil you can find. It will have to ‘therapeutic grade’ as well as organic for it to be safe to use, especially if you are ingesting it.
Benefits Of Citronella Oil
1. Shows Anti-Fungal And Antibacterial Properties
This oil is most well known as a natural, relatively harmless pesticide. This is because the oil displays anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.1 You can also use it diluted in water to disinfect counter tops in your kitchen and other parts of your home.
2. Reduces Stress And Anxiety
Citronella may have a relaxing effect on your mind and body, which makes it a great option for those who are looking to de-stress. You can use it diluted in water along with other calming essential oils like lavender or bergamot to lightly spray over your bed linen for a calming effect that will help you fall asleep.
3. Shows Antioxidant Activity
Components in citronella oil have been observed to have antioxidant activity. They help reduce the activity of free radicals.2 You can add a drop of the oil into a glass of water or a smoothie. However, only ingest the oil if you’re assured that it is of the highest quality. Use an organic, ‘therapeutic grade’ oil. This will help you ensure that it is pure and unadulterated oil.
Note: Do not use this remedy with children under the age of 12 or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
4. Insect Repellent
Multiple studies have proven the effectiveness of citronella as an insect repellent. While it doesn’t really kill the insects, it masks odors and scent trails that the insects use to navigate. This encourages them to avoid any area with this strong scent. You can keep citronella plants around your garden or home to keep them at bay. You can also use the oil to repel mosquitoes in the form of bug spray as well as spiders and ants around the house.3 4 It is also effective on things like parasitic worms.5
Recipe For Citronella Bug Spray
While summers can be fun with all the outdoor activity, it also means you and your family are vulnerable to mosquitoes and other biting insects. The citronella in this spray helps mask the scent of sweat and other substances that the insects are attracted to. Use this natural bug spray to keep those nasty critters off you.
- 30 drops of citronella oil
- 70 drops of other mixed essential oils (lavender, lemon eucalyptus, lemongrass,
- ½ cup of water
- ½ cup of natural witch hazel
- 1 tsp of glycerin (optional)
- Put the essential oils into a spray bottle
- Add the witch hazel extract and shake to combine
- Add the glycerin and shake to combine. Glycerine helps to combine all the ingredients
- Add in the water and shake once again.
How To Apply
Before using, make sure to shake again as the water and oil will separate over time. Make sure not to spray on open wounds or cuts. Reapply every few hours while outdoors.
Before using essential oils of any kind on your skin or on places that will come into contact with skin (like bed linen), make sure to do a patch test. Dilute it with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil first. Then apply a small amount to the inside of your arm or wrist and wait 24 hours. If you do not notice any allergic reactions, you may go ahead with the remedy. Always remember to buy the highest quality oil you can.
Citronella is a great multi purpose herb that can keep your family healthy and disease free.
|↑1||Pattnaik, S., V. R. Subramanyam, and C. Kole. “Antibacterial and antifungal activity of ten essential oils in vitro.” Microbios 86, no. 349 (1996): 237-246.|
|↑2||Choi, Hyang-Sook, Hee Sun Song, Hiroyuki Ukeda, and Masayoshi Sawamura. “Radical-scavenging activities of citrus essential oils and their components: detection using 1, 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 48, no. 9 (2000): 4156-4161.|
|↑3||Kongkaew, C., I. Sakunrag, N. Chaiyakunapruk, and A. Tawatsin. “Effectiveness of citronella preparations in preventing mosquito bites: systematic review of controlled laboratory experimental studies.” Tropical Medicine & International Health 16, no. 7 (2011): 802-810.|
|↑4||Wang, Shujie, Wei Lv, and Weiguo Song. “Behavior of ants escaping from a single-exit room.” PloS one 10, no. 6 (2015): e0131784.|
|↑5||Kumaran, Asha M., Prashanth D’Souza, Amit Agarwal, Rama Mohan Bokkolla, and Murali Balasubramaniam. “Geraniol, the putative anthelmintic principle of Cymbopogon martinii.” Phytotherapy Research 17, no. 8 (2003): 957-957.|