Citronella: Product Highlight
Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) is an aromatic perennial grass plant in the Poaceae family. It is believed to have originated in Sri Lanka and now grows natively in tropical regions of South Asia, including India and Vietnam, as well as in Africa, from southern Sudan to South Africa. Citronella grows in clumps that can reach between five and eight feet in height and three to five feet wide. The plant is a tall grass with long, narrow blade-like leaves that are bright green in color. Citronella flowers are small and cream-colored, growing in narrow clusters at the end of stems that extend beyond the grassy foliage.
The name Citronella is derived from the French word ‘citronelle’ which means ‘lemon liquor’ and likely refers to the plant's citrusy aroma. The plant's leaves and extracted essential oil have been used in perfumery and religious practices for centuries. Citronella Oil has been utilized in traditional medicine practice across Sri Lanka and other parts of southern Asia to soothe pain and inflammation and repel insects. In the seventeenth century, the first evidence of the use of Citronella Essential Oil was reported by Dr. Nicolas Grim. The use of the oil grew and Sri Lanka became one of the foremost exporters during the eighteenth century before being pushed out of the market when larger countries such as Indonesia began production.
Citronella plants that are grown for essential oil production can be harvested around six to eight months after planting and can continue to be harvested every three months. The leaves are cut from the plant between four to eight inches from the ground and are left to wither and dry slightly in the field for a couple of days before being transported for extraction. One hundred acres of citronella plants can produce around one hundred and fifty pounds of Citronella Essential Oil. Yield may vary depending on the practices of the plantation and the age of the plants. Citronella Essential Oil is extracted from the grassy leaves of the plants through the process of steam distillation. The resulting essential oil is thin and clear to yellow in color, with a sweet citrusy, and herbaceous aroma.
Benefits & Uses
When used in aromatherapy, Citronella Essential Oil has been found to soothe and protect the body, mind, and spirit. It is known to combat feelings of stress and anxiety while encouraging a positive and uplifted mood. Citronella Essential Oil may help ease the pain of headaches and migraines and give the mind and body a boost of energy to help avoid fatigue. Citronella is thought to enhance mental clarity and promote deeper concentration by calming chaotic thoughts and grounding emotions. It is believed to ease coughs and soothe discomfort in the throat and lungs to support healthy respiratory function. Citronella may also help to soothe nausea and calm spasms in the stomach and abdominal muscles. It is thought to help eliminate harmful germs and bacteria from the air while also diminishing unpleasant odors and leaving behind a fresh lemony scent. Citronella Essential Oil may be most well-loved for its believed ability to repel flying pest insects, such as mosquitos and flies.
When diluted and used topically, Citronella Essential Oil is believed to support a healthy complexion by balancing oil production and enhancing the ability of the skin to absorb and retain moisture. It may help to protect the skin from the sun's damaging rays to slow signs of aging and promote a smooth and rejuvenated glow. Citronella Essential Oil is known to encourage quick wound healing by working to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus and ease pain and irritation. Bacteria-fighting properties also help Citronella to diminish body odors and refresh the skin. When used in haircare, it has been found to cleanse the scalp of dandruff and dead skin, and product residue while working to soothe dryness and balance the production of sebum to combat the reoccurrence of buildup. Citronella Essential Oil is believed to help muscles relax, offering relief to pain and working to alleviate muscle spasms and cramping. It is known to support healthy circulation and ease inflammation which may help to reduce swelling, redness, and tenderness in the skin and muscles.
Here are some recipes using Citronella Essential Oil that we love...
Calm the Chaos Diffuser Blend
- 3 drops of Citronella Essential Oil
- 3 drops of Sweet Orange Essential Oil
- 3 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
Add water to your diffuser up to the fill line. Add drops of the essential oil blend. This diffuser blend recipe is formulated for a 200ml ultrasonic diffuser. Adjust the amount according to the size and directions of your diffuser.
Pest Peace Insect Repelling Spray
- 4 oz Amber Glass Bottle with Spray Top
- 1 oz of High Percentage Alcohol
- 1 oz of Witch Hazel Extract
- 1 oz of Distilled Water
- ½ oz of Sweet Almond Oil
- 10 drops of Citronella Essential Oil
- 10 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil
- 10 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
Add 2oz of high-percentage alcohol to the bottle. Add the essential oils, witch hazel, and sweet almond oil, and fill the remainder of the bottle with water, leaving a little space at the top. Shake well before each use. Mist over the body, clothing, and surrounding space to repel insects.
Sweet Flora Multipurpose Hydrating Oil
- 2 oz Amber Glass Bottle with Dropper Top
- 1 oz of Sweet Almond Oil
- 1 oz of Jojoba Oil
- 20 drops of Citronella Essential Oil
- 20 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
- 10 drops of Geranium Essential Oil
Add all ingredients to the amber glass bottle and shake vigorously to combine. Add several drops to your hands and gently massage into the face, body, or scalp to hydrate and soothe.
Healing Boost Foaming Bath Salts
- 1 cup of Course Sea Salt
- ½ cup of Epsom Salt
- 1 oz of Unscented Liquid Castile Soap
- 1/2 oz of Sweet Almond Oil
- 20 drops of Citronella Essential Oil
- 15 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
- 10 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil
Add coarse sea salt and Epsom salt to a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Add castile soap, sweet almond oil, and essential oils to a small bowl and stir together until well combined. Add liquid mixture to salts and stir thoroughly until the mixture is fully incorporated and the salt seems to be evenly coated. Add about ½ cup to a warm bath and stir to dissolve.
Headache Dissolver Roll On
- 10 ml Amber Glass Roll-On Bottle
- 1/3 oz of Fractionated Coconut Oil
- 5 drops of Citronella Essential Oil
- 5 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
Add the essential oils to the bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle to the top with fractionated coconut oil. Replace the rollerball and cap, gently shake, and roll across the skin.