If you are familiar with mosquitos, then you probably know about citronella. The plant exhibits an aroma that mosquitos do not like, but the plant is so much more than a natural insect repellent. More importantly, the oil that is extracted from the plant has been used for centuries in China, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. It was primarily used to help reduce the severity of rashes, inflammation, infections, general pain, and more.
What Is Citronella Oil?
According to research studies, pure citronella essential oil exhibits amazing antibacterial and antifungal properties. The various compounds in this oil may also exhibit the following health benefits:
- Fights bacteria and fungi
- Helps fight free radical damage
- Naturally repels insects
- Promotes relaxation
- Reduces inflammation
Currently, there are more than 30 species of citronella plants grown widely throughout certain parts of the world. Although there are that many varieties of the plant, there are only two types of citronella used to achieve pure citronella oil. There is the Java type and the Ceylon type, both of which come from parts of Asia, especially in Sri Lanka. Of the two plant types, Java seems to be more powerful, which is why it is usually more expensive.
Citronella exhibits a similar scent to citrus fruits, wood, and cinnamon. Researchers believe that geraniol, a major constituent of citronella oil, is the active ingredient behind the oil’s health benefits. It may exhibit anthelmintic, antioxidant, anticonvulsant, and wound-healing effects. Continue reading to learn more about the health benefits of citronella oil.
May Help Manage Inflammation And Pain
One review published in the year 2000 examined 34 different citrus essential oils and their compounds for free radical activity. The researchers noted many citrus volatile components, including the main type, geraniol, found in citronella oil. Geraniol exhibited high antioxidant capabilities, which work to fight free radicals that can cause cell damage. The antioxidant and natural pain-relieving properties may help manage inflammation or painful symptoms like achy joints.
Acts As A Natural Perfume
The fresh, clean aroma of citronella oil is very similar to lemon or lemongrass, making citronella oil great for soaps, candles, perfumes, and more. A lot of people like to naturally deodorize the home with citronella oil for that reason. You can use a little bit in your dishwasher, refrigerator, laundry machine, and more, placing a few drops in each appliance when you run it.
Exhibits Natural Antifungal And Antibacterial Properties
Citronella oil may be an effective skin care aid, due to the antifungal and antibacterial properties. Because it acts as both an antifungal and antibacterial agent, citronella oil may benefit common skin complaints, such as acne or athlete’s foot. Other studies found that citronella oil may help get rid of nail fungus and candida. To make a topical citronella spray, always dilute a one to one ratio with a carrier oil, such as olive oil or sweet almond oil.
May Help Destroy Parasites
In vitro research found that geraniol exhibits strong anthelmintic activity, meaning it helps expel worms and parasites. It does this by either stunning or killing them without damaging the host. That is why citronella essential oil is common in parasite cleanses. It may even help prevent external and internal infections from these worms or parasites.
An All-Natural Insect Repellent
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), citronella is a biopesticide. That means that it is a natural, non-toxic ingredient against potentially harmful insects, such as mosquitos. Since 1948, citronella has been registered as a gentle bug spray repellent in the U.S. Studies found that citronella could repel Aedes aegypti mosquitos, which are capable of spreading Zika and dengue fever. Additional research notes that citronella may be effective against head lice, flies, and ticks. Using citronella oil seems to be more effective at repelling insects than lighting citronella candles or incense sticks.
May Help Control Pets
This seems like a strange ability, but research shows that citronella oil may get dogs to stop barking. Dog owners may know that certain anti-bark collars contain citronella for that reason. Collars that contain citronella seem to be as effective as electronic collars, and may be viewed in a more positive light. You can also add several drops of citronella oil to a spray bottle full of water and spray it throughout your home. This will deter dogs from climbing or peeing on furniture. It also helps to control pests, bacteria, and odors.