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Citronella Essential Oil


If you’re like most people, when you think of citronella you think of insect repellants. While this is a common use for citronella, it has also been used in aromatherapy for many years for its therapeutic actions. Citronella essential oil has actually been reported to be as effective as penicillin against certain strains of bacteria.

Name of Oil:  Citronella

Latin Binomial:  Cymbopogon nardus

Extraction Method:  Steam

Countries of Origin:  Sri Lanka

Scent Profile:  Fresh, sweet, fruity, citrusy

Parts used in distillation:  Grass

Oil Characteristics:  Clear, thin, medium aroma

Cultivation:  Certified Organic


Used in aromatherapy for the symptomatic relief of:

Muscle aches, skin infections, insect repellant, insect bites, fatigue, arthritis, fungal infections, bacterial infections, colds and flu.

Used in aromatherapy to help ease emotional symptoms of:

No reported emotional uses.


Citronella has been widely used in India and Sri Lanka to treat cuts, abrasions, and swellings. It has been used in detergents, soaps, and household cleaners for many years.

Chemical Constituents

a-pinene, camphene, limonene, cis-ocimene, trans-ocimene, citronellal, camphor, b-caryophyllene, 4-terpinenol, citronellyl acetate, geranyl formate, 1-borneol, citronellol, nerol, geraniol, geranyl butyrate, methyl eugenol, elemol, methyl iso-eugenol

Safety & References

Safety Data:

Risk of skin reaction, follow proper dilution guidelines.

Books Cited:

The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 2nd Edition – Salvatore Battaglia

Essential Oil Safety , 2nd Edition – Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young

Aromatherapy – Jennifer Peace Rhind

The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy – Valerie Wormwood

Aromatherapeutic Blending – Jennifer Peace Rhind

The Fragrant Mind – Valerie Wormwood

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