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Citronella oil is an essential oil from the grasses in the genus Cymbopogon that grows in Asia. Because this grass smells like citrus fruits and flowers, the French called it “lemon balm.”
Like many other essential oils, citronella oil has a lot of good qualities. It has been used for a long time to treat rashes, infections, and other health problems in China and Indonesia.
Even though most people know citronella oil as a natural way to keep bugs away, it has many more uses and benefits than that.
In this post, we’ll talk about the benefits of citronella oil, how to use it, and what to look for when buying the oil.
Citronella has been used for many things for thousands of years, including:
Citronella oil can be used to keep insects away, fight parasitic infections caused by the fungus, heal wounds, improve mood or fight fatigue in perfumes, and make food taste better.
But does scientific research support these uses? Citronella and other essential oils are still being studied, but there is some evidence that citronella oil is good for your health.
In more detail, let’s look at what the study has found.
A study from 2011
Eleven tests were done to see how well different kinds of citronella worked to keep mosquitoes from biting. It found that putting together citronella oil and vanillin, which is found in vanilla beans, kept mosquitoes away for up to three hours.
Also, the researchers found that DEET kept mosquitoes away for a much longer time than citronella oil alone.
In 2015, a report looked at how well DEET, citronella oil, and fennel oil kept bugs away. The researchers found that DEET kept mosquitoes away more than 90% of the time for six hours.
After only two hours, citronella and fennel oil had about 57% and 47% protection rates, respectively.
Another study looked at how well different mosquito repellents worked and found that citronella candles did not work.
For citronella to work as a mosquito repellent, it needs to be used often. But if you mix it with vanillin, it may keep you safe for up to three hours. Studies show that it doesn’t keep mosquitoes away as well as DEET.
Studies have shown that citronella oil has antifungal properties that may help weaken or get rid of some types of fungus that can be harmful to health.
Study results from 2013: The fungus Aspergillus niger was used to test how well citronella oil worked as an antifungal. It is thought that people with weak immune systems get lung and sinus infections from this common fungus.
Citronella oil was shown to break down the fungus’s cell wall and kill the organisms inside the cell that could cause an infection. So, the researchers thought that citronella oil could be used as a safe and good for the environment fungicide.
In a previous study, it was shown that citronella oil worked against all 12 of the fungi that were used. In the same test, citronella oil stopped 15 of the 22 germs from spreading, while eucalyptus, lemongrass, peppermint, and orange oils stopped all 22 types of bacteria from spreading.
In 2016, researchers looked at how well citronella oil and cinnamon oil worked against Candida albicans, a fungus that can cause infections in the mouth and other body parts.
At first, both essential oils stopped the growth of live bacteria. But after 48 hours, the effect was not very big.
The authors say that putting a solution of either oil on this fungus every day might help get rid of it.
Citronella oil seems to be a potent antifungal agent. In some cases, you may need to reapply once a day to keep fungal infections under control.
It can also kill bacteria, but not as well as some other essential oils, which can kill a wider range of bacteria and germs.
Recent studies suggest that citronella oil may be able to help wounds heal faster. This may be very important for people with diabetes, whose wounds take longer to heal.
In 2016, a study was done on animals to find out what effect citronella oil had on the healing of Candida-infected wounds in diabetic mice. Citronella oil can kill fungi and reduce inflammation. The researchers found that wounds healed faster when these two things were used together.
Citronella oil may help wounds heal because it kills fungus and reduces inflammation. But there hasn’t been much research in this area, and more tests on people are needed to see how well it works.
Weight Loss: According to a report from 2015: According to Trusted Source, rats didn’t gain or lose weight when they breathed in citronella oil or some of its parts. Researchers found that breathing in parts of citronella oil decreased appetite, lowered cholesterol, and slowed down weight gain.
In a small study, rats who inhaled citronella lost weight and had lower levels of cholesterol when they did so. More research is needed to figure out how well it helps people lose weight.
In 2001, researchers looked at what happened when people breathed in citronella, lavender, and rosemary essential oils. Lavender was found to calm the brain, while rosemary was found to wake it up. On the other hand, citronella had a more complicated effect that was somewhere in the middle. The authors say that citronella may have different effects on different people.
Some people may feel calm when they breathe in citronella, while others may feel energized.
There are many ways to use citronella oil. Here are some things that could happen.
You can use a spray to make a place smell better or to keep insects away from your skin. Here are the steps you need to take to make a citronella oil spray:
Mix citronella oil and water in a spray bottle made of glass. 10 to 15 drops per ounce of water is what the NAHA recommends.
The step that you don’t have to do: Water does not dissolve essential oils. Think about adding something like soluble to your solution to help it spread out.
Before spraying, give the bottle a good shake.
Because citronella oil works for less time than repellents like DEET, you may need to use it more often if you want to keep bugs away.
A diffuser is a piece of equipment that spreads scents around a room. As with spraying, this method can be used to keep insects away or give a place a nice smell.
Diffusers usually come with a set of instructions on how to use them. To use citronella oil in a diffuser the right way, make sure to carefully follow the directions on the bottle.
Citronella oil can also be made into lotions and oils to put on the skin. When used in this way, citronella oil may help get rid of bacteria and fungus on the skin and speed up the healing of wounds.
Always mix essential oils with carrier oil before putting them on your skin.
Follow the steps below to make a citronella massage oil or lotion.
Here are the steps you need to take to make massage oil:
Citronella oil should be mixed with carrier oil, like jojoba or coconut oil. The NAHA says that 15 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil makes a 2.5 percent dilution.
If you have very sensitive skin, you might want to use a 1% solution (6 drops per ounce of carrier oil).
Here are the steps you need to take to make a cream or lotion:
Citronella oil should be mixed with a cream or lotion that doesn’t have a scent.
For normal skin, the NAHA suggests a dilution of 1 to 2.5 percent (6 to 15 drops per ounce), and for sensitive skin, 0.5 to 1 percent (3 to 6 drops per ounce).
Follow these rules when using citronella oil to stay safe:
When using citronella oil for aromatherapy, make sure the room you are in has plenty of airflows. Think about the fact that children and pets might breathe in aromatherapy. Some essential oils are very dangerous.
Before you use citronella oil, you should talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking any prescription drugs.
Citronella oil can make the skin itch or cause an allergic reaction. Because of this, the area may become red, blotchy, itchy, or swollen.
Before putting citronella oil on your skin, test a small amount of diluted citronella oil on a small patch of skin to see if it causes a reaction. If you are allergic, don’t use citronella oil or things that contain it.
Even though citronella oil hasn’t been linked to anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction, it’s still a good idea to know the signs because it’s a medical emergency. Keep an eye out for trouble breathing
coughing or wheezing, throat swelling, red rash, chest pain, nausea, and diarrhea.
You can buy citronella oil at natural food stores and on the internet.
Keep the following things in mind to choose a good oil:
Look for the words Cymbopogon nardus or Cymbopogon winterianus on the label. Also, C. nardus is sometimes called a “Ceylon type,” and C. winterianus is sometimes called a “Java type.”
Please remember that lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a different essential oil with a scientific name that sounds like the name of another oil. If you’re looking for citronella, don’t mix the two up.
Make sure the oil is stored in a dark container because light can break down essential oils.
If you can, smell the oil before you buy it. Citronella has an unmistakable aroma. Do not buy the item if it does not smell like citronella.
Be wary of claims that a product will cure a certain illness. The FDA does not regulate essential oils in the same way that it does drugs.
On the label, it should say how pure it is. If the product is not made entirely of essential oils, the label should say so.
Citronella oil is often used to keep insects away, but research shows that it may also be able to kill fungus and help wounds heal.
Citronella oil can be used in a diffuser or spray bottle, or it can be mixed with carrier oil or lotion before being put on the skin.
If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your doctor before taking citronella oil.