Citronella oil comes from the stems and leaves of the Asian grass plant known as Cymbopogon nardus. You may recognize citronella oil for its use in insect repellents, but did you know that has many health benefits as well? Citronella essential oil is a concentrated form of antioxidants and phytochemicals that can be used to treat rashes, infections, pain, inflammation and other health conditions. (1)
Citronella Oil Uses
1. Anti-inflammatory and Pain Reliever
Citronella essential oil is a natural anti-inflammatory. The antioxidants it contains work to increase blood flow and reduce pain, which makes it a natural rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. To reduce swelling and joint pain, soak in a warm bath with citronella essential oil or massage 2-3 drops of citronella oil with a carrier oil and massage it into swollen joints, muscles and tissues. (2)
2. Stress Reducer
When used in aromatherapy, citronella essential oil works as a natural stress-reducer. The oil can help relax your mind and encourage a better night’s sleep. Try diffusing it in your bedroom, spraying it into your sheets or massaging it into your skin before bed.
3. Digestive Aid
The compounds in citronella oil that are capable of killing harmful organisms support the natural detoxification process in the body. Citronella oil helps support digestion by reducing inflammation and ridding the body of toxins.
4. Muscle Relaxant
Citronella essential oil can be combined with a carrier oil to help soothe sore muscles, which may prove especially helpful when dealing with PMS symptoms. To reduce pain associated with cramps and swelling, massage citronella oil and a carrier oil onto sore muscles or onto the abdomen to improve blood flow and reduce muscle cramps. (3)
5. Natural Perfume
Citronella oil smells similar to lemon. It has the same clean, fresh scent, which is why its a common ingredient in soaps, candles and perfumes. To use citronella essential oil as a natural perfume, run a small amount through your dishwasher, refrigerator and washer to get rid of any unpleasant scents.
6. Natural Shampoo and Conditioner
Adding citronella oil to your shampoo or conditioner can help eliminate excess oil while fighting off dandruff and keeping a healthy shine. Citronella essential oil also helps detangle stubborn knots and protect hair from sun damage. Add several drops to your natural shampoo or conditioner.
7. Skin Care
Citronella essential oil can be used on the skin to help heal dermatitis, bug bites and fungal infections and naturally treat eczema. When it penetrates the skin, the oil speeds up healing and removes bacteria, which also makes it a natural remedy for acne, warts and age spots. (4)
8. Insect Repellent
Citronella oil is often used as a natural, plant-based insect repellent. To keep bugs away, apply the oil every 30-60 minutes. You can also combine several drops of citronella oil with coconut oil and use a spray bottle to apply it. (5)
9. Kitchen Cleaner
Thanks to the anti-fungal and antibacterial properties of citronella oil, it can be used as a natural cleaning product. Use it to clean the kitchen, bathroom and other household surfaces without the danger of inhaling chemicals from commercial cleaning products.
10. Detox Enhancer
Citronella oil is a natural diuretic, which draws harmful toxins out of the body. Mix 1-2 drops of pure citronella essential oil with raw honey, lemon and hot water. Drink the mixture to help eliminate excess sodium, uric acid and other toxins.