Citronella oil is extracted from a species of lemon grass of biological name is Cymbopogon nardus. It is extracted through the method of steam distillation. The grass is thin and tall and grows all round the year. The oil has a citrusy, fresh and sweet aroma or medium strength. The oil is of thin consistency. The plant is native to Sri Lanka but is also found in Java. So, there are two varieties of oil, each from its respective place. Java citronella oil is higher in quality when compared to Srilankan oil. The oil has a number of health benefits and is used extensively in aromatherapy. However, the strongest properties of citronella oil are its strong insect repellant properties.
What is unique about citronella oil?
Health benefits of citronella oil are due to the presence of compounds such as citronellal, hydroxyl citronellol and geraniol. Other components present in the oil are methyl isoeugenol, geranyl acetate and limonene. The oil is an excellent antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial and anti-infectious agent.
Health Benefits of Citronella Oil
Health benefits of citronella oil are many. They are listed below.
Benefits for the digestive system : Health benefits of citronella essential oil are very profound. The oil helps in removing worms from the stomach and intestines. It is a natural de-worming solution for the body. In addition, the oil increases appetite and promotes urine production, thereby acting as an effective natural diuretic. The oil also helps in solving the problem of water retention. Muscle spasms in the stomach can be controlled with the use of this oil .
Benefits for pain relief : Citronella oil is effective in reducing pain in bones and joints. The best way to use the oil is to add three drops of citronella oil to a carrier oil and massage on the aching joints. The oil can also be used to reduce muscle pains. The oil has a warming effect which relieves cramps and spasms in the muscles. The oil is a very effective spasmodic and helps in providing relief from stomach cramps as well .
Benefits for the mind and brain : Citronella essential oil is a known antidepressant. It is known to elevate moods, remove feelings of depression and anxiety, reduce mental fatigue and promote happy feelings. The oil is also known to promote hope in people, which has an extremely therapeutic effect on the mind. The oil gives mental stability and balance. So, it helps in better decision making by bringing clarity in thought .
Benefits against wounds and infections : The strong antiseptic properties of citronella oil helps in protecting wounds and injuries from infections and from turning septic. The oil kills any bacterial growth that is likely to develop in the wound. So, they aid in healing of the wounds and removing infections. Internal infections such as infections in the kidneys, urinary tract, intestines, prostrate, colon, urinary bladder, urethra and stomach can be curtailed by the use of this oil .
Benefits against inflammation : Internal inflammations in the body such as in the stomach, intestines, digestive system and liver can be cured with the use of citronella essential oil. In some cases, inflammations are caused due to use of certain kinds of medication. Drug addicts and alcoholics also suffer internal inflammation. The oil helps in soothing inflammation due to all these reasons. The relief is quick. In addition, the oil prevents any toxins from causing damage in the body. So, it also helps in body detoxification.
Benefits for body detoxification : Citronella oil promotes sweating and hence, helps in removing toxin through sweat. As mentioned above, it also prevents toxins from becoming active in the body. This property of the oil is called diaphoretic properties. It removes excess oil, salts and fats from the body as well. So, it provides relief from problems arising due to water retention. Weight loss becomes more effective when the body is free of toxins and other unwanted substances in the body. Blood circulation improves. When toxins are removed from the body, pains due to rheumatism and arthritis are also largely curbed .
Benefits for the skin : By promoting effective body detoxification, the oil keeps the skin glowing and healthy. Skin infections are also prevented due to the antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Infections such as acne which arise when sebum in the skin is infected can be prevented. The oil can be applied on the acne areas after diluting it to 10% or less .
Benefits against body odor : Citronella oil has a citrusy lemon kind of flavor which effectively cuts out the bad body odor. The smell is long lasting. The oil can be mixed with bath water in order to obtain a natural fragrance of the body. When used in bath, the oil is extremely refreshing .
Benefits for the renal system : Citronella essential oil helps in increasing urination, which also contributes to body detoxification. Waste substances such as salts, excess bile and uric acid are effectively flushed out of the body through urine. It keeps the renal system healthy . Infections of the renal system can also be avoided.
Benefits for general health : Citronella oil acts as a tonic and improves general health. It has strong antifungal, antiseptic and antibacterial properties which help in safeguarding health. It stimulates the secretion of enzymes and hormones and hence, keeps the body working in optimum condition .
Other benefits of Citronella Essential oil
Citronella oil is an excellent insect repellant. The oil can be applied on the body to be safe from bites and allergies. The oil is very effective in preventing parasitic infestations such as lice, louse and fleas. Fungal infections in the throat, nose and eats can be curtailed with the help of citronella oil. It helps in fighting fever and bringing down the temperature of the body. The oil is effective against nausea, headaches, oiliness in the skin and hair and fatigue .
Precautions while using Citronella Essential oil
The oil causes irritation when used in higher concentrations. 10% dilution is recommended for superficial application. Pregnant women should use the oil only under expert advice because the oil stimulates hormones and enzymes in the body. People with dry skin should not use the oil since it can make the skin drier. A patch test is necessary before use .
The many health benefits of citronella oil can be obtained by using it in the right manner. The oil promotes wholesome mental and emotional well being.