Citronella Essential Oil Functions
All-Natural Insect Repellent
Citronella has been registered as a gentle, plant-based insect repellent in the U.S. since 1948. It has even been shown to repel dangerous Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are capable of spreading dengue fever and the Zika virus. Research published in The Israel Medical Association Journal also shows how citronella can be effective in helping to prevent head lice, too
Anti-Inflammatory and Pain Reducer
Like many citrus essential oils, citronella contains compounds that fight free radical damage and help reverse oxidative stress. A 2000 review published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry studied 34 different citrus essential oils and their components for radical-scavenging activities. They found that many citrus volatile components, including the main type found in citronella called geraniol, had high antioxidant capabilities for fighting free radicals that can cause disease and cellular damage.
Uplifting and Stress Reducing
Citronella has a citrusy scent that can be both uplifting and relaxing. In fact, research has shown that citronella oil seems to activate both para-sympathetic and sympathetic nervous activity. Citronella can contribute to natural stress relief so try diffusing it in your home or office to counteract a rough day. When inhaled, citronella can encourage relaxation, invigoration and pleasant memories and may even reduce trouble sleeping and depression.
Citronella oil is used to expel worms and parasites from the intestines. In vitro research shows that citronella’s geraniol also has strong anti-helminthic activity, which means it effectively expels parasitic worms and other internal parasites by either stunning or killing them without causing any damage to the host. This is precisely the reason that citronella is used to prevent both internal and external infections, and why it should play a central role in a parasite cleanse.
Natural Perfume or Room Spray
Because it has a clean, fresh scent similar to lemon or lemongrass, citronella is a common ingredient in soaps, candles, incense, perfumes and cosmetics. You can naturally deodorize your home, dishwasher, refrigerator and laundry machine by diffusing citronella or running a cycle of your household appliances with a few drops of citronella included.
Proven to have strong antifungal and antibacterial properties, citronella oil can be used to help clean your kitchen, bathroom or household surfaces without the need for harsh chemicals.
Natural Anti-Fungal and Antibacterial Skin Care Remedy
Aside from keeping away bug bites, citronella can work as a natural skin care aid by killing off bacteria and fungus. Being both an antibacterial and antifungal essential oil, citronella can help with many common skin complaints, including athlete’s foot and acne. Citronella essential oil has also specifically been shown to kill off Candida fungus, which can contribute to many skin concerns such as nail infections
Although it might sound strange, rather than using an electric shock, citronella oil can help dogs to stop barking. This is why they make anti-barking collars that contain citronella. According to the ASPCA, research has shown that a citronella collar can be at least as effective for eliminating barking as an electronic collar, and it’s typically viewed more positively by dog owners.
You can also use citronella to keep your dogs off of furniture. As a bonus, when you spray citronella on your furniture or linens, it keeps them free from bacteria, pests and odors. Add several drops to a spray bottle along with water, shake it up and spray it throughout your home and on household items.
Is citronella oil poisonous to cats? Cats are known to be more sensitive to citronella than dogs. Citronella is actually considered to be a cat repellent
Natural Shampoo and Conditioner
One of the most popular uses for citronella oil is cleansing and conditioning the hair and scalp. It can help eliminate excess oil and greasiness of hair while adding shine. Many people find it adds volume to hair and helps to detangle knots.
To use citronella oil for hair, add several drops to your shampoo or conditioner, or try making your own homemade formula using a cleansing oil like coconut oil, which also benefits hair.