Essential oils possess wonderful aromatic properties that make them an essential ingredient in many perfumes and scents. Oils such as citronella oil can help you feel clean and refreshed, keeping bad odor and sweaty sensations at bay.
What Is Citronella Oil?
Citronella is a type of grass that has a lemony aroma and grows in islands of South Pacific and some Asian countries.
There are two varieties of citronella — the Ceylon variety and the Java variety. The chief ingredients of this oil include limonene, geraniol, methyl isoeugenol, citronellal and geranyl acetate.
The essential oil is extracted from the plant through the process of steam distillation.
Uses of Citronella Oil
Citronella oil blends well with other essential oils like clary sage, cedarwood, lavender, rosemary, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, tea tree and geranium oil. Keeping a bottle of citronella essential oil at home can keep all infections at bay.
Citronella oil is used in the following ways:
- In aromatherapy
- In deodorants and perfumes
- In toothpaste and mouthwash
- As an insect repellant
- As a fungicide
- As an analgesic
- As a flavoring agent in foods and beverages
Benefits of Citronella Oil
The health benefits of citronella oil can be attributed to its antidepressant, antispasmodic, deodorant, anti-inflammatory, fungicidal, diuretic, stomachic, tonic, diaphoretic and antiseptic properties.
Some of the significant health benefits include:
1. Fights depression
Citronella oil possesses antidepressant properties that induce a fresh and happy feeling in the mind. It reduces sadness, anxiety and stress. Citronella oil also induces hope and eliminates negative feelings.
2. Relieves spasms
Citronella oil is antispasmodic in nature and provides instant relief from spasms of the nervous system, respiratory system and muscles. It also provides long-lasting relief from menstrual spasms.
3. Eliminates bad odor
The rich lemony and citrus aroma of citronella oil eliminates body odor and makes you feel refreshed. It can also be added to bath water to give you a refreshed and rejuvenated feeling after your bath.
4. Inhibits bacterial growth
Citronella oil contains a component called methyl isoeugenol that inhibits bacterial growth and prevents infections in the body. It is useful in treating infections affecting the intestines, colon, stomach, kidneys, prostate and urinary tract.
5. Acts as a detoxifier
The diaphoretic properties of citronella oil make it an effective detoxifier. It increases sweating, and by this process, the excess water, fat, salts, uric acid and other toxins are eliminated by the body. By removing toxins, the body feels lighter and stays healthy.
6. Kills intestinal worms
The presence of worms can affect the normal physiological processes in the body. Citronella oil is effective against eliminating both tapeworms and roundworms and prevents its future recurrence.
7. Acts as a stimulant
Citronella oil has stimulating properties that kickstart the metabolism and immune mechanisms in the body. It stimulates secretion of enzymes, hormones and blood circulation.
8. Prevents stomach disorders
Citronella oil is stomachic in nature and acts as a natural tonic for the stomach. It prevents gastric and digestive disorders and clears the stomach from infections.
Additionally, the oil can help to increase appetite and improve digestion as it works to tone the digestive system to function correctly.
Side Effects of Citronella Oil
When used in the right quantities, citronella oil poses no side effects. However, since it acts as an insect repellent, it is advised not to inhale it or consume it orally.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are advised not to use citronella oil.
- Those having sensitive skin must do a patch test before using citronella oil.