Citronella essential oil is most often used in insect repellents and in perfumes. But, although those are useful attributes, it also is advantageous for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, having been found to be effective in attacking infections, decreasing inflammation, and reducing muscle pain.
As a result, it has been used to treat a wide variety of health conditions for centuries in Asia.
Several studies have confirmed that citronella oils contain beneficial qualities. One study, published by the Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research, found such qualities as antibacterial, anti-fungal, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory to be “very encouraging.”
Because it is a natural product, the oil is friendly to the environment. Distilled from Asian grass plants known as cymbopogon nardus and cymbopogon winterianus, it contains no added chemicals.
Check out this video for an overall view of the benefits of citronella oils.
Here is a closer look at 12 of the purposes for which citronella oils have been shown to be useful.
When citronella oil is combined with a carrier oil, such as olive oil, coconut oil or sweet almond oil, and is massaged into swollen joints or muscles, it has been shown to be effective in cutting the swelling and the pain associated with it.
A reason it is effective is that the oil can increase blood flow. As it does, the tenderness and pain are relieved and muscles are relaxed. These anti-inflammatory properties also can help in treating arthritis as well as in relieving spasms wherever they occur in the body.
In a paper published in Advances in Pharmacological Sciences, researchers concluded that citronella oil has potential in treating diseases that are accompanied by pain and inflammation.
It is the ability to fight bacteria that helps citronella be effective in combating skin conditions, such as acne. In addition, it can help with dermatitis and eczema.
Some studies have shown that it can speed up the healing of wounds, fade age spots, and eliminate warts.
Several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of citronella oil’s antibacterial qualities. In a paper published in Science Direct, researchers found that citronella oil contains a promising antibacterial activity.
To use citronella oil to improve your skin, you can try dabbing the oil on blemishes three times a day. Another method is to mix five drops of the oil in a half a cup of water, and add a teaspoon of witch hazel.
By using this to clean your face, you will be helping not only to fight skin conditions, but also to aid in your skin looking smoother and younger.
Inhibits fungal growth
Studies have shown that properties that are found in citronella oil not only can inhibit the growth of fungi, but also can kill it. As a result, it can be used to counter fungal infections that might occur in the nose, ear and throat regions of the body.
Use of the oil also can help to eliminate fungal infections that might occur in other parts of the body.
In a study conducted by the Japanese Agricultural Society, researchers found that citronella and linalool completely inhibited the growth of fungi.
Because the application of citronella oil can induce sweating and because it has diuretic effects, it can help in removing toxins from the body. By increasing sweating and urination, it helps to draw poisons out of the body.
At the same time, the oil can remove salts, water and fat from the body, making it feel lighter and assisting in protecting you from infection. These effects also help to reduce the effects of fever.
To achieve these benefits, it is best to drink one or two drops of pure citronella oil in hot water to which honey and lemon have been added.
When citronella oil is sprayed in your home or on your bed it can be helpful in relaxing your mind and enabling you to sleep. It can have the same effect when it is massaged into your skin.
Not only can it help you to relax, but its effects can go even further in assisting you to gain relief from feelings of sadness and anxiousness. In that way, citronella oil can help to fight depression, too.
The reason the oil is successful in helping to achieve these effects is because it has been shown to stimulate blood circulation as well as boosting the nervous system. This stimulating activity is an aid in reducing stress.
In a study of mice published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, responses to pain slowed and greater tolerance to pain resulted from the application of citronella.
By reducing inflammation and helping to remove toxins from the stomach and liver, citronella oil can be a strong support for the digestive system by helping it to operate correctly.
In addition, the oil hinders bacteria from growing in the urinary tract, thereby reducing the chances of infection occurring in those parts of the body.
Another benefit is that citronella has been shown to be effective in destroying worms in the intestines, such as roundworms and tapeworms. These worms can reduce the benefits of nutrients as well as mental and physical growth.
If you want your hair to be cleaned and conditioned at the same time, you might try citronella oil as part of your shampoo. It not only effectively cleans your hair, but also can cut excess greasiness.
The anti-fungal properties of the oil have the added benefit of combating skin infections as well as controlling dandruff. A study published in the Israel Medical Association Journal showed the oil to be effective in treating head lice.
You can gain these advantages by adding several drops of citronella oil to your regular shampoo or conditioner.
Some people also make their own shampoo and conditioner by adding citronella to a cleansing oil, such as coconut oil or almond oil, which also helps to condition your hair.
A method some use is to massage the oil into your scalp and leave it to act overnight.
Removes body odor
Citronella oil is often used as a significant ingredient in a natural deodorant that does not contain any of the ingredients in some regular deodorants that might prove harmful to you.
Not only does the natural scent of citronella remove body odor, its antibacterial qualities also can help to combat the development of more odor. Many recipes for natural deodorants contain citronella oil.
For decades, Americans have used citronella as a way to repel insects, particularly mosquitoes, which can carry dangerous illnesses.
You can use it in a number of ways.
The likely most effective method is to dab a few drops of oil that has been mixed with a carrier oil, such as olive oil, sweet almond oil or coconut oil, on the exposed areas of your skin.
Research has shown that you should reapply the oil to your skin every half hour or hour for it to be most effective.
Some people use citronella oil as an ingredient in a recipe for bug spray, such as that to be found here.
Helps clean house
A main reason you should have a bottle of citronella in your kitchen is that, along with all its other uses around the house, the oil is a great household cleaner.
It’s ability to clean is to found in its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
In addition to using it to clean the surfaces in your kitchen, you will find it effective in cleaning the bathroom as well.
Among the suggested ways to use the oil as a cleaner is to fill a spray bottle with purified water, add a teaspoonful of liquid soap, about 10 drops of tea tree oil and between five and 10 drops of citronella oil.
Citronella oil works not only on humans to calm them down. It can have the same effect on animals. By using citronella oil in a variety of ways around the house, it can be effective in keeping your pets, particularly barking dogs, under control.
Add the oil to a water bottle and spray it around the house. It not only will calm your pets, but it will also keep your furniture and linens free from pests, odors and bacteria.
You can even put citronella on a dog’s collar. Research published in the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association showed that collars with citronella were more effective in controlling barking in a veterinary hospital setting than the use of unscented collars.
With its clean citrus scent, citronella oil can be used as a natural deodorizer in any room in your house. You can even add some drops to the clothes in your washing machine or items in the dishwasher to clean them and make them smell fresh.
Adding citronella oil to two tablespoons of white vinegar in a bottle of purified water will provide you with a spray that you can use to freshen up your entire home.
Put citronella oil to good use now
The wide range of benefits of citronella oil make it a valuable asset to have on hand at all times. It’s use in particular not only as an insect repellant and household cleaner, but also as an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and detoxing agent are beneficial in a wide variety of ways.
In addition, its ability to reduce pain, cut down on inflammation, and reduce stress make it a vital addition to your home.