Famed for its invigorating sweet and refreshing citrus-like aroma, Citronella essential oil has extensive health benefits that span across different bodily mechanisms. Be it to ward off bacteria or microbes from the system or enhancing digestive or kidney functions or prevent fever due to common cold, the versatile citronella oil does it all.
Citronella oil is usually obtained via the steam distillation method from the stems and leaves of certain species of grass belonging to the Cymbopogon family. Citronella oil is chiefly found in two varieties, Java or Maha Pengiri citronella oil which is produced from Cymbopogon winterianus and Ceylon or Lenabatu citronella oil which is obtained from Cymbopogon nardus. Although lemongrass also belongs to the Cymbopogon family, it is not used for making citronella oil, rather fashioned to produce lemongrass essential oil.
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Touted as a natural insect repellent, the benefits of the aromatic oil encompass far beyond keeping bugs at bay. The therapeutic and curative properties of citronella oil come from the presence of umpteen nutritional elements including Vitamin A, C, D, B6, B12 and elements like sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Thanks to its reported anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antidepressant, antimicrobial, analgesic, hypotensive, and sedative properties, the oil offers multi-faceted benefits.
Apart from being used topically as a bug repellent, the oil has paved its way into a variety of dishes and drinks as well. Owing to its stimulating lemony smell, it is widely used in perfumes and deodorants. Hence, the oil is not only beneficial to promote health but also enhances skin and hence forms a core part of the beauty and spa industry and also one of the best choices for the holistic art of aromatherapy.
Health Benefits Of Citronella Oil:
Relieves Pain And Inflammation
The presence of powerful anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and pain-relieving properties of the active component citronellal, this oil is extensively used for providing relief from pain and inflammation in case of arthritis and joint pain. Being a natural vasodilator, and providing a warming effect, it is also used to treat painful cramps, muscle spasms, sore muscles as well as neuralgia. Also Read: 5 Amazing Essential Oils To Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis
Add 2-3 drops of citronella oil to any carrier oil and massage it directly on to the painful joints to get relief.
Treats Gastrointestinal Disorders
The potent anti-inflammatory and deworming properties of this oil work well for eliminating worms and microbes from the stomach and intestines. In the case of food poisoning, it soothes the stomach lining and restores the balance. Being a natural diuretic, it encourages urine production while the digestive property of the oil not only helps in digestion but also upsurges appetite. Also Read: Digestive Disorders: 7 Ways To Improve Gut Health
Relaxes The Mind
The abundance of adaptogenic, and sedative properties in this essential oil not only improves the mood but is also soothing and relieves stress. It holds high significance in providing mental stability by regulating the stress hormone, i.e. serotonin which in turn reduces various symptoms of anxiety including restlessness, uneasiness, cold hands, and feet, etc. and bestows a fresh and happy feeling.
The host of anti-bacterial properties of this aromatic oil plays a crucial role in treating skin infections like acne, warts, boils, etc. Use of citronella oil-based beauty products improves complexion by evening out the skin tone, clear blocked pores, and also reduces various signs of ageing. Owing to the antiseptic nature, the oil also prevents wounds and injuries and facilitates healing.
Ward Off Bugs
Insects and bugs form the root cause of several problems. Being carriers of different types of viruses, bacteria, or other microbes, not only can they contaminate food and lead to food poisoning but also cause problems ranging from rashes and itching to fever and hallucinations. Some insects can even lead to lethal infectious diseases like dengue, malaria, chikungunya, yellow fever, etc. Imbued with potent anti-bacterial properties, citronella oil forms an absolute remedy for all types of insects including mosquitoes, head lice, fleas, etc.
You can use the oil in a diffuser to spread it across the room or citronella oil-based products are available which can be applied onto the body to prevent insects and bugs.