Citronella, scientific name Cymbopogon nardus of the Poaceae family, is the classic anti mosquito remedy of summer. But its essential oil, obtained through steam distillation from this herb, is also much more. In fact, it is antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antispasmodic, it purifies and disinfects and also improves the mood. Let's see in detail the properties of this essential oil, which should not be used neither in pregnancy nor on children under 6 years.
Skin and hair
The essential oil of citronella, thanks to its anti-inflammatory, slightly astringent, antiseptic and healing action (Kandimalla et al, Front Pharmacol, Jun 2016), helps in case of oily and acne-prone skin. In addition to accelerating the healing processes, this essential oil is also useful in balancing the sebum production. In these cases, you can add a couple of drops to your usual cream and apply in the evening. Against greasy hair, instead, try to add 2 drops of citronella essential oil to your shampoo. But the citronella essential oil is also an excellent deodorant. In fact, you can add 2 drops of essential oil to the foot bath, this will help to counteract excessive sweating and bad smells.
Mood, stomach ache and headache
Inhaling citronella essential oil brings good mood, is relaxing, counteracts anxiety and insomnia and also helps keep at bay nervous hunger with a beneficial action on the body weight (Batubara et al, Nutrients, Mar 2015). To enjoy the calming and soothing action of this essence, you can diffuse it in the room, a drop per square meter, or you can prepare a massage. Add to two tablespoons of a plant based oil, such as sweet almond oil, 3-4 drops of citronella essential oil, apply all over the body for a relaxing action or to counteract muscle cramps. Instead, in case of headache caused by stress and nervousness you can massage a few drops of this lotion on the temples. Then, if your problem is caused by a stomach ache, abdominal cramps or meteorism, you can massage the product on your belly with slow circular movements.
The citronella essential oil shows a really powerful repellent action against mosquitoes (Sharma et al, Curr Drug Discov Technol, Jul 2018). Therefore, you can diffuse citronella in the air using an essential oil burning lamp. However, consider that citronella tends to dissolve over time, therefore, for a lasting protective and repellent effect, you should often add this essential oil to the lamp.
Candida or yeast infection
Scientific studies (De Toledo et al, Int J Mol Sci, Aug 2016) have observed that the substances contained in the essential oil of citronella, the monoterpenes, make it a powerful antimicrobial and antifungal remedy. Thanks to these effects, citronella proves to be a remedy for candida, even the most resistant to commonly used medicines. You can then prepare sitz baths by adding a couple of drops of citronella essential oil along with 3 drops of essential tea tree oil.