If you’ve ever been to a barbecue or outdoor summer gathering, you’ve probably seen people lighting special candles to keep the bugs away. These popular candles are usually made with a citronella ingredient. But what is citronella?
Citronella is the name for the essential oil that comes from several Asian grasses. This essential oil is very concentrated. Citronella is one of the most practical oils. Although it does have a nice scent, it’s used less commonly in aromatherapy. It’s used mainly to combat mosquitos and other troublesome insects. Pure citronella oil has powerful mosquito-repellant properties.
Does Citronella Essential Oil Repel Insects?
Yes, it does! This is the most important benefit of citronella essential oil. It is very effective as an insect repellent, especially against bothersome, disease-spreading mosquitos.
There are a couple ways to keep mosquitos and bugs away with this oil. You can apply it to your skin by diluting a few drops of citronella oil in a carrier oil and distributing it liberally on any exposed areas. The best oil for human use is organic or therapeutic grade. If you are using other products, like a diffuser or citronella candle, be sure that they contain pure citronella essential oil. Some products are merely citronella- scented, and therefore not effective against mosquitos. The 100% pure oil is a crucial ingredient.
In addition to burning this oil on your patio, you can create an application for many different outdoor activities. You only need to mix a few drops with a carrier oil, but you can also find recipes that add tea tree, lavender, or other essential oils. Applying this citronella essential oil mixture to your skin will repel mosquitos when you are hiking, camping, or playing outside.
Can You Use Citronella Oil in Aromatherapy?
As we mentioned, citronella essential oil isn’t commonly used in aromatherapy. That doesn’t mean you can’t use it, though. It has a powerful scent that can give you energy and help cure minor ailments. Try using citronella in a diffuser with eucalyptus or tea tree oil when you have a cold or congestion. It stimulates your immune system to help fight off infection and improve respiration.
Is Citronella Oil Safe?
If you follow all the product instructions and use controlled amounts, citronella essential oil is quite safe. Test a small amount on your skin before applying it to test for any irritation or allergic reaction. It’s safe for children too, but consult a pediatrician before using it on babies or infants. This oil is not known to cause any serious side effects. It should be used exclusively as an external treatment, unless a doctor tells you otherwise.
Where to Buy Citronella Essential Oil
You can buy this oil in various forms at many major retailers. Walmart may stock this essential oil, in addition to citronella candles and lamps. The essential oil company Doterra does not currently offer citronella. Try looking for this oil online on Amazon or on the Young Living essential oils website. Many readers also want to know how to make their own citronella essential oil at home. It can be difficult to find the ingredients for this oil, but we encourage you to research more online if this is something that interests you.