Citronella essential oil is commonly known for its natural insect repellent properties, though it has many other uses in aromatherapy. The oil is steam distilled from a tall, aromatic, perennial grass originally native to Sri Lanka.
This oil is the known as Java citronella, and has a fresh, powerful, lemon-like scent. It is higher in Citronellal and Citronellol than the Ceylon or nardus
variety. The oil can effectively be used in a nebulizing or humidifying diffuser for its insect repellent properties. When travelling, some folks will place drops on tissues and place them near open windows in their rooms (combining with peppermint
enhances the effectiveness for mosquitoes).
Traditional use has included treatment of fever, intestinal parasites, digestive and menstrual problems. In Chinese medicine, it is used for rheumatic pain. Citronella oil is considered to have warming and 'activating' qualities on both mental and physical levels. Citronella can be added to a carrier oil at 3 drops per teaspoon and massaged into aching joints and muscles. Eucalyptus can be added to enhance the warming effect, or Lavender to bring a soothing balance.
On a mental level, Citronella can be clarifying and balancing. Combining it with Lemon oil can bring even more of a brightening effect to the mind.