Citronella oil is classified in trade into two chemotypes -
- Ceylon, which is obtained from C. nardus and is a native product of Sri Lanka (previously Ceylon). Ceylon citronella oil has a warm, citrusy, and wood scent, and has a pale to dark yellow color.
- Java, which is distilled from C. winterianus. It also has a fresh lemon-like scent but is darker in color. The name Cymbopogon winterianus is given to this selected variety to commemorate Mr. Winter—an important oil distiller of Ceylon, who first cultivated and distilled the Maha Pangeri type of citronella in Ceylon.
Both types originated from the Mana Grass of Sri Lanka, which according to Finnemore (1962) occurs today in two wild forms--Cymbopogon nardus var. linnae (typicus) and C. nardus var. confertiflorus.
Benefits of Citronella Oil
- According to a paper in the International Journal of Advanced Research,13 citronella oil is noted for its efficiency in repelling mosquitoes. It has proven successful in repelling the dreaded Aedes aegypti, a species of mosquito that spread diseases like dengue fever, chikungunya, and yellow fever. Apart from being used on humans, citronella oil is also used to keep ticks away from livestock and pets.
- The research stated that oil of citronella has potent antifungal properties that help suppress the growth of fungi species, such as Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Eurotium. Citronella oil owes its antibacterial and antiseptic nature to compounds like methyl isoeugenol. These compounds prevent the growth of bacteria in your body and help treat wounds, as well as infections that may occur in the colon, urethra, bladder, gastrointestinal tract, prostate, and kidneys.16
- Citronella essential oil is often used in aromatherapy because it can provide relief from anxiety and a light feeling.
- It can also provide relief from menstrual cramps and muscle spasms.
- The oil can also help inhibit inflammation in the liver, stomach, and digestive tract.
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