Citronella: Contraindications, Benefits, Medicinal Properties And Uses

The Citronella plant has several known uses, there is talk of its insect repellent property, as well as its use as a condiment in food.

Since ancient times, plants have been used as a healing method for various diseases and ailments; So citronella does not escape from that use too, it has unmatched medicinal properties and if it is used in its highest concentration, such as its essential oil, it further enhances its beneficial effect on the body.

Let’s cite some of the most important properties that Citronella contains, and discover the great variety of uses for each one of them.

What is Citronella?

Citronella belongs to the fourth family of grasses, with a large number of species including citronella.

This group of grasses is of great importance in the world economy since a large part of human nutrition depends on them.

Citronella grows to over one and a half meters in height, has a particularly sweet smell and a very mild aroma.

It has the peculiarity that the repellent property is acquired from its leaves, since when it is in contact with sunlight, an oily substance emanates from them that is not perceptible to humans, but insects do not like it, especially mosquitoes or sancudo. .

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Citronella history

Citronella is believed to have been widely used in the 19th century; marketed in Europe under the name Oleum Siree.

Sri Lanka was the main place where this plant was produced and exported until 1890; It was then that the competition came, Java after several rehearsals began to produce it with a better presentation and perhaps more concentrated.

The essence of Java and the essence of Sri Lanka differed in the concentration of their ingredients and therefore influenced their price.

During the time people made it popular for its use in candles, as a method of aromatizing the environment and having a repellent effect in the rooms.

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Citronella characteristics

Citronella is a plant belonging to the grass family with green leaves and lanceolate; with a thick and hairy texture, its flowers can be white, pink or faint yellow.

Scientific Name of Citronella

The most commonly used species of citronella are Cymbopogon Nardus and Cymbopogon Winterianus; The first mentioned species has a less powerful odor than citronella and most of all it is used for the joint extraction of citronella oils, but not for the extraction of its own essence since it is also poor in that detail.

It is not used as a condiment in meals for its tasting that is not pleasant to the palate.

The second mentioned species or Cymbopogon Winterianus is the most used since its essence content is greater than the other species of this family, a property that has given it the advantage of being highly commercialized in many places around the world.

Chemical Composition of Citreonela

The essential compound of citronella is Citronellol, which contains it in approximately 50%; also among its composition is Geraniol; which is believed that 45% of the essence contains it.

There is a notable difference between Ceylon Citronella and Java Citronella; The latter being its main property the strong repellent fragrance conferred by its compound Citronellol, something that Celian’s citronella does not contain in the same quantities.

Celian citronella contains a fragrance more like humid and moldy vegetation, because it contains among its composition large amounts of camphene, methyl euginol, borneol, which gives it that particular fragrance, a property that Java citronella does not contain in the same amount.

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Active Principle of Citronella

Citronella among its composition contains Citronellol and Geraniol; that in addition to its fragrance give it a highly antiseptic property for the body, it is also bactericidal and fungicidal.

Its active principle is Citral (80%); which gives it an intense lemon scent, which makes it the choice in perfumeries, confectioneries and in the manufacture of fragrances for many liqueurs.

Citronella Plant

Citronella has as many names as it is known to the world; each place according to its properties and popularity give it a specific name; Among which we can mention lemon, citronella grass, lemon grass, among others.

How to grow it?

Citronella is an easy-to-grow plant, it can be grown in a field where the sun’s rays reach it directly or partially, with soils where its drainage allows the water to escape.

It has three forms of cultivation, such as through its seeds, by division or by cuttings; the latter being one of the most used, due to its easy growth.

It has a rapid spreading through its seed, so it is recommended that citronella be continually pruned, especially in summer to avoid its spread and allow the plant to have a greater growth and have more vitality.

In general, it does not need much irrigation or special systems of the same, it is only enough that it be watered in a regular way as it is done with the rest of the plants, without any special distinction, only when it is possible that a good water irrigation must be foreseen among its care. to ensure that the plant recovers and its vitality is restored.

The most suitable time for pruning is before the citronella blooms, these stems can be preserved by placing several stems together, joined by a ribbon or the same branches of the plant, then they are placed in a place to dry where it is ventilated and ` allow to hang them.

It should be noted that the fresh citronella plant has better and greater properties and its fragrance is stronger so it can be used as an insect repellent, compared to the dry plant in which all these wonders diminish.

After drying, the citronella stems and leaves can be preserved in airtight containers to be able to use it whenever you prefer or they can even be frozen, if you want to keep it for much longer.

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Citronella Uses and Benefits

What are the benefits for skin and blemishes?

The powerful antiseptic effect of citronella gives it great properties when used on the skin, helping in processes such as dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, it helps in wound healing, it is a good option to improve and prevent relapse in diseases such as Acne, as well as being an insect repellent, also helps reduce the inflammation of the bites of the same in allergy sufferers.

It prevents premature aging of the skin, it is a powerful natural moisturizer with a fresh fragrance, which helps to improve irritated or sensitive skin due to prolonged exposure to the sun.

The use of essential oils with a base oil and in a minimal amount is recommended, since it is a concentration of the plant and can be irritating; Many recommendations aim to mix this essence of citronella with coconut oil and spread it on the face or put a few drops of citronella to wash with which the skin will be cleansed.

There is also the possibility of using the pure essence with a sterile swab or cotton directly on the stain that has caused acne two to three times a day, action that will lead to the removal of the stain and regeneration of the tissue.

This last use of citronella should be used with caution in allergic people or people with sensitive skin, since it is the pure essence, bone; a high concentration of the plant, which leads it to cause unwanted effects on this type of skin, with which great care must be taken.

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Does it have many properties for the Hair?

Citronella is very popular for use on hair as apart from cleaning and conditioning it, it provides shine and a pleasant fresh lemon fragrance.

It gives the hair vitality, defining each hair strand to avoid tangles, with its regular use an increase in hair volume is obtained and protects it from free radicals and ultra violet rays of the sun, maintaining its natural color for longer.

These and many more properties are achieved by simply placing a few drops of citronella in the usual shampoo or conditioner of your choice.

In case you want to do it directly and take advantage of its properties even more, it can be mixed with an oil very well known by the ladies, for the properties it gives to the hair, such as coconut oil, by placing a few drops of essence. citronella to use on the hair directly.

Is it good for losing weight?

It is not a number one herb to lose weight, but it does have digestive properties that help prevent the malfunction of the digestive system, avoiding flatulence and producing healthier digestions and proper elimination of waste from the body.

It has diuretic properties which gives it the benefit of losing excess body fluids as a result of its retention due to failures in the urinary and lymphatic system. Therefore, by eliminating those excess fluids that should not remain in the body, it produces a considerable reduction in weight.

As it does not contain any type of fat in its chemical structure and its caloric load is minimal, it can be used as a companion to a balanced diet to lose and maintain the ideal weight, since it can be consumed as a refreshing drink that does not provide anything that can gain weight to the body, but on the contrary, its beneficial properties.

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Widely used in the various types of Desmatitis

Citronella is an essence of choice when it comes to the skin, since being antiseptic provides healing and healing of wounds caused by this dermal disease, as well as prevents the recurrence of it.

How is Citronella Essence Extracted?

The process used to obtain the essence of citronella is the steam distillation of the plant in its natural form.

Pregnancy and Citronella?

Although the use of essences during pregnancy is not recommended due to the effects it can produce on the fetus; The use of this type of essences at the time of delivery has been scientifically documented, since its fresh aroma can generate an environment conducive to calm and relaxation, which leads to lower stress levels and therefore also leads to a decrease in pain, which produces a more sensitive delivery.

Can it be used during breastfeeding? Why?

Generally the essences cannot be used during lactation as they can generate harmful effects on the neonate; but it seems that citronella does not have any harmful effect on the baby, which makes it have the advantage of being able to be used during breastfeeding.

Preventive measures should be taken before its use in lactation, such as the use of the essence with a base oil of vegetable origin.

If its use goes directly to the regeneration and healing of cracked nipples due to breastfeeding; the essence mixture should be placed once after breastfeeding; When breastfeeding the baby again, the essence must be completely removed with a damp cloth, so that the baby does not consume it or have contact with the essence.

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Citronella and Allergies

Essential oils are high concentrations of the plant, for this reason it is recommended to use it together with a base oil to serve as a vehicle for the essence, and reduce the amount of use of it, since in very sensitive skin it can reach cause irritability or more dangerous allergic reactions.

A preventive measure is always to test the essence on a small portion of the skin and wait to see if a reaction or redness occurs in the area, if so, the essence cannot be used.

Citronella as an insect repellent

It is scientifically proven that citronella has properties that make it an effective natural repellent.

It has the disadvantage of chemical repellants that its action is not prolonged and that it does not repel all types of mosquitoes.

But at the same time it has the advantage of having a fragrance and naturalness that gives it the ability to use it safely in children, a procedure that should not be done with chemical repellants or at least should be avoided.

Citronella essential oil is said to have a concentration of 5 to 10%, giving it a repellent effectiveness of up to 90%.

Can Citronella be ingested?

It is recommended to check the label of the company or company where the citronella was extracted, where it comes from, to deduce if it is a pure essence, only then can it be consumed, placing a few drops in drinking water or as an infusion or tea, together with a natural sweetener such as honey.

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Citronella Infusions What are they good for?

He tea or infusion of citronella is a soothing and aid to digestion, so ingesting a tea of ​​this plant after meals favors a good digestion and use of food.

Eliminates the production of flatulence and helps with its antiseptic and bactericidal properties to relieve and eliminate gastritis and its causative agent; prevents the formation of ulcers, and damage to the intestine producing a better elimination of waste.

It is believed that its properties go beyond what is popularly known, and that its main component, such as Citral, helps prevent cell mutation or genetic activation of cancer cell production by the body, which provides an advantage in the face of such cruel disease.

It is believed that the mechanism by which it acts on cancer cells is by causing their stability to become unbalanced and causing a suicide of the same, which is summarized in “programmed cell death”.

The results of various scientific investigations and their verification in specialized laboratories indicate that one gram of citronella essence leads to programmed cell death of the cancer cell, which could be observed in laboratory test tubes with this type of cells. carcinogenic.

It is a detoxifier of the body due to its diuretic properties which leads to the elimination of toxins from the body, in addition to this it is also the choice to calm spasms of both the intestine and the urinary tract and helps reduce the pain that the menstruation.

It is an energizing drink and helps in all aspects to maintain a healthy body, which leads to the prevention of many diseases, improvements to existing ones and total healing in many cases.

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Esoteric Uses of Citronella

It is a fragrance that just by feeling it motivates, refreshes, disconnects from bad thoughts, calms, relaxes and in turn confers joy, encouragement, hope, dissipates bad energies.

It is believed that this substance has the particularity of generating less heavy environments, increasing sales in businesses, eliminating obstacles in business, and opening paths.

Citronella and Gastronomy

It has a great variety of uses in gastronomy, among Asian dishes it is preferred for its wide use and the special touch that it gives to the preparations.

Its leaves can be used fresh, dried or powdered, depending on the preparation and the meaning that is given to it.

It can be used as they do in Africa in fresh preparations such as chalk, for its properties and fresh lemon aroma.

In the kitchen, more than using it for the aesthetic part, it is used for its aroma and flavor that it gives to food.

Depending on the presentation chosen for its use, it can be used for salads, soups, stews, sauces, meats, poultry, vegetables, fish, it can be used as a substitute for the aroma of lemon.

Citronella and the power that its aroma gives it that makes it so popular and demanding among essences, is also used in the preparation of a wide range of liqueurs.

In the manufacture of desserts it is also of choice for its lemon fragrance and its pleasant taste.

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Cosmetic Uses of Citronella

The cosmetic use of citronella is very extensive since it confers great properties for everything that involves the maintenance of the natural beauty of the skin and hair.

When used continuously on the hair, it gives shine and silkiness, prevents excess oil and hydrates the scalp.

In turn, it prevents dandruff, helps hair growth and protects it from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, maintaining its color and vitality.

Moisturizes hair without giving it a greasy appearance and gives hair a fresh fragrance that protects it from pediculosis.

It is a fragrance of choice when it comes to perfumes, since it is preferred by people, obtaining a fresh and long-lasting aroma due to the volatile nature of the citoneella essence.

In the part of personal hygiene products, soaps and body creams it is also widely used, also motivated by its fresh aroma, which allows it to acquire its unlimited properties on the skin of the entire body.

A very popular use of citronella is to repel insects, in preference to repellants that contain pesticides since citronella does not cause any type of contraindication, unless the person is allergic to it or at the extremes of age (neonates- elderly).

This repellent action can be obtained by simply placing this essence on the skin together with a base oil that serves as a vehicle for citronella.

There is another way to use it as a repellent, but it is the least recommended due to the effects that it can cause at the central level due to the concentrated inhalation of citronella and for the respiratory part by the particles that reach the lungs released by citronella when it is placed in repellent coils that use fire to burn the essence and enhance its repellent effect.

The use of scented candles in the rooms is very popular to improve the environment and in the case of citronella it allows the repellent action, so it is good to spread a citronella essence candle and when lighting it it will spread as it spreads. consume its fragrance.

All these properties and many more can be achieved with the use of this essence, you just have to use your imagination to find new uses or even more properties that this plant can contain.

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Medicinal uses of Citronella

Fight Cancer Cells?

Citronella has caused great scientific interest due to its great properties, its active compound gives it the particularity of being beneficial for many diseases and is especially effective for the prevention and death of cancer cells.

It was scientifically proven that citronella with only 100 grams of this plant can reach the interior of the cancer cell and cause a programmed death of it, a suicide of the cell.

Therefore, they are still studying this great property that gives the plant great power and the particularity of being a great option for people who contain this type of cancer cells in their body and want to try a natural treatment for their cure.

Does it inhibit Bacterial growth?

Citronella inhibits bacterial growth since among its properties is that of being a great natural antiseptic, in addition to this it is bactericidal, that is; eliminates bacteria killing them, which leads to the inhibition of bacterial growth and the prevention of future infections, making a deep regeneration of the area and good healing, which makes it impossible to be invaded again by bacterial infections in the area.

Fight Depression

Citronella is a plant that confers tranquility, relaxation, acts at a central level causing the release of substances that generate happiness, euphoria, which makes it an ally when it comes to having negative or hopeless thoughts.

It is a plant that just by feeling its fragrance gives off hope, transports you to a state of serenity and tranquility, which generates a good state of mind and therefore eliminates depression.

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Eliminate infections

Its antiseptic property makes it a leader in the elimination of infections of the body that range from the external part or skin to infections that can be acquired inside the body.

In the digestive part, the use of this plant is of choice since its action prevents infection by bacteria or intestinal parasitosis that can infer its proper functioning.

Does it relief spasms?

Citronella has antispasmodic properties for both the digestive tract and the urinary and reproductive tract, which allows it to be used to reduce the discomfort and pain caused in this type of ailment.

In the respiratory part, it confers the property of being an antiseptic for the upper and lower respiratory tract, which allows it to be used as a great antitussive and to improve flu processes of any etiology.

Anti-inflammatory property

Its antiseptic and diuretic property makes it a powerful natural anti-inflammatory, so it can be used in various inflammatory cases of the body, reducing it and preventing recurrence.

Eliminate toxins

It is a true blood cleanser, since its diuretic stimulating property gives great importance to this process, it also activates the lymphatic elimination and everything that has to do with the activation process and proper functioning of the immune system.

All these systems acting together lead to the elimination of harmful toxins from the cells, which prevents diseases and gives vitality to the body.

Urination stimulation

Citronella is a great diuretic, its properties give it the advantage of increasing diuretics and therefore urination; Helping the detoxification of the body and preventing a good kidney function.

By stimulating urination, it makes other body systems also benefit, such as the cardiovascular system, preventing cases of hypertension or heart failure due to excess fluid accumulation in the body.

Improves the circulatory system preventing edema and venous overload in the lower limbs that cause diseases such as varicose veins or tired legs syndrome.

It improves the functioning of the liver, eliminating toxins that can generate a poisonous storm in the body, improves pancreatic functioning avoiding its saturation and preventing diseases such as tipi I and II diabetes.

These and many more chain actions are generated in the body in favor of its proper functioning just by using citronella as a choice in infusions or directly on the skin.

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Reduce Fever

Citronella has diaphoretic properties, so it is of great use in cases of fever of any etiology.

By increasing perspiration, the cells cool down and reduce fever and, in turn, combat infections that lead to the febrile process occurring in the body.

Inhibits Fungal Growth

Citronella has antifungal properties due to the property that its active principle confers on it and, in turn, its great antiseptic and healing power make up a set of properties that provide healing of the infectious process and prevention of recurrence thereof.

Prevents stomach disorders

As already mentioned, citronella is a great ally when it comes to digestion, preventing disorders of any kind that have to do with the digestive part, giving the digestive system to be able to work effectively in the use of food and elimination of waste properly to prevent disease.

Acts as a Tonic

It is a muscle toner since it gives vitality and energy, in turn it acts on the viscera and blood vessels helping to maintain their tone and their proper functioning, improving all the body’s systems as a whole and leading to a healthy mind and body.

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Kill intestinal worms

The marked action of citronella in the stomach and intestinal part gives it the power to be of choice when it comes to the elimination of intestinal worms.

It should be used with caution in children, in which the presence of these intestinal worms that interfere with their growth and development is a common case, so the use of citronella is beneficial in these cases as a powerful vermicide, it should only be use with caution in young children.

Domestic uses of Citronella

The domestic uses of this plant are endless, so it is very helpful to have a plant that can generate great changes and benefits to the family in general.

It is an easy-to-grow plant, which makes it very versatile when it comes to using it and taking advantage of its properties.

Domestic uses range from culinary use in the preparation of food, taking advantage of its fragrance and flavor, to the preparation of everything that has to do with sweets and pastries.

It is used as a substitute for lemon in many preparations as well as in the accompaniment of beverages due to its low or almost zero percentage of calories and fats, which give it the particularity of being of choice for people who cannot consume sugar or who are under a strict diet to improve health and therefore physical beauty.

Its use at home as an insect repellent is also popular, so having a citronala plant or acquiring these branches is an exorbitant advantage due to its many uses and benefits.

Although the essence depending on the laboratory can be expensive and perhaps difficult to access depending on the area in which it lives, the plant has the property of being able to be cultivated in any terrain and in any climate, so there are no excuses that can lead to not having the happiness of using this wonderful plant at home.

With its medicinal properties it leads the way, since it is very useful in the digestive part and improvement of all the organism’s systems, promoting a healthier life.

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Natural and Artificial Citronella

Natural citronella is recognized for its fresh fragrance and its infinite properties, but due to its great popularity, there is a wide variety of artificially made citronella on the market, which is recognized for its poor fragrance and for its slight synthetic odor. .

This is a disadvantage for people who do not know their natural fragrance well because they cannot differentiate the natural aroma from the artificial one.

Therefore, it is advisable to use essence from highly prestigious laboratories recognized for manufacturing pure products, even if they are higher in cost.

Contraindications and Risks of Citronella

Contraindications are generally of all essential oils since their high concentration leads them to produce irritability in sensitive people or in some cases, serious cases of allergic reactions can occur in the person.

In the case of pregnant women, its use is not recommended since its effectiveness on pregnancy is harmful to both the mother and the fetus, especially in the first months of pregnancy.

It is said that citronella can be used at the time of delivery to take advantage of the properties it confers on the mother at a neurological level, providing peace of mind and improving the process of childbirth.

In lactation it can be used as a method of curing and preventing cracked nipples but with extreme caution and avoiding that he drinks it, that is to say; The nipple should be cleaned very well before the baby sucks to avoid ingesting citronella since the use in the first three months of the newborn’s life is harmful to it.

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Citronella toxicity

The essence of Citronella does not cause any harmful action in the environment, which is why companies that are dedicated to environmental preservation recommend it for its repellent properties; not being the same case of pesticides or artificial repellants.

As for the toxicity that its use may generate in the body, it must be used with caution as it is an essence and for this reason it must be foreseen that it is a pure and good quality essence to avoid any mishap in its use.

It is recommended to use it together with a base oil that serves as a vehicle for citronella since its direct use can cause allergic reactions due to its high concentration.

The use in pregnant women, especially in the first trimester, is not proven, it is believed that due to its active principle it can cause spontaneous abortions due to increased uterine muscle tone, and at the level of the fetus, malformations.

The use in neonates and children under three months is not recommended and it is believed that under one year it is not recommended to use any type of essences.

Its toxicity will depend on the awareness of its use and the knowledge of the properties and various uses that can be given to citronella, all abuse of any substance has its consequences and not because it is a plant will be less risky than artificial substances, so it is necessary to foresee the consequences of its misuse and to be documented to take advantage of citronella in a good way.

Nutritional Value of Citronella

It is said that it contains the properties similar to those obtained from the lemon peel; So 100 grams of citronella contain 1.82 grams of protein, it also has in its chemical structure a small amount of fat such as 0.49 grams and a slightly higher portion of carbohydrates with a total of 25.3 grams.

In its structure it does not contain fibers or cholesterol and among the minerals it contains potassium, phosphorus, calcium and lemongrass.

It contains a great vitamin value with the presence of three essential vitamins for the organism such as Vitamin C (2.6mg); Vitamin B-9 (75mg) and Vitamin A (6Ul).

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Citronella Technical Data Sheet

  • Common Name: Java Citronella
  • Botanical Name : Cymbopogón Winterianus
  • Family: Poaceae-Gramineae
  • Origin : India
  • Extraction: Citronella essence is extracted through a steam distillation process.
  • Part of the plant Used : the leaves and the stem preferably.
  • Precautions : in pregnant women and neonates, people with very sensitive skin and allergies.
  • Conservation: it keeps very well in dry environments and with little sunlight. For a longer conservation period, the dried leaves or branches should be placed in the freezer.
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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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