A close relative of the highly citrus lemongrass oil, citronella was extensively found in tropical East Asia. It has deliberately cultivated and grown in many areas for the extraction of the aromatic oil. Citrus oils are my top favorite for their zesty lemon flavor and the aroma. I guess that’s what you get from a plant that chases sunlight no matter how you plant it. Now having learnt about sharing the roots with lemongrass, how different is this from the lemongrass oil? This essential oil is obtained from the leaves and stems of different species of Cymbopogon genus plant family.
It is extracted through steam distillation of Cymbopogon nardus (Jowitt), the Ceylon type and Cymbopogon winterianus (Rendal), the Java type. C.nardus a native product of Sri Lanka, has a woody scent with pale to dark yellow color; While the C.winterianus has a fresh lemon scent and is considered a superior quality, among the two. It is considered mildly or not toxic, and thus used as an insect repellent. This makes Citronella oil, a fond household as well.
Being so close to lemongrass, citronella is so different and unique in comparison to its cousin. This amuses me looking at the various benefits Citronella can provide us with; only if we know how to use it. So I decided to research up a little about Citronella and this is what I found! The difference in geraniol percentage is what marks the difference between the Ceylon and Java type of C oil. The underlying advantage of Citronella is the natural detoxifying and anti-inflammatory characteristics.
It is a top-notch aroma-therapy agent that is known to relieve stress and pain in arthritis. It is widely used in fragrances, soaps, household cleaners and detergents. Combined with coconut oil, it is used to massage the swollen joints, tissues and muscles.
Citronella oil can act as a digestive aid. It helps in detoxification and cleansing of the liver, stomach and gut. It is considered a potential medicine for infections of the colon, urethra, bladder, gastrointestinal tract, prostate and kidneys.
Being a natural diuretic agent (helping urination) and diaphoretic (inducing perspiration), it helps in several ways of letting the toxins out of the body. In combination with honey and lemon with hot water, citronella oil can improve elimination of excess fat in the body.
In food and beverages, citronella oil is added as a flavoring agent since it is considered safe for ingestion, in mild percentages. There are not specific dishes or cuisines that specialize using Citronella oil, in my knowledge and research.
In skin care, it is known to heal dermatitis, eczema, aging skin, bug bite scars and fungal infections. The citrus flavor enhances smooth and soft facial skin, and it is a reliable agent for dry skin. Also it blocks damage from sun exposure. Dryness and warts and acne boils caused due to dryness and infection could be cleanly removed by using Citronella oil.
Overall, it is the mildness and the effectiveness of the citrus flavor of this essential oil that is a clean chit lure for all organic lovers out there. Don’t miss this zesty classic!
Disclaimer – Usage for different applications might demand specific mixture and composition with specific compounds that may not have been discussed in this blog. All of the above information has not been evaluated by the food and Drug Administration or any other qualifying entity. All of the content above is from various sources on the web. The medicines and the recipes discussed, are proven to be effective based on the experiences and other blogs on the internet. Not all of these have been personally tried and tested by me. I am no expert in this oil’s usage. Good luck trying!
This post has been written in collaboration with the IndianSuperHeroes. They have these oils purely extracted from the herbs. You can find them in their store right here.