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CITRONELLA OIL

Other Names:

Aceite de Citronela, Andropogon nardus, Ceylon Citronella, Citronnelle de Ceylan, Citronnelle de l’Inde, Citronnelle de Java, Cymbopogon afronardus, Cymbopogon nardus, Cymbopogon validus, Cymbopogon winterianus, Herbe Citron, Huile de Citronnell...
See All Names

CITRONELLA OIL Overview
CITRONELLA OIL Uses
CITRONELLA OIL Side Effects
CITRONELLA OIL Interactions
CITRONELLA OIL Dosing
CITRONELLA OIL Overview Information

Citronella oil is made by steam distillation of certain species of grasses in the Cymbopogon grouping of plants. Ceylon or Lenabatu citronella oil is produced from Cymbopogon nardus, and Java or Maha Pengiri citronella oil is produced from Cymbopogon winterianus. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) also belongs to this grouping of plants, but it is not used to make citronella oil.

Citronella oil is used to expel worms or other parasites from the intestines. It is also used to control muscle spasms, increase appetite, and increase urine production (as a diuretic) to relieve fluid retention.

Some people apply citronella oil directly to the skin to keep mosquitoes and other insects away.

In foods and beverages, citronella oil is used as a flavoring.

In manufacturing, citronella oil is used as a fragrance in cosmetics and soaps.

How does it work?

There isn’t enough information available to know how citronella oil works.

CITRONELLA OIL Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Possibly Effective for:

  • Preventing mosquito bites when applied to the skin. Citronella oil is an ingredient in some mosquito repellents you can buy at the store. It seems to prevent mosquito bites for a short amount of time, typically less than 20 minutes. Other mosquito repellents, such as those containing DEET, are usually preferred because these repellents last much longer.

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Worm infestations.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Spasms.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of citronella oil for these uses.


CITRONELLA OIL Side Effects & Safety

Citronella oil seems to be safe for most people in the small amounts found in foods. It’s UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts.

Citronella oil seems to be safe for most people when applied to the skin as an insect repellent. However, it might cause skin allergies in some people.

It’s UNSAFE to inhale citronella oil. Lung damage has been reported.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Children: It’s UNSAFE to give citronella oil to children by mouth. There are reports of poisoning in children, and one toddler died after swallowing insect repellent that contained citronella oil.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of citronella oil during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

CITRONELLA OIL Interactions What is this?

We currently have no information for CITRONELLA OIL Interactions

CITRONELLA OIL Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

APPLIED TO THE SKIN:

  • For preventing mosquito bites: citronella oil in concentrations of 0.5% to 10%.

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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