Science-backed Benefits Of Citronella Essential Oil

The benefits of citronella essential oil have been the subject of research in recent years. Thus, it has been found to have interesting effects against some infections and skin problems. There are even those who suggest that it helps against excess weight, gastrointestinal discomfort and strokes. Are you interested in knowing more about it?

To begin with, it should be remembered that this product is obtained from the distillation of an Asian plant that belongs to the genus Cymbopogon. It is also known as “lemon balm” due to its characteristic citrus floral scent. The plant can measure up to a meter and a half, and is distinguished by its green tapered leaves.

Citronella Essential Oil Benefits: What Does The Science Say?

A review published via Current Drug Discovery Technologie s highlights the therapeutic potential of citronella essential oil. Specifically, he says that it contains components such as citronellal, citronellol and geraniol, which give it antioxidant, antimicrobial and healing effects.

At present it is a product widely used as a natural repellent for insects, since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes that it is effective and non-toxic. However, beyond this, it has been given other applications. Let’s look at some that are backed by science.

Insect repellent

It’s no coincidence that one of the most prominent benefits of citronella essential oil is its use as an insect repellent. The research that has been done in this regard supports that it can help prevent mosquito bites.

A review published in Tropical Medicine & International Health found that citronella essential oil combined with vanillin, an organic compound in vanilla beans, provides a protective effect against mosquitoes that lasts for up to three hours.

citronella as a mosquito repellent

Antifungal agent

In recent research, such as one published in the journal Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology , citronella essential oil was found to have antifungal activity. That is, it can help weaken or eliminate some types of fungi that cause health problems, such as Aspergillus niger.

This microorganism is a frequent cause of infections in the respiratory system, especially in patients with a weakened immune system. In the study, citronella oil helped destroy the fungal cell wall and fight microorganisms within the cell. Therefore, researchers have determined that it can serve as a natural and ecological fungicide.

For now, more research is needed. However, it should be noted that in 2016, a study published in the medical journal Acta Odontologica Scandinavica , also found that this product can be useful against fungi such as Candida Albicans.

Wound healing

Another known benefit of citronella essential oil is the healing of skin wounds. It is even recommended for patients with diabetic neuropathy, whose wounds tend to have difficulty healing. Through a study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology it was found that this oil has the potential to accelerate wound healing.

The researchers noted that, in particular, it had interesting effects against the healing of Candida-infected wounds in diabetic mice. In general, they concluded that it is a product with antifungal and anti-inflammatory effects. 


On its own, citronella essential oil is not a miracle formula for weight loss. However, it is believed that it can be an adjunct for people who are in this process. A study published in the journal Nutrients , determined that inhaling citronella essential oil reduces anxiety to eat and, consequently, weight gain.

citronella to heal wounds

Other benefits of citronella essential oil

Citronella essential oil is also used in aromatherapy for other therapeutic purposes. However, many of these applications still lack research. Anyway, anecdotal data suggest that it can serve as a complement to certain problems. These include:

  • Stomach spasms and nervous gastritis.
  • Rheumatic pain, like that caused by arthritis.
  • Muscle pains.
  • Tension headache and migraine.
  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Fatigue and stress.

Its mode of use varies depending on the benefits to be obtained. As a repellent, it is recommended to combine between 10 and 15 drops for each ounce of water. It can also be put in a diffuser to disperse its aroma in rooms.

Likewise, 15 drops can be combined with an ounce of body lotion or carrier oil (coconut, olive or jojoba) for use through massage. Do you dare to try it?

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