Exuding a rich, fresh, uplifting scent similar to that of lemon, this fragrant grass has earned the name Citronella from the French word meaning “lemon balm.” Citronella is commonly mistaken for Lemongrass, as they share a similar appearance, growth, and processing method; however, the two plants are considered to be “cousins,” as they simply belong to the same plant family – the Cymbopogon family, which is commonly referred to simply as Lemongrass.
The easiest way to tell them apart is to remember that Lemongrass has off-white pseudostems while those of the Citronella plant are reddish in color. For centuries, Citronella Oil has been a natural medicinal remedy and a food ingredient in Asia. It is traditionally used as a flavoring agent in culinary applications, a soothing agent for pain, infections, rashes, and inflammation, a non-toxic insect-repelling agent, a natural and fragrant household cleaning agent, and an ingredient in perfumery, soaps, detergents, scented candles, and cosmetic products.
Citronella Oil continues to be valued and applied for its cleansing, disinfecting, freshening, and deodorizing properties.
- Speed up healing and ease pain or inflammation:
Used in medicinal applications, Citronella Oil is known to soothe cuts and wounds and to facilitate their healing by offering relief from bacterial infections and preventing future instances of infections.
To speed up healing and ease pain or inflammation with Citronella Oil’s anti-microbial and antiseptic qualities, dilute 1-3 drops of Citronella Essential Oil in 1 tsp. of Coconut Carrier Oil before gently dabbing the blend onto a sore, scrape, or abrasion.
For a full-body anti-fungal remedy that is reputed to address topical infections such as ringworm and Athlete’s Foot, simply add 2-3 drops of Citronella Oil to warm bath water. This simple solution has the added benefit of being a refreshingly aromatic yet deodorizing bath.
For a tonic massage blend that stimulates, supports, and strengthens all the body’s systems, including the digestive, excretory, nervous, and endocrine systems, blend together 10 drops of Citronella Essential Oil and 10 ml (0.33 oz.) of Coconut Carrier Oil. Gently massage this blend all over the body to boost immunity and circulation while soothing arthritic discomfort, back pain, abdominal cramps, and headache.
- Enhance concentration and promote mental clarity:
Diffuse 3 drops of Citronella Oil in a diffuser of personal preference and enjoy a greater sense of focus. The scent is also believed to calm and ground the body and mind by reducing the burden of chaotic and conflicting emotions.
- Respiratory system discomforts:
With anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and expectorant properties, Citronella Oil can offer respite from discomforts of the respiratory system, such as congestion, infection, and irritation of the throat or sinuses, shortness of breath, mucus production, and symptoms of bronchitis. Simply diffuse a blend consisting of 2 drops each of Citronella, Lavender, and Peppermint essential oils to attain this relief while also enhancing circulation and reducing stress and anxiety.
- Deodorize and freshen the air:
Citronella Essential Oil is known to naturally deodorize and freshen the air of an indoor environment. For an air freshener that disinfects while it boosts the mood, add 30 drops Citronella Essential Oil and 2 Tbsp. (30 ml/1 oz.) White Distilled Vinegar in a 240 ml (8 oz.) glass spray bottle, then fill the rest of the bottle with distilled water, leaving a little bit of empty space at the top.
Cap the bottle, shake it well to thoroughly combine all the ingredients, then spritz the mixture a few times into the air for a fresher scent and a lighter mood. When the bottle is not in use, store it in a cool, dry place.
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