As a concentrated form of antioxidants and phytochemicals taken from the plant’s stems and leaves, citronella oil has been used for centuries in China, Indonesia and Sri Lanka to help decrease rashes, inflammation, infections, pain and other health conditions.
What is citronella? Well, citronella oil comes from the Asian grass plant known as Cymbopogon nardus. It’s most commonly used as a natural fragrant oil, in insect repellents, as well as in beauty, household and perfume products. According to scientific research, pure citronella oil is known to have amazing antibacterial and antifungal abilities. (1)
With these potent properties, is citronella oil harmful to humans? Not when it’s used properly! In fact, the most popular use for citronella is as an ingredient in homemade or commercially made insect repellents, since it naturally repels various bugs.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers citronella to be a biopesticide, which means it’s a natural “nontoxic mode of action” against potentially harmful insects like mosquitoes. (2) And insect repellent is just one of citronella’s many possible uses and benefits.