Citronella oil is an essential oil that’s made from the distillation of the Asian grass plant in the Cymbopogon genus. This fragrant grass got its name from the French word meaning “lemon balm,” due to its floral, citrus-like aroma.
Like many essential oils, citronella oil has certain benefits, and has been used in China and Indonesia for centuries to treat rashes, infections, and other health conditions.
Today, citronella oil is probably best known as a natural insect repellant, but its uses and benefits extend beyond keeping bugs at bay.
For centuries, citronella has been used for a variety of purposes, including:
- as an insect repellent
- as an antifungal agent
- to treat parasitic infections
- to promote wound healing
- to lift mood or fight fatigue
- in perfumes or as a flavor additive in food