How to make my own citronella spray

Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT — By Jill Seladi-Schulman, Ph.D. on August 14, 2019

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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 đài loan trung quốc and Indonesia for centuries lớn treat rashes, infections, và 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.

In this article we’ll explore the benefits of citronella oil, how you can use it, & what khổng lồ look for when you cửa hàng for the oil.

What are the benefits of citronella oil?

For centuries, citronella has been used for a variety of purposes, including:

to treat parasitic infectionsto promote wound healingto lift mood or fight fatiguein perfumes or as a flavor additive in food

But does scientific research tư vấn these uses? While research into citronella và other essential oils continues, there’s some evidence that citronella oil does have certain health benefits.

Let’s take a deeper dive into what research has found so far.

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Insect repellent

A 2011 đánh giá of 11 studies looked at the effectiveness of various citronella preparations in preventing mosquito bites. It concluded that using citronella oil together with vanillin (found in vanilla beans) provided mosquito protection for up to lớn three hours.

The study also found that DEET provided protection for a much longer period of time than just citronella oil on its own.

A năm ngoái study compared the ability of DEET, citronella oil, and fennel oil to lớn repel mosquitoes. Researchers found that DEET had a protection rating of over 90 percent over six hours.

Citronella and fennel oil had protection ratings of about 57 percent and 47 percent, respectively, after only two hours.

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Another study assessed the effectiveness of several mosquito repellents, và concluded that citronella candles were of little use as a mosquito repellent.


Citronella needs khổng lồ be reapplied often lớn be an effective mosquito repellent. However, it may provide protection for up khổng lồ three hours if it is combined with vanillin. Studies show that it is not as effective as DEET at keeping mosquitos away.

Antifungal agent

Several studies have found that citronella oil has certain antifungal properties that may help weaken or destroy certain types of fungi that can cause health problems.

A 2013 study evaluated the antifungal activity of citronella oil against a strain of fungus known as Aspergillus niger. This common fungus is thought to cause lung và sinus infections in people with weakened immune systems.

The study found that citronella oil had the ability khổng lồ destroy the cell wall of the fungus và kill the organisms within the cell that can cause infection. This led the researchers khổng lồ suggest citronella oil may have the potential lớn be used as a safe and environmentally friendly fungicide.

An earlier study looked at the antibacterial and antifungal activity of ten essential oils và found that citronella oil was effective against all 12 fungi that were tested. The same study found that citronella oil managed to inhibit 15 of 22 bacteria, while eucalyptus, lemongrass, peppermint, và orange oils were effective against all 22 bacterial strains.

A publication from 2016 looked at the effectiveness of citronella và cinnamon oil in fighting Candida albicans, a fungus that can cause infections in the mouth và other parts of the body.

Both essential oils initially reduced the number of viable microorganisms. However, after 48 hours the effect wasn’t significant. The authors suggest that a daily application of a solution of either oil may be effective in reducing this fungus.

Wound healing

Based on recent research, citronella oil may have the potential khổng lồ speed up the healing of wounds. This may be of particular importance for people with diabetes, as wounds tend khổng lồ heal more slowly with this condition.

In a năm 2016 animal study, researchers looked at the effect that citronella oil had on the healing of Candida-infected wounds in a diabetic mouse model. The citronella oil had both an antifungal và anti-inflammatory effect. The researchers suggested that the combination of these two factors led to lớn accelerated wound healing.