Botanical name: Cymbopogon nardus Citronella essential oil has long been used as an effective insect repellent. It is considered a natural choice for health conscious consumers who are concerned about the dangers of using products such as Deet on their skin and who steer away from fragrance based candles. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency Citronella essential oil is not considered harmful to humans or animals and can be safely used as an insect repellent. Read more. Citronella essential oil is most commonly used three ways:
- As a plant - Citronella plants can be planted around your garden, deck or patio to keep insects away. The perennial plant is related to lemongrass (Cymbopogon) but is not edible. Cymbopogon nardus grows between 1 to 3 feet tall with very aromatic leaves. For instructions on planting click here
- In a candle - Not to be confused with typical bright yellow fragrance based Citronella candles often found in drugstores, essential oil based candles contain Citronella extracted from the plants leaves. Our Citronella Outdoor Candle in a tin is subtly scented and doesn't overwhelm, the scent is both woodsy and lemony and smells similar to lemon grass. If you would prefer votives we have that too! Both our Citronella tins and votives are natural beeswax scented with pure Citronella essential oil.
- Used topically in lotions, sprays and rubs - I find using a small drop of Citronella essential oil on my wrists is very effective in keeping mosquitoes away. When essential oils on your skin, be careful to use a very small amount or mix with olive oil or sweet almond oil. Citronella is very strong and can cause an allergic reaction to those with sensitive skin. The Canadian government warns against using large amounts topically as it can be harmful in large doses.
Government regulations prohibit companies with Citronella products to say “Insect repellent” or any terms that makes similar claims. When shopping for all-natural Citronella based products, make sure the product ingredient list says pure Citronella essential oil.