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CITRONELLA OIL (Cymbopogan Nardus)

Citronella - this is a tall, aromatic, perennial grass, which has derived from the wild- growing "managrass" found in Sri Lanka. This grass is a coarse, clump-forming tropical grass that can grow 5-6 ft (1.5-1.8 m) tall. The stems are cane like and the leaves are grayish green, flat, about 3 ft (0.9 m) long and 1 in (2.5 cm) or so wide. It does not spread by runners, as some grasses do, but the clump increases in size as the plant matures. It is native to Southeast Asia and grown commercially in Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Indonesia and Java. It is widely naturalized in tropical Asia and grown as an ornamental in South Florida and southern California. The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the fresh, partly-dried, or dried grass.

Citronella Oil
Citronella Oil
Specification of CITRONELLA Oil
Product Code LJP/CNO
Name Citronella Oil
Botanical Name Cymbopogan Nardus
Obtain By steam distillation from fresh & partially dried grass.
Appearance light yellow
Specific Gravity 0.8820 to 0.8875 at 23ºc
Optical Rotation (-) 2º to (-) 4º at 23ºc
Referactive Index 1.4750 to 1.4885 at 23ºc
Solubility soluble in 0.8 to 1.5 vol. of 80% alcohol


When Citronella was first exhibited in London in 1851 it was introduced as “nard” oil, which is why it has been confused with Spikenard oil ever after. It has its place in cleaning products and insect repellents and the Java Citronella is an inexpensive oil frequently fractionated into perfume components (Citronellal, Geraniol).

Citronella oil has a slightly sweet, lemony smell.It is extracted from a hardy grass, native to Sri Lanka and Java. This aromatic perennial grows about 1meter (3 feet) high and is a popular ingredient in wax candles, as an insect repellant, and is also widely used in perfumes, soaps, skin lotions and deodorants.

Benefits / Uses

Useful for oily skin, excessive perspiration. Extensively used in floorwash.Citronella essential oil, Cymbopogon nardus,  is steam distilled from the leaves (grass), has a distinctly lemony, sharp and camphor like scent. Citronella is commonly used to deter insects, flea collars, bug sprays, and candles to keep away mosquitoes and other pesky insects. Also used to treat colds, infections, and oily complexions. Can help relieve insomnia. Rarely used in cosmetics and can irritate the skin. Citronella oil has been used for its aromatic and medicinal value in many cultures. It has been used for fever, intestinal parasites, digestive and menstrual problems, excessive perspiration, oily skin, cold, flu, minor infections, fatigue, headaches, migraine, neuralgia, as a stimulant and insect repellent. Mixed with cedarwood oil in Virginia, it was a popular remedy against mosquito attacks before the advent of DDT and modern insecticides.

Citronella oil's most useful quality is that of it being an insect repellent. It is best used in a spray, a diffuser or on a cotton ball amongst linen. It is also useful in ridding cats and dogs of fleas.Furthermore, citronella oil helps to clear the mind and has a general toning and tonic effect on the body. It is helpful with colds, flu and minor infections and also has deodorizing qualities.

Safety Data

It is non-toxic, non-irritant, may cause dermatitis in some individuals. Avoid during pregnancy.


Citronella oil is extracted by the steam distillation of finely chopped fresh, dried or part-dried grass.

Chemical Composition

The main chemical components of citronella oil are citronellic acid, borneol, citronellol, geraniol, nerol, citral, citronellal, camphene, dipentene and limonene.

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