11 Health Benefits of Citronella Oil (Backed by Scientific Evidence)

Have you tried using citronella oil?

If not, you should. This oil is replete with amazing health benefits that you should take advantage of.

Citronella oil is extracted from lemongrass plant species such as Cymbopogon citratus, Cymbopogon nardus and Cymbopogon winterianus [1, 2].

Since the ancient times, it has been used to expel intestinal parasites, relieve muscle spasms, boost appetite and treat fluid retention, among other benefits [2].

Its most popular use is for repelling disease-carrying insects like mosquitoes [2].

In this article, you will learn about:

  • The amazing health benefits of citronella oil
  • How to use citronella oil properly to enjoy its benefits

Below, we’ll find out what citronella can do for our health, and what science has to say about the claimed health benefits.

1. Citronella Oil Repels Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes carry dangerous diseases such as West Nile virus, dengue fever, malaria and yellow fever, among others [2].

Many of these are potentially fatal and should be avoided at all costs.

This is why it’s important to keep these insects at bay.

Now, before you make use of commercial insect repellents, keep in mind that most of these are loaded with toxic chemicals such as DEET that can also put your health at risk [3].

It’s safer to make use of natural insect repellents like citronella oil, which as studies will show you have potent “mosquito-repellent actions” [4, 5, 6].

In a 2009 study published in the Journal of Vector Ecology, it was reported that using citronella oil in candles or diffusers provided sufficient protection against mosquitoes [4].

Results from the experiment show that citronella diffusers were particularly effective with a repellency rate of 68 percent [4].

Key Takeaways:

  • Citronella oil can help keep mosquitoes at bay.
  • It can, therefore, prevent the transmission of deadly diseases such as yellow fever, dengue fever, West Nile virus and Malaria.
  • It offers natural protection without the use of harmful chemicals like DEET.

2. Citronella Oil Reduces Risk of Diabetes

Diabetes has been described many times as a “silent killer” and it’s probably because you won’t know that you have it until it has progressed to a serious condition [7].

This ailment causes the blood sugar levels to shoot up as the cells in the body are not able to convert sugar into energy [7].

When sugar accumulates, it can damage bodily organs including the eyes, heart, and kidneys [7].

This is due to the body’s inability to produce or utilize a hormone called insulin.

It’s a good thing, there are natural ways to manage this condition.

One of these is with the use of citronella oil.

Citronella’s hypoglycemic effects were the subject of investigation in a 2007 study [8].

Researchers have found that citronella can effectively tone down blood sugar levels in rats [8].

These scientific findings support the folkloric use of this herbal plant as a treatment for diabetes [8].

On top of these, it has also been proven that citronella can keep cholesterol levels in check, particularly the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglycerides [8].

These can also help in managing diabetes.

Key Takeaways:

  • Diabetes is a condition in which the blood sugar is not converted into energy, and ends up accumulating and damaging body organs.
  • Citronella can be used to lower blood sugar levels, and manage diabetes.
  • It can also help stabilize levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

Also Read: 13 Real Home Remedies for Diabetes (That’ll Actually Work )

3. Citronella Oil Can Help Control Convulsions

If you’ve seen someone having a seizure, you know how terrifying it can be.

It can even be more so for the one experiencing the seizure.

Convulsions or seizures refer to uncontrollable shaking and twitching of the muscles caused by an “abnormal electrical activity in the brain” [9].

An attack may last for a few seconds or up to 15 minutes [9].

Fortunately, there are ways to control convulsions such as with citronella oil.

Citronella oil is said to have anticonvulsant activities that can reduce the frequency of attacks [10].

A team of scientists from Brazil reports that this oil has depressant effects on the central nervous system when administered during an attack [10].

A dosage of 400 mg/kg dramatically reduced the number of seizures in 50 percent of the animal subjects [10].

These anticonvulsant effects can be attributed to citronellol, a monoterpene that can be found in citronella oil [11].

Key Takeaways:

  • Citronella oil can be used to control seizures.
  • It has been found to contain citronellol, a monoterpene with anticonvulsant properties.

4. Citronella Oil Can Maintain Proper Levels of Blood Pressure

Like cholesterol and blood sugar levels, blood pressure should also be monitored regularly.

That’s because hypertension can lead to complications such as heart attack, aneurysm, kidney problems, and metabolic syndrome, according to Mayo Clinic.

Not only are proper diet and regular exercise necessary to keep blood pressure levels in check, it’s also a good idea to make use of natural antihypertensive measures.

A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology reports that citronella has antihypertensive properties [12].

Researchers found that this herbal remedy can reduce arterial pressure in the rats involved in the study [12].

When there’s too much pressure on the arteries, that’s when blood pressure levels go up.

Key Takeaways:

  • High blood pressure can increase the risk of heart disease, kidney problems, aneurysm and metabolic syndrome.
  • Maintain proper blood pressure levels with citronella, which is proven to reduce arterial pressure.

5. Citronella Oil Can Help Tone Down Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal emotion that everyone feels from time to time.

It’s normal to worry about things like money matters, plans for the future, family relationships, work related issues, and so on.

However, if anxiety starts to affect your life and daily activities, preventing you from functioning optimally or interacting with other people, then you should start doing something about it.

An effective anxiolytic that you can use to resolve feelings of worry and stress is citronella oil [13].

Not only does citronella oil has a positive impact on people suffering from anxiety disorder, it can also help prolong the duration of sleep [13].

This is important as there’s a vicious cycle that involves these two: sleep and anxiety.

When you’re anxious, you find it hard to get a good sleep.

And when you don’t get enough sleep, you become more anxious.

That’s why, it helps to make use of citronella, which can help you both ways.

Key Takeaways:

  • Citronella oil is a safe and natural anxiolytic that can tone down feelings of anxiety, worry, and stress.
  • It can also help you get a good night’s sleep, which you need not only to recharge your physical body, but also to soothe your emotional wellbeing.

Also Read: 12+ Essential Oils for Anxiety that Work (with How to Use Them)

6. Citronella Oil is a Viable Solution for Oral or Vaginal Candida Infections

Candida albicans refers to a type of fungus that’s normally found in the mouth, vagina, skin, and digestive tract [14].

This fungal species exist in small amounts and usually does not cause any problem [14].

However, when it begins to outnumber other microorganisms, an infection may arise [14].

Oral and vaginal candida infections can, fortunately, be remedied with citronella oil, which can inhibit both the growth and spread of fungi [15].

In a study performed by Japanese researchers, 12 essential oils were tested for their efficacy as the treatment for fungal infections [15].

It was found that citronella oil was one of the most effective, inhibiting not only the growth of fungi but also the formation of yeasts with a dosage of 200 micro g/ml [15].

It’s indeed advisable to use natural antifungal agents like citronella oil since some fungal strains are already resistant to commercial antifungal medications.

Key Takeaways:

  • Fungal infections occur when the fungi outnumber other microorganisms in the body.
  • A safe and natural way to combat fungal infections is with citronella oil.
  • Since citronella oil is natural, it can help control fungal strains that have grown resistant to medication.


7. Citronella Oil Can Fight Aspergillosis

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that aspergillosis is an infection caused by a type of fungus called Aspergillus.

It’s a rare condition that usually doesn’t affect those who are healthy and fit.

However, those who have a weak immune system or who suffer from lung problems are at risk of this condition.

Active compounds in citronella oil are said to be effective in inhibiting the Aspergillus species [16].

It also works on other types of fungi such as Penicillium and Eurotium [16].

Key Takeaway:

  • Citronella oil’s antifungal properties also work on fungal species that cause aspergillosis.

8. Citronella Oil Can Treat Food Poisoning

One of the worst things that could happen to you anywhere is food poisoning.

When you accidentally consume food that has been contaminated with bacteria, you will suffer from unpleasant symptoms that would make it difficult, if not impossible, to carry on with your normal routine.

A common type of food poisoning caused by a type of bacteria called salmonella enterica is salmonellosis [17].

Typical symptoms include stomach pain, diarrhea, and fever, which may appear 12 to 72 hours after consumption of contaminated food [17].

The problem can last from four days to one week [17].

Well, you don’t have to wait that long to feel better.

You can shorten the pain and suffering by using citronella oil, which has been shown to have inhibitory effects on salmonella bacteria [18].

This oil has been found to effectively control the growth and spread of bacteria, and at the same time, alleviate the symptoms caused by the infection [18].

Key Takeaway:

  • Don’t let food poisoning ruin your day (or your week), make use of citronella oil, which not only inhibits growth and spread of bacteria causing the infection but also helps lighten up the symptoms.

Also Read: 10 Home Remedies for Food Poisoning that Work & How to Use Them

9. Citronella Oil Can Prevent and Treat UTI

Urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when a part of the urinary system is infected, usually with the E. coli bacteria [19].

At first, you may not know that you have UTI, but eventually, it will exhibit signs and symptoms such as fever, pain in the back, pain during urination, and so on.

Doctors routinely prescribe antibiotics, but because some bacterial strains have grown resistant to medications, it’s better to rely on natural solutions like citronella oil.

According to a 2001 Brazilian study, citronella oil has antibacterial effects against E. coli [20].

What it does is that it prevents the bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract [20].

By doing so, the bacterial growth and spread are put to a halt.

This oil can, therefore, be used to prevent and treat infections caused by E. coli such as UTI.

Key Takeaways:

  • Urinary tract infection is a condition that cannot be taken lightly.
  • Not only does it cause unpleasant symptoms, it may also progress to a more serious condition and damage the kidneys.
  • Treat this infection right away with the use of natural remedies like citronella oil.
  • Citronella oil cures UTI by preventing bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract.

Also Read: Apple Cider Vinegar for UTI Treatment: 10 Practical Ways

10. Citronella Oil Can Provide Pain Relief

Do you have pain anywhere in your body?

Whether acute or chronic, pain can take a toll on your daily activities, and even affect your work.

This problem triggered by the nervous system can be a sign of an underlying condition [21].

Apart from determining the source of pain, you can also get quick pain relief using citronella oil.

Citronella oil works by blocking signal pains in the brain [22].

This means that even if you’re in pain, you won’t feel it because the messages that are supposed to tell your brain that you are, will be blocked by the active compounds in citronella oil.

It also helps that citronella oil has anxiolytic effects.

Pain can make you feel anxious and stressed out, and citronella oil helps by soothing your senses and nerves.

Key Takeaway:

  • Get immediate relief from pain by using citronella oil, which has antinociceptive properties.

11. Citronella Oil Helps to Remove Bad Odor

The beautiful citrus smell of citronella oil is so refreshing and tangy. Its lemon-like fragrance destroys the bad odor-causing bacteria and helps you stay fresh throughout the day.

Citronella oil is an amazing addition to making body sprays and deodorants. You can opt for deodorants or body sprays that contain citronella oil as an ingredient.

Alternatively, you can enjoy a bath with this beautiful aromatic oil. For that, draw a bath with lukewarm water. Add just a few drops of citronella oil to the water. Soak your body in it for ten to fifteen minutes to get rid of your bad odor. But make sure to add only a little amount of this oil as too much of this oil may make your skin feel irritated.

Key Takeaway: 

  • Get relief from your bad odor with the help of citronella oil.

Also Read: 13 Quick Ways to Get Rid of Body Odor Naturally

Bottom Line

Citronella oil has many wonderful benefits for the health that you should not ignore.

Use this oil to ward off disease-carrying mosquitoes, treat a number of ailments, and manage serious conditions such as diabetes.

It’s natural, safe, and easy to use. We really hope this article was helpful to you. For any queries or confusions, feel free to ask us. Also, don’t forget to share your experience with us by leaving a comment in the comments section below.

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