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Citronella Ceylon (nardus)


Citronella Essential Oil is famous for its ability to deter mosquitos and other insects. Its aroma is widely recognizable and associated with a wide range of insect repellent products.  Citronella can surprise many essential oil users because of its other beneficial uses but are not well known to this essential oil.

Botanical Name

Cymbopogon nardus

Plant Family


Country of Origin

Native to Sri Lanka, and extensively cultivated on the southernmost tip of the country.

Common Method of Extraction

Steam Distilled

Plant Part Typically Used






Perfumery Note


Strength of Initial Aroma


Aromatic Description

Citronella Essential Oil smells somewhat citrusy, fruity, sweet, fresh and clean

Possible Substitute Oils

Melissa, Lemongrass, Lemon Verbena

Blends Well With

bergamot, cedarwood, geranium, grapefruit, lemon, lime, melissa, orange, pine, Spanish sage, tangerine

GRAS status


Citronella Essential Oil Uses

Arthritis, Muscular Aches, infectious skin conditions, fevers, heat rash, excessive perspiration, fungal infections, fatigue, insect bites, insect deterrent, nervous exhaustion, colds, flu, minor infections, reduces oily skin, antiseptic, aids digestion, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antispasmodic, antioxidant, astringent, anticonvulsive, diuretic, relieves excess sweating, deodorant, nervine (calms and soothes the nerves), analgesic (pain relief), antirheumatic, antiparasitic, calming, mentally clarifying

Source: Valerie Ann Worwood, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, 25th Anniversary Edition (Novato, CA: New World Library, 2016, 581.

Source: Salvatore Battaglia, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy (Australia: The Perfect Potion, 2003), 187.

Major Constituents of Citronella Essential Oil

    • Citronellal
    • Geraniol
    • (-)-Citronellol
    • (-)-Limonene
    • (E)-Methyl Isoeugenol
    • Champhene
    • Citronellyl acetate

    See Essential Oil Safety for a more complete list of typical constituents.

    Source: R.O.B. Wijesekera, The Chemical Composition and Analysis of Citronella Oil. (J. Natl. Sci. Council (Sri Lanka) 1, 1973), 67-81. K. Bruns, E. Heinrich, I. Pagel. Citronellaol: Untersuchung von Handels- und Hybridolen Verschiedener Provinienz. (In: Kubeczka, Vorkommen und Analytic atherischer Ole, Band 2. Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart). J.T. Carlin, S. Kramer, C.T. Ho. Comparison of Commercial Citronella Oils from Various Origins. In: B.M. Lawrence, B.D. Mookerjee, B.J. Willis, Flavor and Frances: a World Perspective (Amsterdam: Elsevier Science, 1988), 495-504. B.M. Lawrence, Essential Oils 1981-1987 (Wheaton: Allured Publishing, 1989), 31. L. Zhu, Y. Li, B. Li, et al. Aromatic Plants and Essential Constituents. (South China Institute of Botany, HK, 1993). Sources cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 251.

Citronella Essential Oil Safety Information

Tisserand and Young indicate that there is a risk of drug interaction when using Citronella Oil. They recommend a dermal maximum of 18.2%. Reading Tisserand and Young’s full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 251.]

General Safety Information

Do not take essential oils internally nor apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Read, Birkat Natural’s, Guide to Diluting Essential Oils, for general dilution information. If you are currently experiencing pregnancy, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, have any other medical problem, or are otherwise under the care of a physician, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and be sure to first read the recommended dilution ratios for children. Consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications. Carefully read Birkat Natural’s Essential Oil Safety Information page, before using any essential oil. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.

The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. No claims are made by Birkat Adonai Farm, LLC as to the medicinal value of any products from Birkat Adonai Farm, LLC. The information presented here is for educating our customers about the traditional uses of essential oils and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. You are responsible for understanding the safe application of these products. If you have any questions, please call or email us for further information.


10ml, 15ml, 5ml, Roller Bottle


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