Citronella is anti bacterial, anti septic, anti spasmodic, anti inflammatory, deodorant, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, insect repellent and stomachic. These properties of citronella oil make it a very diversified oil which can be used in numerous ways. Citronella oil was registered for use in the United States since 1948. There are two types of citronella oil which are as follows: |
Ceylon type: it is obtained from Cymbopogon nardus rendle. It consists of 18-20% geraniol, 9-11% limonene, 7-11% methyl isoeugenol, 6-8% citronellol and 5-15% citronellal. Java type: It is obtained from Cymbopogon winterianus Jowitt. It consists of 32-45% citronellal, 11-13% geraniol, 3-8% geranyl acetate and 1-4% limonene.
Producers of Citronella Oil
The overall world production of citronella oil is approximately 4, ooo tones. The leading producers of this type of oil are China and Indonesia. These two countries produce almost 40% of the total world production of citronella natural oil. Other countries in which citronella oil is produced are Taiwan, Guatemala, Honduras, Brazil, Sri Lanka, India, Argentina, Ecuador, Jamaica, Madagascar, Mexico, and South Africa. Citronella Oil Used as an Insect Repellent
Citronella oil repels insects such as mosquitoes, black flies, fleas and ticks, therefore preventing its bites. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) citronella oil has little or no toxicity when used as a tropical insect repellent. It can be used by humans in the form of oil, liquid or patch. It can be also used as candles and cartages. Nowadays this oil is applied as bug repellent in the form of bracelet. How safe is Citronella Oil
If citronella oil is used according to the label instructions then there are no side effects. Citronella is not expected to pose health risks to people, including children and other sensitive populations. Citronella oil can be hazardous if it is taken in large quantities, it may irritate the skin and eye of the individual. To get good results this oil must be applied after every 30-60 minutes. Advantages of Citronella Oil over DEET
DEET is a N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide which is used as a mosquito repellent but the biggest disadvantage of DEET is that it is toxic. DEET goes into the bloodstream through skin and hampers the nervous system of the body. On the other hand citronella oil has few or no toxicity, the application of this oil is very easy as it is available in various forms like oil, repellent bracelet, candles etc.
So we should conclude that citronella oil is a boon to the insect repellent industry. It is one of the fast and safe ways to remove insects from our home.
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