When you get your first whiff of Citronella Essential Oil, you will more than likely think of summer nights, fire flies and yummy grilled food because many of you have probably used citronella candles to repel pesky bugs from outdoor gatherings. Now you can have the effectiveness of the plant in an easy-to-use oil, for not only household use, but personal use as well.
Citronella has long been considered the natural and safe alternative to DEET (N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), a controversial ingredient in most insect repellents. Citronella can be used alone or with other essential oils, such as Beeyoutiful®’s Eucalyptus Oil, to form a wonderful combination insecticide and repellent (see below for recipe). The plant itself does not produce enough pungency to repel bugs from your yard, but the concentrated oil can be diffused in small patio areas or mixed with a carrier oil or water and lightly wiped on furniture, doorways, or other items to help repel pests.
Beeyoutiful®’s Citronella Essential Oil can be diluted with Beeyoutiful®’s Sweet Almond Oil. Citronella pairs well with Beeyoutiful®’s Lavender, Geranium, Orange, and Lemon Essential Oils. And, last but not least, Citronella mixes wonderfully with Eucalyptus Oil for a boost to the insecticide properties.
Insecticide: You can simply rub the oil, diluted with a carrier oil, on your skin with a paper towel or cotton ball. For easy-to-use convenience, you may want to make up a larger batch. You will need a fine mist spray bottle and either distilled water or a high proof alcohol (vodka is appropriate for this rather than rubbing alcohol; vodka is usually preferred to other alcohols because it is clear, high proof, and relatively cheap to purchase). Add 3 ounces of either distilled water or alcohol to the spray bottle, then add 15-20 drops of Citronella Essential Oil. Please test for sensitivity. You may want to begin with 15 drops and test for effectiveness, then add if needed. Shake before using. Note: You must shake well before using or you could be applying straight oil, which could result in burns.
You can also add small amounts (6 drops per ounce) of Citronella to your lotion, sunscreen or shampoo for guaranteed coverage. This is especially good for repelling ticks, which like to hide in hair.
Multi-Oil Insect Repellent
15-20 drops Citronella Essential Oil (Cymbopogon winterianus)
15 drops Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula officinalis)
10 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Eucalyptus globulus)
7 Drops Lemongrass Essential Oil (Cymbopogon citratus)
3-4 ounces distilled water OR alcohol (use high proof alcohol such as vodka, notrubbing alcohol)
You may wish to start with only half the amount of each oil suggested and increase later if needed; the strength required depends on the sensitivity of your skin and the coverage needed. If you are particularly susceptible to bug bites, you may want to use the full amount.
Mix oils in a fine-mist 4-ounce spray bottle and allow them to mingle. Add 3 to 4 ounces of water or alcohol to fill the spray bottle. Make sure to shake well before applying to the skin; if not, you could be dispersing straight oil, which can cause burns. Reapply as needed.
Cleaning: Citronella is especially good at cleaning sick rooms during and after contagious illnesses. You can diffuse the oil in the room or use as a disinfectant by adding it to your water or natural cleaner.
Deodorant: Such a light, lemony smell will help deodorize the body. It also helps to disinfect the bacteria that cause foul odors. Add a drop of Citronella Essential Oil to 1 teaspoon coconut oil to be used as an underarm deodorant. In addition to being an odor-eater, it also helps to combat excessive perspiration! Plus, it has none of the toxic metals or chemical used by conventional antiperspirants or deodorants that have been alleged to cause cancer and many other ailments. (Allow time to soak into the skin first before dressing so you don’t end up with oil marks on your clothes.)
Skin: The clearing benefits and balancing effects on the skin are definitely worth using Citronella Essential Oil in your daily regimen. It helps to reduce oily skin and can also be tremendously helpful in reducing bad bacteria. Use a drop in your water to rinse your skin, add a drop to your facial cream, or make a witch hazel and citronella astringent by adding one drop per teaspoon of witch hazel and applying as needed.
Note: Due to known drug interactions, please consult your doctor prior to using Citronella Essential Oil. A dilution of 1% Citronella Essential Oil is recommended for all topical use. (To achieve: add 1 drop of Citronella Essential Oil to 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil.)
Pregnancy/Lactation: Although considered generally appropriate for use during pregnancy and lactation, we advise that you speak with your healthcare practitioner prior to use to insure it is appropriate for your specific situation.
For additional information on the use of Essential Oils, please read the following article: The Essentials of Essential Oils. For even more about Citronella, read related articles on our blog.
Bottled in the USA. Country of Origin: Indonesia