Citronella oil is extracted by the steam distillation of finely chopped fresh, dried or part-dried grass.
The main chemical components of citronella oil are citronellic acid, borneol, citronellol, geraniol, nerol, citral, citronellal, camphene, dipentene and limonene.
Citronella oil may irritate sensitive skin and cause dermatitis in certain individuals.
The therapeutic properties of citronella oil are antiseptic, bactericidal, deodorant, diaphoretic, insecticide, parasitic, tonic and stimulant. 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.