Cymbopogon winterianus Jowitt is a tall fragrant perennial grass, growing up to a height of 1 – 1.5 meter. The leaves are sessile, simple, green, and linear, equitantly arranged and can grow to an average size of 60 cm long x 2.5 cm wide. Leaves are glabrous, venation parallel with an acuminate apiece and sheathing base. There are no true stems. The leaf sheath is tubular and acts as a pseudo-stem.
Citronella oil is obtained by steam distillation of partially wilted leaves of Cymbopogon winterianus. The Citronella essential oil is widely used for its antibacterial, antidepressant, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, deodorant, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, fungicidal, insect repellent, stomachic, stimulant, tonic, and vermifuge properties of substances in it. It contains citronellal, geraniol, geranial acetate, and limonene as its chief constituents.
The essential oil mainly constitutes geraniol, citronellol, geranyl acetate, limonene, citronellyl acetate, elemol, and camphene. Other sesquiterpenes are β-elemene, y-cadinene, and traces of cubenene, calamenene, cbourbonene, bisabolene, eugenol, nerol, linalol, and neral.
Due to its vermifugal properties, it can expel parasitic worms as well as various internal parasites from the body.
When mixed with acetone, the essential oil becomes an effective insecticide.
Citronella essential oil constitutes an anti-fungal product, that is known to inhibit the growth of certain fungus– Trichophyton mentagrophytes that causes dermatophytosis in humans.
This oil has an anticonvulsant, Central Nervous System (CNS) depressant and analgesic properties; as a result, it is a helpful remedy for epileptic seizures and works as a sedative, tranquilizer, and hypnotics.
This essential oil is an excellent antimicrobe capable of inhibiting the growth of animal and plant pathogens, including microorganisms that contaminate food.
As a natural insect repellant, Citronella can prevent Aedes aegypti (dengue fever mosquito) from growing.
Anti-infectious, antiseptic, antibacterial, antidepressant, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, deodorant, diaphoretic fungicidal, insect repellent (mosquito), stomachic, excessive perspiration, oily skin and hair, room deodorizer, rheumatism, and arthritic pain. This oil can be used in the treatment of problems like oily skin, oily hair, abnormal palpitations, colitis, migraine, neuralgia, fatigue, headache, nausea, and abdominal pain resulting from gas or cramps.
This oil is used to kill and keep away from insects. It has been found particularly effective on a species of mosquito. This is also effective on lice, body and head louse, and fleas.
In perfumery for the scenting of soaps and the production of technical preparations.
Citronella oil is used as a flavoring agent for many foods & beverages.