Cymbopogon nardus (Plant Family: Poaceae)
Type of plant: Tall perennial grass with tufts of narrow fragrant leaves
Part used: Leaves
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Method of extraction: Steam distillation
Data: Citronella comes from the grass colloquially known as mana grass in Sri Lanka. It’s an important export for several Asian countries, where it’s used in cooking as well as to deter moths, fleas, spiders, ticks, mosquitoes, and other insects. In Chinese medicine, it’s used as a remedy for rheumatic pain.
Principal places of production: Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Brazil, Madagascar
When buying look for: A thin, yellow to light brown liquid with a fresh, citrus/lemony aroma
Therapeutic properties: Antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiphlogistic, antiseptic, febrifuge; insect repellent
Therapeutic uses: Muscular aches and pains, infectious skin conditions, fevers, heat rash, excessive perspiration, fungal infections, fungal foot infections, fatigue, insect bites; insect deterrent
Blends well with: Bay (West Indian), cedarwood, cinnamon leaf, clove bud, cypress, eucalyptus radiata, geranium, ginger, juniper berry, lemon, lemongrass, lime, may chang, myrtle, orange (sweet), palmarosa, patchouli, pine, rosemary, spearmint, spruce, tangerine, vetiver, ylang ylang
Precautionary advice: May cause irritation on highly sensitive or damaged skins; a skin patch test is advisable. Skin applications are best avoided during pregnancy.