Medicinal plant with a repellent effect, used mainly to prevent insect bites and therefore prevent diseases transmitted by insect bites (along with other practices).


Portuguese name: Citronella
Binomial name: Cymbopogon nardus L.
French name: citronnelle
English name: citronella
German name: Citronella
Italian name: citronella
Spanish name: Citronala




Essential oil composed of citronellal (16%), geranilol (40%), citral, methyl eugenol

parts used



Insect repellent, especially mosquitoes.


– Prevention of bites from mosquitoes and other insects .

– Dengue and malaria prevention (in conjunction with other practices)

– Dandruff (mainly used in essential oil form, do not apply directly, apply in shampoo or tonic containing 5 to 15% citronella essential oil).

Secundary effects

May cause skin irritation when applied topically.


None known.


None known.


– Essential oil (do not use pure under the skin)

– Creams, lotions

– Candles

– Decoction

– shampoo

– Soap

Where does citronella grow?

Citronella grows in Europe, Asia, Africa and the American continent. Citronella originates from Sri Lanka.

When to harvest?

Citronella leaves can be harvested all year round.

Interesting Observations

– Other species of Cymbopogon (C. flexuosus, C. winterianus), also have citronella essential oil.

– Not to be confused with lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), which has a great physical similarity.

– In some countries such as Brazil and Nigeria, citronella is used to prevent dengue and malaria , transmitted by mosquito bites, due to its repellent effect. Citronella is used both to pass on the body and in the environment (candles, essences and plant).

– In cooking, it is recommended to use fresh citronella and not dried.

– Citronella is widely used in Asian cuisine, especially in Thai. It is, for example, found in Thai soup.

– At a nutritional level, citronella is rich in iron, vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium and magnesium.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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