Several plants in the Cymbopogon genus are known as citronella. Citronella essential oil, with an intense citrus-like scent, is extracted from these plants.
This grass is particularly well known for its aromatic properties and its power as a natural insect repellent, although it should be noted that it is not a registered biocide. This means that, in situations where we need to protect ourselves from disease-transmitting insects, a citronella product should be used with a repellent with biocidal substances indicated for this purpose.
In dietary supplement form, the botanical species it contains must be clearly identified. Oral use is only reserved for certain botanical species and must be prescribed by a health professional.
Java citronella (Cymbopogon winterianus) and Madagascar citronella (Cymbopogon giganteus) have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and deodorant properties. They can also be used in air diffusion to repel mosquitoes. In the case of Java citronella, it can be used diluted with a vegetable oil to massage sore joints.
It can also be used on the skin and diluted in the context of certain infections or excessive sweating. If in doubt, always consult a professional.