Citronella belongs to a family of fragrant grasses native to Sri Lanka, where it has long been cultivated. The lemony scent is reminiscent of Melissa, a much more expensive oil it is often used to adulterate. Unfortunately, it does not share the same properties.
Traditional: Citronella oil is best known for its insect repellent properties, but it can also be used to treat excessive perspiration and sweaty feet. It is used for headaches and neuralgia as well as for rheumatism, arthritis and back pains. Its refreshing scent boosts energy, though be aware that it also raises the heart rate. In aromatherapy skin care it is used for oily skin. Citronella may cause a skin reaction in sensitive individuals. Avoid during pregnancy.
Magical: Citronella refreshes a weary mind and lifts the spirit. It can be used for ritual purification or to cleanse a new home of old, lingering energies. It dispels heavy and dark thought-forms and negative energies. As an ingredient of Kyphi incense it can be used for dream and healing work.
In ancient Egypt, the roots of Citronella grass were used as an ingredient of the famous Kyphi incense. In Chinese medicine it has long been used as a traditional remedy for rheumatism and arthritis.
Today it is most valued as an effective insect repellent, usually sold in the form of sprays or scented candles. It is also a common fragrance component of soaps and skin care products.
In perfumery, Citronella provides the base material to synthesize certain other fragrances.
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