- What other names is Citronella Oil known by?
- What is Citronella Oil?
- How does Citronella Oil work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Dosing considerations for Citronella Oil.
Citronella oil is used to expel worms or other parasites from the intestines. It is also used to control muscle spasms, increase appetite, and increase urine production (as a diuretic) to relieve fluid retention.
Some people apply citronella oil directly to the skin to keep mosquitoes and other insects away.
In foods and beverages, citronella oil is used as a flavoring.
In manufacturing, citronella oil is used as a fragrance in cosmetics and soaps.
Possibly Effective for...
- Preventing mosquito bites when applied to the skin. Citronella oil is an ingredient in some mosquito repellents you can buy at the store. It seems to prevent mosquito bites for a short amount of time, typically less than 20 minutes. Other mosquito repellents, such as those containing DEET, are usually preferred because these repellents last much longer.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Worm infestations.
- Fluid retention.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Quick GuideBad Bugs: Identify Bug Bites From Mosquitos, Spiders and More
Citronella oil seems to be safe for most people when applied to the skin as an insect repellent. However, it might cause skin allergies in some people.
It's UNSAFE to inhale citronella oil. Lung damage has been reported.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Children: It's UNSAFE to give citronella oil to children by mouth. There are reports of poisoning in children, and one toddler died after swallowing insect repellent that contained citronella oil.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of citronella oil during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
APPLIED TO THE SKIN:
- For preventing mosquito bites: citronella oil in concentrations of 0.5% to 10%.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011