Citron-Scent Gum, Corymbia citriodora, Eucalipto con Olor a Limón, Eucalipto Limón, Eucalyptus citriodora, Eucalyptus Citronné, Eucalyptus à Odeur de Citronnelle, Gomme à Odeur de Citronnelle, Gommier à Odeur de Citronnelle, Lemon Scented Gum, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, OLE, P-menthane Diol, P-menthane-3,8-Diol, Para-menthane-3,8-diol, PMD, Quwenling, Spotted Gum, Wild Eucalyptus Citriodora.
Lemon eucalyptus is a tree. Oil from the leaves is applied to the skin as a medicine and insect repellent.
Lemon eucalyptus oil is used for preventing mosquito and deer tick bites; for treating muscle spasms, toenail fungus (onychomycosis), and osteoarthritis and other joint pain. It is also an ingredient in chest rubs used to relieve congestion.
How does it work?
Lemon eucalyptus oil contains a chemical that repels mosquitoes and kills fungus.
Likely Effective for...
- Preventing mosquito bites, when applied to the skin. Lemon eucalyptus oil is an ingredient in some commercial mosquito repellents. It seems to be about as effective as other mosquito repellents including some products that contain DEET. However, the protection offered by lemon eucalyptus oil doesn't seem to last quite as long as DEET.
Possibly Effective for...
- Preventing tick bites, when applied to the skin. Applying a specific 30% lemon eucalyptus oil extract (Citriodiol) three times daily significantly decreases the number of tick attachments experienced by people who live in tick-infested areas. This specific extract is used in commercial products such as Mosi-guard and Repel Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Toenail fungus (onychomycosis). Developing research suggests that lemon eucalyptus oil, in combination with camphor and menthol, might be useful for treating toenail fungus when applied directly to the affected area. Applying chest rub products containing lemon eucalyptus, such as Vicks VapoRub, to affected toenails daily until the infected nail grows out seems to clear fungal nail infections in some people.
- Joint pain.
- 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).
Lemon eucalyptus oil is safe for most adults when applied to the skin as a mosquito repellent. Some people might have a skin reaction to the oil.
Lemon eucalyptus oil is UNSAFE to take by mouth. Some chest rubs for congestion (Vicks VapoRub) contain lemon eucalyptus oil. These products can cause seizures and death if eaten.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
APPLIED TO THE SKIN:
- For preventing mosquito bites: a 30%, 40%, or 75% lemon eucalyptus oil solution. However, the higher concentration does not seem to be more effective than the lower concentration. Commercial products available in the US (e.g., Repel Lemon Eucalyptus) contain 10% to 30% lemon eucalyptus oil. Directions on these products suggest applying the oil no more than twice per day. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after applying the oil. Avoid getting it on your lips or into your mouth.
- For preventing ticks from attaching and biting: A specific 30% lemon eucalyptus oil extract (Citriodiol) has been applied up to three times daily when exposed to tick infested areas. This specific extract is used in commercial products such as Mosi-guard and Repel Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after applying the oil. Avoid getting it on your lips or into your mouth.
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.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Barasa SS, Ndiege IO, Lwande W, Hassanali A. Repellent activities of stereoisomers of p-menthane-3,8-diols against Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae). J Med Entomol 2002;39:736-41. View abstract.
Barnard DR, Bernier UR, Posey KH, Xue RD. Repellency of IR3535, KBR3023, para-menthane-3,8-diol, and deet to black salt marsh mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in the Everglades National Park. J Med Entomol 2002;39:895-9. View abstract.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Telebriefing Transcript CDC Adopts New Repellent Guidelines for Upcoming Mosquito Season. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/transcripts/t050428.htm. (Accessed 28 April 2005).
Collins DA, Brady JN, Curtis CF. Assessment of the efficacy of Quwenling as a mosquito repellent. Phytother Res 1993;7:17-20.
Fradin MS, Day JF. Comparative efficacy of insect repellents against mosquito bites. N Engl J Med 2002;347:13-8. View abstract.
Gardulf A, Wohlfart I, Gustafson R. A prospective cross-over field trial shows protection of lemon eucalyptus extract against tick bites. J Med Entomol 2004;41:1064-7. View abstract.
Gouin S, Patel H. Unusual cause of seizure. Pediatr Emerg Care 1996;12:298-300. View abstract.
Govere J, Durrheim DN, Baker L, et al. Efficacy of three insect repellents against the malaria vector Anopheles arabiensis. Med Vet Entomol 2000;14:441-4. View abstract.
Hadis M, Lulu M, Mekonnen Y, Asfaw T. Field trials on the repellent activity of four plant products against mainly Mansonia population in western Ethiopia. Phytother Res 2003;17:202-5. View abstract.
Love JN, Sammon M, Smereck J. Are one or two dangerous? Camphor exposure in toddlers. J Emerg Med 2004;27:49-54.. View abstract.
Moore SJ, Lenglet A, Hill N. Field evaluation of three plant-based insect repellents against malaria vectors in Vaca Diez Province, the Bolivian Amazon. J Am Mosq Control Assoc 2002;18:107-10. View abstract.
Ramezani H, Singh HP, Batish DR, Kohli RK. Antifungal activity of the volatile oil of Eucalyptus citriodora. Fitoterapia 2002;73:261-2. View abstract.
Ramsewak RS, Nair MG, Stommel M, Selanders L. In vitro antagonistic activity of monoterpenes and their mixtures against 'toe nail fungus' pathogens. Phytother Res 2003;17:376-9.. View abstract.
Trigg JK, Hill N. Laboratory evaluation of a Eucalyptus-based repellent against four biting arthropods. Phytother Res 1996;10:313-16.
US Environmental Protection Agency. p-Menthane-3,8-diol (011550) Biopesticide Registration Eligibility Document. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/oppbppd1/biopesticides/ ingredients/tech_docs/tech_011550.htm#BIBLIOGRAPHY (Accessed 18 May 2005).