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Citronella is an oil that is derived from the Cymbopogon nardus plant and has a few different functions but almost exclusively it is used as a natural insect repellent. It repels flying insects such as flies and mosquitos so is often used as a more natural alternative to other chemical based repellents as it has minimal side effects.
I have personally used Citronella for years in different preparations especially when I am going on holiday. You can buy it on a spray to spray on clothing and skin and it is also widely available in citronella candles. I don't often buy the spray unless I am really being bothered by insects while I am away but I do buy the candles a lot.
Citronella candles are great are stopping insects from ruining your night out on a balcony or terrace as they really do work to help keep insects to a minimum. When it is dark and you are sitting outside on a terrace or balcony you can be swarmed by insects which does ruin the relaxing environment but they really do seem to hate this stuff so if you light a candle most of them should stay away so that you are not bothered as badly.
It is not as effective as using a fly spray to kill the little blighters but it is much more environmentally friendly and not as damaging to us humans and other animals. It is much better at just keeping them at bay rather than killing them. Some flies and mossies will be braver than the rest and still come to you but I find the majority of them will stay away and I don't mind swatting a few it is when there is a swarm of them that I don't like.
As well as the candle and the spray you can also buy plug ins which are supposed to keep the insects away while you are sleeping. I have only used one of these once but really didn't find it effective in helping to keep the room clear and think that the candles are much better and more effective.
Citronella is lemon scented but it has a funny tinge to it which I just don't like. I wouldn't use the spray unless I had to as I find that when it is that close to my skin and nose it actually makes me feel nauseous but in candle form the scent is less offensive to me and I find it bearable and occasionally it can even be pleasant as long as it isn't in an enclosed space. Some people I know love the smell of citronella and use it almost as an air freshener but for me it is a smell that isn't particularly pleasant.
Citronella is a good alternative to chemical insect repellents. It is quite effective though not as much as DEET but for something natural it does help and I really do think the candles work wonders outside in summer to help keep insects to a minimum.
WHAT IS IT?
Citronella is something that is added to products to deter flies and other flying insects. It's most commonly found in candles and wax discs but you can buy it in spray format too. I usually buy citronella candles to burn outside because we like to eat outside in the summer.
WHAT I THINK
The thing to remember is to purchase citronella products from reputable stockists. You can buy citronella candles in Poundland but they have a very diluted citronella content and are not as effective as those you buy from Robert Dyas or Go Outdoors. Citronella is lightly lemon scented but will usually be blended with a stronger fragrance so you are not necessarily going to have a candle that smells richly of lemons. Citronella spray usually has a stronger citrus fragrance and is nice to use as an air freshener in the summer because it's such a refreshing smell.
Like anything not all flies will be repelled by citronella but it's better for you to use than fly spray. We had a few house flys come in yesterday and I couldn't use fly spray because my daughter was asleep so I brought one of my large outdoor citronella candles in and lit it for an hour. Once the fragrance had time to work through the downstairs I noticed half of the flys had gone back outside and the rest were gradually flying away from the candle, a quarter of an hour later all except one fly had gone and that one was unconcerned by citronella because it was flying close to the candle.
If you think you need to purchase citronella then you should look at all the formats and see what is right for you. We do not suffer with many flys in the house and that is why I buy the outdoor candles because they are attracted by the food that we eat outside. I buy citronella spray but this is only very occasionally because I do not like using aerosols in my home unless it is necessary.
5 Dooyoo Stars.
FLIES, FLIES and more FLIES. What should you buy to deter the pesky creatures. CITRONELLA Citronella is originally from southeast Asia it is a grass like plant, with tall bluish/green leaves, which have a kind of lemony smell. The leaves are used for their smell as well as a medicine. I am not really going to discuss the medical qualities of citronella in this op, as my op is more about repelling flies and mosquitoes. If you do not like flies buzzing around your living room on a warm summer evening Citronella is a well known insect repellent. It saves having to use fly spay and it is far more attractive to have a citronella candle burning quietly away on your coffee table than a big can of fly spray. If you are having a quite evening sitting in your garden and are being bitten by those tiny midges, why not place citronella incense sticks randomly around your garden as well as lighting a citronella candle to place on your garden table, for good measure. If you live in mosquito country if the oil is mixed with a little cedar wood oil it is a great way of preventing mosquito bites. Some people are allergic to citronella oils and it may bring on dermatitis. It should never be put neat on the skin and should always be mixed with another oil. Inhaling the oil of citronella may increase your heart rate and should be avoided if you are pregnant. Citronella candles come in all shapes and sizes and can be bought in garden centres, candle shops, some department stores, health shops, markets etc. The price ranges from £1 upwards The same applies to the incense sticks and oils. Using Citronella items, to me seems a far better way than polluting the air around us with artificial chemicals. I realise in some cases more drastic measures must be used, but heck I live in UK, how many days in the year do I h
ave my windows open or sit in the garden where flies etc are around. Surely I can rely on citronella for such a short time. If not I can always resort to a fly swat. One last point to remember flies are attracted to food, so keep all food covered up at all times. Thanks for the read ;o)
When it comes to medicine, I feel nature has many cures for what ails us and Citronella Essential oil is one of those examples. The Citronella plant is a perennial grass with very fragrant foliage. The plant has a long history of use in time-honoured herbal medicine of the countries in which it grows: mainly for the treatment of digestive complaints, intestinal parasites and to combat fever. It is also used as an organic insect repellent. Citronella Essential oil is a volatile oil obtained from the leaves and stem of the plant Cymbopogon winteratus or Cymbopogon nardus from Southeast Asia. There are therefore two types of citronella oils. The grass that produces the Java oil is grown in many parts of the tropical world whereas the Ceylon oil type is cultivated in Sri Lanka. The oils produced from the two types of grasses vary to some extent in composition, aroma and flavour. The odour of Ceylon citronella is fresh, grassy as well as having a warm-woody aroma. It is preferred for scenting outdoor sprays, room sprays and other household products. Java oil has a sweeter, more floral aroma, which is preferred in perfumery and aromatherapy. The fragrant materials extracted from the root, bark, wood, seed, fruit, leaf or flower of a single plant produce quite a volatile essential oil; these are either absolute and resin oils depending on the extraction process. **Aromatherapy benefits** The Citronellal Essential Oil is a yellow colour and smells fresh and lemony. The effect of this Essential Oil is one of uplifting and can help to cheer the spirits. It is also purifying as well as being a vitalizing Essential oil; essential oils and absolutes (contain alcohol and are generally cheaper than the essential oil), they are very potent and should always be used sparingly. Citronellal Essential Oil should always be used in conjunction with a reliable reference source or on advise from a qualified aromatherapist. Essential oils contain the odour,
taste and medicinal properties of the plant itself, but in very concentrated form, with no base oil, alcohol, water or dilatants added. The processes for extracting this essential oil is either by steam distillation or cold pressing are used to extract from the plant. **Common Uses of Citronellal Essential Oil** After childbirth wash: A combination of the citronella leaves with Gendarussa and betel-pepper is infused to make a wash to use in the genital area. (Always get medical advise before using). Headaches and migraine: Used in a compress, citronella can help relieve. Insect repellent: The dried or injured leaves used to ward off insects. Citronella essential oil in candles or burners can provide hours of relief from annoying insects such as mosquitoes. It can often be brought in candles for the house and garden. One word and the fumes of warning about Citronellal Essential Oil and that it is potentially toxic to birds. The inhalation of the vapours could cause initial stimulation followed by depression of the central nervous system of bird. However, this is often used in combination with other essential oils in air fresheners so has the potential for causing toxicity for caged birds. Stomach complaints: The essential oil is rubbed topically for comfort relief in a carrier oil directly on to the skin. Other Uses: Citronella Essential oil has antiseptic and bactericidal properties so can be used to treat oily skin that is prone to spots. The oil also acts as a useful as a deodorizer. Some gardeners have been even known to use Citronella Essential oil to stop cats from digging around plants in the garden. It is now also used in general household cleaning products and soaps, as an alternative to harsh man-made chemicals. **Warning** This is one essential oil to avoid during pregnancy (citronella is an emmenagogue). **Precautions** Citron
ella Essential oil can cause skin irritation, so always dilute well in a carrier oil. **Cost** Around £4.00 for 8mls bottle.
Keeping flies out of the house in the summer is almost impossible. Personally, I do not leave rotting carcasses or food lying around the living room or kitchen but they still come in to have a good look around. I think flies are reincarnated estate agents. If you watch them, they fly a 360 round the room go to the next one and do the same thing. Wierd. Right, natural repellants. I have only bought this from Sainsburys pharmacy so it must be available elsewhere. But a 100ml bottle of Citronella is about £3.00, any more than this and go somewhere else for it. Citronella is used in many insect repellant products such as Jungle Formula, flea collars, flea sprays, mosquito sprays etc. etc. so it is a well known product. Once you smell it, you will know it! To use it on skin, dilute about 5mls of Citronella to at least 100ml of carrier oil, i.e. almond oil. This can also be used on pets as a flea repellant but please check with a vet first for allergy/ratios. If you have a sensitive skin and attract biting insects some repellants contain strong evaporating agents, like Jungle Formula, that can cause rashes and irritation especially on sensitive parts of the body so this is ideal. Add a few drops to an oil burner in the kitchen and watch them run (or fly) for it!