Citronella refers to a group of plants, which could either be trees or shrubs that grow in tropical parts of the world. This plant yields an oil - citronella oil - which is valued for its many different properties. The most common use of citronella oil is to repel insects, especially mosquitoes.
Citronella is the preferred mosquito-repellant of many people simply because of the fact that it is all natural and totally safe. More so, it does have a pleasant, albeit somewhat strong, smell. Citronella can be found in various products that can be used to ward off mosquitoes. You can find sprays, lotions, and creams at drugstores. Some of these products are labeled especially for children, which make them even safer. You can also buy citronella in candle form. Lighting these candles while you are outdoors will give you a two-fold purpose - mood lighting and keeping the mosquitoes away.
As citronella repels insects, it can also be used to treat head and body lice infestation. You may opt to use pure citronella oil and apply it on the hair and body by massaging it it. You ought to try this in small amounts at first, though, as some people have reported rashes and even cases of dermatitis. While rare, it is better to be safe than sorry. As an extension of this particular use, you may also apply citronella oil on your dog’s fur if it has a problem with ticks. Citronella has been shown to get rid of tick problems rather effectively.
A less commonly known use of citronella is to fight fungi. Some studies have shown that citronella contains anti-fungal properties. In addition to this, citronella also seems to have a calming effect on dogs.