Oil of citronella is a naturally occurring insect and animal repellent distilled from two grass varieties. It is yellow to brown and has a grassy/floral smell. Oil of citronella is a mixture of many components. The exact composition varies by grass variety. However, the main components are citronellol, citronellal, and geraniol. Oil of citronella is also commonly found in foods and beverages as a flavoring agent
Citronella oil is considered to be one of the more effective natural insect repellents. The oil also contains compounds like methyl isoeugenol that exert potent antibacterial effects, making citronella useful for treating minor cuts and scrapes or controlling body odor caused by bacteria.
When applied to the scalp, citronella oil can moisturize the skin and hair, preventing dryness, flaking, fizziness, and dandruff.
In some cultures, citronella oil is used internally as a deworming agent to treat parasitic infections (such as amoebiasis) and to relieve diarrhea. However, it is important to note that this carries a risk of toxicity.