Benefits of Citronella (Java) Essential Oil

Do you have a bug problem? Check out this blog for an easy, natural solution!

When Lee and I got married, we decided to tie the knot at a summer camp I had worked at for a couple of years. The camp is on a beautiful inland lake surrounded by swamps. In Michigan, that’s code for mosquito paradise. Having an outdoor wedding is dangerous enough, but the threat of swarms of mosquitoes would also make our guests miserable.

We came up with a game plan of providing bug spray and decorating the outdoor areas with as many Citronella candles as we could get our hands on. It worked! No one complained about mosquitoes, and we had a blast.

Since Citronella saved my wedding day, I’ve been a big fan of Citronella (Java) Essential Oil. Besides being a natural insect repellent, Citronella (Java) also calms and reduces negative emotions – which may be another reason our wedding day was so stress-free!

There are a few different types of Citronella Essential Oil. At Simply Earth, we use the java variation because of its fantastic aroma.

Citronella Essential Oil Uses & Benefits

natural insect repellant

Deters Insects

We’ve already talked about how Citronella Essential Oil helped make my wedding day a success by keeping mosquitoes (and insects in general1) away. As a pet-friendly oil, it may also repel insects from your fur babies.

Soothes Insect Bites

Citronella Essential Oil provides a double-edged sword approach to insects. First, it acts as a natural deterrent, and secondly, it helps soothe itchy and painful insect bites thanks to its anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory effect2.

Improves Appearance of Skin

Citronella acts as a natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial6, which helps improve the appearance of the skin. Citronella Essential Oil is powerful from your head to your toes! You can try it on anything from athlete’s foot to facial blemishes.


Citronella promotes healthy skincare and purifies the air. Some studies have noted that this essential oil may kill airborne bacteria, utilizing anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

These uses were found in studies and are anecdotal information. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Improves Mood

Inhaling the aroma of Citronella Essential Oil has uplifting properties, meaning that it may help improve your overall mood! This essential oil can create a calming and relaxing atmosphere, although some may find it stimulating. The desired results may vary from individual to individual 4.

What Citronella Essential Oil Blends Well With

benefits of citronella essential oil

Citronella Essential Oil’s woody, fresh, and grassy aroma blends well with Bergamot, Orange, Cedarwood, Geranium, Lemon, Lavender, and Pine Essential Oils.

What’s the Science Behind Citronella Essential Oil?

benefits of citronella essential oil

Wondering how this essential can have so many uses? Essential oils contain naturally-occurring chemicals that have specific benefits which help us pinpoint the specific benefits of each oil. Here are the most prominent organic chemicals that make up Citronella Essential Oil and their known properties.


Part of the aldehyde family, this chemical helps kill airborne bacteria, relieves pain, promotes joint health, eases pain, and calms anxiety5.

Citronellol and Geraniol

Both are important components of Citronella Essential Oil. They are both parts of the monoterpene family, known for easing pain, calming anxiety, and killing dust mites. Both are also antioxidants making this oil great for skin care6.

These uses were found in studies and are anecdotal information. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

An Organic Farm In Java, Indonesia

The quality of essential oils is crucial. That is why we take sourcing seriously, purchasing our Citronella Essential Oil from a farm in Java, Indonesia. The volcanic soil found there is rich in vital nutrients, such as potassium and magnesium, which are essential for healthy plant growth. The citronella grass is grown under natural farming techniques and carefully controlled conditions, ensuring it gains maximum benefits from the soil and grows to its full potential. Once harvested, the leaves and stems are taken to a facility for distillation, where the essential oil is extracted. Knowing the care and attention put into sourcing the best essential oils, customers can trust Simply Earth to provide quality products that are pure and potent.

What Earthies Are Saying About This Oil

Things to Remember When Using Citronella Oil

Always dilute an essential oil when using it on the skin. This essential oil is unlikely to cause skin irritation when diluted properly. If the oil has been oxidized (left with the cap off for long periods of time) it is more likely to cause skin irritation. Check out this dilution chart for diluting this essential oil properly. 

This essential oil is generally safe to use if you are pregnant. Consult your doctor prior to use. 

This essential oil is safe to use with kids age 2+.

Cats may find this essential oil irritating. However, we do not expect your cat to be disturbed if you use this oil on yourself. Just be mindful of your pet’s behavior. For more information on using essential oils with cats, check out this blog post

Citronella Essential Oil is generally safe to diffuse and use topically on dogs. For more information on using essential oils with dogs, check out this blog post

We don’t recommend ingesting essential oils unless under the direction of a doctor certified in aromatherapy. For more information on why we don’t ingest essential oils check out this blog post

*Please note: This post is a compilation of suggestions made by those that have extensively used essential oils and has not been verified scientifically with clinical tests nor reviewed by medical experts. It is anecdotal information and should be treated as such. For serious medical concerns, please consult your doctor. The statements given in this blog post have not been verified by the FDA

Your New Favorite Oil!

Mosquitos and pesky insects can ruin anyone’s fun! Don’t forget to bring a bottle of this natural repellent to your next outdoor activity so you can focus on enjoying your day. How will you use Citronella Essential Oil? We’d love to hear about it on social media with @fromsimplyearth and in the comments below!

Are you ready to master essential oils? You get FREE access to our Hero Course if you subscribe to our Monthly Essential Oil Recipe Box. With it, you’ll receive 4 pure essential oils, 6 aromatherapist-created recipes, and more—all delivered directly to your door each month for just $44.99/month. Plus, we’ll give you a FREE Big Bonus Box!

Don’t miss out on the all-natural fun that comes with the Recipe Box; get yours today: Subscribe now to learn how to use essential oils!

  1. Kongkaew C, Sakunrag I, Chaiyakunapruk N, Tawatsin A, Effectiveness of citronella preparations in preventing mosquito bites: systematic review of controlled laboratory experimental studies, 2011 Jul
  2. Kandimalla R, Kalita S, Choudhury B, Dash S, Kalita K, Kotoky J, Chemical Composition and Anti-Candidiasis Mediated Wound Healing Property of Cymbopogon nardus Essential Oil on Chronic Diabetic Wounds, 2016 Jun
  3. Pattnaik S, Subramanyam VR, Kole C. Antibacterial and antifungal activity of ten essential oils in vitro, 1996
  4. Saeki Y, Shiohara M, Physiological effects of inhaling fragrances, 2001 Sep
  5. National Center for Biotechnology Information, PubChem Compound Summary for CID 7794, Citronellal, 2021 Mar
  6. QneibiM, Jaradat N, Emwas N, Effect of Geraniol and Citronellol Essential Oils on the Biophysical Gating Properties of AMPA Receptors, 201