Citronella Oil – Side Effects and Safety Tips

citronella oil side effects

What is Citronella Oil?

Citronella Essential oil is obtained from the leaves and stem of Citronella plant by the process of steam distillation. This Essential Oil has numerous health benefits as it has got antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Due to these, it is used to treat numerous skin and hair issues effectively. Citronella Oil is widely used in Aromatherapy because of its tangy, citrusy and refreshing aroma. It is used in small quantities in scents, cosmetics, as an insect repellent, as diuretic and antispasmodic.

Are There Any Side Effects of Citronella Oil?

  1. Citronella Oil is generally considered as a non-toxic essential oil as it can be safely applied on your skin and in food, but only after proper dilution.
  2. People with sensitive skin may sometimes experience an allergic reaction (dermatitis, irritation and sensitization) when applied topically.
  3. Citronella Oil should always be diluted with a carrier oil, undiluted citronella oil can result in overdose which may cause complications like increased heart rate.
  4. Citronella Oil should not be taken internally without the supervision of an expert or a healthcare professional.
  5. It is not safe to inhale concentrated Citronella Oil as it causes irritation to mucous membrane and lung damage has been reported.
  6. People undergoing any medications e.g. estrogen dependent cancer patients should not use Citronella Oil.

Precautions and Warnings

For Children

eye irritation for children

Keep out of the reach of children. Citronella Oil is also not considered safe to inhale by children as may cause irritation to eyes and skin. In some cases, lung damage has also been reported.

2. Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mothers

breast feeding

Pregnant and Breastfeeding mothers should avoid using Citronella Oil or use it only under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

Just like every good thing has its own pros and cons, similarly, Citronella Oil though very beneficial for us in many ways, it has its own set of side effects also. Citronella Oil or any other essential oil may have adverse effects for people undergoing any medical or health conditions, so it is always advisable to seek advice from your healthcare provider before using Citronella Oil. Always make sure that you use a limited amount of this oil, as an overdose may be hazardous to health.

Read up on all the benefits and uses of Citronella Oil. Citronella oils is very commonly found in the natural insect repellents in the market. Read here on how you can use Citronella Oil as Mosquito Repellent at home.


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Akhila Menon
Akhila has started her career as a Data Analyst. From her school days, she was passionate about writing short stories, essay writing and about current events. She has kickstarted her career in a new direction and got into content writing and started to write articles for a general readership. She has written a few short stories for kid’s weekly publication. As she has a flair for writing and an ardent lover of nature and natural products, she started writing articles for, One of the most important aspects about writing for personal care, home care and wellness, is that I can reach a larger mass of people, contribute and create awareness among people about the benefits of holistic living. Apart from writing, Akhila loves to travel, explore new places, read books, love experimenting with new recipes, enjoy spending quality time with my family and friends.


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