Common name: Citronella

Botanical Name: Cymbopogon winterianus

Family: Graminae


Citronella is a tall fragrant perennial grass, growing up to a height of 1 - 1.5 m. The leaves are sessile, simple, green, linear, equitantly arranged and can grow to an average size of 60 cm long x 2.5 cm wide. The leaf is glabrous, venation parallel with an acuminate apice and sheathing base. There are no true stems. The leaf sheath is tubular and acts as a pseudostem.

Parts Used: Leaves

Distribution: Cultivated throughout plain area of Nepal.

Method of Extraction: Steam Distillation

Specification of Citronella
1. Organoleptic Properties
Appearance Fluid liquid
Color Light yellow
Aroma Fresh & Sweet
2. Physico-chemical Properties
Specific gravity 0.8820 to 0.8875 at 23° C
Optical rotation (-) 2 TO (-) 4 AT 23C
Refractive index 1.4750 to 1.4885 at 23° C
Acid number 0.5 TO 3.5
Ester number 20 TO 40
Ester number after acetylation 250 TO 280
Total Alcohol 80 to 90% (calculated as geraniol)
Aldehyde content 21.5 to 35% (Hydroxylamine hydrochoride method)
Solubility Soluble in 0.8 to 1.5 vol. of 80% alcohol
3. Chemical constituent
Geraniol, citronellal.
4. Uses:
  1. In perfumery for the scenting of soaps and in the production of technical preparations
  2. Medicinal & Aromatherapy use: Anti-infectious, antiseptic, antibacterial, antidepressant, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, deodorant, diaphoretic fungicidal, insect repellent (mosquito), stomachic, excessive perspiration, oily skin and hair, room deodorizer, rheumatism and arthritic pain

Essential Oil