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Epic History Of Citronella Essential Oil Since 20th Century

Citronella Essential Oil is best known as a natural mosquito repellent, citronella oil has an extensive history beyond just its insect-warding abilities. Extracted from aromatic grasses native to Asia, citronella offers much more than a fresh, clean scent and bug-chasing powers.

Keep reading to learn surprising historical trivia and little-known fun facts about this versatile aromatic oil.

A Brief History of Citronella Essential Oil

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Citronella plants actually encompass several related species including Java citronella, Ceylon citronella, and several hybrids. The plants grow in the humid tropical climates across parts of Asia.

Oil production began during the early 20th century across Indonesia, Taiwan, Sri Lanka and other East Asian regions. These areas still lead global production today.

The plants underwent hybridization and breeding programs through the 1960s to maximize oil yields from the thick grass stems. This boosted large scale production and allowed more cost-efficient oil extraction via steam distillation.

While non-native, citronella plants were introduced across parts of South America, Africa, and the United States in the mid to late 1900s to expand global production. Jamaica, Latin America and East Africa now all harvest substantial citronella crops.

In terms of applications, citronella first become utilized as an aromatic component in perfumes and soaps for its clean, fresh scent. However, early civilizations soon recognized citronella’s insect repelling abilities as well. This allowed further uses as candles, incense, and mosquito coils took off across Asia and other tropical regions to fend off rampant mosquito populations.

As chemical companies developed more potent synthetic bug sprays post-WWII, natural citronella faded behind DEET for several decades in Western markets. The evolution of green chemistry and environmental movements of the late 1990s stimulated renewed interest and demand for pure, natural essential oils like citronella.

Today, global citronella oil production exceeds 50 million pounds per year. Uses now range from candles and personal care products to beverages, flavorings, and cleaning formulas in addition to pest control resources. Both large and small scale steam distillation operations thrive via the growing essential oil market trends.

The best type of citronella oil is the citronella java oil, since the plant are native on java or generally in Indonesia.

Fun Facts and Trivia About Citronella Java Oil

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Moving beyond a basic history, these interesting bits of citronella oil trivia help you appreciate just how fascinating this essential oil truly is:

  • Citronella was once so valuable to early communities that thieves risked being beaten for stealing the aromatic grass.
  • Growing citronella plants helps limit soil erosion in tropical fields.
  • Java citronella oil differs from Ceylon citronella with its sweeter, warmer tones though both effectively repel bugs.
  • Major chemical components include citronellal, geraniol and limonene - all of which repel mosquitos.
  • Citronella grass can grow almost 5 feet tall with purple flowers loved by bees.
  • Citronella makes an excellent eco-friendly biofuel as well a botanical extract.
  • Indonesia celebrates National Citronella Day every May 15th.
  • Citronella essential oil helped curb malaria outbreaks when decreasing mosquito populations.
  • Research confirms citronella oil is just effective as many toxic DEET sprays for repelling insects.
  • Unlike many other plant extracts, steam distilled citronella oil maintains its potent properties for up to a decade without degrading.

Beyond the warm, crisp aroma and mosquito-repelling prowess, untold legends and trivia surround citronella’s extensive history. From being more precious than gold to different regional varieties to antioxidant abilities, this botanical oil has many surprises. Appreciate citronella even more by infusing these fun facts into your dinner party conversations or bar trivia team’s next game night!

Citronella Essential Oil Use For Daily Uses

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Here are some of the top ways to utilize citronella java oil on a daily basis:

Mosquito and Insect Repellent - Apply diluted citronella oil onto skin or clothing when going outside to fend off bugs and mosquitos naturally.

Outdoor Candle or Torches - Add citronella oil to wax for candles or torches to create pleasant bug-repelling ambiance for patios and decks.

All-Purpose Household Cleaner - Add a few drops of citronella oil to vinegar, water, and castile soap spray mixtures to disinfect surfaces.

Floor Cleaner - Mix citronella oil with water and essential oils like lemon or eucalyptus for an antimicrobial wood or tile floor cleaning solution.

Yard Insect Control - Mix citronella oil with water or witch hazel and spray onto plants, trees and bushes to control pests safely.

Plant Fungicide - The anti fungal properties in citronella oil help combat powdery mildew, black spot and rust issues when misted onto rose bushes and flowers.

Pet Odor Eliminator - Freshen smelly pet beds, crates, litter boxes or rooms with citronella oil's neutralizing abilities with just a few drops.

Room Diffuser & Air Freshener - Add citronella oil alone or mixed with complementary scents into a room diffuser or oil atomizer to scent and refresh indoor air.

Soap Scents - Add a drop of citronella oil into unscented castile soap or homemade bath and body products to naturally scent them with a crisp, green aroma.

Natural Herbicide - In gardens and yards, diluted citronella oil sprayed on weeds helps control unwanted vegetation growth safely with routine applications.

Citronella Essential Oil Companies Supplier

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If you are looking for the best citronella oil products, you are in the right place, Global Essential Oil is the best and most authentic essential oil companies. We provide wholesale essential oils and retail essential oils. Our products are 100% natural and have been recognized by international standards.

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