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Citronella oil is made by steam distillation of certain species of grasses in the Cymbopogon grouping of plants. Ceylon or Lenabatu citronella oil is produced from Cymbopogon nardus, and Java or Maha Pengiri citronella oil is produced from Cymbopogon winterianus. Citronella oil is used to expel worms or other parasites from the intestines. It is also used to control muscle spasms, increase appetite, and increase urine production (as a diuretic) to relieve fluid retention.
Citronella Java is credited with having therapeutic properties as an antiseptic, deodorant, insecticide, parasitic, tonic and as a stimulant. Many commercial repellents contain Citronella Java, and it is often used in combination with Cedarwood to produce a pleasant smelling natural insect repellent. It is also used in soaps and candles, and has common applications in massage.