Cymbopogon winterianus, “Citronella grass” or “Java citronella” in English and “Citronelle de Java” in French, belongs to the Poaceae botanical family. It is a herb that can be 2 m tall or more. Native to Indonesia, it is cultivated in parts of tropical and subtropical areas of Asia, Africa and America.
Its oil is a source of important chemicals used in soap, perfumery, cosmetic and flavoring industries.
Traditional use includes treatment of fever, intestinal parasites, digestive and menstrual problems. It is mostly used as a mosquito repellent, and for its antiparasitic, nematicidal, antifungal and anti-bacterial activity.
Its essential oil is rich in citronellal, geraniol and citronellol. It also contains citronellyl acetate, L-limonene, ellemol and other sesquiterpene alcohols ; citral, linalool, elemol, 1,8-cineole, limonene, b-carophyllene, methyl heptenone, geranyl acetate and geranyl formate.