June 17, 2014

Lemon Grass or Citronella?

One mean to drive insects away is by planting herbal plants at home and one of the famous is citronella.

Mommy and I were discussing that we can make our own insect sprays from these plants by extracting its oil. Naalala ko tuloy bigla ang undergraduate thesis ko. I extracted the active components from the roots of Duranta plant and use this to test it it has anti-tumor properties.

The question is, where will I get the citronella plant? Then I searched the net on how it looks like. It is just like a lemon grass or tanglad. So I searched on what are the differences between the two.

The answer is simple. Just examine its pseudostem or the stalk. Lemon grass is green while citronella is reddish or purple. See photos below.

Citronella (Source: Casa de Lorenzo)

With this, it is confirmed that the one I planted at home is lemon grass.

The next issue is where to get citronella for the extraction?

After several readings, lemon grass and citronella oil has the same active components, citronellol and geraniol. Furthermore, both plants are used in other parts of the world in culinary, tea-making and flavorings. However, citronella is known more for insecticide because it has a stronger citrusy odor compared to lemon grass.

Problem solved! I am going to extract lemon grass oil rather than having hard time looking for the citronella plant.

I will share the extraction procedure once I made one.

Other sources: Wikipedia, Casa de Lorenzo