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Chemical analysis and therapeutic uses of citronella oil from Cymbopogon winterianus: A short review.

  • PP Savani University

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Citronella grass is mainly grown for its commercial essential oils and the systematic study of its chemical composition resulted in several other benefits apart from the development of analytical methods for quality assessment. This quality assessment of the oil gives a basic insight into the chemical composition and the extent to which the main constituents varies in proportion. The studies enabled the systematic monitoring using GLC and Supercritical fluid extraction process, the formulation of ideas on the correct methods of preparation of the plant material and the optimum time for harvesting of the grass. For instance, it was found that immature grass had a higher content of terpene hydrocarbons than the mature ones and that the wilting process was also necessary for the production of good quality oil. Seasonal variations also existed. There are many literatures that demonstrated the therapeutic use of Citronella oil and also analyzed the constituents of its oil simultaneously. The advanced therapeutic studies enabled the systematic and controlled use of Citronella oil as an antifungal agent, anti-parasitic agent, a potent mosquito repellent and antibacterial agent. In addition, the expertise and techniques developed led to the discovery of several possible varieties of Citronella which consistently gave oils of composition different to either Ceylon type or Java type.
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ISSN NO 2320-5407 International Journal of Advanced Research (2013), Volume 1, Issue 6, 504-521
Aakanksha Wany1, Shivesh Jha2, Vinod Kumar Nigam1 and Dev Mani Pandey1
1.Department of Biotechnology, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi, Jharkhand-835215, India.
2.Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi, Jharkhand-835215, India.
Manuscript Info Abstract
Manuscript History:
Received: 12 July 2013
Final Accepted: 25 July 2013
Published Online: August 2013
Key words:
Citronella oil,
Ceylon chemotype,
Java chemotype,
Supercritical fluid extraction,
Therapeutic uses
Citronella grass is mainly grown for its commercial essential oils and the
systematic study of its chemical composition resulted in several other
benefits apart from the development of analytical methods for quality
assessment. This quality assessment of the oil gives a basic insight into the
chemical composition and the extent to which the main constituents varies in
proportion. The studies enabled the systematic monitoring using GLC and
Supercritical fluid extraction process, the formulation of ideas on the correct
methods of preparation of the plant material and the optimum time for
harvesting of the grass. For instance, it was found that immature grass had a
higher content of terpene hydrocarbons than the mature ones and that the
wilting process was also necessary for the production of good quality oil.
Seasonal variations also existed. There are many literatures that
demonstrated the therapeutic use of Citronella oil and also analyzed the
constituents of its oil simultaneously. The advanced therapeutic studies
enabled the systematic and controlled use of Citronella oil as an antifungal
agent, anti-parasitic agent, a potent mosquito repellent and antibacterial
agent. In addition, the expertise and techniques developed led to the
discovery of several possible varieties of Citronella which consistently gave
oils of composition different to either Ceylon type or Java type.
Copy Right, IJAR, 2013,. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
It is an aromatic grass belonging to the
Poaceae family which gives essential oils upon steam
distillation. One of the important essential oils
extracted from aromatic grasses is citronella oil
obtained from citronella grass. This oil is used
extensively as a source of important perfumery
chemicals like citronellal, citronellal and geraniol,
which finds its extensive use in soap, perfumery,
cosmetic and flavoring industries throughout the
world. It is classified in trade into two types -Ceylon
citronella oil, obtained from Cymbopogon nardus
(inferior type), while Java type citronella oil obtained
from Cymbopogon winterianus (superior type).The
use of active secondary chemical compounds such as
alkaloids and terpenoids in the medicinal plants holds
a great promise in the field of medicine in ancient as
well as modern era. In Jharkhand, where diseases like
Malaria and Kala-azar prevail, Citronella, a perennial
multi-crop of industrial importance will be a boon for
its treatment and cure.
It is cultivated in parts of tropical and
subtropical areas of Asia, Africa and America
(Shasany et al. 2000). Java citronella is mainly
produced by Taiwan, Guatemala, Honduras, Malaya,
Brazil, Ceylon, India, Argentina, Equador,
Madagascar, Mexico and West Indies. Presently,
300-350 tonnes of oil are produced in the India for
the last 6-8 years in the states of Assam, Karnataka,
U.P, M.P, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and West
Bengal. Areas receiving good and distributed
rainfalls throughout the year are suitable for
cultivation of Citronella (Katiyar et al. 2011).
ISSN NO 2320-5407 International Journal of Advanced Research (2013), Volume 1, Issue 6, 504-521
1.1 Propagation and Harvesting
Java citronella flowers copiously in South
India and at higher attitudes in the hills of North
Eastern India. Due to irregularities in meiosis and
chromosome polyploidy viable seeds, however, are
not formed and therefore, the species can be
propagated only vegetatively. The entire clump of
grass is splitted into a number of slips and each slip
contains 1-3 tillers. Each slip is a unit of propagation
and on planting establishesitself as plants or bushes.
Before planting, leaves should be trimmed off from
the slips. Monsoon is the best time for plantation of
Java citronella and can be initiated any time during
the year. If there are no rains within next 24 hours the
field should be irrigated immediately after plantation.
As a whole, all the plant parts contain oil but
leaves contain the maximum amount of oil.
Furthermore, the oil from other parts is of inferior
quality. Only its leaves, therefore, should be
harvested. The number of harvests always depends
upon the growth of the plantsand in favourable
climatic conditions; four (approx.) harvests can be
obtained per year. The plantation can remain for
consecutive five-six years but the yield decreases
after second and third years. Therefore, after 3-4
years the plantation should be uprooted and rotated
with some legume crop species. Cowpea or sun hemp
is a good alternative for rotational crop recommended
for north Indian plains and horse gram for South
Indian plains.
1.2 Extraction and Yield
For the extraction of oil from any specific
species of Cymbopogon, the plants have to be
identified and authenticated by a plant taxonomist
(Setiawati et al. 2011). The leaves of Citronella are
collected, transported in plastic bags to the laboratory
and dried at room temperature (28°C) until brittle.
The leaves are then chopped before extraction as they
provide maximum surface area so as to increase the
amount of essential oil. The oil content of the leaves
is affected by various factors, such as the soil,
climate, age of the plantation and method of
efficiency of distillation. The conventional
distillation procedures can be taken up for the
extraction of essential oils such as steam distillation
and hydro-distillation. The essential oil obtained is a
natural source of important perfumery chemicals like
citronellol, geraniol etc., which finds extensive uses
in soaps, perfumery, cosmetic and flavouring
industry throughout the world.
In the literature, some studies of oil
extraction by steam and hydrodistillation (Cassel and
Vargas, 2006) have been reported. The average oil
content is about 1% on the basis of fresh leaves
within 2-3 hours of distillation. The yield of leaves
may range from 15-20 tonnes per hectare in the first
year and 20-25 tonnes per hectare in the second and
third year. The yield of oil obtained during the first
year is about 100-150 kg per hectare and, in
subsequent years about 200 kg per hectare of oil of
citronella may be obtained.
Reis et al. (2006) studied the composition of
essential oil of citronella extracted by hydro-
distillation at different temperatures (323.15, 333.15
and 343.15 K) and approximately 9.4% yield of oil
was obtained. According to Reverchon and De Marco
(2006), andother published scientific papers, the most
widely studied application of extracting oils from
natural sources is supercritical fluid extraction (SFE).
It has many advantages over conventional extraction
techniques such that it is flexible, allows modulation
of solvent selectivity, eliminates polluting organic
solvents and expensive post-processing cost of
solvent elimination from the extracts.
1.3Active Constituents
The industrial interest in essential oils is due
to their application as fragrances in perfumes, as
flavour additives in food products or as
pharmaceutical products and desirable repellent
characteristics against mosquitoes (Katz et al. 2008;
Simic et al. 2008; Silva et al. 2011).
C. winterianus essential oil is rich in
citronellal, geraniol and citronellol (Katiyar et al.
2011) but consists of other constituents like
citronellyl acetate, L-limonene, ellemol and other
sesquiterpene alcohols.It also consists of
monoterpene constituents like citral, citronellol,
citronellal, linalool, elemol, 1, 8-cineole, limonene,
geraniol, b-carophyllene, methyl heptenone, geranyl
acetate and geranyl formate. Citral is one of the
important components of the oil present in several
species of Cymbopogon with wide industrial uses
such as raw material for perfumery, confectionery
and vitamin A (Khanuja et al. 2005). Among all the
active constituents the following four are considered
to be the most important essential oils of commercial
interest (Figure 1):
a. Citronellal or rhodinal or 3, 7-dimethyloct-6-
en-1-al (C10H18O) is a monoterpenoid,
responsible for its distinctive lemony scent.
b. Citral, or 3, 7-dimethyl-2, 6-octadienal or
lemonal, (C10H16O) is a mixture of, a pair of
terpenoids. The two compounds are double
bond isomers. The E-isomer is known as
geranial or citral A. The Z-isomer is known as
neral or citral B.
c. Geraniol or 3, 7-dimethylocta-2, 6-dien-1-ol,
(C10H18O) is a monoterpenoid and an alcohol. It
is the primary part of rose oil, palmarosa oil,
ISSN NO 2320-5407 International Journal of Advanced Research (2013), Volume 1, Issue 6, 504-521
and citronella oil (Java type), appears as a clear
to pale-yellow oil,insoluble in water, but soluble
in most organic solvents.
d. Nerol or 3, 7-dimethyl-2, 6-octadien 1-ol,
molecular formula C10H18O is a monoterpenoid
and an alcohol.
1.4 Cymbopogon genus- various species and their
The genus Cymbopogon (Poaceae) is known
to include about 140 species, of which more than 52
have been reported to occur in Africa, 45 in India, six
each in Australia and South America, four in Europe,
two in North America and the remaining are
distributed in South Asia (Table-1). Cymbopogons are
highly stress-tolerant plants which adapts easily to
diverse edapho-climatic conditions, occurring widely
throughout the tropics and subtropics (Sangwan et al.
1994; Sangwan et al. 1993). C. flexuosus, C.
pendulus, C. winterianus and C. martini are
commercially cultivated as modern cash crops for
essential oil production. Few commercial cultivars
such as Pragati, Krishna and Cauvery of C. flexuosus,
Manjusha, Mandakini and Bio-13 of C. winterianus,
Trishna, Tripta and PRC-1 of C. martinii, Praman of
C. pendulus and interspecific hybrid (C. pendulus ×
C. khasianus) CKP are popular in the Indian
subcontinent. Morphologically, there are least
differences between them at the intra-species level
but these cultivars differ in oil content and quality at
the intra- and inter-species levels (Sangwan et. al,
2001). The brief description of different cultivars of
Cymbopogon species and their yield is shown in
1.5Medicinal activities and Therapeutic uses
The essential oils are natural products that
exhibit a variety of biological properties, such as
analgesic anticonvulsant and anxiolytic (Almeida et
al.2001, 2003 and 2004). The steam volatile essential
oils extracted from its leaves are used in perfumery,
cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and flavoring industries.
In traditional medicine, the oil has been used as an
aromatic tea, vermifuge, diuretic, and antispasmodic.
Citronella oil is commonly known for its natural
insect repellent properties, although it has many uses
in aromatherapy. It can be used as massage oil for
aching joints and muscles. The oil can effectively be
used in a nebulizing or humidifying diffuser for its
insect repellent properties. Traditional use includes
treatment of fever, intestinal parasites, digestive and
menstrual problems. When mental illness has to be
treated, Citronella can be clarifying and balancing.
Combining it with Lemon oil can bring even more of
a brightening effect to the mind.
As far as therapeutic use of Citronella oil is
concerned, most of the activities are confined to
mosquito repellent, antiparasitic, nematicidal,
antifungal and anti-bacterial agents.Trongtokit et al.
(2005) compared the repellent efficiency of 38
essential oils against mosquito bites, including the
species Aedes aegypti. Citronella oil was the most
effective among other essential oils which provided 2
hours of repellency. Wong et al. (2005) studied five
commercial plant extracts, including Citronella, and
found it effective in deterring the infestation of
cartons containing muesli and wheat germ by red
flour beetles. Moreover, Olivo et al. (2008) proved
that citronella oil has other effects, such as the
control of cattle ticks. Nakahara et al. (2003) studied
the chemical composition of citronella oil and its
antifungal activity. The crude essential oil markedly
suppressed the growth of several species of
Aspergillus, Penicillium and Eurotium. Among the
16 volatiles examined by him, the most active
compounds, consisting of 6 major constituents of the
essential oil and 10 other related monoterpenes, were
citronellal and linalool.
Currently, there are plant-based insect
repellents on the market that contain essential oils
from one or more of the following plants: citronella
(Cymbopogon nardus), cedar (Juniper virginiana),
eucalyptus (Eucalyptus maculata), geranium
(Pelargonium reniforme), lemon-grass (Cymbopogon
excavatus), peppermint (Mentha piperita), neem
(Azadirachta indica) and soybean (Neonotonia
wightii). Most of these essential oil-based repellents
tend to give short-lasting protection for less than 2 h
(Choochote et al., 2007). Citronella oil has
demonstrated good efficacy against 44 mosquitoes in
concentrations ranging from 0.05 % to 15 % (w/v)
alone or in combination with other natural or
commercial insect repellent products (Sakulku et al.,
2009 and Fradin, 1998). Olivo et al. (2008) and
Shasany et al. (2000) confirmed that this
characteristic of the oil is due to the presence of four
main components, citronellal, eugenol, geraniol and
Recently, scientists have become more
interested in the utilization of plant materials as eco-
friendly botanical pesticides because they often
minimize the adverse effects on beneficial insects,
reduce the need for prohibitively expensive
chemicals, reduce the development of resistance, and
are environment friendly. Among these botanical
pesticides, citronella oil has been most extensively
studied in the last decades. The efficacy of citronella
oil against various insect species has been noted as a
repellent, an antifeedant, and an oviposition deterrent.
Some studies indicated that citronella oil is effective
in repelling mosquito Aedes aegypti (Jantan and Zaki
ISSN NO 2320-5407 International Journal of Advanced Research (2013), Volume 1, Issue 6, 504-521
1999), Spodoptera frugiperda and as antifungal and
antibacterial (Nakahara et al. 2003; Pattnaik et al.
1996). Citronellal, trans-geraniol, carvone, and
limonene were active compounds as anti-microbial
(Simic et al. 2008), citronellal and linalool as an
antifungal (Nakahara et al. 2003), whereas menthone,
trans-geraniol, and citronellal showed a strong
inhibitory effect (JIRCAS 2005).
Many literatures about the composition,
biological effects and use in medicine, food-
flavoring, perfumery and cosmetics of these essential
oils were published in the last years (e.g. Citronella
[Chagonda et al. 2000; Duke et al. 2000; Hiller and
Melzig 2000; Lorenzo et al. 2000; LaGow, 2004;
Seidemann 2005; Wichtl, 1989 ], Geranium [Babu
and Kaul, 2005; Duke et al. 2002; Gauvin et al. 2004;
Hiller and Melzig 2000; LaGow, 2004; Seidemann
2005], Helichrysum [Chinou et al. 2004, Duke et al.
2002; Lourens et al. 2004; Mastelic et al. 2005;
Seidemann, 2005], Palmarosa [Prashar et al. 2003;
Raina et al. 2003; Seidemann, 2005], rose [Agarwal
et al. 2005; Duke et al. 2002; Hiller and Melzig 2000;
Lawrence, 2005; Nowak 2005; Lagow, 2004;
Seidemann, 2005; Wichtl, 1989] and Verbena
[Ardakani et al. 2003; Hiller and Melzig 2000;
Lawrence, 2004; Seidemann, 2005]).
2. Methodology
The extraction of essential oil from
Citronella has been done by different processes. The
extracts were then subjected to chromatographic
analysis and individual identification tests for the
confirmation of desired monoterpene alcohols. In
BIT, Mesra, Citronella is cultivated in the fields for
academic purposes and for its essential oils (Figure
2.1 Extraction of essential oil
The essential oils are extracted using the
aerial part of plants. An appropriate amount of
sample is used for extraction by different methods
such as steam distillation, fractional distillation or
hydro-distillation equipment (Cassel and Vargas,
2006). Many conventional systems which utilizes
steam distillation apparatus and Clevenger‟s
apparatus for distilling plant parts with boiling water
produces a large quantity of oil in a relatively much
time with huge amounts of raw material.A simple
laboratory apparatus with 2 litres steam generator
flask, a distilling flask, a condenser, and a receiving
vessel is used for steam distillation. The flask was
heated with a gas burner. One hundred grams of air
dried and chopped leaves of C. nardus were
subjected to steam distillation (Setiwati et al. 2011).
Nowadays, as an advanced alternative, the extraction
can be performed in an experimental apparatus
containing a high pressure pump, a stainless steel
extractor with a specific capacity, a micrometric
valve for sampling, a thermostatic bath to control the
temperature, a manometer and a rotameter to measure
the flow rate of CO2. The flow diagram of the
experimental apparatus is presented in Figure-3
(Mendes, 2007). This may be known as supercritical
fluid extraction method.The study of essential oil
extraction from Citronella species using supercritical
carbon dioxide is done to produce solvent free extract
and concentrated in the active components of the oil,
with attention to the efficiency and the composition
of the extracted oil. The extraction with supercritical
fluid has potential as an alternative technology with
the objective of minimizing energy and the use of
organic and pollutant solvents when compared to
conventional steam distillation methods. In this
method, the supercritical solvent used is carbon
dioxide because of its atoxicity, low cost, volatility
and low critical properties (Silva et al. 2011).
After the completion of the extraction
procedure, the extracts are purified by
chromatographic analyses.
2.2 Chromatographic Analysis
The chromatographic analysis involves the
use of gas chromatography method either alone for
qualitative analysis or coupled with mass
spectrometry for quantitative analysis. Various GC-
MS systems equipped with various detectors and
experimental conditions have been employed. The
most used configuration of a GC-MS system involves
the use of acapillary column (30 m long, cross-linked
5-6 % polymer, 30 m length, 0.25 mm internal
diameter and 0.25 micron coating thickness, fused
silica of stationary phase) with a detector system
operating at 70 eV. Injector and transfer line
temperatures were set at 200 ºC and 280 ºC,
respectively; the oven temperature was programmed
from 40º - 220 ºC, at 3 ºC/min. Helium was employed
as carrier gas (1 ml/min); injection of1ml of a 1%
solution of whole essential oil in ethyl acetate, split
ratio 1:50, scan range 41-300 amu and scan time 1.0
sec (Cassel and Vargas, 2006; Silva et al. 2011;
Setiawati et al. 2011). Jirovetz et al. (2006) exploited
the system in which the carrier gas was hydrogen;
injector temperature, 250°C; detector temperature,
320°C. The temperature programme was: 40°C/5 min
to 280°C/5 min, with a heating rate of 6°C/min. The
columns were 30 m x 0.32 mm bonded FSOT-RSL-
200 fused silica, with a film thickness of 0.25 μm
(Biorad, Germany) and 30 m x 0.32 mm bonded
Stabilwax, with a film thickness of 0.50 μm (Restek,
USA). Quantification was achieved using peak area
calculations, and compound identification was
carried out partly using correlations between
retention times.
ISSN NO 2320-5407 International Journal of Advanced Research (2013), Volume 1, Issue 6, 504-521
2.3 Identification of essential oils
The purified extract containing essential oils
are identified by different qualitative tests. Essential
oils can be acyclic (aliphatic) monoterpene alcohols
such as citronellol, geraniol and nerol and cyclic
(alicyclic) are classified as monoterpene, biterpene
and triterpene alcohols such as menthol, borneol and
santalol respectively. The corresponding essential oil
contained in the extract is subjected to form a
crystalline salt so as to determine the melting point of
the corresponding salt. To identify terpenes
present in the extract a general test called
Liebermann- Butchard reaction (Coelho and Alves,
1946) is done.
1. Citronellol
It is a monoterpene alcohol, soluble in alcohol but
insoluble in water. It forms crystalline silver salt
when reacted with phthalic acid and silver
nitrate.The melting point of this salt is 125oC.The
reaction follows as:
Citronellol (a) + Phthalic acid (b) Citronellyl
acid phthalate (c)
Citronellyl acid phthalate + AgNO3 Crystalline
silver salt (d)
1. Geraniol and Nerol
They are cis/trans isomers and are
generally present as mixtures, soluble in
organic solvents. Geraniol is soluble in ether
and when it is treated with anhydrous
calcium chloride, forms a crystalline
derivative called geraniol-CaCl2 complex
which is insoluble in ether, petroleum ether,
benzene and chloroform. This complex is
decomposed in warm water into geraniol
and CaCl2.
Whereas nerol is soluble in ether
and when it is treated with anhydrous
calcium chloride, remains in the solution as
Chemistry of nerol and geraniol
Nerol has more refreshing odour than
geraniol. On oxidation with mild oxidizing agent
nerol and geraniol gives citral whereas when geraniol
is treated with dilute KMnO4 yields polyhydric
alcohols and finally degradation products.Other
properties are shown in Figure-4.
2.4 Therapeutic approaches
Four basic approaches have been described
here conforming to the mosquito repellent assay,
anti-parasitic assay, antifungal assay and antibacterial
2.4.1 Mosquito repellent assay- Microencapsulation
method against Aedes aegypti
The citronella oil has the repellency activity
against Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The extracted oil
was microencapsulated (1.5% gelatin and 1.5%
Arabic gum) by complex coacervation method. This
citronella oil was treated on cotton fabrics using
gelatin and gum acacia microcapsules, by pad dry
method. The effect of the repellents on cotton fabrics
with 15 %, 30% and 50% against Aedes aegypti was
studied by cage and field test with human arms
covered with treated and untreated fabrics (at 26±2°C
and 80±5 % RH). This same experiment was repeated
with once and twice washed microencapsulated
citronella oil treated fabric (MCF) and citronella oil
treated fabric (CF) (Murugan et al. 2012).A case
study on theevaluation of flammability, burning time
and mosquito repellency testsof citronella leaf
cakessprayed with different concentrations of
Citronella oil was performed. Results suggested that
Neem powder cake has the most effective repellency
activity when impregnated with 10% Citronella oil
(Rani et al. 2013).
2.4.2 Anti-parasitic assay- Inhibition
ofTrypanosoma cruzi
This study analyses the anti-proliferative
effect of lemongrass essential oil and its main
constituent (citral) on all three evolutive forms of
Trypanosoma cruzi. The IC50/24 h (concentration
that reduced the parasite population by 50%) of the
oil and of citral upon T. cruzi was determined by cell
counting in a Neubauer chamber, while
morphological alterations were visualized by
scanning and transmission electron microscopy
(Santoro et al. 2007).
2.4.3 Anti- fungal assay- Vapour-agar contact
method against fungi
The antifungal assay using the vapour-agar
contact method showed that the crude essential oil
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markedly suppressed the growth of several species of
Aspergillus, Penicillium and Eurotium in air.
Citronellal and linalool completely inhibited the
growth of all tested fungal strains at a dose of 112
mg/L. Their minimum inhibitory doses ranged from
14 to 56 mg/L. The α- and β- pinenes showed an
inhibitory activity against some fungi, whereas the
other 8 volatile compounds lacked this property
(Nakahara et al. 2003) (Figure 5).
2.4.4 Anti-bacterial assay- Broth dilution method
against bacteria
The inhibitory effect of citronella oil
against major species of spoilage bacteria including
Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella spp. and
Pseudomonas spp. found on the surface of
Decapterus maruadsi (semi- dried round scad) was
investigated using the broth dilution method.
Citronella oil and its main components d- limonene
and linalool were introduced into a nutrient broth at
volume concentrations (v/v) between 0.5% and
10% to determine the minimum inhibitory
concentration (MIC) and the minimum bactericidal
concentrations (MBC) for the bacteria was
evaluated (Jaroenkit et al. 2011).
Table 1: Classification of Cymbopogon cultivars based on their chemical markers/chemotaxonomy and their
distribution (Chandra, 1975b)
C. martinii
Throughout in
acetate (1.1-
Trishna, Tripta,
C. flexuosus
Southern and
northern part of
Citral (80.6%-
Cauvery, Nima,
OD-19, Krishna,
Praman, Pragati
C. pendulus ×
C. khasianus
C. pendulus
Some part of
Northern India
Southern and
northern part of
Citral (75.9%),
limonene (5.5%)
Citral (80.4%)
C. flexuosus
Southern and
northern part of
(87.9%), Citral
Very close to
C. winterianus
Andhra Pradesh,
Assam, Gujarat,
Jammu &
Uttar Pradesh
and Uttarakhand
Citronellol (7.4-
Manjusha, BIO-
13, Mandakini
C. winterianus
Southern and
northern sub
region of India
(50.1%), Citral
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Table 2: Origin of different cultivars of Cymbopogon species and their essential oil yield (Padalia, 2011)
Oil Yield*
(%, v/w)
Cymbopogon martini
var. motia
1.2 (1.0)
1.0 (1.1)
1.0 (0.7)
1.4 (1.1)
Selection in OPSPs (Patra, 2001)
Synthetic population breeding (Sharma,
Mass selection (Anonymous, 2003)
Composite population breeding (Patra & Kumar,
Cymbopogon flexuosus
Phenotypic recurrent selection (Patra & Kumar,
Clonal selection in OPSPs (Anonymous, 2003)
Phenotypic recurrent selection (Anonymous,
Clonal selection in OPSPs (Patra, 2001)
Clonal selection (Kumar, 2000)
Clonal selection in OPSPs (Patra & Kumar, 2005.
Sharma et al. 1987a)
Selection in OPSPs of OD-19 (Kumar, 2000)
Cymbopogon pendulus
Clonal selection (Patra, 1997)
Hybridization (Rao & Sobti, 1991)
(Java Citronella )
Induced mutagenesis (Lal, 1999)
Clonal selection (Anonymous, 1994)
Clonal selection (Anonymous, 1994)
Clonal selection (Patra & Kumar, 2005)
In-vitro somaclonal selection (Patra & Kumar,
Clonal selection (Patra & Kumar, 2005)
*The oil yields in parentheses are for inflorescence; OPSPs: Open Pollinated Seed Progenies
Table 3: Chemical Constituents of Citronella oil by classical methods (Guenther, 1950)
Chemical Constituents
Ceylon type
Camphene, dipentene, citronellal, geraniol, geranyl acetate, nerol, citronellol,
thujyl alcohol, borneol, farnesol, linalool and methyl eugenol
Java type
Limonene, citronellal, citral, geraniol, citronellol, citronellate, eugenol, methyl
eugenol, chavicol, sesquicitronellene, elemol, citronellyl oxide, γ and δ cadinene,
vanillin, isovaleraldehyde, hexane-2-al and 3-methyl pentanal.
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Table 4: Chemical composition of Java type and Ceylon type varieties by instrumental methods (Wijesekara, 1973).
Approximate percentage (%) in
Java type
Ceylon type
α - pinene
β- pinene
α - phellandrene
α - terpineol
Cis- ocimene
Trans- ocimene
p- cymene
1- hexanol
Methyl heptenone
Linalyl acetate
α - terpineol
β- caryophyllene
4- Terpineol
Citronellyl acetate
1- borneol
Geranyl formate
Citronellol butyrate
Geranyl butyrate
Methyl eugenol
Methyl isoeugenol
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Table 5: Identification of the components present in the chromatogram in the Figure-7
Peak identification
Approx. (%) in oil
β- elemene
Germacene- D
Table 6: Identification of the components present in the chromatogram in the Figure-8
α- morfene
δ- cadinene
α- cadinene
α- amorfene
Gamma- eudesmol
Germacene- D
t- cadinol
β- selinene
β- eudesmol
α- selinene
α- eudesmol
α- muuorele
Figure 1: Chemical structures of major chemical components in Citronella oil from Java Citronella
(Cymbopogon winterianus)
Figure 2: Citronella grass field in Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India
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3. Discussions
The present review is confined to the
extraction of Citronella oil, its chemical analysis and
therapeutic approaches. Citronella oil is the essential
oil obtained from Citronella grass which was earlier
grown predominantly in the south of Sri Lanka and
nowadays cultivated mainly in India. As earlier
explained, Citronella oil contains a number of
fragrant fractions of which citronellal, geraniol, and
citronellol are the major components which is
responsible for the real chemistry of this essential oil
(Leung, 1980, Evans, 1989).
Citronella oil has two chemotypes: (1)
Ceylon type (obtained from C. nardus Rendle)
consists of geraniol (18-20%), limonene (9-11%),
methyl isoeugenol (7-11%), citronellol (6-8%), and
citronellal (5-15%). (2) Java type (obtained from C.
winterianus Jowitt) consists of citronellal (32-45%),
geraniol (11-13%), geranyl acetate (3-8%), limonene
(1-4%). The higher proportions of geraniol and
citronellal in the Java type make them as better
perfumery derivatives. The two cultivated types are
distinguished by the shape and length of their leaves.
The differences in the two varieties and the chemical
composition of the essential oils have been recorded
since early times (Guenther 1950, Jowitt 1908). It
was believed that the Java type variety contained
around 85% of geraniol compared to citronellal and
citronellol. On the other hand, the Ceylon type
variety was reported to contain only 55-65% of
geraniol. Both the types of oil are in demand. A
geraniol-rich mutant containing as high as 60% of
geraniol content has been developed (Ranaweera and
Dayananda, 1996).
The chemical analysis of Citronella oil has
been discussed with two approaches. Firstly, with the
GC-MS method of analysis and secondly with the
process using supercritical carbon dioxide. One of the
remarkable differences observed in GC-MS was the
presence of many monoterpene hydrocarbons
amounting to more than 20% of the oil in the ceylon
type as only 3-4% in the java type. There is the
presence of a high proportion of hydrocarbons in
Ceylon type. Of the monoterpene hydrocarbons in the
Ceylon type variety the most abundant was found to
be camphene. The other hydrocarbons present were α
and β pinenes, sabinene, myrcene, car-3-ene, α and β
phellandrenes, α and β terpenes, cis/trans ocimene,
terpinolene and p-cymene. The occurrence of
camphene and tricyclene together with borneol and
bornyl acetate in citronella ceylon type is an
indication that the biosynthetic pathway via neryl or
geranyl pyrophosphate and 2-bornane carbonium ion
is operative in the case of this plant.
The java type oil contained more oxy-
terpenes than Ceylon type. There was a great
difference in the amounts of geraniol in the two oils.
However, java type contained much quantity of
citronellal and citronellol which elevated the level of
“total acetylizables”.Another distinguishing feature
of the Ceylon type oil is the presence of methyl
eugenol and methyl isoeugenol. These compounds
are the major peaks which appear last on the
chromatograms and are present in only comparatively
small quantities in the java type variety.
3.1 Chemical analysis of Citronella oil by classical
methods and instrumental methods
The main constituents of the two types of
Citronella oil have been identified by means of
classical chemical methods (Table 3). These classical
methods were based on comparatively drastic
fractional distillation procedures.
The classical methods of analysisof the
essential oil of Citronella were primarily based on
two factors, firstly the estimation of total
acetylisables in them and secondly various rough
solubility checks such as Schimmel‟s test, raised
Schimmel‟s test and London solubility test. The
limiting values for various physical constants such as
refractive index and optical rotation were also
As the new instrumental methods emerged,
the new techniques for the characterization of
chemical compounds based on spectroscopic methods
resulted in a major surge in natural products research
during early 1960‟s. These techniques required small
quantities of compounds. Prior to this, the
characterization of compounds were time consuming.
With the development of new separation techniques
based on chromatography, re-study of essential oils
was facilitated. The earlier available methods of
separation were comparatively tedious and time
consuming based on of fractional distillation and
chemical reactions based on functional groups.
Fractional distillation often caused changes due to
isomerization, polymerization or decomposition even
when carried out at reduced pressures.
As far as essential oils were concerned, the
most significant advancement was the development
of GLC which gave an entirely new dimension to
essential oils studies and their chemical constituents.
This technique is depends on the effectiveness of the
volatility of the compounds and the constituents of
essential oils. However, in most cases a large number
of chemical compounds in essential oils and their
examination were dependent on the extent up-to
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which they can be effectively separated. Thus, GLC
offered a fantastic method of separation which could
be achieved with very minute amount of sample.
Preparative GC meant the isolation of the separated
constituents which could then be subjected to the
scrutiny of new techniques such as NMR
spectroscopy and mass spectroscopy in order to
determine their structure and chemical nature.
The prime focus on the study of citronella
oil was to obtain maximum possible resolution in GC
columns and on identifying the various constituents
by retention data and peak enrichment techniques. In
peak enrichment, the standard reference compounds
are added one at a time prior to injection.The
enhancement of the peaks and the area covered
indicated the corresponding positions of the added
substance. The individual compounds resolved by
preparative GLC were collected either into the pre-
cooled solvents or liquefied in capillary tubes cooled
to below zero temperature. The spectra obtained were
then matched with that of standards which too had
been purified in the same way. In this way, the
identities of chemical constituents of Citronella oil
were confirmed. The main differences in chemical
composition both qualitative and quantitative
between the oils of Java type and Ceylon type were
also established (Table 4 and Figure 6a and b,
Wijesekara, 1973).
3.1.1 Chemical components obtained from other
species of Cymbopogon in some other regions of
India by instrumental methods
The average yield of oil is 0.220.44% from
C. confertiflorus. Analysis of Java oil from
Mahapengiri, Ceylon oil from Lenabatu and oil from
C. confertiflorus gave the following: Total alcohols
79.084.8%, 57.862.1% and 39.162.2%; geraniol,
24.132.5%, 26.337.9% and 19.443.7%; and
citronellal 40.560.7%; 24.233.6% and 17.233.2%
respectively. Besides geraniol and citronellal, Java oil
also contains terpenes, methyl eugenol (1%), trace
amounts of citronelloxide, a sesquiterpene; a phenol
(chavicol) and acids (citronellic acid) are present.
The constituents of Ceylon oil are geraniol,
citronellal, terpenes (1015%), methyl eugenol (8%),
L-borneol (12%), methyl heptanone, farnesol (0.2
0.3%) and sesquiterpenes. The Lucknow cultivar
(Ceylon citronella) in northern India contains
geraniol (39.9%) as the main terpenic constituent.
Other components found included isocaproic acid,
isovaleric, butyric and propionic acids, D-citronellal,
citral, iso-valeraldehyde, pelargonaldehyde,
citronellol, n-heptyl alcohol; acetates, propionates,
butyrates and isovalerates of geraniol and citronellol.
Bangladesh cultivars contained predominantly
citronellal (32%), citronellol (14.4%) and geraniol
(21.1%). Elemol and methyl isoeugenol have been
identified for larvicidal activity in the Ceylon
citronella (Katiyar et al. 2011; Setiawati et al. 2011;
Jirovetz et al. 2006, Nakahara et al. 2003; Wijesekara
1973). The essential oil compositions of total
nineteen cultivars of Cymbopogon Spreng.(Poaceae)
species viz. C. martinii (Roxb.)Wats. var. motia
Burk., C. flexuosus Nees ex Steud, C. winterinus
Jowitt., C. pendulus Nees ex Steud. and a hybrid of
C. khasianus (Hack) Stapf. Ex Bor and C. pendulus
Nees ex Steud.were examined and compared using
capillary GC and GC-MS. A total of 48 constituents
forming 90.1% to 99.7% of their total oil
compositions with monoterpenoids (78.9% to 97.4%)
as the most elite constituents were found. The
comparative results showed considerable variation in
the qualitative and quantitative compositions of
essential oils from nineteen different cultivars of the
studied Cymbopogon species.On the basis of
chemical similarity, the cultivars of genus
Cymbopogon were divided into five chemical
variants/groups within two series viz. Citrati and
Rusae. The volatile profile of existing cultivars of
Cymbopogon are useful for their commercial
utilization as they possess range of essential oils and
aroma chemicals used in perfumery, flavour,
pharmaceutical and other allied industries. Moreover,
the marker constituents in their essential oils may be
utilized as an important tool in oil authentication
(Mahalwal and Ali, 2003).
In this method, the extracts obtained are free from
residual solvents and thus can contribute towards
more pure oil production which is comparatively
better than other traditional processes using organic
solvents. Reis et al. (2006) and Radunz et al. (2002)
extracted the essential oil using hydrodistillation
methods with heptanes as a solvent and later drying
the organic layer with magnesium sulfate. With
increasing pressure and at constant temperature the
quantity of extracted oil increases as shown in Figure
7 and Table 5. The reason behind may be the increase
in the carbon dioxide density and, consequently, the
increase of its solvent power. Vargas et al., (2010)
observed the same with other raw materials and
concluded that practically all the oil was extracted in
the first 30 minutes of extraction. This gave evidence
that the majority of the oil was probably present near
the surface of the leaves. During the extraction
procedures, the quantity of solvent consumed can be
calculated and verified as the as the ratio between the
extracted oil mass and the consumed mass of carbon
dioxide, ME/MCO2.
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Figure3: Experimental apparatus using the
supercritical fluid extraction (Mendes, 2007)
equipped with A- CO2 cylinder; B- high pressure
pump; C- heating bath; D- extractor; E-
micrometric valve; F- raffinate; G- rotameter
Figure4: Chemistry of geraniol and nerol
Figure5: Experimental set up for antifungal assay
in vapour agar contact method (Nakahara et al.
Figure 6: Comparative temperature programmed
gas chromatograms of Citronella oil (a- Ceylon
type) and Citronella oil (b- Java type)
(Wijesekara, 1973). Operating conditions: GC
with FID detector, Column: 10% carbowax on
chromsorb W (2.7 X 3.2 mm), Programme rate:
60o-220oC at 2o per minute, linear, Base
attenuation: X16
Figure7: Chromatogram of essential oil extracted
with supercritical carbon dioxide at 353.15 K and
18.0 MPa
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Figure 8: Chromatogram of essential oil extracted
with supercritical carbon dioxide at 313.15 K and
62.0 MPa
At low pressure (18.0 MPa) and higher
temperature (353.13K), the presence of other
components indicates that they are being solubilized
with increasing temperature which is a different
behavior from the earlier one (Figure 8). Due to the
solubilization of other chemical components, the
extracted mass increased and led to restrain the
essential oil extraction or change the original
characteristics of the oil. The variation of the color of
the extract depends upon the differences in pressure
applied. It was observed that, generally at higher
pressures (62 MPa) the extract is darker. Also, there
are other components present in the plant which are
obtained in addition to the essential oil. At higher
pressures the color was green, and at lower pressures,
the color of the raffinate was yellow.
It is evidenced clearly by the number of
components present in the chromatograms that
313.15K is the best temperature than 353.15K and
further authenticated in Tables 5 and 6. The results
obtained suggest that at high pressures are suitable
for extracting components from the plant. The
compositions of the citronella oil extracted under two
different equipped conditions, presented in Tables 5
and 6, indicate that these oils can be used as insect
repellent with numerous therapeutic applications
because of the presence of citronellal, citronellol and
geraniol. The best operational condition was found to
be 353.15K and 18.0MPa with the maximum process
efficiency with respect to the quantity of extracted
mass. Besides the better value of efficiency, this
operational condition showed good selectivity
compared to other conditions. At 18.0MPa and
353.15K, seven components were obtained, while at
62.0MPa and 313.15K there was seventeen
components. The composition of the essential oil
obtained using supercritical carbon dioxide indicates
that the oil can be used for its antimicrobial,
antifungal and repellent activities.
3.3 TLC and HPTLC methods for identification of
unknown essential oil components
In routine TLC experimental methods, the
detection is only by spray method and the Rf value is
not accurately recorded. However, UV based
scanning after developing HPTLC plate not only
provides opportunity for scanning at specific
wavelengths but is also useful for quantification. In
our unpublished work concerning to the
characterization of essential oil components in the
Citronella oil, HPTLC method posed an excellent
technique as it led to the identification of unknown
components when standard references are provided
(Figure 9; a, b, c and d combined).
3.4 Therapeutic Approaches
Human beings are affected mostly by
mosquitoes due to the dreadful insect-borne diseases
such as malaria, Lyme disease, etc. spread by them.
Mosquitoes are vectors for a number of infectious
diseases affecting millions of people per year. Insect
repellents help to prevent and control the outbreak of
diseases and thus, plant based repellents may be an
easy and reliable alternative with very less side
effects. Inspite citronella oil is being extracted for
this purpose; its left out biomass is also utilized as a
mosquito repellent in many villages. Citronella leaf
based herbal repellants have been reported wherein
the therapeutic use citronella leaf cakes impregnated
with different concentrations of citronella oil were
checked against mosquitoes present in the vicinity of
the Institute during evening time (Rani et al. 2013).
Now, focussing back to citronella oil, which
has the repellentactivity against Aedes aegypti
mosquitoes, Murugan et al., (2012) demonstrated the
microencapsulation method based on coacervation
method, in which 15%, 30% and 50% repellency
effect was studied, 50% concentrated repellents gave
the best mosquito repellency rather than the other two
in both microencapsulated treated citronella oil
treated fabric and citronella oil treated fabric. Despite
the microencapsulated oil treated fabric had shown
best repellency effect than citronella oil treated fabric
because of the controlled release characteristics of
cross linked natural polymers.
The coacervation techniques via
microencapsulation such as oil/polymer and
glutaraldehyde/polymer ratios has undeviating power
on textile application and fabrics performance such
that as the concentration of glutaraldehyde increases,
the better washing performance was observed due to
high cross linking.Higher the cross linking, slower is
the rate of release of citronella oil from the fabrics.
The controlled release of oil is due to the nature of
cross linked natural polymer and thus the
microencapsulated oil treated fabric shown higher
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repellent effect than the direct oil treated fabric. The
fabrics which weredirectly coated with oil washed off
easily.But the directly 50% oil treated fabric show
best effect for first two days then it was gradually
reduced. So the microencapsulated oil gave the better
repellent effect for longer time (Murugan et. al,
2012). In another study by Santoro et al. 2007
based on evaluating anti-proliferative effect against
Trypanosoma cruzi, treatment with the essential oil
resulted in epimastigote growth inhibition and
intracellular amastigote proliferation. Ultrastructural
analysis demonstrated cytoplasmic and nuclear
extraction, while the plasma membrane remained
morphologically preserved. Their data showed that
lemongrass essential oil is effective against T. cruzi
trypomastigotes and amastigotes, and the main
component, citral, is responsible for the trypanocidal
activity. These results indicated that essential oils can
be promising anti-parasitic agents, opening
perspectives to the discovery of more effective drugs
of vegetal origin for treatment of parasitic diseases.
Furthermore, this essential oil also inhibited
epimastigote growth at lower concentrations,
inducing ultra-structural alterations. An interesting
finding was the detachment of small vesicles from
the parasite plasma membrane, which suggested
release of injured membranes by the protozoa. The
high trypanocidal activity of both lemongrass
essential oil and citral indicated that this essential oil
is a good candidate for further phytoterapic analysis.
However, T. cruzi-mouse model are needed to
support the data by additional cytotoxicity
experiments on different cell lines and tests.
Figure 9: HPTLC profiles of a. geraniol, b. citronellol standards, c. steam distilled oil and d. hydro-distilled oil.
In the broth dilution method, the citronella oil
exhibited activity against all bacteria with a MIC of
1% v/v, while d-limonene showed activity against
Pseudomonassps. at 0.7% v/v and both
Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella spp. at 0.9%
v/v. Antimicrobial activity of the citronella oil at the
concentration of 1% v/v was further examined on
dried fish under storage conditions of 4°C and 30°C.
Citronella oil was found to be able to extend the shelf
life of the semi-dried fish for up to 7 days at 4°C.
Major constituents, d-limonene (86.0%) and linalool
(3.2%), represented 89.2% of the citronella oil. These
findings showed that the required shelf life of semi-
dried fish could be achieved by manipulating the
concentration of the citronella oil.The in vitro test
was compared with the in vivo test, and found that
higher levels of essential oils are efficient to inhibit
the growth of microbes in foods (Jaroenkit et al.
ISSN NO 2320-5407 International Journal of Advanced Research (2013), Volume 1, Issue 6, 504-521
The results in the study by Nakahara et al.
2003 suggested that linalool and citronellal
contributed significantly to the total antifungal
activity of citronella oil used in the present study.C.
nardus, a plant growing wild in Thailand and in other
Asian countries, could become a renewable source
for natural fungicides. It‟s essential oil, especially the
active constituents (citronellal and linalool), was a
potent inhibitor (via vapour phase) of various fungi at
ambient temperatures. The compounds with lower
MID values against different fungal genera and
species could be used as natural alternatives for
synthetic fumigants to protect stored food products.
The wide distribution of the genus
Cymbopogons is due to their adaptability to diverse
edapho-climatic conditions. There many species in
this genus which is cultivated for its oil but
Cymbopogon winterianus (Java Citronella) is one
such species which is a native of Sri Lanka and
domesticated in India for commercial purpose since
years. The oil is extracted through many procedures
such as steam distillation, hydrodistillation and by
SFE and simultaneously quantified for its essential
oil components for the therapeutic purposes.
Citronella oil is very promising towards antifungal,
anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic and insect repellent as
demonstrated by many research literature reviews.
Plant derived (herbal) repellents based on Citronella
biomass (spent grass) is also pacing up in the
research field. The advancement of techniques such
as GC-MS, HPTLC, FTIR and SFE led to the
identification of unknown components present in
citronella oil. The present review encompasses all the
fields in which research is being carried out with
Citronella plant and its essential oil.
University Grants Commission, New Delhi, India is
duly acknowledged for providing Junior Research
Fellowship under the scheme of Maulana Azad
National Fellowship for minority students during
financial year 2012-13 (F1-17.1/2012-13/MANF-
2012-13-CHR-CHH-9539) to Ms. Aakanksha Wany.
The authors are thankful to the Department of
Pharmaceutical Sciences for developing and
maintaining the Indigenous Medicinal Plant Research
Farm sponsored by Birla Institute of Scientific
Research, Jaipur, Rajasthan and Birla Institute of
Technology,Mesra, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India.Also,
the technical support and help provided by Mr.
Puspendra Patel (Research Scholar), Department of
Pharmaceutical Sciences, BIT, Mesra for HPTLC and
Clevenger‟s apparatus is greatly acknowledged.
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... Citronellal, a monoterpenic aldehyde, was identified as the compound present in the highest amount, representing 41.12%, followed by geraniol (19.97%), citronellol (11.94%), along with limonene, geranyl acetate, citronellyl acetate, and elemol, with relative percentages of 3.50%, 2.63%, 2.0%, 1.98%, respectively (Table 1). These results are in accordance with what was previously reported about essential oil-bearing grasses of the genus Cymbopogon, focused on Cymbopogon nardus [19,22,[28][29][30][31]. Citronellal is present in several plants, including those of the Cymbopogon genus. ...
... These results are in accordance with what was previously reported about essential oil-bearing grasses of the genus Cymbopogon, focused on Cymbopogon nardus [19,22,[28][29][30][31]. Citronellal is present in several plants, including those of the Cymbopogon genus. It has considerable value in the perfume, cosmetic, and aromatherapy sectors and is the component that gives the essential oil a lemony scent [19]. Citronellal and citronellol are employed as intermediates in synthesizing 1-menthol, α-tocopherol, and irones, which are important products in the fragrance industry [32]. ...
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The global production of synthetic plastics from petroleum-based raw ingredients exceeds 150 million metric tons. The environment is threatened by tons of plastic waste, thus endangering wildlife and the public’s health. These consequences increased the interest in biodegradable polymers as potential substitutes for traditional packaging materials. This study aimed to produce and characterize k-carrageenan films incorporating Cymbopogon winterianus essential oil, in which citronellal was determined to be the major compound (41.12%). This essential oil presented remarkable antioxidant activity, as measured through DPPH (IC50 = 0.06 ± 0.01%, v/v; AAI = 85.60 ± 13.42) and β-carotene bleaching (IC50 = 3.16 ± 0.48%, v/v) methods. The essential oil also showed antibacterial properties against Listeria monocytogenes LMG 16779 (diameter of inhibition zone = 31.67 ± 5.16 mm and MIC = 8 µL/mL), which were also observed when incorporated in the k-carrageenan films. Moreover, scanning electron microscopy showed the reduction of the biofilms of this bacterium, and even its inactivation, due to visible destruction and loss of integrity when the biofilms were created directly on the developed k-carrageenan films. This study also revealed the quorum sensing inhibition potential of Cymbopogon winterianus essential oil (diameter of violacein production inhibition = 10.93 ± 0.81 mm), where it could impede intercellular communication and, hence, lower violacein synthesis. The produced k-carrageenan films were transparent (>90%) and slightly hydrophobic (water contact angle > 90°). This work demonstrated the viability of using Cymbopogon winterianus essential oil to produce k-carrageenan bioactive films as new food packaging materials. Future work should focus on the scale-up production of these films.
... Aside from essential oils, the main economic organ of kaffir lime cultivation is its aromatic leaves [3], with the major metabolites being citronellal [10]. Citronellal-rich leaves display various beneficial properties, i.e., an intense lemony scent [12,13], antifungal [14,15], antibacterial [16], anti-inflammatory [17], and mosquito-repellent [18][19][20], and they are the raw material for synthesizing citronellol, isopulegol, and menthol [21][22][23]. Numerous beneficial properties of kaffir lime leaves make them a promising commodity for the global ...
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Gibberellin regulates the flowering and fruiting response of fruit-oriented citrus, but there are a lack of studies on the methods for boosting the production of leaf-oriented citrus. This study aimed to analyze the effects of exogenous gibberellins and pruning on the leaf production of kaffir lime. Kaffir lime seedlings, grafted into rangpur lime, were arranged in a split-plot design under an open field condition. Four gibberellin concentrations (control, 0.005%, 0.01%, and 0.02%) and two pruning levels (no pruning and pruning at 30 cm main stem) were subjected to selected seedlings. The result showed a contrasting effect between gibberellin and pruning on the plant height and shoot number. Pruning significantly reduced the flush number, flush length, leaf length, leaf area, and leaf weight by 38%, 44%, 17%, 26%, and 28%, respectively. Without pruning, applying 0.02% gibberellin could produce the longest flush, with an increase in the number and weight of leaves by about 77% and 64%, compared with the control, respectively. Multivariate analysis also confirmed the positive effect of gibberellin on leaf production. However, these positive results are diminished by pruning due to limited source capacity, as indicated by the fewer leaves. Future research is required to analyze whether increasing gibberellin concentrations can speed up the recovery of post-pruned kaffir lime.
... Citronella oil has a natural insect repellent as well as medicinal properties and is used in fragrance industries such as perfumery, cosmetic, soap, confectionary, flavoring industry etc., and in pharmaceutical industry. It has its therapeutic uses as analgesic, anticonvulsant, anxiolytic etc. and is considered a favorable agent towards anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic (Almeida et al. 2001(Almeida et al. , 2003(Almeida et al. , 2004Wany et al. 2013). ...
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Leeches are sangivorous annelids seen in humid climate. They feed on mammals including human. People working in leech infested agriculture and plantation areas as well as tourist suffer from leech bites. The skin may be injured and ulceration may follow. Mouth parts that remain may cause infection. The locals apply salt to remove leech. It gets washed away easily and is effective only after the leech attack. Essential oil repellents are a safe alternative. Leech repellent properties of some essential oil were evaluated in this study. The study was conducted in Ponkunnam area of Kottayam district, Kerala .The essential oils were mixed with coconut oil and applied on the legs of volunteers against leeches. The time taken to repel the leeches were noted using stop watch. The essential oils selected for this study were,-Basil oil,Ginger oil,Vetiver oil,Turmeric oil, Lemongrass oil,Cinnamon oil,Clove bud oil and Coconut oil .Cinnamon oil was found to be most effective among the evaluated essential oils. Keywords : leech, biorepellant, essential oil,
... Citronellal, D-limonene, isopulegol, linalool, and citronellol were the top five volatile compounds contributing to the flavor of MEO. Of these, citronellal and citronellol are monoterpenoids and are responsible for MEO's distinctive lemony scent [34]. D-limonene has a weak, citrus-like aroma and is considered one of the major contributors to an orange flavor [35]. ...
Full-text available
Zanthoxylum motuoense Huang, native to Tibet, China, is a newly discovered Chinese prickly ash, which, recently, has increasingly attracted the attention of researchers. In order to understand its volatile oil compositions and flavor characteristics, and to explore the flavor difference between Z. motuoense and the common Chinese prickly ash sold in the market, we analyzed the essential oils of Z. motuoense pericarp (MEO) using HS-SPME/GC×GC-TOFMS coupled with multivariate data and flavoromics analyses. The common commercial Chinese prickly ash in Asia, Zanthoxylum bungeanum (BEO), was used as a reference. A total of 212 aroma compounds from the 2 species were identified, among which alcohols, terpenoids, esters, aldehydes, and ketones were the major compounds. The predominant components detected from MEO were citronellal, (+)-citronellal, and β-phellandrene. Six components—citronellal, (E,Z)-3,6-nonadien-1-ol, allyl methallyl ether, isopulegol, 3,7-dimethyl-6-octen-1-ol acetate, and 3,7-dimethyl-(R)-6-octen-1-ol—could be used as the potential biomarkers of MEO. The flavoromics analysis showed that MEO and BEO were significantly different in aroma note types. Furthermore, the content differences of several numb taste components in two kinds of prickly ash were quantitatively analyzed using RP-HPLC. The antimicrobial activities of MEO and BEO against four bacterial strains and nine plant pathogenic fungi were determined in vitro. The results indicated that MEO had significantly higher inhibitory activities against most microbial strains than BEO. This study has revealed the fundamental data in respect of the volatile compound properties and antimicrobial activity of Z. motuoense, offering basic information on valuable natural sources that can be utilized in the condiment, perfume, and antimicrobial sectors.
... [109]. However, in oils from the Cylon-type grass (Cymbopogon nardus) 7.2% iso-methyleugenol and 1.7% methyleugenol were detected [110]. Thus, it may be of relevance to determine the actual alkenylbenzene contents in lemon grass oils, especially if intended to be used for food flavoring purposes [111]. ...
Full-text available
Alkenylbenzenes are naturally occurring secondary plant metabolites. While some of them are proven genotoxic carcinogens, other derivatives need further evaluation to clarify their toxicological properties. Furthermore, data on the occurrence of various alkenylbenzenes in plants, and especially in food products, are still limited. In this review, we tempt to give an overview of the occurrence of potentially toxic alkenylbenzenes in essential oils and extracts from plants used for flavoring purposes of foods. A focus is layed on widely known genotoxic alkenylbenzenes, such as safrole, methyleugenol, and estragole. However, essential oils and extracts that contain other alkenylbenzenes and are also often used for flavoring purposes are considered. This review may re-raise awareness of the need for quantitative occurrence data for alkenylbenzenes in certain plants but especially in final plant food supplements, processed foods, and flavored beverages as the basis for a more reliable exposure assessment of alkenylbenzenes in the future.
... The oil extracted from its leaves which is used in household products, cosmetics, and other products and has tremendous anti-trauma activities [2]. This essential oil has supplemented with extra pharmaceutical properties such as pain-relieving, mosquito repellent, and antiseptic [3]. One of the major producers and suppliers of palmarosa oil is India and Andhra Pradesh and the majority states are Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra [4][5][6]. ...
Full-text available
Geraniol is a crucial component in the leaves of palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini) and it has a wide range of biological properties and applications. A brand-new concept of hydrotrope-assisted extraction is proposed for the isolation of geraniol using different techniques such as microwave technology (MAHE), hydro distillation (HAHD), and ultrasound technology (UAHE) in this study. A solubility test was carried out between two different hydrotropes such as sodium salicylate and resorcinol to find out the better hydrotrope for the extraction. At 40% (w/v), sodium salicylate has higher solubility (3.74% (w/v)) than resorcinol. Response surface methodology (RSM) was performed for all techniques to optimize the process parameters by varying the volume of hydrotrope solution from 300 to 600 mL and extraction time from 5 to 25 min. A maximum yield of 2.47% (w/w) was obtained during the UAHE process under the optimized condition of 5 min sonication time, 600 mL volume of 0.42 M of sodium salicylate and 120 W ultrasound power. The geraniol content was identified by using gas chromatogram and found to be 0.31% in 10 mL of sample obtained from UAHE technique. Therefore, the ultrasound-assisted hydrotrope technique has highly recommended to sustainable development for large-scale application.
... É uma erva aromática que fornece óleos essenciais na destilação à vapor. É cultivada em regiões tropicais e áreas subtropicais da Ásia, África e América (WANY et al., 2013). ...
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Os jardins sensoriais são uma ferramenta importante para a educação e disseminação das ciências. Nesse ambiente, pode-se realizar atividades que estimulem os diferentes sentidos do corpo humano. Este trabalho tem como objetivo auxiliar na escolha de plantas que apresentam características apropriadas para estimular os sentidos e apresentar roteiros elaborados para explorá-las. Os resultados são apresentados em tabela contendo informações de 28 plantas e 04 roteiros educativos que poderão ser utilizados com diversos públicos, em atividades para além da percepção sensorial, podendo-se explorar o ambiente com atividades relacionadas à diversidade das plantas, biogeografia, ecologia, Educação Ambiental, entre outras.
... Citronellal mining is starting to attract attention because it has economic value. As the most intense [99] odor-forming lemony scent [100], citronellal is used as an intermediate component in the synthesis of perfumes, drugs, and basic ingredients for the synthesis of isopulegol, menthol, and citronellol [101][102][103]. This phytochemical is getting more attention for development in the perfume industry because of its nontoxic nature [104]. ...
Full-text available
Kaffir lime has been widely researched for use as an essential oil, alongside its main function as an Asian spice, due to the needs of numerous industries. A meta-analysis was used to summarize the variation in yield and main components of kaffir lime essential oils in response to differences in plant origins, plant parts, and extraction methods during the last fifty years. A database was constructed from 85 data items from 36 single studies, prepared by following PRISMA-P. The result showed no significant effect of extraction method on variation in oil yield and main components. In contrast, after integrating numerous single studies under a statistical approach, some interesting facts emerged, such as (i) plant origin significantly affected the citronellol, i.e., subtropical conditions were more favorable than tropical ones; (ii) caryophyllene was found in all countries, from subtropical America and tropical Asia to tropical East Africa; (iii) the richest parts of citronellal, citronellol, citronellyl acetate, and sabinene were leaves, blossoms, twigs, and fruit peels, respectively; and (iv) due to significant interaction of plant origin and plant parts, a very challenging issue in boosting oil yield could be answered by formulating location-specific and organ-specific culture practices. This study had succeeded in providing further research directions.
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The essential oils of aegle, ageratum, citronella, eucalyptus, geranium, lemongrass, orange, palmarosa, patchouli and peppermint, were tested for antibacterial activity against 22 bacteria, including Gram-positive cocci and rods and Gram-negative rods, and twelve fungi (3 yeast-like and 9 filamentous) by the disc diffusion method. Lemongrass, eucalyptus, peppermint and orange oils were effective against all the 22 bacterial strains. Aegle and palmarosa oils inhibited 21 bacteria; patchouli and ageratum oils inhibited 20 bacteria and citronella and geranium oils were inhibitory to 15 and 12 bacterial strains, respectively. All twelve fungi were inhibited by seven oils (aegle, citronella, geranium, lemongrass, orange, palmarosa and patchouli). Eucalyptus and peppermint oils were effective against eleven fungi. Ageratum oil was inhibitory to only four fungi tested. The MIC of eucalyptus, lemongrass, palmarosa and peppermint oils ranged from 0.16 to > 20 microliters ml-1 for eighteen bacteria and from 0.25 to 10 microliters ml-1 for twelve fungi.
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Citronella grass has been serving from years as a mosquito repellent in the field of ancient and modern medicine. Commercially available mosquito repellents are chemical based and disastrous to human health. An attempt has been made to prepare a 100% herbal product based on Citronella leaf remains which is left out and of no use after steam distillation. It is cheap, effective and environment friendly. It is a first and preliminary work based on formulating and evaluating herbal mosquito repellent cakes using natural binders such as neem powder, potato starch, corn starch, coconut shell powder, wood powder and cow dung. The efficacy of prepared citronella leaf cakes were evaluated on three different parameters such as flammability, burning time and mosquito repellency test. Also, the cakes were sprayed with different concentrations of Citronella oil. Based on the results obtained from these parameters, the residual percentage of each combination of cakes was calculated and it suggested that Neem powder cake has the most effective repellency activity when impregnated with 10% Citronella oil
Fractional distillation of Ceylon citronella {Cymbopogon nardus (L.) Rendle} oil yielded 13 fractions. Monoterpene hydrocarbon fractions were highly lethal to late 3rd instar Culex quinquefasciatus larvae. The results suggest that myrcene in the monoterpene fractions is responsible for the larvicidal activity. Elemol and/or methyl iso-eugenol were identified as active principles responsible for the larvicidal activity in later fractions. The residue after fractional distillation of oil also possessed considerable larvicidal activity. Hydrocarbon fraction and the residue after fractional distillation of Ceylon citronella oil can be used as mosquito-larvicides.