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Episode 244: Have a Citronella Summer and a Look at Niaouli

In this episode we sit down with Samantha Lewis, a member of the doTERRA product marketing team, to talk about why Citronella should be your go-to oil this summer. She'll discuss how you can use it outside, in your home, as well as some of the less well-known ways to use Citronella. Plus, we'll take a look at the history and importance of Niaouli.

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Citronella is well-known in many households during the summer, but there are so many different powerful ways to use it. And today we'll talk all about them.

Welcome back to Essential Oil Solutions with doTERRA, the podcast where you'll hear exciting, useful and simple, everyday uses for essential oils from experts in the field.

This episode is brought to you by the MetaPWR® System. Are you ready to make some lasting changes this year? Let the MetaPWR System and the 30- Day MetaPWR Metabolic Health challenge help you.

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Today, we're excited to talk to Samantha Lewis, a member of the doTERRA Product Marketing team, about all of the ways she loves to use Citronella. Plus, we'll take a fascinating look at the history of Niaouli.


Samantha, thank you so much for being here with us today.

Samantha Lewis

Thanks for having me.


I am so excited to talk about Citronella because I think it's one of the under-sung heroes that doTERRA has. So, to kick us off: Citronella is probably most well-known for its ability to repel pests. How do you like to use it to keep pests away during the summertime?


I mean, we know of Citronella candles and different oils you can burn to repel pests outside, but I don't want to expose myself, my family or my pets to the synthetics in those types of products.

So, in an effort to continue reducing our toxic load, I love to use just straight Citronella in a Bubble diffuser. I always have a Bubble diffuser and Citronella in our camping gear we take with us on any outdoor trip. Before I was able to get my hands on that wonderful Bubble, the Pilot diffuser was always along for the ride when going to outdoor activities, and really any portable diffuser makes Citronella your best friend outdoors--whether it's on the deck or on a picnic table at your campsite.


Absolutely. And like you said, then you avoid all of those synthetics and anything that might be showing up when burning something. We want to make sure and keep those out of our home.


Yeah, but like, you still know it's going to be efficacious, which I love.


Absolutely. Now, one of the lesser-known uses for Citronella is on surfaces. So how can I use Citronella on the surfaces around my home?


It definitely is a more unknown use for service cleaning. And it's really based on the chemical makeup.

So, Citronella shares chemistry to other oils like Geranium, which really lends itself to cleaning, and I love that. I often use Citronella in my abо̄de®, surface cleaner—I'll just boost it a little bit with that to wipe down outdoor furniture. I feel like it's kind of doing double duty when used outside.

And back to the outdoor activities discussion, if it happens to be the only oil you have on-hand at your campsite, combine 20 or so drops with four to five ounces of water to make a really good surface cleaner on-the-go.


Absolutely. And that double duty--I always love something that's going to do more than one thing for me.




Going forward again, with some of the lesser-known uses, what are some of the ways that people can incorporate Citronella into their daily routines?


I love this question and my mind immediately went to one of my favorite ways to use Citronella that I didn't even think about until Emily Wright was literally on stage announcing this at Convention. She suggested using a few drops of Citronella in your toilet as like a little before-you-go product. That fresh, crisp aroma really helps make the bathroom smell cleaner after you've left.

And there's some really cool things about the chemistry that we can dive deeper into, but that was a different and more clever way to use Citronella I had never thought of before.

So, a few drops in your toilet and then hopefully this next situation isn't a daily occurrence for most people, but I really like using Citronella combined with Lavender to help soothe my skin after a bug bite.

The aromas of both, thanks to their well-researched chemistry, are also known to create a calming environment. So, a diluted combo of these on littles is a really great on the go roll-on for soothing skin.


Absolutely. And you mentioned the smell a couple times. Citronella has such a unique scent and it's one that always reminds me of summertime.

So it's such a fantastic one to utilize camping, on your outdoor adventures, on your back patio, whatever it might be, on your skin and just have that really fun, unique aroma with you.


Yeah, I agree.

I feel like the freshness just isn't matched by anything else and it's really appealing because a lot of people will smell like Geranium or Cilantro, which are very similar in chemistry, and those can be polarizing. Citronella, I feel like, is the middle. It's not the best smelling aroma in the world, but it's so fresh and it's so bright, and, to your point, it's very summery.

So, I think it's really great in blends and just to bring that kind of feeling indoors, or, you know, like we talked about, even when you're hanging out on your patio with family and friends and double-duty, again, right there, you have a really good aroma and you get to ward off pests. So, it's great.



Samantha, thank you so much for sitting down with us today and teaching us a little bit more about why Citronella is so incredible.


Yeah, Thank you.


The niaouli tree is a durable species that can survive severe droughts or extreme rainy seasons. Even forest fires cannot destroy it. In some of the most inhospitable environments, the niaouli tree thrives and continues on.

Niaouli, commonly known as the broad leafed paper-bark or paper-bark tea tree is a small to medium sized tree of the Myrtle family: Myrtaceae. Other notable members of the family are Eucalyptus and Clove. The flowers of the niaouli tree are cream green, yellow or red and clustered in bottle brush spikes. The leaves of the tree are elliptical-shaped, oblong with a glossy light green color, and the plants are usually very aromatic.

It's known for its ability to withstand floods, fires as well as droughts. So, while the seedlings less than several weeks or months old may die from fire or dry soils, they are soon able to withstand extreme conditions ranging from fire to total immersion in water for up to six months.

Severe frosts will defoliate and kill the branches, but the tree generally recovers through something called epicormic sprouting. Epicormic buds usually lie dormant beneath the bark of a tree. Their growth is suppressed by hormones from active shoots higher up the plant. However, under certain conditions, such as when damage occurs, they develop into active shoots. When this damage occurs it may also induce new shoot growth from the roots, resulting in multi-trunked trees which are called coppices. Because of these damage responses, older niaouli trees are often multi-stemmed.

The niaouli tree was revered and widely used by Indigenous Australians. The paper-like bark, is used traditionally for many different purposes, such as making coolamons, an Aboriginal carrying vessel used for everything from carrying water to gathering fruits and nuts.

The paper-bark has also been known to be useful as bedding because it's very soft and can keep you dry. And the softer pieces of paper-bark were soaked in water and wrapped around food such as fish, emu or kangaroo and placed on the fire to cook.

It has also been used in creating shelters, wrapping baked food, and the leaves were also used to add flavor to cooking. A traditional ground oven will also often include layers of the paper-bark leaves.

Indigenous Australians extracted the nectar of the niaouli tree by washing it in a coolamons of water.

After the nectar had been extracted, it was then traditionally consumed as a beverage. They would also use the bruised, young, aromatic leaves to make a brew.

It wasn't just in Australia that the niaouli tree was prized for its benefits. In the Middle East they drank niaouli tea for its beneficial properties. And traditionally French obstetricians relied upon it in their practice. And the tree was so revered in Kanak culture that it was tradition for newborn babies to be wrapped in niaouli leaves. Local residents of New Caledonia also used Niaouli in their traditional wellness practices. They would even breathe into Niaouli-soaked handkerchiefs. In fact, the niaouli tree is held in such regard in French Polynesia and New Caledonia that it is treasured as their national flower.

Nowadays it is still used by the Kanaks of New Caledonia for its wellness benefits and we know it's an essential oil that you will love having in your home.

Thanks for joining us and congratulations on living a healthier lifestyle with essential oils. If you want to try any of the products you learned about, click on the link in the episode description or find a Wellness Advocate near you to place an order today.

And remember, if you liked what you heard today, rate, review and subscribe wherever you listen.

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