Geranium Essential Oil: Your Rose-Scented Wellness Aid

| 1/30/2020 2:25:00 PM

This highly aromatic plant, long adored for the delicious complexity of its bouquet, has been much used by the perfume industry for hundreds of years.  Seventeenth-century Europeans loved it so much that they developed hundreds of hybrids.  Geranium leaves make a soothing rose-flavored tea and are prized for their use in making a fragrant body wash, hydrosol, natural deodorant, and effective insect repellent.  They can also be used to promote healing for a broad range of conditions, from dysentery and cholera to hemorrhoids and infections of the skin.

As a soothing astringent, geranium (Pelargonium graveolens; P. x asperum) essential oil tones and tightens the skin and astringes excess moisture, making it an excellent choice for weeping eczema, psoriasis, edema, hemorrhoids, and excessive perspiration of underarms and feet.  Considered a “beautifying oil,” it benefits the health of both the skin and scalp by balancing sebum (oil) production in all skin types.  With its parasiticidal properties, it is also useful in blends formulated to combat ringworm, lice, nail fungus, and athlete’s foot.

For those with impaired circulation or vascular disorders, such as Raynaud’s disease, couperose skin (skin exhibiting diffuse redness due to dilated capillaries), or varicose and spider veins, geranium essential oil, in addition to other oils such as cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) and ginger (Zingiber officinale), is a useful adjunct to assist with regulation of blood flow.

Sometimes called “the woman’s oil,” geranium essential oil is indeed a special gift for women because of its positive regulatory actions upon the hormones secreted by the adrenal cortex.  This makes it a valuable remedy for problems caused by fluctuating hormone levels, including PMS, engorged and/or painful breasts, and menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness.

geranium flowers
Photo by Stephanie Tourles

Geranium Oil or Rose Oil?

Geranium essential oil is sometimes confused with rose (Rosa damascena) essential oil, due to its rose-like scent and the fact that it’s occasionally labeled “rose geranium.”  In fact, geranium oil is frequently used to adulterate and extend real rose oil, and it is the starting point in the manufacture of synthetic rose oil.

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