Geranium Essential Oil <br/><em>Pelargonium graveolens</em>
From the warm, dry earth, a beautiful and full plant emerges, a gift from Mother Earth. Its leaves are velvety and gorgeously scented. Clusters of five white or pale pink petals erupt from those leaves, bright spots among the fragrant branches and greenery. This is the precious geranium plant from which nature gives us geranium oil.
While the petals are beautiful, the entrancing scent of geranium oil actually comes from the plant’s leaves. The velvety texture of the leaf is due to small glandular hairs covering the leaf. The scent is at the base of those hairs, released as soon as the leaf is crushed. To make 1 kilo of geranium essential oil, it requires 600 to 1,000 kilos of geranium leaves.
While geranium oil has a unique sweet, floral aroma, the plant has many varieties that take on other fragrances. The most popular, of course, is the rose geranium that smells even more rose-like than straight geranium oil. Other scents supplied by different geranium varieties include:
- chocolate mint,
- lemony citronella and
- lemony rose.
Native to the northern areas of South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe as well as the Cape Provinces, this bountiful shrub is among Africa’s best-producing crops. For many southern and central African farmers, growing the geranium for this prized essential oil is a sustainable path for better lives, just as the oil they produce is a tool to create a more spiritual life.
- Hormones. Geranium supports the adrenal system, particularly the adrenal cortex. This function helps to balance hormones, especially in times when hormones tend to swing more dramatically such as in puberty and pre-menstruation.
- Alzheimer’s. Some studies show that geranium can have a positive effect on the microglial cells that release inflammation-fighting agents in the brain. This suggests that geranium essential oil may help to prevent neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia.
- Inflammation. Geranium not only helps to reduce inflammation in the brain, its anti-inflammatory properties are at work throughout your body. Some early studies show that it may even be more effective as a combatant to inflammation than commonly used anti-inflammatory medicines.
- Nose, Throat Infections. Some of the natural chemicals in geranium oil work like antibiotics, preventing and fighting nose and throat infections when inhaled.
- Fluid Retention. Geranium is a natural diuretic, causing you to eliminate fluid waste more frequently.
- Depression, Anxiety. Infuse a room with geranium, and you’ll notice its mood-enhancing aroma. There is some evidence to suggest that it may help fight depression, but much more study must be completed to verify the oil’s role as an antidepressant.
- Relaxation. The sweet, floral scent of geranium is relaxing and calming, helping you to focus more clearly.
- Perfume. The delightful smell of geranium oil ensures that it’s a popular addition to perfumes and other personal fragrances. It’s also a frequent ingredient in shampoos, hair conditioners, lotions and soaps.
- Heart and Throat Chakras. Geranium oil’s relaxing and uplifting effects make it a natural addition to your chakra balancing meditations.
- Goddess. The feminine energy of geranium connects to the Earth Mother and the Goddesses.
- Releasing Negative Emotions. Geranium oil helps you cleanse your psyche of negative energy and let go of the negative emotions that are preventing you from reaching your full potential.
- Astral Travel. If you are trying out dream work or working toward astral travel, this oil may be helpful as it helps to dispel negative energies and to overcome fear. It also promotes better concentration, a needed focus for astral travel and other dream work.
Geranium oil is usually non-irritating for skin, but some people with sensitive skin may want to dilute it in carrier oil and use only in a small test patch to evaluate their own sensitivity to the oil. The oil is also a diuretic so be sure to drink plenty of fluids while you are using the oil. People with high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease should avoid geranium oil since it can constrict blood vessels. Women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid using this oil.
- Botanical Name: Pelargonium graveolens, Pelargonium asperum
- Common Method of Extraction: Steam distillation
- Plant Part Typically Used: Leaves
- Color: Clear to nearly light green
- Consistency: Thin
- Perfumery Note: Middle
- Strength of Initial Aroma: Strong
- Aromatic Description: Rose-like sweet floral aroma with a hint of fruit