Palmarosa Essential Oil
Imagine yourself in a lush tropical field as the sun drapes warmly across your body, nourishing the flowers and plant life nearby. The humid air carries the scent of flowers through the valley. The air is different here, with the rosy, grassy scent of palmarosa filling the space around you. This delicate, beautiful aroma is curious, coming from a grass, but it’s so like the fragrance of a rose that it’s understandably used often in perfumes and cosmetics.
A Palmarosa Primer
Cymbopogon martinii, the grass that produces palmarosa, grows wildly in the wetlands of India and Nepal. Related to lemon grass, the grass and its flowers smell like roses. Farmers harvest the grass and its flower shoots to produce palmarosa oil, which is also sometimes called Indian geranium oil or Turkish geranium oil. The oil is less expensive to produce than rose oil, so you’ll often find that rose oil is cut with or replaced by palmarosa in fragrances, soaps and lotions.
In addition to its advantageous scent, palmarosa is also used in cooking. Indulgent desserts and light, delicate dishes, as well as beverages, call for palmarosa as an ingredient.
As with many other essential oils, palmarosa oil is also a useful component in folk and complementary medicine. The oil is antiviral and antibacterial, so it can help in calming ailments caused by viruses and bacteria. It can reduce fevers, help digestion, relieve sores and hydrate skin. It is calming, yet cheering, the perfect combination for one who’s looking to relax and stay fresh.
The Many Benefits of Palmarosa
- Skin Repair. Antiseptic, antibacterial and hydrating, palmarosa oil is a natural skin-care boon. The oil helps to regulate skin moisture, making it an ideal agent for all skin types. It also helps to clear away the toxins of everyday life from your skin, eliminating bacteria and other germs that can accelerate ageing and cause acne and blackhead breakouts.
- Ayurveda. Healers in this tradition use palmarosa frequently. They find that it helps calm the symptoms of respiratory conditions and infections such as bronchitis. It’s also used for joint, nerve and muscle pain related to sciatica, rheumatism and neuralgia. Skin conditions are also eased with palmarosa in Ayurveda centers.
- Digestion. For centuries, palmarosa has been used to soothe troubled tummies, easing nausea and indigestion.
- Relaxation. Like rose oil, palmarosa oil is infinitely relaxing. This soft, sweet, cheerful fragrance encourages you to let all your cares be ferried away, so that you can focus on the task at hand.
- Fragrance. Palmarosa smells so like roses that it’s a frequent ingredient in cosmetics, fragrances, soaps, lotions and hair treatments. You can make your own rose-scented toiletries at home with palmarosa oil and your other favorite essential oils.
- Insect Repellent. Palmarosa oil has a number of natural chemicals that repel insects, particularly those that are attracted to stored legumes and grains.
- Mold Fighter. Palmarosa oil contains an antifungal component that’s strong enough to fight black mold.
- Heart Chakra. The aroma of palmarosa is ideal for adding to your meditation or yoga aromatherapy. Palmarosa is especially helpful in balancing your heart chakra, allowing you to see others and yourself compassionately, generously and with love.
- Healing a Broken Heart. Some people find comfort in palmarosa oil as a means for grieving and healing a broken heart.
Do not ingest palmarosa oil, and avoid it if you are pregnant or nursing. Palmarosa oil is considered generally safe, but it’s always a good idea to take a few precautions. If you have sensitive skin, do not use the oil on your skin until you have tested your tolerance in a small area of skin. Always dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil to prevent skin irritation from strong concentrations of the essential oil.
- Botanical Name: Cymbopogon martini
- Common Method of Extraction: Steam distillation
- Plant Part Typically Used: Leaves
- Colour: Pastel yellow
- Consistency: Thin
- Perfumery Note: Middle
- Strength of Initial Aroma: Strong
- Aromatic Description: A fresh, sweet scent with floral notes and a hint of lemon