Geranium essential oil (Pelargonium graveolens) is a wonderful staple essential oil in your medicine cabinet. If I had to summarize it in one word, it would be “balancing”. Geranium is perhaps most commonly known for balancing the mind and sorting out emotions to help you relax and have that stress-free feeling after a long day of work or school. But Geranium’s amazing properties don’t stop there: it also creates balance to oily and dry skin, can treat acne and bruises, helps fight against infection, acts as nerve pain killer, promotes urination and prevents dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. And if that wasn’t enough, this amazing oil could be a natural deodorant and an insect repellent too because of its very pleasant aroma!
Geranium is one of my favorite essential oils. Can you tell? In this article, I’d like to introduce you to this wonderful essential oil and its many facets of use.
How Geranium Essential Oil is Made
Geranium essential oil (Pelargonium graveolens) comes from a perennial shrub that stands about 3 feet tall, with pointed leaves and pinkish-white flowers, generally grown in South Africa, but also cultivated in select European countries such as France, Italy and Spain. The leaves are used in a steam distillation process to extract the essential oil.
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The first commercial distillation of the leaves of geranium took place in France in the early 1700’s 1. Chemists had to find the best varieties to cultivate for geranium essential oil’s production. Only ten strands of geranium essential oil from seven hundred different varieties of the plant ended up as essential oils. Normal garden geranium produces too little oil for extraction.
You would need around 300-500 kg of plants to make 1 kg of the essential oil, which can be quite expensive.
13 Geranium Essential Oil Uses and Benefits
If you have Geranium essential oil in your collection (or are thinking about it!), let me tell you that Geranium oil has many beautiful uses.
- Infection Fighter: Geranium can help in protecting the body from infection. It has shown the ability to stop 22 different types of bacteria and 12 types of fungi fungi from growing on the skin ². For example in patients suffering athlete’s foot, adding 4-5 drops of geranium oil to a foot bath with a warm water and sea salt may help fight the infection. For best results, use it twice daily.
- Wound Healer: Geranium could help heal wounds and incisions. With its powerful cicatrisant (=skin healing) properties, it helps in blood circulation below the surface of skin. It also fades away the look of scars and spots of acne in your skin.
- Urination Promoter: Geranium essential oil promotes urination. It helps release toxins, sugar and sodium from the body.
- Body Odor Eliminator: This could be your next deodorant, protecting your body from perspiration. When you sweat you could smell like flowers. With Geranium’s antibacterial properties, it can eliminate body odors. Add 5 drops of oil to a spray bottle and mix it with 5 tablespoons of water.
- Pain Killer: Geranium can reduce nerve pain. Mix a tablespoon of coconut oil to three drops of this essential oil then massage it to area where you feel the pain.
- Muscle Toner: Due to its astringent properties, Geranium helps in tightening and contracting the muscles. It prevents the muscle and skin from sagging, and can help untimely loosening of teeth by tightens the gums. Geranium essential oil also reduces wrinkles and tightens the facial skin. Therefore it delays the effects of premature aging. Mix a tablespoon of jojoba oil to 5 teaspoons of geranium oil and massage into the affected areas.
- Mental Health Support: Geranium essential oil has the power to improve the function of your mind that uplifts your spirit and helps people suffering from depression and anxiety.
- Possible Prevention of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease: To prevent the formation of neuro-degenerative diseases, this oil can work with the chemistry of the brain to prevent these conditions that lead to memory loss ³.
- Hemorrhage Prevention: The essential oil speeds up blood clotting that aids wound healing and it prevents the toxins to enter to the blood stream through unclotted wounds. 4
- Relaxant: Need a break? Geranium oil gives off a calming aroma similar to the scent of Rose. Put a few drops of this oil to a cotton or wool and set beside your lamp. Make sure to take deep breaths once in a while to let the oil enter your senses and calm your mind.
- Cell Growth Support: This helps in recycling the dead cells as well as the regeneration of new cells to promote cell growth. It allows the metabolism to work more effectively.
- Add Aroma to Perfumes: Geranium leaves provide scent and flavoring in the incredible scent similar to orange, rose, lemon, chocolate and peppermint.
- Insect Repellent: Applying geranium oil mixed with Soya oil can be a good insect repellent. You may repeat applying the oil several times a day if you have been bitten by an insect. To keep insects away at night, add a few drops of this essential oil to a cotton or wool ball and set it beside your night light.
Blending With Geranium
Some fine essential oils that could be great to mix with geranium oil: Angelica, basil, cedarwood, carrot seed, lavender, lime, orange, grapefruit, neroli, ylang-ylang and rosemary oil.
Geranium Face Moisturizer Recipe
Essential oils make everyday fun. Since I use them often, they are always within reach and available to me to use during different times of the day. When it comes to quick and easy recipes using essential oils, I have a few ideas to share with you. The secret to using essential oils everyday is to not take it too seriously. Get knowledgeable about the various types of oils and ways you can use them, and get knowledgeable about precautions you need to take when using them. Once you know what you’re doing, it’s a ton of fun and takes minimum effort to fix using them into your daily routine.
On the Go Geranium Face Moisturizer
What you need:
- One cup of coconut oil in a container.
- Geranium essential oil, or another oil you enjoy that is safe to use on your face (for example Lavender).
How to “blend on the fly”:
- 1 – 2 tsp coconut oil – place in palm
- 1 – 2 drop of geranium essential oil, or another you enjoy that is safe to use on your face.
Rub together in hands and rub on face. Do this in the morning and before you go to bed to rejuvenate your skin and balance your skin’s oil production. Geranium is a great hormone balancer so this recipe works well for skin with acne or pimples, too.
Risks and Cautions
Geranium oil is non-toxic and non-sensitive but there are precautionary measures that need to be followed to avoid problems.
Although geranium is non-toxic, non-sensitizing and non-irritant, it is not a good idea for pregnant women to use the oil. It is usually applied to the skin, but some people may develop rashes or a burning sensation. For skin irritation, it is best to ask for a physician’s advice before using it. Further, Geranium can be a concern to people who have high blood pressure because it causes blood vessels to contract and can slow down the blood flow.
- It is best to dilute a solution of geranium oil to carrier oil before applying it to your skin. You may try mixing it with coconut, jojoba or olive carrier oils.
- Avoid applying it near the eyes as it may cause eye irritation.
- Avoid consuming the essential oil orally because the safety of the oil is not known when taken through the mouth.
Other Interesting Facts
Did you know?
- Geranium oil could be diluted in shampoo to prevent head lice.
- It can be used as massage oil diluted in bath to avoid depression, anxiety, eczema and menstrual irregularities.
- Geranium oil can be a homemade hair conditioner. It is essential for dry hair or hair with lots of dandruff. Add 10 drops of geranium oil to a cup of water, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and put it in a glass bottle with dispenser.
- In 2013, a study found that geranium has the potential to be developed into anti-inflammatory drugs with its improved safety profile. Consequently, Geranium is safer than traditional anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce inflammation of the body with fewer side effects.
- Geranium oil has been used as artificial rose oil in perfumes.
- Geranium oil is also beneficial to the treatment of PMS or Post Menopause Syndrome, eczema, burns, ulcers, tonsillitis and chronic anxiety.
- 1 Geranium Essential Oil History and Cultivation
- ² Antibacterial and antifungal activity of ten essential oils in vitro
- ³ Anti-neuroinflammatory effects of geranium oil in microglial cells
- 4 Efficacy of a topical sesame/rose geranium oil compound in patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia associated epistaxis.