Aerial parts, leaves, stalks and flowers
Thought to have originated in South Africa, Geranium essential oil is most commonly extracted from the Pelargonium graveolens species.
With a long history of traditional use, the ancient Egyptians highly valued Geranium essential oil for its beautifying properties. In ancient Greece it was used to enhance beauty as well as to treat skin infections.
Other traditional uses of this essential oil were to staunch abnormal bleeding, including that related to menstruation and uterine problems. A natural anti-inflammatory, Geranium was also used to soothe sore muscles and redness related to skin conditions.
The anti-anxiety and stress relieving qualities of Geranium essential oil have been extensively studied. This oil seems to be particularly effective at alleviating the stress and anxiety associated with labour and childbirth.
In 2015, the “Journal of Caring Sciences” published a study on the Effect of Inhalation of Aroma of Geranium Essence on Anxiety and Physiological Parameters during First Stage of Labour. The women were split into two groups and anxiety levels were measured using Spielberger' questionnaire before and after intervention.
The results showed that the mean anxiety score decreased significantly after inhalation of Geranium essential oil. Additionally, there was a significant decrease in diastolic blood pressure. The researchers concluded, “Aroma of essential oil of geraniums can effectively reduce anxiety during labour and can be recommended as a non-invasive anti-anxiety aid during childbirth.”
Geranium essential oil can be diffused in an oil burner for a calming effect in the room or diluted and added to a relaxing bath.
Geranium essential oil is anti-neuroinflammatory, meaning it can be beneficial to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), where neuroinflammation is involved.
A 2010 study published in the “Journal of Functional Foods” found that Geranium oil inhibited nitric oxide production by microglial cells in the brain – one of the pre-cursors to Alzheimer’s disease. It also inhibited the production of the proinflammatory enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). The study concluded, "Geranium oil might be beneficial in the prevention/treatment of neurodegenerative diseases where neuroinflammation is part of the pathophysiology."
Low level inflammation is thought to be at the root of many conditions and diseases. Geranium essential oil inhibits inflammation in the skin, muscles and joints, making it useful in cases of arthritis and inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema.
Geranium oil has been investigated as a source of new, safer anti-inflammatory drugs. The researchers found that the essential oil has significant potential “for the development of novel anti-inflammatory drugs with improved safety profile.”.
Another study into its pain-relieving properties looked at Geranium oil’s ability to fight nerve pain. The study was conducted to assess neuropathic pain relief with topical Geranium oil, to confirm its safety, to define a dose-response relation, and to define the timing of the onset of pain relief. The subjects were suffering from moderately or severely painful postherpetic neuralgia (a complication of shingles). They found that treatment with Geranium oil was associated with a significant reduction in pain.
To benefit from the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of Geranium oil, dilute with your favourite carrier oil and massage into the affected areas.
Geranium essential oil can have a powerful impact on the health of the skin. It reduces inflammation, heals skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, and it stops pores from getting clogged which reduces acne outbreaks.
One of the biggest causes of acne breakouts is bacteria. These are bacteria that naturally live on the skin but get trapped in pores, causing pimples, blackheads and whiteheads when mixed with sebum. With antibacterial and antiseptic properties, applying Geranium oil topically can be helpful for preventing the bacteria on the skin from entering pores and causing breakouts.
It may also help to prevent breakouts by regulating sebum production and may help regulate imbalanced hormones - another common acne trigger. In particular, the hormones oestrogen, progesterone and insulin are linked to acne flare-ups.
Also known as the “Flower of Consistency”, the Geranium won this nickname thanks to its ability to lift spirits, balance the mind and bring joy and happiness to the day.
In African bush medicine, Pelargoniums were believed to be astringent, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and styptic. The medicine men in Sotho and Zulu tribes created a paste from crushed leaves to staunch bleeding, treat wounds and abscesses, and used the roots in an infusion to wash patients suffering from fever.
Geranium essential oil was brought to Europe in the 17th century and went on to become hugely popular in the Victorian era.
Citronellol, geraniol, linalool,citronellyl formate, geranyl formate, citral, guaiazulene, B-caryophyllene, phellandrene, limonene, a-pinene.
Essential oils need to be diluted first; never apply an essential oil directly to the skin. Avoid contact with eyes and mouth. Avoid if you are taking homeopathic remedies. Avoid use with sensitive skin.