Essential Oil:  Geranium  aka Rose Geranium

Botanical Name:   Pelagarnium graveolens

Botanical Family:  Geraniaceae

I have a soft spot for Geranium because it’s the oil that inspired my fascination with Aromatherapy.  I got amazing results from using Geranium on my skin.  Those results forced me to admit Aromatherapy was more than a gimmick and here we are 10 years later.

Geranium is a widely cultivated perennial shrub of African origin.  There are hundreds of different species in the Pelargonium family.   I’ve smelled Geranium Citron, Geranium Peppermint, and Oak Geranium.  These are only a small variety of what’s available.  The majority of these other shrubs are not used for essential oil production.  When we refer to Geranium essential oil, we mean the oil of Pelargonium graveolens.   It is the leaves and stalks of Geranium that are distilled for essential oil production.   Geranium is a mid-priced essential oil with 5mL selling in the $10-$15 range.

One confusing aspect of buying Geranium oil is that people are frequently calling it Rose Geranium.   Both names have been used interchangeably in the past.  However in a world that revolves around marketing, the name Rose Geranium is commonly used to imply a difference from regular Geranium.  Such a difference does not exist when it comes to essential oils.  There are companies that sell Rose Geranium oils that contain synthetic Rose.   A reputable company will tell you this up front.  Be clear about what you are buying.  If a supplier uses the name Rose Geranium and can’t give you specifics on what’s in the bottle, do not buy.

Geranium has a distinctly green fragrance that cradles a rosy scent with a slight lemony note.   It is considered to be a middle note with high odor intensity.  Geranium is very similar to Rose in chemical structure, scent, and therapeutic properties.  However Geranium is much less expensive and is frequently used to adulterate Rose.

When buying beauty products, reading labels and knowing botanical names is helpful but if a company is unethical in production they aren’t going to inform you on the label.  Awareness is your best weapon.  Pay attention to price, scent, and use common sense.  It is not very likely that your local drugstore or Bath & Body Works is going to have anything with real Rose.  Real distilled Rose damascene will crystallize at low temperatures so you could test your oil by putting it in the freezer for a few hours.

Geranium is considered to be one of the best essential oils for beauty and skin care.  It’s recommended to help treat eczema, psoriasis, acne and is a must have for any anti-aging routine.  Geranium is astringent and can help balance the skin’s production of sebum which makes it ideal for all skin types.

Geranium is also beautifying internally.   It is stimulating to the lymphatic system and helps to clear toxins from the body through its action as a diuretic and sudorific (promotes sweating).

Geranium stimulates the adrenal cortex which produces hormones that regulate and balance body systems.   In addition to hormonal support, Geranium is antidepressant and calming to the nervous system.  These properties are what makes Geranium such a popular remedy for PMS and the symptoms of menopause.

Esoterically, Geranium can help us reconnect to our emotions.  It is helpful for people who think instead of feel and tend to have workaholic and perfectionist tendencies.

Because of its high citronellol content Geranium can be helpful as an insect repellent.

In short, Geranium is one of the most useful essential oils.  It is a must have for anyone beginning their journey in Aromatherapy.   It is generally safe for all healthy adults when used properly.   Enjoy your Geranium!

Resources

Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit,  Gabriel Mojay

Magical Aromatherapy,  Scott Cunningham

The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy,   Salvatore Battaglia

Essential Aromatherapy ,  Susan Worwood & Valerie Ann Worwood

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