Fresh, rosy and forever lingering in the air, geranium oil is produced from a number of different varieties of Pelargonium, a genus of flowering plants which includes roughly two hundred species of perennials, succulents and shrubs known as geraniums. The main species of geranium used to manufacture geranium oil are P. roseum, P. odoratissiumum and P. radens. The varieties of geranium oil can range from very sweet and rosy to a mint-like aroma.
This woody, perennial herb is native to South Africa, Madagascar, Egypt and Morocco and is now widely cultivated in Russia, England, the Congo, Central America and Egypt. The finest quality geranium oil (P. graveolens) is a green-hued oil with a strong leafy aroma, believed to originate from RÃ©union Island in the Indian Ocean.
Its use in alterative medicine has a long history, which dates back to the ancient Greeks. Geranium was regarded as an excellent healing agent that assisted in the body”™s repair of cuts and bone fractures. Geranium was also used by the North American Indian tribes, who drank a tea made from the powdered roots of the plant to help combat dysentery, and to speed the body”™s ability to heal cuts and ulcers. During the Victorian era, rose geranium was often kept in parlors where fresh leaves were always available to revive the senses.
Most varieties of geranium are perennial shrubs that grow to a height of about 3 feet, with pointed leaves and pinkish-white flowers that are serrated at the edges. The geographic source of aromatic plants is an important consideration in selecting the plants used to distill essential oils. Climate, soil fertility, and the time of harvest are all important factors that affect the quality of the oil, and this is especially the case with geranium oil.
The essential oil accumulates in small glands found in the shrubbery and flowers. Two or three times annually, the plant flowers, which is the optimal times for harvesting. The flowers, leaves and stalks are all used for extraction through steam distillation.
Geranium oil has many great properties in aromatherapy, but is particularly esteemed as a balancing oil; geranium is often used to assist the body in balancing its hormones. Consequently, geranium oil may help women in particular, with PMS or especially during menopause.
The therapeutic properties of geranium essential oil in skincare include it as being an antiseptic, astringent and antibiotic. For many people suffering with acne, congested and sluggish skin, geranium is a miracle plant, as it not only helps to reduce sebum production and return it to normal levels, but it also helps to clear the skin.
It is also helpful in relieving water retention and swelling, as it stimulates the lymphatic system. By boosting the lymphatic system, excess water that may have been retained in the tissue is released, which translates into firmer skin and improved circulation. Geranium is a great addition to skin conditioning and facial treatments, and is suitable for all complexions. It is further said to slow the skin”™s aging process.
Wonderful as a single note or blended with other essential oils like cedarwood, lavender palmarosa, jasmine, rose, neroli, or rosemary, geranium is safe and gentle, making it a must have in every aromatherapy kit!
Here are a few ways to enjoy the smell and health benefits of geranium:
Inhalation: Add a drop or two to a tissue and inhale. Relieves stress and depression.
Diffuser: To disinfect ambient air, and create a pleasant environment. Very energizing.
Skin Care: Add five drops to a bowl of spring water, and use as a facial splash. Excellent for all skin types.
Bath: Add a few drops to your bath. Helps reduce skin irritations and fluid retention.
PMS Oil Blend
10 drops geranium oil
15 drops cedarwood oil
5 drops lavender oil
3 drops mandarin oil
4 oz almond oil
Mix well and store in a dark bottle or jar. Apply to the abdomen seven to ten days before the beginning of the cycle.
3 drops geranium oil
2 drops lavender oil
2 drops bergamot oil
Add to an aromatherapy burner or diffuser.