Geranium is a genus of 422 species of flowering annual, biennial, and perennial plants that are commonly known as the cranesbills. They are found throughout the temperate regions of the world and the mountains of the tropics, but mostly in the eastern part of the Mediterranean region. The long, palmately cleft leaves are broadly circular in form. The flowers have five petals and are coloured white, pink, purple or blue, often with distinctive veining. Geraniums will grow in any soil as long as it is not waterlogged. Propagation is by semiripe cuttings in summer, by seed, or by division in autumn or spring.
The genus name is derived from the Greek γέρανος (géranos) or γερανός (geranós) ‘crane’. The English name ‘cranesbill’ derives from the appearance of the fruit capsule of some of the species. Species in the Geranium genus have a distinctive mechanism for seed dispersal. This consists of a beak-like column which springs open when ripe and casts the seeds some distance. The fruit capsule consists of five cells, each containing one seed, joined to a column produced from the centre of the old flower. The common name ‘cranesbill’ comes from the shape of the unsprung column, which in some species is long and looks like the bill of a crane. However, many species in this genus do not have a long beak-like column.
Geraniums are eaten by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including brown-tail and mouse moth. The species Geranium viscosissimum (sticky geranium) is considered to be protocarnivorous.
What is Geranium Essential Oil?
Geranium oil has been described as a natural perfume complete unto itself. It’s often used to scent soaps and detergents because, unlike many other essential oils, rose geranium’s aroma profile is not readily affected by the alkaline nature of soap products.
Rose geranium varies much across strains and distillations, in part because the plant is greatly influenced by the climate and soil in which it grows. Geranium oil can range from very sweet and rosy to musty, minty and green. One type of geranium oil, known as Bourbon, has established itself as a premium perfume oil. Bourbon geranium is cultivated and distilled exclusively on the island of Reunion in the Indian ocean. The environment of Reunion has produced a strain of geranium with a very rich, rosy aroma. Perfumers prefer to work with Bourbon oil because it blends well with a wide array of very different oils including clove, sandalwood and lavender.
The main geranium oil-producing regions of the world are found on the African continent, Russia, China and Reunion. Russian and Chinese oils tend to have a greener, fresh-rosy aroma while Egyptian and Reunion oils tend to be heavier and darker.
Geranium oil is distilled from the above-ground parts of the plant. Most of the essential oil glands are found in its leaves. After cutting, the plants are partially dried to increase the yield of oil. That way there’s less water to be vaporized and extracted from the plant material during the distillation.
Popular during the Victorian era, rose geranium was often kept potted in parlors were a fresh sprig was always available to revive the senses. The fresh leaves were also offered in finger bowls at formal dining tables.
Today, geranium is an indispensable aromatherapy oil. It’s one of the best skincare oils, offering relief from congested, oily and dry skin. On an emotional level, geranium promotes stability and balance.
Composition of Geranium Oil
Geranium oil contains about 67 compounds. The main components of geranium oil are citronellol (26.7 percent) and geraniol (13.4 percent). Other major constituents include:9
- Nerol (8.7 percent)
- Citronellyl formate (7.1 percent)
- Isomenthone (6.3 percent)
- Linalool (5.2 percent)
Uses of Geranium Essential Oil
- Use in an aromatherapy steam facial to beautify skin.
- Add a drop to your moisturizer to help balance oil production.
- The balancing properties of Geranium make it great for both dry and oily hair. Apply a few drops to your shampoo or conditioner bottle, or make your own deep hair conditioner.
- Diffuse aromatically to help relieve occasional stress and tension.
- Place one drop in the palm of your hands, rub hands together, and cup over nose and mouth to breathe slowly, or diffuse as desired to release emotions.
- Diffuse geranium oil throughout the room, apply over the heart or solar plexus, or breathe from the palm of your hand for connection.
Health Benefits of Essential Oil of Geranium
The main function of an astringent is to induce contractions in various parts of the body. Accordingly, Geranium Oil makes the gums, muscles, intestines, skin, tissues and blood vessels to contract. Furthermore, this includes the contraction of abdominal muscles which gives you a better, toned look. Geranium essential oil can also prevent muscles and skin from sagging, as well as the untimely loosening and loss of teeth by tightening up the gums. Finally, it can reduce the presence of wrinkles by tightening the facial skin, thereby delaying some of the effects of premature aging.
2.) Antibacterial & Antimicrobial
The strong properties of geranium essential oil prevent bacteria or microbes from developing on wounds and keeps you safe from developing infections. This boost to the immune system allows the body’s defensive cells to focus on the internal challenges and dangers, rather than being weakened by peripheral toxins on the skin.
Geranium Oil speeds up the healing process of wounds, cuts and surgical incisions. This property makes it a vulnerary. Perhaps, it is due to its other qualities as a hemostatic, styptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial and cytophylactic substance that also make it a vulnerary, but the end result is the same!
Everyone wants their skin to be free from scars and after marks of fat-cracks, surgeries, boils, acne or pox. Unfortunately, many people end up spending a fortune and trying all the available cosmetic solutions on the market and still don’t get the desired results. They could have avoided a waste of time and money had they tried Geranium Oil first. It is a powerful cicatrisant, so it helps the scars and other spots on the skin to fade and vanish. It facilitates blood circulation just below the surface of skin and also helps promote a uniform distribution of melanin.
Geranium essential oil can stop hemorrhaging in two ways. First, as an astringent (more specifically, a styptic), it causes the contraction of blood vessels and helps to stop blood flow, as discussed above. Second, as a hemostatic agent, it speeds up coagulation and the clotting of blood, which aids in the healing of wounds and the prevention of toxins from entering the bloodstream through open or unclotted wounds.
Geranium Oil promotes cell health, encourages the recycling of dead cells, and the regeneration of new cells. This helps in the growth of the body cells as well as the gametes, by making the body metabolize things efficiently.
Geranium essential oil has diuretic properties, which means that it increases urination. Urination is one of the three natural ways to remove toxins from the body. The other methods are excretion and perspiration, but urination is the most effective of the three. These eliminated toxins are urea, uric acid, bile salts, pathogens and other synthetic or chemical substances, heavy metals, pollutants, and even sugar. Moreover, each time you urinate, fats amounting to 4% of the volume of urine and excess water are also removed from the body. Urination aids the digestive process and prohibits the formation of excess gas in the intestine. It is also an effective way of removing excess acids and bile that is secreted by liver. Urination also reduces blood pressure because the more you urinate, the more sodium is eliminated, causing blood pressure to fall.
Geranium Oil has a very pleasant and uplifting aroma, comparable to a combination of floral fragrances and mint. Surely you can imagine what an effective deodorant it would make. Its effects also last for a long time and it is not harsh on the skin. Furthermore, owing to its property as a mild antibacterial substance, it aids in eliminating body odor. Unlike other substances whose odors are released in exhalation, geranium oil is a circulatory oil, which means that it exits the body during perspiration. Excess physical activity is usually the time when body odor becomes more apparent, but sweating actually releases the pleasant aroma of geranium oil following aromatherapy sessions.
This property is nearly synonymous with Hemostatic, with one slight difference. Being a styptic means being a hemostatic owing to astringent properties. A styptic, like Geranium Oil, causes the blood vessels to contract and thus slows down or stops the flow of blood. This can be a problem for some people with high blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and stroke.
10.) Neural Degeneration
Microglial cells are integral components in the fight against neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. When microglial cells are activated, they release pro-inflammatory factors like Nitric Oxide, which combat the inflammation in the neural pathways that can cause neural degeneration. Geranium essential oil is shown to activate these microglial cells, therefore, the synergistic relationship between geranium oil and the natural chemistry of the brain can prevent those dangerous and potentially deadly conditions.
A tonic is what tones up overall health. Internally, it makes all the systems and functions work properly in the body by influencing endocrine glands for regulating the secretion of various hormones, enzymes, acids and bile. This results in boosted strength and functionality of the respiratory, digestive, circulatory, nervous, and excretory systems. Also, it adds tone to muscles and skin and can seriously improve your overall appearance.
This particular property is very beneficial for those children (and a limited number of adults) who suffer from intestinal worms. Geranium Oil is a vermifuge and can help you get rid of this nasty problem.
Other Benefits: Geranium essential oil is very beneficial in the treatment of acne, dermatitis and other skin diseases, as well as infections of the nose, throat and other respiratory organs. Research has shown it to have a positive effect on eczema, neuralgia, burns, ulcers, tonsillitis, and Post Menopause Syndrome (PMS). Furthermore, it has powerful effects to uplift spirits and mental functioning, which makes it useful in the treatment of depression, chronic anxiety, and anger issues.
Geranium Oil Recipe
- Homemade Conditioner
- This homemade conditioner recipe is awesome, for it helps to restore the hairs natural pH, thus rehydrating the hair. The result is soft, luscious and healthy hair. Add 10 drops of geranium oil and see how it helps to condition your dry hair.
Total Time: 2 minutes
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 10 drops of essential oils
- BPA-free plastic bottles or glass bottle with dispenser
Customize Your Conditioner:
- Rosemary or sage essential oils for all types of hair
- Lemon, bergamot or tea tree essential oils for oily hair
- Lavender, sandalwood or geranium essential oils for dry hair or dandruff
- Mix ingredients together in eight-ounce spray bottle
- Shake bottle before using and then spray hair
- Leave in hair for five minutes, then rinse
You can make your own geranium oil at home with just a few simple ingredients. Use the leaves of a geranium plant – the more leaves you use, the stronger the fragrance will be. Wash the leaves thoroughly and then dry them with a clean washcloth. Using a pestle and mortar, ground the leaves until they are completely mashed and let it sit for a few hours.
Then add a carrier oil, like coconut or jojoba oil to smashed leaves; cover the mixture and let it sit for two weeks. You will notice the beautiful scent of your new oil; drain the leaves and keep it in an air-tight container.
Add geranium oil to your shampoo or conditioner. You can even mix it into your body soap or lotion.
The Essential Oils which form fine blends with Geranium Oil are Angelica, Bergamot, Basil, Lavandin, Cedar Wood, Carrot Seed, Citronella, Lavender, Neroli, Lime, Orange, Lemon, Jasmine, Grapefruit and Rosemary Oil.
- Do not take essential oils internally.
- Do not apply to eyes, sensitive areas or mucous membranes.
- Do not apply undiluted to skin (for directions on proper dilution refer to an aromatherapy text).
- The information on this website is not intended to diagnose or prescribe.
- Pregnant women, nursing mothers and children should not use essential oils without firstconsulting an appropriately trained healthcare practitioner.
- The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA.
Sustainable Baby Steps
Mountain Rose Herbs
Experience Essential Oils