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Geranium Essential Oil Profile

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)

Botanical Family – Geraniaceae

Chemical Families - Monoterpenols, Esters

Note - middle

Sourced - Egypt, China, Madagascar

Method - Steam distillation of leaves

Shelf Life- 5 years

Aroma Notes - bright, rosy, floral, fruity, undertones of fresh grass and lemon

Energetic Properties - Uplifting, energizing, strengthening, deeply calming, balancing, opens the heart.

Do you know someone who has a strong personality? That person who is, what some may call, a force of nature? Well, sometimes oils can have a strong personality. Geranium is one such oil and is most definitely a force of nature.

Its aroma is bold (one might even say loud) and sticks around a while. The initial rosy-floral impact takes a moment or two to step to the side and allow some of the softer background notes make an appearance. In regards to Pelargonium graveolens, you might be pleasantly surprised to find some lemon or lemongrass accents along with juicy-fruity tones and green or grassy notes. Other chemotypes even include minty characteristics. Differences in aromas can vary due to the season, country, terrain, and weather in which the plants grew.

If you aren't yet familiar with any of the chemotypes of Geranium EO, be gentle with your introduction as Geranium's aromas can be powerful. When sampling, hold the the bottle low around chest height, maybe give it a little wiggle, and take a shallow breath or two before you dive in. If by chance you have had an overpowering experience with it, I encourage you to try again with a more genteel approach - and be persistent at that. Geranium has a lot to offer (we'll get to that soon). Try blending it with companion EOs like Grapefruit, Neroli, and Spearmint or Cornmint.

As we explore Geranium's personality traits it is easy to see it is as complex in its therapeutic properties as it is in its aromatic properties. Its many actions speak for themselves and, true to its nature, each are potent in their own right.

Perhaps this is why Geranium was one of my first favorites. I found it very uplifting and optimistic. A little Geranium on a rainy day can go a long way.

This brings us to the next property (and one of my personal favorites) - stress reducing/anti-anxiety actions. A study from February 2018 shows positive anxiolytic and antidepressant results through serotonergic pathways. Other studies exhibited in aromatherapy using Geranium EO helped reduce stress in the first stages of childbirth, in surgery for inguinal hernias, and even during recovery from heart attacks. Research in decreasing the effects and progression of several neural diseases through use of Geranium and other essential oils shows positive progress in neural health.

One of the most popular uses for Geranium EO is topical applications for helping relieve fungal infections. Its anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties team up to inhibit fungal proliferation in issues like Athlete's Foot and Candida related rashes. It has been the subject of studies in effective herbal treatments for vaginitis. It has been helpful to reduce Candida albicans in cases of denture stomatitis.

Showing both skin friendly and healing properties, Geranium EO can reduce adverse impact and significantly improve recovery time from rashes as well as cuts and abrasions. Simply add a few drops to a carrier oil or unscented lotion and apply to affected area or to some unscented castile soap and add to bath water or foot bath.

Its reputation for antioxidant properties is growing and has been proven in studies for anti-aging activity on skin. An article published in the Journal Annales Pharmaceutiqes Francais, May 2022, showed these properties are effective in anticancer activity via "angiogenesis and cell proliferation", and cytotoxicity on different metastatic breast cancer (MDA-MB-231), gastric (AGS) and melanoma (MV3) cell lines." There is promising findings for SPF protection and recovery with sun exposure.

Many fur baby owners are familiar with Geranium EO as a natural alternative to harmful chemicals in repelling fleas, ticks, and other creepy crawlies. Online articles span from confirming to denying this characteristic of EOs in general. I will present just a few studies which confirm these acaricidal abilities. Here in Georgia, we have a lot of cattle farms; so this article on reducing tick infestations on cattle is a nice find. Another study showed Geranium EO also repels horn fly on cattle. One study showing Geranium EO combats bed bug infestation is very encouraging. One even focused on how it repels common house flies. I like this study that specifically focuses on the use of Geranium EO on cats and fleas (this study is important because cats are known to have significant issues with metabolizing certain essential oils).

Geranium is popular in blends for helping relieve pain, bloating and anxiety during menstrual cycles as well as anxiety and hot flashes, mood swing and irritability, restless sleep and other symptoms during menopause. It is often used to help stimulate the lymphatic system and facilitate drainage of excess fluids (try pairing it with a lymphatic massage) associated with bloating and discomfort during women's cycles.

As you can see, with so many strengths to its credit, Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) is a force to be reckoned with and, naturally, a wonderful edition to your aromatherapy tool box.

Main Chemical Constituents -

isomenthone linalool citronellyl formate geranyl formate citronellol geraniol

Therapeutic Properties - acaricidal, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anticholinesterase, antidepressant, anti-fungal, antiproliferative, antioxidant, antispasmodic, antitumoral, anxiolytic, cicatrissant, cytotoxic, healing, hypotensive, neuroprotective, sedative, tonic, known to relieve menstrual and menopausal symptoms

Common Uses - inhalation and topical application:

  • a few drop in a diffuser will brighten the atmosphere and help ease anxiety, a low mood, indifference, and negativity.

  • 12 drops or so in an aromatherapy inhaler can help reduce stress and support the immune system, protect the brain's neural cells.

  • add 3-4 drops to one Tablespoon unscented cream and massage on inflamed or swollen areas to help relieve swelling and pain.

  • add 2 drops to unscented shampoo or conditioner to stimulate healthy skin and hair growth, then rinse.

  • add 5-6 drops to one ounce to unscented body wash/castile soap for an uplifting and stress relieving shower or bath.

  • add 6 drops to one ounce aloe vera gel and rub onto feet to combat Athlete's Foot. Let air dry or cover with white organic cotton socks to dry. Try adding Tea Tree, Palmarosa, Patchouli, or Rosalina.

Recipe for fungal skin infection: (use organic ingredients whenever possible)

1 ounce 100% pure Aloe Vera gel, 2 drops each essential oils of Geranium, Palmarosa, and Tea Tree. Shake well (can use a coffee frother too!) and apply fresh right away. Let air dry.

If this is for your feet you can cover with undyed organic socks. If the skin is in a "fold" or someplace that is in contact with other skin, try to place an undyed organic hanky between the layers of skin to decrease contact moisture. Also try to expose to air as much as possible.

If Aloe Vera is too strong for your skin, you can dilute or replace with 11/2 Tbsp distilled water mixed with 1/2 Tbsp Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (the mixture can be adjusted to your liking).

Safety with Geranium essential oil -

Ambient Essentials promotes external use only unless directed by your personal care physician.

Skin sensitization can occur. Perform a skin patch test before use.

Always keep essential oil products out of reach of children and pets.

Sources and Studies:

Aromahead Insatitute

1) Carmen, G., & Hancu, G. (2014). Antimicrobial and antifungal activity of Pelargonium roseum essential oils. Advanced Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 4(Suppl 2), 511-514.

2) Boukhatem MN, Sudha T, Darwish NHE, Nada HG, Mousa SA. Rose-scented geranium essential oil from Algeria (Pelargonium graveolens L'Hérit.): Assessment of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties against different metastatic cancer cell lines]. Ann Pharm Fr. 2022 May;80(3):383-396. French. doi: 10.1016/j.pharma.2021.07.002. Epub 2021 Jul 24. PMID: 34310905.

All other studies linked in highlighted text.


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