GERANIUM ESSENTIAL OIL AND ITS USES
Pelargonium graveolens was exported to Europe in the late seventeenth century from its native South Africa. The essential oil was first distilled in France in the early nineteenth century and now geranium is one of the most important perfumery oils. The oil has a powerful, sweet, green, floral smell with a fruity-minty undertone. It is a green or amber coloured liquid.
Geranium is useful where there is heat and dryness as it is a moistening and cooling oil. Whilst it is uplifting and strengthening it also has a calming but not necessarily sedating effect, therefore it can be described as a balancing oil. It is extremely versatile in that it blends well with other oils, in particular, bergamot, lavender, lemon, marjoram, neroli and sandalwood to name a few, making it a pleasing addition to massage and bath oils.
It is effective in treating restlessness and anxiety as it calms and cools the nervous system, in fact it is one of the most important oils for the treatment of menopausal symptoms, added to baths and massage oils it helps alleviate hot flushes and vaginal dryness.
The calming effect of geranium has good results when treating panic attacks and palpitations, particularly for people who wake at night feeling panicky, hot and experiencing palpitations. Geranium’s cooling properties can help relieve symptoms arising from heat in the abdomen. This could be either constipation or diarrhoea, if this is the case then the oil should be diluted in a base oil and used as a compress or massaged into the abdomen. It is also an effective treatment for gastroenteritis and dysentery.
Its anti-inflammatory properties can help treat peptic ulcers or gastritis. By adding a few drops into a bath, it is also an appropriate treatment for cystitis. Used as a compress, bath oil or massage blend, the analgesic properties of geranium can help to relieve the pain of neuralgia and shingles.
In skin care, geranium has an excellent reputation and is a popular ingredient in many lotions and creams. Its soothing properties make it appropriate for calming dry, inflamed skin; combine it with camomile or melissa in the treatment of dry eczema. It is a useful antiseptic and anti-inflammatory when used to treat acne. It also has a regulating effect on the sebum making it suitable for oily or dry skin. Geranium may be used as a compress, facial steam or a lotion.
Geranium is not toxic, when diluted is not an irritant and people rarely become sensitive to it. Its most common uses are for anxiety, palpitations, hot flushes, dry inflamed skin and acne. It is a relaxing refreshing oil that also boosts confidence.