There is more to geranium than just brightening up your garden with its bright and beautiful blooms. This essential oil extracted from geranium plant offers numerous benefits for the skin and health.
It has potent antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties. Widely used in aromatherapy, geranium oil is good for skin care, relieving depression, balancing hormones, reducing blood pressure and improving circulation.
What is geranium essential oil?
The geranium essential oil is extracted through steam distillation of the flowers, stems, and leaves of the geranium plant. It is colorless to greenish brown and has a strong, floral, rose-like aroma.
Both the geranium essential oil and the rose geranium essential oil come from Pelargonium graveolens, but they come from different varieties.
The botanical name of geranium essential oil is Pelargonium graveolens, while that of rose geranium essential oil is Pelargonium graveolens var. Roseum. Both these oils have similar properties, but many people prefer the fragrance of rose geranium oil.
Pelargonium graveolens is grown mainly in Egypt, Morocco, China, Crimea, Ukraine, Georgia, Indian and South Africa. Rose geranium essential oil is extracted from a particular variety of geranium called the Geranium Bourbon which grows on the island of Reunion.
History of geranium essential oil
The Zulus of South Africa have used geranium essential oil for hundreds of years for treatment of dysentery, coughs upper respiratory irritants, gastritis, and tuberculosis.
In 1897 the traditional healers from South Africa treated an Englishman named Charles Stephens with an herbal decoction of local geranium for tuberculosis.
When this Englishman returned to England, he sold this remedy as ‘Stevens Consumption Care.’ In the 1920s Dr. Adrien Seche used this treatment to cure 800 patients with tuberculosis.
Nutritional composition of geranium oil
The geranium essential oil contains around 67 compounds. The main components of this oil include alpha-pinene, myrcene, limonene, menthone, linalool, geranyl acetate, citronellol, geraniol, and geranyl butyrate (1).
Benefits of geranium oil
1. Improves skin health
Geranium oil has antibacterial, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties, which are very helpful in keeping the skin healthy. Its astringent properties tighten the skin and slow down the effects of aging.
Its antibacterial and antifungal properties help prevent acne breakouts. Geranium oil regulates natural oils and prevents the overproduction of sebum. It also prevents rashes and eczema.
Mix a few drops of geranium essential oil in your face lotion and enjoy its benefits for the skin.
Geranium oil is highly effective in reducing scar marks from the skin as it relieves inflammation, evens out skin tone and encourages new cell growth.
It is a powerful cicatrizant which helps the scars to fade away. This oil facilitates blood circulation just below the surface of the skin, and this results in uniform distribution of melanin.
Massage this oil into the problem area. It can take at least a month to see the results of the geranium oil on the scars.
3. Alleviates joint and muscle pain
Geranium has anti-inflammatory properties which help in reducing pain in the muscle and joints. You can relieve the pain in your muscles by using geranium oil topically.
Massage a mixture of geranium oil and jojoba oil into the painful joints and muscles.
4. Fights infections
Geranium oil has potent antibacterial and antifungal properties that help fight infections. According to research geranium oil helps protect against 24 different types of bacteria and fungi (2).
Geranium oil helps prevent the growth of microbes and bacteria in open wounds and thus prevents infections. It also helps speed up the healing of cuts, burns, scrapes, and injuries.
Geranium oil also boosts your immune system. Since this oil takes care of external infections, the body can focus on internal functions and keep you healthy.
5. Prevents hemorrhage
Hemorrhage (excessive loss of blood) can be life-threatening, especially for women during labor or during surgical procedures. Geranium oil helps prevent hemorrhaging in two different ways.
It makes the blood vessels contract which prevents the faster flow of blood. It also encourages the blood to thicken and clot, which prevents people from bleeding out.
According to a 2013 study, when 20 patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia associated epistaxis were treated with a sesame/rose geranium oil compound for three months, it reduced the epistaxis severity scores of patients (3).
6. Acts as a diuretic
Geranium essential oil acts like a diuretic (4). It stimulates urination, which helps to remove harmful toxins from the body. It also helps to remove excess sodium, fat, calcium and water from the blood.
Since it removes excess calcium, geranium oil also prevents the occurrence of kidney stones.
7. Prevents neurodegenerative diseases
The anti-inflammatory properties of geranium oil combat the inflammation developing in the neural pathways which helps prevent degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease.
According to a 2010 study, microglial cells in the brain secrete proinflammatory factors like nitric oxide, which leads to neuroinflammation and neuronal cell death.
Geranium oil inhibits nitric oxide production and the expression of the proinflammatory enzymes cyclooxygenase-2. This study shows that geranium oil is beneficial in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases (5).
8. Prevents respiratory infections
Geranium extract help deal with the infections in the upper respiratory tract, including bronchitis. During a review, herbal medicines were assessed for their role in treating respiratory tract infections.
The study found strong evidence the geranium oil helps in alleviating the frequency and severity of patients cough symptoms (6).
Another review from 2013 found geranium extract to be effective in relieving acute rhinosinusitis and common cold symptoms (7).
To prevent respiratory infections diffuse geranium oil in your home. You can also rub this oil on your throat or under your nostrils.
9. Alleviates anxiety and depression
The floral, rose-like smell of geranium oil is known to relax the body and mind. Geranium oil also helps to uplift the spirits of people who suffer from depression and anxiety.
A 2015 study examined the effect of geranium oil on the levels of anxiety in women in the first stage of labor. The results showed that the aroma of essential oil could effectively reduce anxiety and stress during labor and can be recommended as an anti-anxiety aid during childbirth (8).
Another study showed that aromatherapy massage with geranium oil is beneficial in improving symptoms of depression in postmenopausal women (9).
10. Reduces nerve pain
According to research, applying rose geranium oil to the skin can minimize the pain that follows shingles, a condition that is caused by the herpes virus.
According to a study on 24 patients, rose geranium oil treatment resulted in a significant reduction in pain and compared to the placebo. The study also showed that 100 percent concentration of rose geranium oil is twice as effective as 50 percent concentration (10).
Mix some drops of geranium oil with coconut oil and massage it on the area where you feel the pain.
11. Acts as a deodorant
Geranium oil has a pleasant floral smell which works well as a deodorant. It also has antibacterial properties which help reduce body odor (11).
Geranium oil is a circulatory oil, so it exits the body through sweat. For most people body odor becomes more prominent when they sweat due to physical activity. Using geranium oil releases sweat which has a pleasant aroma rather than offensive smell.
Add a few drops of geranium oil to five tablespoons of water and use it as a deodorant every day.
12. Prevents candida infections
Candida is a common yeast infection that affects the mouth, intestinal tract, and vagina. During a 2008 study, when mice with vaginal inflammation and candida growth were given geranium oil intravaginally, it significantly decreased the number of candida cells.
The study concluded that vaginal application of geranium oil suppresses candida cell growth in the vagina and its local inflammation when combined with vaginal washing (12).
13. Heals bug bites
Geranium oil has been used as a natural bug repellent traditionally. The active ingredients in geranium oil are effective in repelling a wide variety of insects including mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches, ants, fleas, gnats, and ticks.
To make a natural bug repellent, mix geranium oil with water and spray it on your body.
Side effects of geranium oil
Though geranium oil is considered safe, it can cause an allergic reaction with symptoms like a rash or burning in some people. Always dilute the oil with coconut or any other carrier oil before using it topically. Use it on a small area before using this oil for the first time.
If you’re taking this oil orally, dilute it and use only a small quantity. Since this oil can cause hormonal secretions, it is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
If you are taking medications for some illness, always check with your doctor before using geranium essential oil.
The geranium essential oil is extracted from the stems, leaves, and flowers of the geranium plant. This colorless to greenish brown oil has a strong, floral, rose-like aroma. Both geranium and rose geranium essential oils have similar composition and benefits.
Geranium oil is highly beneficial for the skin, it fades scars, alleviates joint and muscular pain, treats respiratory infections, and alleviates anxiety and depression.