The benefits of essential oils are many, from relieving pain and killing germs to promoting relaxation.
Used in aromatherapy or applied topically, distilled plant oils can be used instead of pharmaceuticals to treat a variety of human conditions without side effects.
An often overlooked essential oil with many applications is geranium. This hardy plant with beautiful pink or red flowers does much more than beautify your front porch.
How To Use Geranium Essential Oil
Thanks to its delicate scent, geranium is sometimes used as a perfume or flavoring in food. But its smell isn’t the only thing worthy of note.
There are many varieties of geranium, but the variety commonly used for oil is Pelargonium graveolens. Geranium grown on the French island Réunion in the Indian Ocean produce what is known as geranium bourbon essential oil—this is considered of the highest quality among geranium oils.
In the arena of health and wellness, here are some benefits of geranium essential oil:
Geranium is known to relieve anxiety and depression, reduce feelings of stress, and promote calm (1). When absorbed through the skin (inhaled or applied topically), geranium has been found to lower blood pressure and support the immune system.
Geranium oil causes skin, muscle, and organ cells to contract. Applied topically (always with a carrier oil), geranium can improve the appearance of skin and muscle tone.
3. Antioxidant, Antibacterial, and Antifungal Properties
Active antibacterial agents in geranium include citronellol, geraniol, menthone, linalool, and gurjunene. When tested against common strains of bacteria, geranium oil has shown inhibitory effects even at very low concentrations (2).
A compromised immune system and diabetes can make wound-healing a very slow and painful process. Geranium oil’s antioxidant capacity effectively fights infection and promotes healing, even when recurrence is frequent (3). Geranium is also an effective fungicide (4).
4. Anti-inflammatory Agent
5. Antiviral Properties
A 2014 South African study found geranium extract to block even the HIV-1 virus by strengthening the immune system and blood cells to an repel invasion (6).
6. Promotes Blood Flow
Geranium stimulates blood circulation and the synthesis of melanin, the skin pigment that darkens when exposed to sunlight. Its antioxidants also tighten the skin and treats “liver spots”(7).
Geranium oil is a natural diuretic, which promotes toxin elimination body through increased urination. Try it in a fragrant and detoxifying bath.
9. Insect Repellent
Make Your Own Geranium Essential Oil
When making your own oil, keep in mind that oil made from bright green leaves will result in a lemony fragrance. Older leaves that have started to change color to yellow and brown will yield a rose-like perfume.
Here’s how to do it:
- Small glass jars or bottles with lids, sterilized (you may boil them in water for at least 5 minutes and allow to air dry upside down)
- Large glass jar with lid
- Mortar and pestle
- Geranium leaves
- Carrier oil (jojoba, coconut, avocado, castor, or whatever you like)
- Pinch off as many geranium leaves as you like—the more leaves, the more concentrated the essential oil.
- Wash thoroughly in cold water. Pat leaves with soft clean cloth or paper towel to dry.
- Place the clean leaves in the mortar and grind with the pestle until fine and pulpy. Allow to rest for 3 hours.
- Put ground leaves in the large jar and shake gently to level. Add enough carrier oil to just cover the leaves. Screw the lid on the jar and place in a cool, dry place. Allow to sit for two weeks.
- At the end of two weeks, open the jar and take a sniff of the oil. If you would like a stronger fragrance, you may crush and add more leaves and allow to rest for another week. If the scent is too strong, add a little more carrier oil.
- Line a strainer with cheesecloth and pour the oil through the strainer into the small sterile jars or bottles. Seal and store in a cool, dry place.
Notes on geranium oil:
- As studies with pregnant and nursing women are few, consult a naturopath or holistic health provider before using geranium oil.
- Geranium essential oil shouldn’t be applied directly to the skin without a carrier oil.
- Some people may be sensitive or allergic to geranium; if using topically, test the oil in a small spot on the inside of your elbow and leave for 24 hours to check for sensitivity.