Natters on Aromas - Geranium
Updated: Feb 18, 2019
Just coming to that time of year to dig up the geraniums and tuck them away until next year, having flowered beautifully all summer. Geraniums are my perfect flower, especially for the front of the house, as if I forget to water them one day they will forgive me. You don't have to have green fingers.
The leaves have such a distinctive smell, I personally think it is hard to associate the smell with the greenish-yellow oil. It is the leaves not the flowers they distil, and it has such a sweet cloying aroma.
Apparently there are over 450 types of geranium, which come from the Geraniaceae family.
As with so many of the oils, they have such good properties to help you fight ailments. With this oil it is: anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic, as well as being a decongestant and very relaxing.
It is commonly known to help with childhood diseases such as; chickenpox, mumps, measles and even the common cold. So you won’t be surprised it is also known to help herpes and shingles. Seek professional advice if this is something you would like to try.
It is often thought of as women’s oil as it is known to help with fluid retention and cellulite as well as menopausal and menstrual problems. It has a balancing effect on general hormonal production, including sex hormones and excretion of sebum through the skin. It isn’t an oestrogen stimulating oil. It has anti-diuretic properties, which makes it a suitable oil for cellulite. It can help with more clinical problems like swollen ankles as it is a great oil for the lymphatic system. It helps to drain excessive fluid and detox the body. In this instance, if you blend it with Rosemary it will enhance the property of the oil even more.
How often do you see it as a product contained in a beauty cream, like Neal’s Yard. It has stimulating and regenerating properties and is great for all skin types. It is useful for normalising, so good for dry and oily skin.
It can also help with athlete’s foot, eczema and dry skin, being regenerative and moisturising.
Its chemical compounds, as with so many of the oils, contain many constituents. Geranium contains cintronellol which makes it a good insect repellent.
The leaves from this plant can also be used to make tea. The rose-scented leaves can even be used to flavour various food items like jellies, cakes, and even vinegar! It is a safe plant.
It’s a stimulant of the adrenal cortex and acts as an anti-depressant. So this oil overall has a lot of healing properties.
With the cold season approaching, Patricia Davies, one of the original authors writing all about aromatherapy oil, says its antiseptic properties can help soothe a sore throat, and suggests you can put a drop in water and gargle with it. I might try it, not sure it’s a flavour that appeals, but I am game on. Over the winter months I might have a reason to try a lot of the oils that are said to be antiseptic. Might put a drop in my Manuka honey and make it more palatable.
In common with a couple of its floral neighbours, lavender and chamomile, it has anti-inflammatory properties and can help with psoriasis and eczema as well as gastritis and colitis. It can also help with skin infections like acne, impetigo and athlete’s foot. It doesn’t generally irritate the skin so can be used in very small amounts neat, on a cut or a wound. Funnily enough while writing this, I caught a finger on a nail, and just did one of those silly cuts that doesn’t quite break through, but is long, thin, red and sore. So I thought why not put some neat Geranium oil on it. Just a drop, and rubbed it in. It had a moment of ‘smarting’ but honestly it’s great. I had to do a massage this afternoon and my finger felt fine and still does, can’t even tell I have done it. It did become sore again later, but rushing around I didn’t get to reapply, but in that moment I needed it. It really worked. Will definitely try that again; will hope not to cut myself but will have it nearby.
Honestly the more I read about some of the oils you want to bath in them all day and never have anything wrong with you – oh if it were that easy.
For some people it can be a very simulating oil so good to be aware of that. If you are going to have a bathe or a massage, use it in the morning not the evening just in case.
This may be why, together with is anti-inflammatory properties a 2010 study published in the Journal of Functional foods looked at its anti-neuro-inflammatory effects of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. They concluded that “geranium oil might be beneficial in the prevention/treatment where neuro-inflammation is part of the pathophysiology”. Unfortunately I have a close link to this disease, and what can it harm to make a roller ball of Geranium oil and see if it helps at all. Please take advice should you wish to do the same. The drops in the roller ball have to be calculated by a therapist.
As always we finish with how this oil can help our mind.
It has been said to uplift mood and calm anxiety and nervous tension brought on by stress. So it is a good one for a bath and a long soak. Remember, don’t put neat drops of oil straight into a bath.
So Amanda – says it is a good oil after a broken heart, and a drop in oil applied over the heart will soften the anger and assist in the emotional healing. It is not surprisingly called the ‘emotional healer.’
It encourages people to regain trust and re-establish bonds. Good one for grief. Also gentle for babies and children, nurtures the inner child.
Gabriel Mojay says it gives you a feeling of calm, strength and security. Good for chronic anxiety.
As a point of note it apparently shares similar properties to Bergamot.
Please remember when reading this, it is for fun and information. I am writing this as I study. If anything rings true for you and you would like to use Geranium oil, be careful, take advice from a professional. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.
None of the above is in place of medical advice. It’s just my knowledge journey with Geranium. I am not suggesting any diagnosis, treatment or cure.