In the Uk, we have a radio show that has been going for over eighty years called Desert Island Discs. The presenter interviews a celebrity and asks if they were going to be marooned on a desert island, which five pieces of music would they want, and which objects. For me, I always think I couldn’t cope unless I had my geranium oil.
First off, I have just read Nat’s blending article. She says people either love it or hate it. I think that’s definitely true, but I can’t imagine anyone not loving the über-sweet smell of Rose Geranium essential oil.
I adore how strong it is.
You know, it’s quite similar in nature to rose oil, and I’ll give away a perfumer's secret, that geranium is often used in fragrance blends to bolster rose, which is way too transient and fleeting, really. It gives heart and body to the blend because it is strong and robust.
It’s got a real femininity to it, but is a brilliant oil for men to use, because it is so good for supporting the adrenals in times of stress. Plus, it blends beautifully with masculine oils like sandalwood and vetiver so you lose that girliness that it has on its own.
It’s often referred to as “Poor Man’s Rose” because many of the things rose does well, like looking after normal to dry skins, treating depression especially in grief, or supporting healthy hormonal balance..geranium does it for a quarter of the price! But that really sells it short, because the effects of rose geranium essential oil are so fast, so deep, and so effective.
Any time anyone says they are suffering from stress, it’s the first oil I reach for. And bear in mind stress is not a standalone condition. You get stressed, your menstrual cycle goes all to cock, your pain ramps up, your asthma gets work and as for your poor skin….
Geranium, geranium, geranium.
Energetically, again like rose, it is moistening. So let’s think it through that axis. It hydrates dry skin, it’s helpful for vaginal dryness. It’s nice as a compress on your eyes when they feel dry and sore as well. You can extend that further for yourself to think of more moistening applications. That’s how you start to learn!
It’s cooling, so hot skin, sunburn, especially with some chamomile, stings and sore skin especially with some lavender. Incidentally, Vinevida doesn't sell hydrolats or floral waters, so don’t tell Jake I told you…. but geranium hydrolats…so cooling and refreshing. I used them both in labor and for hot flashes.
I love using it for eczematous rashes, especially with a bit of myrrh if the skin has a habit of breaking or there is a bit of scratching going on.
From a personal note, as I have said before, both my mom and stepdad, Michael, were brilliant aromatherapists, and to be honest I stole the eczema idea from them! We used to sell pots and pots and pots of geranium cream as people reordered time and time again. Michael always used to issue a warning though. He was always reluctant to give tester pots to people with flame red hair. He decided that red haired people have a higher likelihood of reacting to geranium oil, and actually, to geraniums in general. I have to say, in all my years I have never seen that happen, but the man was no fool. He wouldn’t have said that for no reason, so I’m going to add it in here as a caution.
My favorite way to use it is in the bath. So many people cite lavender for baths. Hopefully, by now, you have started to understand that lavender has a drying nature, so eventually too many lavender baths is going to mean dry skin. Also it’s relaxing and calming. Geranium essential oil benefits are relaxing, rejuvenating and refreshing - you’re still sleepy when you get out of the bath, but you feel happier and lighter too. And of course your skin has had the added benefit of being nourished rather than being dried out, because that’s the nature of geranium.
If we look at it astrologically (since that was what the Western paradigm of medicine used to be) we can say that geranium is ruled by Venus. Rose is too. That’s the planet of love and sexuality, but also of wealth. What’s interesting is that where rose is most certainly the queen of affairs of the heart, geranium seems to be the best with money. If there are money worries, a bath with some geranium oil really helps just lift those stresses from your shoulders for a while. You seem to melt into the tub somehow.
Massage with geranium essential oil is, of course, superbly soothing, but it’s also amazing for aches and pains. Specifically geranium has a tonic action on the circulation, so the massage itself stimulates the muscles and their blood supply, geranium adds to that.
So, while it would be no good on its own for something like Raynaud’s disease, or poor circulation in the feet because of its cooling action, blend it with something like ginger, black pepper and cinnamon, and then you’ll be cooking on gas!
In terms of circulation too, it would be a great choice if you wanted to make a cream for someone with varicose eczema. The geranium not only helps the surface skin condition, but the circulatory issue causing it. Incidentally massage would be contraindicated over the veins, so you’d just stroke on a very thin lotion and let the rose geranium essential oil benefits do the work.
I’m a bit of an eczema sufferer myself, but not badly. I just have two spots that break out in the winter. One on my shin and one on my hip, and it’s undoubtedly winter tights that set it off. Another thing that tights tend to set off for some women is thrush. Geranium always features highly in clinical trials into candidia albacans and malassezia funguses, that sort of thing. (Giongio, 2016)(Funguses? Fungi? No. Definitely nothing fun about that guy. We’ll stick to funguses!)
Again, my thrush outbreaks seem to be a thing of the past. That might be my age, or it could be the geranium baths! I’m touching a lot of wood when I say that.
What I will say is do not be tempted to follow the internet idea of putting it onto a tampon. I did that with some tea tree once. This will not happen a second time! Yee-ouch!
Blend it into a lotion with some tea tree for its antifungal benefits, and something like chamomile to calm the itching and soreness.
You may have noticed that there aren’t many clinical trials attached to this article,and it is a funny thing because for such a fabulous oil, it rarely seems to be researched. I do check periodically because I would love to do a deep dive for a book, but there simply isn’t the data. It’s very strange.
It was one of the oils proven to help increase estrogen in perimenopausal’s women’s saliva, after inhalation that prompted me to start creating my Aromythology work. (Shinohara, 2017)
Like many oils geranium fares very well in petri dish trials against staphylococcus aureus. (Bigos, 2017)
About 20% of the population are carriers of staph aureus, but it can be a nasty thing causing skin eruptions like pimples impetigo, boils and abscesses. It also resides in the upper respiratory tract and can cause real nastys like pneumonia, meningitis and septicemia. (See? Baths in geranium, man! It’s the future. You never know which of the great unwashed you’ve sat next to on the bus!)
So, I often get asked “Are geranium oil and rose geranium essential oil the same?” Truthfully, I am still not sure I fully know the answer to that! All rose geraniums are geranium oil, but I don’t think all geraniums are rose geranium oil, if that makes sense? It’s a special type of geranium from a very rosy smelly subspecies, is my understanding. What I will say is yes, the properties and benefits do seem to be the same for both.
So, to recap some of geranium essential oil benefits….
Here endeth the lesson, according to Liz!