palmarosa essential oil

Palmarosa essential oil is an incredible natural remedy for many ailments. Derived from a perennial grass native to India, it has a light, sweet scent that makes it popular in aromatherapy. But palmarosa essential oil isn't just great for its smell; it has numerous health benefits too. Let's take a closer look at what makes this oil so special.

The Benefits Of Palmarosa Essential Oil 

Ordinarily, when we create something we want to act as an antimicrobial agent or an antiviral, it's likely to have that sharp clinical fragrance of eucalyptol or terpene-4-ol. Tea tree, eucalyptus, and ravensara fit into the hospital environment? They have that sharp cleaning product smell.

Consider then how wonderful it would be to find an oil with all that antimicrobial magic, but smelt like roses…welcome to the world of palmarosa.

Palmarosa's shapeshifting sorcery derives from its high geraniol content. Suppose you look at the GCMS report for Vinevida palmarosa essential oil (find it in the documents tab underneath the oil picture on our product page). In that case, Geraniol makes up roughly 85% of the oil's composition. Compare that to the 12% geraniol found in Rose geranium oil!

Traditionally, aromatherapists use Palmarosa essential oil for its antiseptic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties to balance the immune system.

What is Palmarosa? 

You'd never guess it from the scent in the bottle, but it's a grass, a close cousin of lemon grass, also known as ginger grass. Although it's an edible crop, it is grown extensively to deter insects from other more marketable crops and to clean soil.

A recent discovery about palmarosa is that, like another grass, vetiver, it can clean heavy metals out of the soil, particularly from tannery sludge from the leather industry. The sludge has been found to improve the quality of the plant, making it grow bigger and produce more oil, mainly because of the nitrogen contained within it, a useful discovery for farmers in India and Nepal who need to be continually thinking about ways to manage drought in the area. However, pouring it onto the ground leaves dyes and metal toxicity in the soil. But, as palmarosa draws up nutrients, it takes the metals. Then, since they do not cross through distillation, they are left in the residue of plant matter and do not contaminate the essential oil. This means that palmarosa will be further researched as an agent to clear up contaminated ground areas and re-establish ecological balance. (Pandey, 2015)

Also Read: What Are The Benefits Of Oregano Oil?

Palmarosa's Effects on Mood

The rosy freshness of palmarosa makes it refreshing but restful. It's so pretty. It feels like a little girl's perfume, so it's wonderful for making you feel playful and light. 

I like to use palmarosa if I struggle to let go of something. If something is annoying or has upset me, I have something on my mind. Palmarosa is a bit like Mary Poppins, "Spit spot! Enough dilly-dallying; there is work to be done," and then we're off to clean the kitchen on the tail end of a kite!

It's a great oil to help make light of a situation. Kids don't want to go to the dentist? First day at school? Palma rosa says what about the sticker and the fish swimming around the reception tank?

Positive, distracting, light, and lovely!

Geraniol's Relationship with Insects

As stated, palmarosa's brilliance against insects comes from Geraniol. Geraniol also attracts bees and beneficial pollinators. But also use it as a defense against certain herbivores and other potentially harmful organisms. It acts as a deterrent against insect pests such as aphids and whiteflies, helping the plants protect themselves from infestation. Additionally, it protects some funguses and molds too. This is evidence of the complex interactions between plants and their surrounding environment. Geraniol helps plants survive but also offers support to the human condition by It acting as a substrate in the synthesis of other plant compounds that support good human health, such as vitamins A and E (Eisenacher, 2012)

Also Read: What are the Benefits of Helichrysum Essential Oil?

An Introduction to Geraniol and its Properties

Geraniol is a monoterpene with a sweet, floral odor with slight citrus echoes. It possesses antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, and insecticidal properties.


One of the key reasons for the scientific interest in Geraniol is as a potential aid for food hygiene.

More than half of hospitalizations from food poisoning can be related to the consumption of contaminated meat since meat and meat products are susceptible to microbial contamination during the slaughter and in the food processing and storage of food (Balta, 2017)

E. coli (ETEC) alone is responsible for about 200 million diarrhea cases annually and about 380 thousand deaths. In developing countries, ETEC is the main health problem facing children under 5 years of age.

Geraniol has demonstrated protective activity against E-coli, Salmonella enterica, and Listeria monocytogenes. (Friedman, 2002), (Mączka, 2020) In another study, the antibacterial activity of Geraniol was also found against Salmonella typhimurium (Si, 2006) (Mączka, 2020)

Anti-Inflammatory to the Digestive Tract

A pitfall in these kinds of studies is that evidence of what a plant can do may or may not be done using the essential oil. Sometimes, studies use extracts that do not necessarily transport the same chemicals as you'd find in the essential oil. At least, with this, we know that Geraniol is in the essential oil. However, applications may differ from what we'd expect if we apply it topically (some of the experiments use oral applications on animals, or they are injected into the stomach, for example. Lastly, rodents are used in experiments because they are evolutionarily similar to humans, being mammals, but they are not identical, and indeed, sometimes mice's physiological actions differ from rats.

However, these experiments are often done because the effects seen using a plant in traditional herbal medicine or aromatherapy are so good that they want to understand why it works so well.

Palmarosa is traditionally used to settle stomach complaints and ulcers.

Also Read: Uncover The Loving Benefits Of Ravensara Essential Oil

Digestive Support

Bhattamisra et al. studied how Geraniol might affect gastric infections caused by Helicobacter pylori. This bacterium lives in the digestive tract but can cause gastritis and gastric or duodenal ulcers when it goes out of kilter.

Poor old rats had acetic acid injected into the submucosal layer of their stomachs, then they also had various antibiotic agents injected for a week, one of which was Geraniol. After 14 days, it was found that the group treated with Geraniol had far less ulceration than the control group. Geraniol exhibited significant anti-ulcer and anti-H. Pylori activity in a rodent model. (Bhattamisra, 2019)(Mączka, 2020)

Colitis and IBS

Ulcerative colitis severely impairs the quality of life of patients. It presents various symptoms, including loss of body weight, blood in the stools, fever, and contraction of the length of the colon. (Kim and Chang, 2014). The most widely used mouse model of colitis uses an anticoagulant chemical called dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) to damage the tissues of the intestine. Geraniol decreased the damage caused by DSS and improved colon length and stool consistency.

Pretreatment with Geraniol inhibited proinflammatory cytokines and the activity of myeloperoxidase, an enzyme that causes oxidation in colon tissues. The Geraniol downregulated the expression of downstream target proinflammatory enzymes but upregulated antioxidant molecules. (Medicherla, 2015)


We often talk of using essential oils in diffusers to fragrance the room or affect the mood, but behind the scenes, much more is going on.

Research showed that when Geraniol was dispensed into the air through an aerosol, it inhibited dangerous respiratory pathogens, such as Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Salmonella pyogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus. (Chen, 2002) Furthermore, this delivery method was found to impede the growth of Cryptococcus neoformans, a fungus that creates drug-resistant infections in people with advanced stages of AIDS.

Geraniol also possessed various efficacy levels against Mycobacterium tuberculosis – a bacterium responsible for causing Tuberculosis. (Cantrell, 2001) (Mączka, 2020)

Also Read: Benefits of Using Orange Oil on the Regular

Insect Repellent

Aside from these studies on humans and animals, there have also been studies conducted on plants that suggest that Geraniol can protect plants from fungal infections and pests such as aphids and mites. For example, one study published in the journal Phytoparasitica found that spraying plants containing 5% geraniol effectively controlled powdery mildew infections on cucumber plants. (Mostafa, 2021)

Geraniol is of particular interest as an insect repellent, not only because insects don't like it, but more importantly, it's not toxic to mammals.

In 2009, a study was published in the Journal of Vector Ecology to ascertain the value of insect-repellent candles. They compared citronellol, linalool, and Geraniol for their effects against mosquitoes versus a control where no repellent was used. Mosquitoes are very useful to the environment, acting as important pollinators, usually eating only flower nectar. However, when pregnant, the female requires huge amounts of protein, and the blood lust begins. Geraniol was proven to repel 75% of female mosquitoes, and while citronellol and linalool had significance, Geraniol was by far the most effective. (Muller, 2009)

Geraniol Anti-Inflammatory

Having been in the industry for too long, I have witnessed many changes in the name of oils. When I trained, this oil was called ginger grass. It had passed me that ginger grass and palmarosa were the same plants. 

Traditionally ginger grass is used in Ayurveda for aches and pains. 

Again, we can explain this through Geraniol's actions, which extras an anti-nociceptive action.

Pain is a result of many different things, but not always injury. The nervous system relates pain messages - through nerves, obviously - and governs how much pain you experience. It does this through receptors known as nociceptors that switch pain up and down. Rodent experiments demonstrate that Geraniol has an anti-nociceptive activity, which then also reduces inflammation and pain. (La Rocca, 2016)

Here are some ideas on how to use the benefits of Pala Rosa essential oil in your everyday life.

Also Read: The Benefits of Inhaling Essential Oils

Reduces Stress & Anxiety

Palmarosa essential oil is known for its calming properties, which can help reduce stress and anxiety levels. It has a pleasing aroma that helps relieve body tension and relaxes the mind and muscles. Try diffusing palmarosa oil in your home or office to create an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. Additionally, you can add a few drops of palmarosa oil to your bathwater or massage it directly onto your skin (diluted with a carrier oil).

Improves Sleep Quality

Palmarosa essential oil can be used as an effective remedy to sleep better at night by diffusing it in your bedroom before bed. You can also apply it directly onto the temples or soles of feet using a carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut oil.

Cleanses Skin & Hair

Palmarosa is astringent and refreshing. Use it for both normal and greasy skin and clear the skin of bacteria and fungal breakouts that can cause eczema or dandruff.

Reduces Inflammation & Pain 

Reduce pain associated with arthritis, muscle injuries, joint pain, and massaging with palmarosa essential oil. Relieve soreness due to exercise or overworking yourself physically. Try massaging 2-3 drops diluted with carrier oils such as almond or avocado directly onto areas affected by pain for quick relief!

Safety of Palmarosa Essential Oil 

    • Maximum dilution of 3% 
    • Safe after 16 weeks of pregnancy 


In conclusion, there are many uses for palmarosa essential oils, including reducing stress and anxiety levels; improving sleep quality; cleansing skin and hair; boosting the immune system; reducing inflammation; relieving pain; and much more! Always dilute with carrier oils such as jojoba for best results when applying directly onto the skin area. Make sure you consult your doctor if you have any medical conditions before using aromatherapy products like palmarosa essential oils. You'll soon experience all the wonderful benefits this amazing natural product offers with proper usage!

Also Read: Jasmine Essential Oil Uses And Benefits

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