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Geranium essential oil is derived by steam distillation of the leaves of Pelargonium graveolens, a plant species native to South Africa. According to folklore, it was used for a wide range of health conditions.

Geranium oil is grown in many regions, including Europe and Asia. There are many varieties and strains of the pink flower with a fresh, floral fragrance. Each variety differs in scent, but is near-identical in terms of composition, benefits, and uses.

Geranium oil is widely used as an ingredient in perfumes and cosmetics. The essential oil is also used in aromatherapy to treat a number of health conditions. In aromatherapy, essential oils are inhaled using a diffuser, or diluted with carrier oils and applied to the skin for soothing benefits.

Researchers have examined the benefits of geranium essential oil in several human and animal studies. There’s also anecdotal evidence about its benefits. It’s thought to have antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and astringent properties.

Geranium essential oil has been well researched for some conditions, but is less researched for others. Make sure to check with a doctor before using it, and don’t substitute geranium essential oil for a prescribed medication or treatment.

Geranium oil may be beneficial for the following conditions:

Acne, dermatitis, and inflammatory skin conditions

A 2017 review of studies on geranium essential oil indicated that its antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties make it beneficial for reducing acne breakouts, skin irritation, and skin infections when applied topically.

Geranium essential oil’s anti-inflammatory properties also make it beneficial for a number of inflammatory conditions, including those affecting skin.

One study found that geranium essential oil shows promise as a potential anti-inflammatory medication with few side effects.

Edema

An animal study indicated that geranium essential oil’s anti-inflammatory qualities may make it beneficial for leg and foot swelling caused by edema.

Anecdotal evidence indicates that adding geranium essential oil to bath water may be a good way to treat this condition. More research is needed to investigate the effects of geranium essential oil on edema.

Nasal vestibulitis

Nasal vestibulitis is an uncomfortable condition associated with cancer drug treatment.

A small observational study and anecdotal evidence suggests geranium essential oil may ease nasal symptoms caused by this condition, such as bleeding, scabbing, pain, dryness, and sores.

For the study, geranium essential oil was mixed with sesame oil and used as a nasal spray in women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer.

Infection

Multiple studies suggest geranium essential oil may fight off bacterial infections. Geranium essential oil has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, making it effective against multiple bacterial strains.

One study found that geranium essential oil was about as effective as amoxicillin at fighting bacterial strains, such as Staphylococcus aureus. The same study found that it was not effective at fighting Listeria monocytogenes, a different bacterial strain.

Neurodegenerative disease

Certain neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are associated with varying degrees of neuroinflammation.

A study found that high concentrations of citronellol, a component of geranium essential oil, inhibited nitric oxide production, reducing inflammation and cell death in the brain.

According to researchers, geranium essential oil might have benefits for people with neurodegenerative diseases that include neuroinflammation.

Menopause and perimenopause

A study found that aromatherapy with geranium essential oil was beneficial at stimulating secretion of salivary estrogen.

Researchers theorized that geranium essential oil might be of value for women experiencing reduced estrogen and health-related symptoms caused by menopause and perimenopause.

Stress, anxiety, and depression

Aromatherapy is becoming more and more mainstream, even in hospital settings. A randomized, clinical trial of women in labor for the first time found that inhaled geranium essential oil had a calming effect and was able to reduce the anxiety associated with first-stage labor.

Anecdotal evidence also suggests geranium essential oil may promote relaxation and alleviate depressive mood. One animal study on mice analyzed the calming, antidepressive effects of the Reunion geranium (Pelargonium roseum willd) essential oil strain, and found it to be effective for reducing stress.

Shingles pain

Shingles often result in postherpetic neuralgia, a very painful condition affecting the nerve fibers and skin that run along a nerve.

One study found that topical application of geranium oil significantly reduced postherpetic neuralgia pain within minutes of application. These effects were temporary, and required reapplication as needed.

Allergies

According to one preliminary study, geranium essential oil’s citronellol content makes it potentially effective for reducing allergic reactions. However, more study is needed.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that topical use may reduce itching caused by allergic reactions. This is because of the anti-inflammatory action of this essential oil.

Wound care

Anecdotal evidence suggests that geranium essential oil may be beneficial for stopping minor wounds from bleeding. It may do this by speeding up coagulation, and by causing blood vessels to contract. It’s antibacterial and antiseptic properties are also beneficial for healing.

Diabetes

Geranium essential oil has long been used in Tunisia as a folk remedy treatment to reduce hyperglycemia.

An animal study found that daily, oral administration significantly reduced glucose levels in rats. Researchers suggested that geranium essential oil may be beneficial for alleviating high blood sugar in people with diabetes, but also indicated that further study is needed.

Humans should not consume geranium essential oil. Research in humans is still needed, but aromatherapy added to a diffuser or applied topically might have the same effect.

Geranium essential oil and rose geranium essential oil come from different varieties of the Pelargonium graveolens plant species.

They have almost identical compositions and properties, making them equally beneficial for health. Rose geranium essential oil has a slightly more floral scent, which is similar to that of roses.

Geranium essential oil can be diluted with a carrier oil, such as sesame oil, and used topically on the skin. You can use it as a spot treatment for acne or itchy skin, or as a massage oil.

Some carrier oils may cause an allergic reaction when applied to the skin. Prior to using, do a patch test on a small area to make sure it doesn’t cause a reaction.

When diluting essential oils with a carrier oil, it’s important to follow these dilution guidelines. For adults, start by mixing 15 drops of essential oil per 6 teaspoons of carrier oil. This will equal a 2.5 percent dilution. For children, 3 to 6 drops of essential oil per 6 teaspoons of carrier oil is a safe amount.

As an aromatherapy treatment, you can dab geranium oil on paper towels, or on cloth you don’t mind staining. You can also place it in a room diffuser, to scent a large space. There are also personal-use diffusers, such as aroma inhaler sticks, that you can fill with oil and breathe in on-the-go.

Essential oils should never be swallowed.

When used correctly, geranium oil is considered safe for most people to use. Some people may experience a rash or burning sensation when using it on the skin. Never use any essential oil on skin unless it’s diluted with a carrier oil.

Small amounts of geranium oil are sometimes added to baked goods, and it is fine to ingest small quantities. The effects of ingesting large quantities of geranium oil are not known.

You can buy rose geranium oil anywhere you find essential oils, such as health food stores and holistic pharmaceutical shops. Check out these products online.

If you have several weeks to spare, you can make geranium oil at home:

  1. Snip about 12 ounces of rose geranium leaves off the plant.
  2. Fill a small, clear glass jar around halfway up with olive or sesame oil and submerge the leaves, covering them completely.
  3. Seal the jar tightly and place on a sunny windowsill for a week.
  4. Strain the oil through a cheesecloth into a different glass jar. Leave the geranium leaves behind.
  5. Add an additional supply of fresh geranium leaves into the oil.
  6. Seal the new jar and again leave it on a sunny windowsill for one week.
  7. Continue these steps each week for an additional three weeks (total of five weeks).
  8. Pour the essential oil into a bottle that can be kept tightly closed. Keep it in a cool, dry place and use within one year’s time.

There are many essential oils that contain health benefits that you can try, based on the specific condition you wish to treat. Some essential oils you may wish to try include:

Geranium essential oil has been used to treat health conditions for centuries. There is scientific data indicating that it may be beneficial for a number of conditions, such as anxiety, depression, infection, and pain management. It’s thought to have antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Always check with a doctor before using an essential oil, and don’t substitute an essential oil for a prescribed treatment.