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by Denise Wickell, LMT, CA, RA
Lavender garners a lot of attention in the world of aromatherapy, and rightly so. With an impressive list of therapeutic properties and a user-friendly chemical profile, it’s definitely a “jack-of-all-trades” essential oil. In fact, when I conduct my seminars I tell my students “when in doubt, get the Lavender out.” However, another extraordinary substance, Geranium essential oil, is almost as adaptable and accommodating.
Steam distilled from the leaves and flowers of the plant Pelargonium graveolens, Geranium smells amazing! With complex layers and nuances of aromas (leafy, green, sweet, fresh, feminine, floral and somewhat rosy), it’s difficult to believe its beautiful bouquet is from one plant genus and not several blended together. As it happens, its sophisticated scent is one that may be used to imitate or adulterate the highly expensive true Rose essential oil.
Year after year, Geranium has been one of my go-to oils for a variety of situations. I like to refer to it as “the great equalizer,” as it profoundly impacts the emotions as well as many physical conditions. It eases tension and stress, and brings balance to the emotions. It may help calm nerves, uplift the spirit (antidepressant), and help one to cope with pain.
Containing up to 70% alcohols and up to 30% esters, Geranium is mild, well tolerated, and therefore, very user-friendly. The other chemical families that comprise Geranium include relatively small (but important) amounts of ketones, aldehydes, and monoterpenes. With such a wide range of active molecules, it’s understandable that this EO has a well-rounded resume of therapeutic actions and applications. Historical and traditional uses include dysentery, inflammation, hemorrhoids, heavy menstrual flow, and bone fractures. Aromatic medical practitioners in France employ this oil for diabetes, diarrhea, gallbladder and gastric issues, urinary stones, jaundice and liver ailments, and sterility.
In custom blending for clients, I have had very good results blending Geranium with other essential oils to address shingles and herpes virus outbreaks. This EO is also excellent for ringworm, acne, eczema and other afflictions of the skin. For cuts and wounds, applying Geranium may temporarily increase bleeding to cleanse the wound, then stop the bleeding. Geranium essential oil maintains beautiful, healthy skin by moderating sebum and fatty secretions, and balancing oily skin. In fact, it is a good choice for nearly any skin problem due to its balancing effect.
Geranium is noted for opening the liver chakra, alleviating and dispelling anger, and for discharging toxins from the liver. (And when the liver functions optimally, the appearance of the skin may also improve). It has been used for neuralgia, severe pain along the nerves, and for regenerating both tissue and nerves.
Geranium has a special affinity with women, as it is indicated and extremely effective for numerous female concerns including hormonal imbalance, PMS, easing nervous tension and stress, insomnia, easing breast tenderness and congestion, heavy menstrual cycles, and menopausal issues. Geranium is cooling and may assist with mitigating night sweats. I like to use it in instances of excess fluid, bloating, edema, and water retention.
This versatile oil may also be applied for burns, circulatory problems, digestion, and pancreatic issues. It may be gargled with water for a sore throat or mouth sores. Geranium is antiviral, antibacterial, and antiseptic, making it a great addition for sanitizing the air through a nebulizing diffuser. It’s also useful as a natural insecticide, and can be diffused along with Citronella or Lemongrass to help keep mosquitoes away.
Geranium is actually my favorite EO to wear as a perfume, though aromatically it’s quite strong. Too powerful for neat skin application, I prefer to dab a drop on my undergarments and allow it’s aroma to waft gently and mysteriously through the fabrics of my clothing (use caution, as it may stain). I find it’s aroma simultaneously lifts the spirit as it promotes peace and equanimity.
This is only a brief profile but as you can see, a premium grade essential oil of Geranium is very valuable to have on hand. I encourage you to give it a try in lieu of Lavender and observe your experiences and effects. It may become your favorite “go-to” oil.
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About the Author
Denise Wickell, ATH Co-Editor of Aromatherapy, is owner and founder of Prima Body, LLC, and has enjoyed a private practice in North Palm Beach, Florida since 1995. Denise is a Certified Aromatherapist with clinical training by the accredited Australasian College of Health Sciences and Registered Aromatherapist through the Aromatherapy Registration Council. She is an approved Continuing Education Instructor & Provider for massage therapists through the state of Florida Department of Health and the national organization NCBTMB. Denise offers aromatherapy consultations, treatments, products, and educational seminars.
Denise can be contacted at Denise@primabody.com or by phone at 561-308-5217.
For more information visit Denise's website, www.primabody.com.