Geranium essential oil: The beautiful oil - The essential oils collection [Oils101]

Our sense of smell is strongly connected to our emotions and memories as our scent receptors are located next to the emotional centers in our brain, the amygdala and hippocampus. That is one of the reasons why aromatherapy is so powerful – using oils can trigger the body’s own healing process to begin, as well as soothe and calm your mind to actually allow the process to take place.  Essential oils can also interact with certain hormones, neurotransmitters, or enzymes, resulting in a specific change to our bodies’ chemistry. Oils are powerful, and they have little or no side effects.

Geranium Essential Oil

Geranium essential oil, a life lead simply, natural health

Calming and balancing, helpful in treating anxiety and depression, Geranium essential oil is more than just a divine smelling oil. Originating in Africa, it is thought that the Egyptians first used the oil to cleanse, soothe and remove odours. Extracted from the stems, leaves and flowers of the geranium plant, it’s known to be a wonderful skin oil, giving rise to the name “The beautiful oil”.

Although extremely similar, there is a difference between geranium and rose geranium. Derived from two different varieties of the Pelargonium plant, rose geranium oil is distilled from Pelargonium graveolens var. Roseum while geranium oil is distilled from Pelargonium graveolens. The active compounds and benefits are similar, but the aromas and scent differ, with people mostly preferring the one over the other. The main chemical compounds include eugenol, geranic, citronellol, geraniol, linalool, citronellyl formate, Citral, myrtenol, terpineol, methone and sabinene.

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The beautiful oil. Although a better name would be The feminine oil. Geranium essential oil is especially well suited and effective for women. A hormone balancer, it can support the reproductive system, ease menopause and bring relief for PMS. Perfectly suited for most skin types, it is effective in reducing fine lines and wrinkles, balances the production of sebum and improves the appearance of large pores. The oil can help with acne, varicose veins and haemorrhoids.

The distinct floral scent reminds of roses, stronger than even rose essential oil does. For some, the smell can be overpowering and overwhelming, but it does lend itself to getting used to.

The oil is commonly used for:

•    Stress relief

•    Depression

•    Inflammation

•    Circulation

•    Menopause

•    Dental health

•    Blood pressure reduction

•    Skin health

•    Hormone balance

[Refer to the safety information mentioned below.]

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Character of the oil

Botanical name

Pelargonium graveolens / Pelargonium asperum

Common method of extraction

Steam distilled

Plant part typically used

Leaves and flowers/buds


Clear to pale yellow/green



Perfumery note


Strength of initial aroma

Very strong

Aromatic description

Floral, fresh, sweet, slightly fruity.

Benefits and uses

Essential oil uses

1.    Nerve and muscle pain

When applied topically, the oil has analgesic properties. To use, create a massage oil with a mixture of geranium essential oil diluted in coconut oil. Massage into the skin on the areas where you experience pain or tension.


2.    Anxiety and depression

It’s uplifting and balancing power is useful in helping depression and anxiety sufferers. The smell calms and relaxes the body and mind. Some studies have even found that the scent can lower blood pressure.


3.    Anti-inflammatory

Research has found that the oil inhibits the inflammatory response of the skin, helping the body to fight off many health issues. Also helpful in the treatment of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, heart disease and cholesterol.


4.    Natural deodorant

Being a circulatory oil, geranium essential oil leaves the body by way of perspiration – sweat. This means that when you have the oil in your system, and you begin to sweat, your sweat will smell like flowers. Furthermore, the oil is antibacterial, making it effective in killing off germs that cause body odour.


5.    Skin enhancer

Helpful as part of the treatment for dermatitis, acne and eczema. The oil’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it soothing and effective in not only treating skin conditions but improving the skin’s overall health.


6.    Respiratory infection killer

The oil may be effective for the relief of cold symptoms, acute bronchitis and sinus infections. For this benefit, diffuse the oil, inhale or rub the diluted oil on your throat and under your nose.


7.    Cuts, bruises and burns

Geranium oil is effective in killing at least 24 different types of fungi and bacteria, which can help protect the body against infection. Apply diluted oil to cuts, wounds, bruises, minor burns and fungal infections to clean, fight and help with the healing.


8.    Wrinkle reducer

A wonderful tool in the fight against ageing, geranium oil has the power to minimise the look of wrinkles by tightening the skin.


9.     Insect repellent

Effective against mosquitoes, the oil can also assist in keeping other insects at bay. Make your own bug spray by diluting the oil in water, in a spray bottle, then spraying your body and clothes.

Other peppermint oil uses and how to use peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is incredibly versatile, and although it is generally thought of as being safe enough to use internally as well as externally, I would not recommend using any essential oil internally without the prescription and supervision of a medical doctor. The oil is also thought of being safe to use undiluted. Again, I would rather err on the side of caution and always use diluted.  If you want to use peppermint essential oil, here are some ways that you can incorporate it into your daily life:

Diffuse it. Add about 5 drops of geranium oil to an essential oil diffuser for a relaxing and calming scent.

Bath with it. Make a relaxing bath salt by adding a few drops of the oil to Epsom salts.

Create a massage oil with it. Dilute several drops in almond or avocado oil. For bonus relaxation, add lavender and eucalyptus.

Other uses include face oil, night and day cream, toning body lotions and conditioning bars, hairsprays, lip balms and more.

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 Major constituents:

Egyptian Geranium Oil





Citronellyl formate



Geranyl formate

Geranium Oil from Reunion





Citronellyl formate


Blending tips:

The oil blends very well with other essential oils, especially from the citrus, floral, wood and mint families.

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Tips on using this essential oil safely:

Some people can exhibit sensitivity to the oil when applied topically. Always do a patch test first, and avoid the eye area and other places with sensitive skin. Because the oil can have an effect on hormone balance and secretion, it is not advised for use by pregnant or lactating women. The oil should also not be used on babies and toddlers.

If you have any diagnosed health concerns or are currently taking medication, check with your physician before using geranium oil, especially before using it internally. Specific drug interactions are not well-known.

General safety information

Because essential oils are highly concentrated they should always be used with caution. Essential oils should not be used undiluted, and should never be applied to the eyes or mucous membranes. Toxicity can occur if too much of the oil is absorbed, hence always dilute. A skin patch test is always recommended prior to using any new essential oil, or after first time use after a long break. Although most essential oils have been proven by science to work as efficiently, or even more, as allopathic drugs, they are not a substitute for medical care. Chronic conditions should not be self-treated, and you should never avoid or delay getting standard medical care. Always consult with your doctor first. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult with their doctor before using any natural or alternative treatment, and also speak to your doctor first before using oils on your kids. People who are epileptic, have liver damage or issues, have cancer, are diabetic, or have any other medical problem, or who suspect they might have any of these conditions, should definitely consult with their doctor first.

Shelf life and care:

Although pure essential oils do not go rancid, they do gradually lose their therapeutic value and aroma as a result of oxidation. The lifespan varies according to the botanical, distillation process, storage and care as well as manufacturer and supplier. To maximize the shelf life, store the oils in dark glass bottles, tightly closed, in a cool and dry place. Keep out of the sun. If the aroma, thickness or colour has changed, discard.

Important information about essential oils:

The essential oil information provided on A life lead simply is intended for educational purposes only. The references to safety information, constituents and percentages is generalized information. The data is not necessary complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate. The essential oil photos are intended to represent the typical and approximate colour of each essential oil. However, essential oil colour can vary based on harvesting, distillation, age of the essential oil and other factors.

Essential oil book suggestions:

Wilson, R. 2002. Aromatherapy: Essential Oils for Vibrant Health and Beauty. This book covers the extraction of Essential oils.

Lawless, J. 2013. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils in Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health and Well Being. San Francisco: Conari Press.

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