Pelargonium Graveolens Common Names:
Pelargoniums are commonly referred to as geranium and that confused me a lot as geranium is the botanical name of another closely related genus of plants commonly called cranesbill. What left me even more confused was whether rose geranium oil and geranium essential oil are the same and after a bit of researching I found that they are the same.
Here in Tamil Nadu, it is called kosu virati chedi, meaning a plant that repels mosquitoes. But though it is called a mosquito repellent plant, I am not sure how effective the plant is in repelling mosquitoes, it is mostly grown for extracting the essential oil out of it.
Pelargonium Graveolens Plant:
The first thing that attracted me to pelargonium graveolens was the beautiful unique smell of the leaves. The leaves have a strong unique beautiful rose smell that I love. For that reason, it is also commonly called rose geranium. Pelargonium graveolens is said to be originated in South Africa but now it’s grown all over the world. You can easily identify the plant with the pink flowers and the unique smell of the leaves. The plant produces pink flowers (my plant didn’t flower still) and the leaves contain essential oils which are steam distilled and are popularly called rose geranium oil.
Pelargonium Graveolens Essential Oil:
Geranium oil extracted from the flowers, leaves, and stem is used for perfuming cosmetics and since it is much cheaper than rose essential oil, it is even used as an adulterant in certain preparations that involves rose essential oil. It is also used as a flavoring for food and alcoholic drinks. In India, this plant is grown in most of the South Indian states and in some North Indian states mainly for the essential oil which is used by perfume manufacturers. All parts of the plant and the essential oil derived from it have medicinal uses.
Pelargonium Graveolens Chemical Constituents:
The main chemical constituents of pelargonium graveolens essential oil are citronellol, geraniol, linalool and citronellyl formate, isomenthone, and menthone.
Pelargonium Graveolens Medicinal Uses:
1. Pelargonium Graveolens Anti-inflammatory Properties: Pelargonium has anti-inflammatory properties that have been proven through research. The leaf extract got by either boiling the leaves in water or mixing the essential oil with a carrier oil can be used for treating all the inflammations very effectively. Geranium oil is very effective for treating hemorrhoids.
Antioxidant & Hypoglycemic Properties:
The aromatic tea made by steeping the leaves in water has wonderful antioxidant and hypoglycemic properties, you can read the study that proves it here. Diabetics will benefit from drinking a cup of this warm aromatic tea, it will also help reduce body pain and aches.
Anti-Fungal & Anti-Bacterial Properties:
Pelargonium graveolens have strong anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, you can read the study that proves it here. Because of its anti-microbial properties, pelargonium extract is very healing.
It can be used for treating a variety of conditions like excessive oiliness of the skin, wounds, athlete’s foot, foot odor, acne, dental problems, etc. We can either use the fresh leaf extract or the rose geranium essential oil mixed in cream or carrier oil to treat the problems.
Pelargonium Graveolens For Stress:
The smell of pelargonium graveolens is so very soothing that it helps alleviate stress. You can add the dried leaves to potpourri or a diffuser, I promise that you will greatly enjoy the fragrance.
As a Tick Repellent For Dogs:
The essential oil is a very very popular remedy for repelling ticks and this remedy has been backed by research, you can read it here. Simply place a few drops of geranium essential oil in the dog’s color, and the smell will get rid of the ticks, the essential oil is very effective against termites too.
Pelargonium Graveolens Side Effects:
Geranium oil is a nontoxic and non-irritant oil. It is usually safe to use but it should be always mixed with a carrier oil and used. Pregnant women can use geranium oil but please practice caution as there is no evidence proving its safety 100 %.
There are many varieties of pelargoniums so please identify the plant correctly, especially before consuming it as tea as some species under the same genus can be toxic. I have given a few of the ways fresh pelargonium leaves and geranium essential oil can be used at home below.
5 Top Benefits & Uses of Pelargonium Graveolens For Skin, Hair & Health:
1. Geranium Oil For Skin :
Since geranium oil has anti-microbial properties, it is wonderful to use on the skin as it can prevent breakouts on the skin very effectively. Since it is also a non-irritant oil, it can be used for all types of skin. The oil also heals scars and wounds so I would highly recommend geranium oil if you are suffering from breakouts. One of the best ways to use it is by mixing it in a cream base, I prefer to mix it in my homemade lotion.
2. Pelargonium Leaf Tea:
Since it has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties drinking the aromatic geranium tea will greatly help. If you are suffering from headaches, sore muscles, body pain, or if you are suffering from anxiety, pelargonium tea will greatly help. To make the tea, simply steep the leaves in boiling water and consume the infusion…
3. Pelargonium Infused Vinegar:
This is one herb that infuses very well, since the leaves are highly scented it imparts its wonderful scent into the vinegar well. And we all know how useful vinegar can be at home and infusing it with pelargonium leaves not only makes it very fragrant, it also makes it very effective against many bacterial strains.
The scented vinegar can be added to foot soaks, to soften the fabric and as a cleaner around the house. To infuse, slightly crush the fresh leaves with your hands and place them in a dark bottle, top it up with vinegar, and let it infuse for a few days before straining…
4. Geranium Oil For Massage (Skin & Hair):
If you are a person who enjoys getting regular massages, I would suggest including geranium oil. This oil can be used for both hair and skin. It is very good for treating skin infections like rosacea, eczema, and scars, the smell is very relaxing too. To use, simply mix it in a carrier oil like extra virgin olive oil or unrefined coconut oil and use it as a massage oil.
For using it as a moisturizer, mix it in sweet almond oil and use, it will prevent wrinkles and breakouts and will leave your skin smooth and soft. The oil can also can be used for insect bites and itchiness of the skin too.
5. Pelargonium Leaves For Potpourri:
Since the leaves are very aromatic it is great to use in potpourri. Simply crushing the fresh leaves and placing them inside the bedroom will help it release the scent. For potpourri, simply shade dry the leaves till it is free of moisture and use it for making potpourri. In the picture shown, I have dried the leaves along with vitex leaves.