Geranium oil is an essential oil distilled from the plant Pelargonium graveolens, commonly called rose geranium because of its rich, rose like scent. The oil is distilled using a steam distillation process to extract compounds from the leaves and stems. Geranium oil is used in aromatherapy to uplift the mind and regulate moods. In skin care and beauty products, this oil is used for its rich floral fragrance and numerous therapeutic properties.
The astringent properties of geranium oil tighten skin cells and other body tissues, improving the elasticity and appearance of the skin. It is used in skin creams and oils as a topical treatment or added to facial steams to cleanse and tighten pores. Geranium oil tightens the skin around minor wounds and abrasions, stopping mild bleeding.
With antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, geranium oil acts as an antiseptic on open wounds and lesions. A few drops of geranium oil can be diluted in a wound wash or added to a healing cream to prevent infections. Geranium oil is a cicatrisant, healing minor scars and lessening the appearance of severe scars. It acts as a vulnerary on wounds, shortening the healing time and reducing the risk of scarring.
Geranium oil is a general tonic and a diuretic used to strengthen the body and carry toxins out of the system. Tonics strengthen and improve the internal functioning of hormone regulators, internal organs, the circulatory system, the muscle system and the respiratory system. As a diuretic, geranium essential oil carries toxins out of the body. Before one uses essential oils internally, a trained practitioner should be consulted to determine the right dosage. These oils are strong and possibly toxic, even in small amounts.
The pungent fragrance is used as a natural insect repellent to ward off mosquitoes. Internally, geranium oil acts as a vermifuge, clearing internal parasites, such as ring worm, from the body. Externally, infestations of fleas, ticks and head lice can be treated with dilutions of geranium essential oil.
Aromatherapy practitioners use this fragrant oil to uplift the mind and body gently. It is used to return patients to a balanced state when they are experiencing depression or overwhelming emotions. The rich, floral scent of geranium oil makes it a popular addition to perfumes and deodorants.
The scent varies, depending on the growing conditions and the variety of plant. When grown in French Algeria and Réunion, a small French island, it often is called Geranium bourbon, a distinction reserved for oil form this area. It also is grown in areas of China and Morocco.