Alright, here it is, geranium!  It took some time for this oil to come to the forefront of my mind for this instalment.  I am grateful it did!

It is friendly and comforting, balancing, nurturing and healing. Geranium is very aromatic and can smell almost rose like.  It is a great regulator of hormones, this is due to it being an adrenal cortex stimulant.  Our adrenal cortex is a primary regulator of hormones secreted by other organs.  This makes geranium an excellent oil when it comes to unstable hormonal balance and menopausal symptoms.  Though geranium is great for women, it is not just a woman’s oil.  I will get into the rest of it’s properties further into this blog.

I will add Geranium should be avoided during the first four months of pregnancy. Some say to avoid only if you have a history of miscarriage or troubled pregnancy. I say better to be safe than sorry and just avoid it during this phase of your life.

Geranium is a middle/base note, which means it can be used in either place in a blend. Its true name is Pelargonium graveolens.  From the genus Geraniaceae and originates from Morocco, France, China and Egypt among other places.   It is high (50-60%) in alcohols such as geraniol, citronellol and linalool.  Is about 20-30% esters: citronelyl forniate and geranyl acetate and contains about 1-8% geranial.

Geranium has some great properties including: analgesic, antibacterial, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, balancing, cicatrisant (promotes scar tissue production, aiding in healing), cytophylactic (stimulates the production of new white blood cells aiding in cellular regeneration and fighting infection), haemotatic, diuretic, immunostimulant, relaxing, tonic, uplifting, vulnerary.

This oil is a strong immune stimulant and considered to be another Anti-Cancer oil.  Likely due to it’s high content of healing alcohols. Specifically geraniol and linalool.

Geraniol, which in high doses has been shown to cause a 70% inhibition of cell growth in human colon cancer cells, and a concomitant inhibition of DNA synthesis 1

As well, geranium’s linalool content is probably another reason it is considered anti-cancer. Linalool, although it did not show to reduce the number of tumors created it was active against all of nine carcinoma cell lines tested, with the most potent activity against cancers of the cervix, stomach, skin, lung (H520) and bone. The other cancers were mouth, kidney, lung (H661) and bladder.1

Linalool showed significant activity against histiocytic lymphoma and Burkitt lymphoma cells respectively.  It was also active against human leukemia cells. Linalool preferentially inhibited growth and induced apoptosis in six types of human leukemia cells, but spared normal hematopietic cells.1

Linalool demonstrates broad spectrum anticancer activity in cell lines.1

Skin conditions including: burns, dry eczema, shingles, lice, ringworm, impetigo, as well as inflamed, oily and sluggish skin types, all respond well to geranium.

As you can see geranium has a well rounded profile, including being known to be an insect repellant.   

‘The Fragrant Mind’ by Valerie Ann Worwood p.228, suggests geranium can be helpful in inducing many positive states, including: creativity, happiness, performance, positivity, restfulness ,self-awareness, self-esteem.

Here are some recommendations from ‘The Fragrant Mind’ p.232 for using geranium to aid in the emotional healing many states, including: abuse, inner child trauma, addiction-drugs, aggression, amnesia, confusion, anxiety, breakdown, confusion, dementia, depression, manic, facing death, moodiness, self-blame, schizophrenia, stress, trauma, withdrawal, feelings of worthlessness.

I have yet to include geranium in my product line, though stay tuned as I am considering making a new insect repellant with geranium as an ingredient.  

Here are some helpful ideas of how to include geranium in your life:

  • As always, I recommend adding a few drops to some epsom salts, soak in the aroma and absorb through your skin to benefit from: it’s immune boosting, skin tonic, endocrine balancing, and antidepressant properties.  (I actually prefer, to first add it to a small amount of fractionated coconut oil and then add that to the salt)
  • Dilute into a carrier and use as a massage oil, to help as a hormonal balancer.
  • Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D, in his book ‘The healing intelligence of essential oils, The science of advanced aromatherapy’ in chapter 8, The application of essential oils p123-125, suggest a shower application.

To apply in the shower, turn off the water halfway through and distribute a few drops on the wet skin.  Clearly, the oil will not mix with the water on the skin.  This is however, not a problem but an advantage.  As the oil is repulsed by the water, its tendency to be absorbed into the lipophilic (fatty) skin tissue will increase.  Still the water will help make it easy to work the oil over the whole body (if that is desired), so that every square inch of the skin can be used as an absorbing surface.

Start by putting only 2 drops behind the knee and then work the oil upward on your wet skin.  Only when you know positively that the oil is tolerated well, and you have incrementally increased the amount of oil you are using should you increase the amount of oil used...  He recommends 5-20 drops, I personally belive 20 is far too much.  Once you know you are able to tolerate larger amounts . Begin with the feet: top and soles receive a drop each.  Continue upward on the shin and calf by putting a drop on the outside of the shin just below the knee, then a drop each over the lymph nodes, left and right, in the groin area.  Then another drop or two on the solar plexus, over the liver and 2-5 drops (I recommend sticking with 2-3, less is more in my opinion) distributed over the chest and abdominal area.  Apply 1-2 drops over the lymph nodes in the underarm area and possibly another drop or two on the throat area.  If you like the sensation of the oil, you can also make a quick swish over the face, not applying another drop but but simply distributing what is already on the hands from before

Oils used in this way need to be gentle and pleasant enough to give this procedure more of a playful rather than a medicinal character.  This form of application serves to connect with the plan world in the morning before we start our day.  It is an easy way to explore the different layers of quality of an essential oil.

The shower application is new to me, so I gave it a try in the name of research.  I could never recommend something I haven't actually tried. Admittedly, I was a little skeptical since I don’t really believe in applying many oils neat on the skin.  I have to say, it was an interesting experience.  I stuck to using just a few drops.  I started with a drop behind each knee and worked upward.  I did add another drop at my solar plexus.  Then that was it!  I am very sensitive, to smells and pretty much everything else in my environment.  I found it a little overpowering at times.  I most definitely would not want to use any more drops.  Though I will try it again, perhaps with a less intense oil like lavender.   

I hope you found this blog useful.  Happy blending!

1 Tisserand R, Young R. Ph.D.  Second edition, Essential Oil Safety. In: Churchill Livingstone Elesvier, publisher; 2014.  Constituent profiles: geraniol p.567, linalool p.587

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