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14 Geranium Oil Uses & Benefits for Healthy Skin and Much More

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Updated: July 26, 2018

Geranium oil - Dr. Axe

Geranium oil is commonly used as an element in aromatherapy for its many health benefits. It’s used as a holistic treatment to improve your physical, mental and emotional health.

Used by the Egyptians for promoting beautiful and radiant skin, geranium oil is now used to treat acne, reduce inflammation, alleviate anxiety and balance hormones. This sweet-smelling oil can also uplift your mood, lessen fatigue and promote emotional wellness.


What Is Geranium Oil?

Geranium oil is extracted from the stems, leaves and flowers of the geranium plant. Geranium oil is considered nontoxic, nonirritant and generally non-sensitizing — and the therapeutic properties of it include being an antidepressant, an antiseptic and wound-healing. Geranium oil may also be one of the best oils for such a variety of very common skin including oily or congested skin, eczema, and dermatitis. (1)

Is there a difference between geranium oil and rose geranium oil? If you’re comparing rose geranium oil vs. geranium oil, both oils come from the Pelargonium graveolens plant, but they are derived from different varieties. Rose geranium has the full botanical name Pelargonium graveolens var. Roseum while geranium oil is simply known as Pelargonium graveolens. The two oils are extremely similar in terms of active components and benefits, but some people prefer the scent of one oil over the other. (2)

The main chemical constituents of geranium oil include eugenol, geranic, citronellol, geraniol, linalool, citronellyl formate, citral, myrtenol, terpineol, methone and sabinene. (3)

What is geranium oil good for? Some of the most common geranium essential oil uses include:

  • Hormone balance
  • Stress relief
  • Depression
  • Inflammation
  • Circulation
  • Menopause
  • Dental health
  • Blood pressure reduction
  • Skin health 

When an essential oil like geranium oil can address serious health issues like these, then you need to try it! This is a natural and safe tool that will improve your skin, mood and internal health.


14 Geranium Oil Uses & Benefits

1. Wrinkle Reducer

Rose geranium oil is known for its dermatological use for the treatment of aging, wrinkled and/or dry skin. (4) It has the power to minimize the look of wrinkles because it tightens facial skin and slows down the effects of aging.

Add two drops of geranium oil to your face lotion and apply it twice daily. After a week or two, you may just see the look of your wrinkles begin to fade away.

2. Muscle Helper 

Are you sore from an intense workout? Using some geranium oil topically may help with any muscle cramps, aches and/or pains plaguing your sore body. (5

Create a massage oil by mixing five drops of geranium oil with one tablespoon of jojoba oil and massage it into your skin, focusing on your muscles.

3. Infection Fighter 

Research has shown that geranium oil has potent antibacterial and anti-fungal abilities against at least 24 different types of bacteria and fungi. (6) These antibacterial and anti-fungal properties found in geranium oil can help to protect your body from infection. When you use geranium oil to fight external infection, your immune system can focus on your internal functions and keep you healthier.

To help prevent infection, apply two drops of geranium oil combined with a carrier oil like coconut oil to the area of concern, such as a cut or wound, twice a day until it has healed. (7

Athlete’s foot, for example, is a fungal infection that can be helped with the use of geranium oil. To do this, add give drops of geranium oil to a foot bath with warm water and sea salt; do this twice daily for the best results.

 

Geranium Oil Benefits

 

4. Urination Increaser 

An increase in urination means fewer toxins in the body, and being that geranium oil is a diuretic, it will promote urination. (8) Through urination, you release toxic chemicals, heavy metals, sugar, sodium and pollutants. Urination also removes excess bile and acids from the stomach.

5. Natural Deodorant 

Geranium oil is a circulatory oil, which means that it exits the body through perspiration. Now your sweat will smell like flowers! Because geranium oil has antibacterial properties, it aids in eliminating bodily odors and can be used as a natural deodorant. (9)

The rose-like smell of geranium oil is a perfect way to keep you smelling fresh every day. Add five drops of geranium oil to a spray bottle and mix it with five tablespoons of water; this is a natural and beneficial perfume that you can use every day.

6. Possible Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Preventer 

Research published in 2010 demonstrates geranium oil’s impressive anti-neuroinflammatory effects. When it comes to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, the activation of microglial cells (primary immune cells in the brain) and their subsequent release of pro-inflammatory factors including nitric oxide (NO) play a major part in the development and progression of these diseases.

Overall, this study concludes that “geranium oil might be beneficial in the prevention/treatment of neurodegenerative diseases where neuroinflammation is part of the pathophysiology.” (10)

7. Skin Enhancer 

With its antibacterial and soothing anti-inflammatory properties, geranium oil can really boost skin health. (11) Geranium oil can help in the treatment of acne, dermatitis and skin diseases. Are you wondering, “Can I use geranium oil directly on skin?” To be on the safe side, it’s best to dilute geranium oil with a carrier oil. 

For geranium oil acne use or other skin use, try mixing a teaspoon of coconut oil with five drops of geranium oil, then rub the mixture onto the infected area twice a day until you see results. You can also add two drops of geranium oil to your daily face or body wash.

8. Respiratory Infection Killer 

A scientific review in 2013 looked at the data to date on the use of Pelargonium sidoides (South African geranium) extract in liquid or tablet form versus placebo for the treatment of acute respiratory infections. The reviewers found that the geranium extract may be effective in relieving acute rhinosinusitis and common cold symptoms. In addition, it may also effectively relieve symptoms of acute bronchitis in adults as well as children, and sinus infections in adults. (12)

To take advantage of this benefit, use a diffuser, inhale geranium oil twice a day, or rub the oil on your throat and under your nostrils.

9. Nerve Painkiller 

Geranium oil has the power to fight nerve pain when it’s applied to the skin. A double-blind crossover study suggests that applying rose geranium oil to the skin can significantly reduce pain that follows shingles, a condition caused by the herpes virus. The research reveals how “geranium oil relieves pain in minutes and is well tolerated.” The study also demonstrates how the strength of the product used matters, as geranium oil in a concentration of 100 percent appears to be about twice as effective as a 50 percent concentration. (13)

To fight nerve pain with geranium oil, create a massage oil with three drops of geranium oil mixed with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Massage this beneficial mixture into your skin, focusing on the areas where you feel pain or tension.

10. Anxiety and Depression Reducer 

Geranium oil has the power to improve mental functioning and uplift your spirits. It’s known to help people who suffer from depression, anxiety and anger. The sweet and floral smell of geranium oil calms and relaxes the body and mind.

In fact, research published in 2015 even shows that geranium can help pregnant women decrease their anxiety during labor. This study of 100 women concludes that the “aroma of essential oil of geraniums can effectively reduce anxiety during labor and can be recommended as a non-invasive anti-anxiety aid during childbirth.” The women also exhibited decreases in diastolic blood pressure after smelling the geranium essential oil. (14)

Research also demonstrates geranium’s ability to improve depression in postmenopausal women when used in aromatherapy massage. (15)

11. Anti-inflammatory Agent 

Inflammation has been found to be associated with just about every health condition, and researchers are furiously investigating chronic inflammation’s effects on health and possible preventive medical applications. Research shows that geranium essential oil has significant potential for the development of novel anti-inflammatory drugs with improved safety profile.

Geranium oil inhibits the inflammatory responses in the skin; this helps your body to fight many health issues. Arthritis, for example, is inflammation of the joints, and heart disease is inflammation of the arteries. Instead of taking a medication to reduce joint pain or lower cholesterol, reducing inflammation in the body is vital.

A 2013 study found that geranium oil is a safer and more effective ingredient for anti-inflammatory medication. Data supports that geranium oil reduces inflammation in the body, and there are fewer side effects from this essential oil than cholesterol and joint pain medications. (16)

12. Insect Repellant and Bug Bite Healer 

Geranium oil is commonly used in natural bug repellants since its known to keep mosquitoes and other insects away. (17, 18)

To make your own bug repellant, mix geranium oil with water and spray it on your body – this is much safer than sprays that are filled with chemicals. You can also add geranium oil to this Homemade Bug Spray recipe in place of or in addition to the other essential oils listed. 

13. Candida

Candida albicans is the most common type of yeast infection found in the mouth, intestinal tract and vagina. Candida can also affect the skin and other mucous membranes.

One interesting study measured the effects of geranium oil’s ability to suppress candida cell growth in mice. The mice intravaginally received geranium essential oil, and this significantly decreased the amount of candida cells in the vaginal cavity. These findings suggest that vaginal application of geranium oil or its main component, geraniol, suppressed candida cell growth in the vagina. (19

14. Hemorrhages

A 2013 study, involving 20 human patients, measured the effects of a mix of sesame and rose geranium oil on hemorrhage (a very heavy loss of blood) episodes. The study lasted 183 days; at the end, 75 percent of the patients felt an improvement with the treatment. With no adverse side effects, geranium oil proved to be a compound that significantly reduced the number of hereditary hemorrhage episodes that occurred in these patients. (20)


How to Use and Make Geranium Oil — Plus DIY Recipes

Is geranium oil good for the hair? It’s especially helpful if you have dry hair or dandruff. Check out this customizable homemade conditioner that is sure to yield some impressive results.

Homemade Conditioner with Geranium Oil

This homemade conditioner recipe is awesome, for it helps to restore the hairs natural pH, thus rehydrating the hair. The result is soft, luscious and healthy hair. Add 10 drops of geranium oil and see how it helps to condition your dry hair.

 Total Time: 2 minutes

 Uses: 20–30

 INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 10 drops of essential oils
  • BPA-free plastic bottles or glass bottle with dispenser

 Customize your conditioner:

  • Rosemary or sage essential oils for all types of hair
  • Lemon, bergamot or tea tree essential oils for oily hair
  • Lavender, sandalwood or geranium essential oils for dry hair or dandruff

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mix ingredients together in eight-ounce spray bottle
  2. Shake bottle before using and then spray hair
  3. Leave in hair for five minutes, then rinse

Other Geranium Oil DIY Recipes

Add geranium oil to your shampoo or conditioner. You can even mix a few drops into your body soap or lotion. What goes well with geranium essential oil? When making homemade products, it’s helpful to know that geranium essential oil blends well with many oils including chamomile, clary sage, ylang ylang, jasmine, clove, bergamot, ginger, cypress, lemon, neroli, rose, patchouli, peppermint, rosemary, and sandalwood.

What is a good substitute for geranium essential oil? There’s really nothing quite like geranium or rose geranium oil, but in manufacturing, rose geranium oil is known to be used as a less expensive substitute for rose oil.

Can geranium essential oil be ingested? Only if it’s 100 percent pure and therapeutic grade. Ideally, it should also be organic. In general, you want to purchase the highest quality oil to reap the best benefits and ensure safety.

Try adding five drops of geranium oil to this Homemade Butter Lotion. Conventional lotions can be full of chemicals and harmful synthetic fragrances, so this is a great alternative.

How to Make Geranium Oil

Wondering how to make geranium oil? You can make your own geranium oil at home with just a few simple ingredients. Use the leaves of a geranium plant — the more leaves you use, the stronger the fragrance will be. Wash the leaves thoroughly and then dry them with a clean washcloth. Using a pestle and mortar, ground the leaves until they are completely mashed and let it sit for a few hours.

Then add a carrier oil, like coconut or jojoba oil to smashed leaves; cover the mixture and let it sit for two weeks. You will notice the beautiful scent of your new oil; drain the leaves and keep it in an air-tight container.


Geranium Oil Side Effects

Geranium oil is usually applied to the skin, and some people can develop a rash or burning sensation. It’s best to test the oil on a small area first. It can also cause eye irritation if applied to the face so avoid the eye area to avoid unwanted geranium oil side effects. If you take geranium oil by mouth, stick to consuming it in smaller amounts because the safety of the oil when taken in larger amounts is not known.

Geranium oil influences hormone secretions, so it’s not advised for use by pregnant women or for women who are breastfeeding. It’s still unclear whether or not these hormone secretion changes transfer to breast milk. Geranium oil should not be used on babies and young children due to the delicate nature of their skin and the possibility of toxicity.

Is geranium oil safe for topical use? For adults, it is typically very safe. It’s best to dilute geranium oil with a carrier oil when you are applying it directly to the skin. Try mixing geranium oil with equal parts coconut, jojoba or olive oil. 

If you have any ongoing health concerns or are currently taking medication, check with your doctor before using geranium oil, especially before using it internally. Specific drug interactions are not well-known. (21, 22)


Final Thoughts

  • Geranium oil is extracted from the stems, leaves and flowers of the geranium plant.
  • Geranium oil (Pelargonium graveolens) and rose geranium oil (Pelargonium graveolens var. Roseum) are extremely similar in terms of active components and benefits.
  • Look for geranium oil that is 100 percent pure, organic and therapeutic grade.
  • The essential oil of geranium can be added to face cream, face oil, body lotion, shampoo and conditioner to reap its benefits.
  • Geranium oil has a really wide variety of uses and benefits including:
    • Skin and hair health, especially for dry and/or aging skin, scalp and hair
    • Relief from muscle aches and pains
    • Infection fighter including the common cold, bronchitis and sinus infections
    • Kills bacteria and fungi including candida
    • Natural diuretic
    • Botanical deodorant and perfume
    • Possible Alzheimer’s disease and dementia preventer
    • Calms nerve pain
    • Helpful for stress, depression and anxiety
    • Potent anti-inflammatory abilities
    • Insect repellant and bug bite healer
    • Help for hemorrhages

Read Next: 5 Best Uses of Coconut Oil for Hair


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