The rosy-sweet, floral rose-scented geranium
, which originates in South Africa, is the only type of Pelargonium used in essential oil form. Now distilled in places as far away as Egypt, Madagascar and China, Geranium oil has been used now in a clinical context in Europe for over 50 years and has shown a good track record for treating various women’s problems especially. Like Clary sage
, Geranium oil is an important woman’s essential oil whose main actions revolve around Blood and Spleen tonification.
In terms of the Blood, Geranium’s focus is actually Liver Blood, with all that this implies. On one hand there are the menstrual symptoms, often typified by withdrawal and depression; and the menopausal symptoms, e.g. hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue and the like, all of which is prime Geranium territory. Again, combining this oil with Clary sage or in fact other oils often used for gynecological conditions, such as Fennel
, is something I do regularly in my practice. In physiological terms, Geranium is a good hormonal restorative and balancer, while at the same time supporting the adrenal gands in their pivotal, key role among endocrine functions.
On the other hand, there is the shen
aspect of Liver Blood deficiency, which can be especially an issue in women — whether from prolonged stress, menorrhagia, after childbirth, etc. Shen
or mind weakness is often associated with this syndrome, and here will typically present as poor concentration, loss of motivation, pessimism and sometimes chronic anger with depression. Sweet citrus oils such as Mandarin
will partner up well with Geranium in this case, forming a complementary combination.
Still working on the Blood level, Geranium is an excellent oil for moving stagnant Blood in the lower limbs that causes symptoms such as varicose veins, edema of the ankles and hemorrhoids. In the lower warmer itself, Geranium is able to invigorate the Blood and provide relief in Blood stasis symptoms, e.g. heavy painful periods with clots, and uterine bleeding. Niaouli and Cypress
oils would be good complements here to remove the stagnation.
In terms of the Spleen, Geranium
has a dual action of both tonifying Spleen Qi and transforming the resultant damp. This is both turbid-damp in the middle warmer (with its typical digestive symptoms) and then damp descending to the lower warmer where it causes white discharges, typically of a chronic kind. Atlas cedarwood
and Green myrtle
oils are other good oils to think about with these chronic, cold discharges, while for Spleen turbidity I typically may add Niaouli or Patchouli
Clearly, Geranium oil can find use in association with a wide range of potential acupoints in the treatment of these various patterns.