Posted by Peter Holmes, LAc, MH on Feb 12th 2022

Geranium Rose Oil

Geranium Rose Oil

Belying its origins in South Africa, for a century and a half the rose-scented geranium, otherwise known as Geranium Rose Oil has become the very emblem of French colonial essential oil production. Feeding an ever more thirsty perfume industry in Grasse, the Isle de Bourbon, now known as La Réunion, has been the epicentre of Geranium oil production since the 1870s – to the point of lending its name to the Bourbon cultivar grown on that French island colony.

Although virtually everyone is confused about the taxonomy of geraniums, the good news is that, as far as therapeutic usage is concerned, the two main types of geranium rose oils are completely interchangeable. Warm, rich, rosy sweet in fragrance, this oil’s deeply balancing and relaxing effects have been recognized for many years. In terms of fragrance energetics also, this quintessentially sweet oil provides the perfect example of what it means to possess the sweet fragrance energy. In three words: nourishing, balancing and calming. These three big interwoven themes underpin most of Geranium’s superb versatility in clinical practice.

Geranium Rose Oil & Our Emotions

Geranium ‘helps us to reconnect to our feeling life, to our emotional sensitivity’ (Mojay 1996). Inhaling Geranium is truly a litmus test for the balance in our emotional bank account. Any deficit, loss, insecurity or neediness in our feeling life can be registered with great sensitivity in the presence of its deeply supportive and nurturing aroma. As Geranium also supports our inner strength as well as security, it is also applicable to individuals chronically ridden with low self-esteem and feelings of guilt, especially in introverted personalities.

Emotional balance, stability and calm are truly key words for Geranium. As a key oil for bracing emotional instability, Geranium Rose Oil can be helpful for moodiness and mood swings and, by extension, addiction disorders, especially food addictions. Its closely related calming effect has shown good results in states of depression with anxiety, and with negative, distressed feelings in general. Interestingly, Geranium is also known to exert a relaxant action on the nervous system to the extent of absorption.

Geranium’s physiological actions rely on systemic internal absorption and are essentially regulating, restorative and decongestant. Geranium is nothing less than a deep metabolic regulator and restorative in dysregulated, weak and congestive conditions. Acting on the pivotal axis of liver, pancreas, adrenal cortex and spleen, Geranium essentially re-creates proper cycles and timing among these hormone-secreting organs/ glands. This establishes its status as the premier aromatherapy essential oil for virtually all conditions of metabolic dysregulation. This applies equally to dysregulated liver glycogen cycles, dysregulated blood-sugar levels and dysregulated adrenocortical hormone levels. The only herbal remedy to come close to this profile is Yarrow (Achillea millefolium).

Our clinical evidence for Geranium’s virtually unfailing ability to treat hyperand hypo-glycaemia – dysglycaemia in short – is overwhelming. To regulate blood sugar, the oil seems to reduce insulin resistance at the cellular level, although we can only conjecture as to the mechanisms involved. Likewise, Geranium evens out and regulates cortisol and DHEA levels in conditions of adrenal dysregulation as seen in their adaptive phase of resistance to stress. And last but not least, Geranium’s ability to regulate menstrual cycles, regardless of which hormone is deficient, is long established. Studies have shown that it may have an effect on the production of salivary estrogen. (Peri)menopause is also a strong indication for this remedy because of its adrenocortical restorative action. In this respect, Geranium’s important components geraniol and nerol very likely act as weak estrogens (Harris 2007).

Geranium Rose Oil For Women's Uses

Geranium has been dubbed a woman’s oil for many of these reasons which, moreover, do not stop there. This oil shows significant fluid decongestant and detoxicant actions that work in tandem on the liver, kidneys, uterus and the whole lymph- and venous blood-filled pelvic basin. When any of these organs are congested and burdened with metabolic toxins, Geranium is the remedy of choice. It turns out, then, that we are looking here at an important liver, venous and lymphatic decongestant and detoxicant with a good diuretic action to match. In the language of Chinese medicine, Geranium addresses damp conditions of various kinds, as well as aspects of Blood stagnation in the Lower Warmer and lower limbs. Noteworthy here is the experimental success of the oil’s key component, geraniol, in detoxifying the liver and mildly reducing blood cholesterol, as well as suppressing the growth of aggressive cancers (Broadhurst and Duke 1997).

In terms of microbial conditions, Geranium is decidedly antifungal in action for a broad array of fungal infections, while being less effective as an antibacterial. These support its application for damp-type conditions of the digestive tract, such as intestinal dysbiosis and candidiasis. Geranium’s versatility in treating a variety of different skin conditions for both medical and cosmetic purposes is well known. It pivots on its rich combination of actions on physical tissue, foremost of which are its excellent skin regenerating and anti-inflammatory actions. These establish Geranium as a premier aromatic remedy for tissue trauma both acute and chronic.

Emotionally deeply nurturing, stabilizing and calming with its deep rosy fragrance, Geranium helps us achieve a more objective and less reactive or impulsive relationship to our feelings and emotions. In so doing, it has the ability to expose us to greater intimacy and vulnerability. Geranium’s ultimate gift to our feeling life lies in its potential for laying us open to a highly intimate and authentic dialogue with both ourselves and with others. 

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