Geranium Essential Oil
Geranium essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves and stalks of the plant Pelargonium odoratissimum (apple geranium). It has a strong smell with a floral aroma, and hints of mint and apple. The main feature of this oil is its ability to balance and uplift, and it is used to do both on the mind and body, to ease a host of ailments.
Geranium essential oil helps balance oily and dry skin, and also brings about balance of the mind, relieving stress and anxiety. It is said to work on the adrenal cortex, which has a balancing effect on the hormone system. Geranium oil has been used to treat acne, bruises, burns, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, haemorrhoids, ringworm, ulcers, breast engorgement, oedema, poor circulation, sore throat, tonsillitis, PMS, menopausal problems, stress, and neuralgia. Its strong smell chases away mosquitoes. Add a few drops to shampoo to get rid of head lice.
These geraniums were believed to keep away spirits (like they did mosquitoes!) and so they were planted around houses as hedges. The plants originated from South Africa, Reunion, Madagascar, Egypt, and Morocco and were introduced to European countries in the 17th century. Although there are about 700 varieties of the plant, only 10 supply essential oil in viable quantities. The varieties planted in gardens usually produce too little oil to use for extraction.