Geranium oil is derived from Pelargonium graveolens, which is believed to be originally from Egypt. From there, it spread to South Africa, Madagascar, Morocco, France, and India. Both the ancient Greeks and Egyptians used geranium to treat and enhance the skin’s beauty. The plant was also grown around homes at that time to ward off evil spirits. The French chemist Recluz first distilled the oil from geranium leaves in the 17th century. Although there are several varieties of geranium oil, the highest quality oil is currently produced on the French island of Réunion, located in the Indian Ocean. Because this island was originally known as “Ile de Bourbon”, the essential oil from this island is referred to as “Geranium Bourbon La Réunion”.
Geranium oil is especially prized in Ayurveda as it is believed to balance all three doshas – pitta, kapha, and vata. Ayurvedic medicine has traditionally used geranium oil to treat acne, reduce scarring, assist in menstrual and menopausal problems, relieve stress, stimulate the lymphatic system, and heal wounds. As a natural diuretic, it may assist in stabilizing blood pressure.
Modern medicine has demonstrated that geranium oil is an effective antibacterial and antifungal. It has also been shown to possess antioxidant properties, and has been studied for its use in wound healing. A recent study concluded that it is useful as an anti-inflammatory for the reduction of cholesterol and arthritis.
Geranium oil is perhaps best known for its use in aromatherapy to lift the mood, decrease anxiety and fatigue, and ease insomnia. Its use during meditation has also been recommended as it is believed to guide the mind towards the correct path without confusion.
For its powerful effects on the quality of the skin and the spirit, we adore geranium oil and have included it in our Ayurvedic Vata Facial Oil.