Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Joys of Geranium

The essential oil is
made from the leaves.
Aside from smelling like a wonderfully warm summer day in the garden, Geranium (also Rose Geranium – INCI: pelargonium graveolens) has several properties that makes it one of my absolute favorites and the essential oil a staple in my stock. I have used it in face oils and serums, as a middle note in different scent combinations (for creams or lotions), and as the star ingredient in a hair and body wash.
The essential oil is made by steam-distilling the leaves of the plant. If you happen across a Rose Geranium (be sure it's a pelargonium graveolens), try and rub a leaf, then sniff your fingers where you just touched the plant – that's exactly what the essential oil smells like – fresh and gorgeous! Geranium essential oil has excellent staying power in scent combinations and blends beautifully with many other oils (for example the citrus oils).

The Happiness Oil
Aromatherapists will tell you that geranium is a 'lifter of the spirit' – I have often seen it referred to as 'the happiness oil'. In my experience, this is indeed true. Geranium is recommended 'solely for morning use' as its 'powers of pick-me-up' are simply not condusive to sleep. I cannot agree quite as emphatically to this claim, but I can't entirely dismiss it either.

Cell Regeneration
My interest in geranium essential oil was really piqued when I read that it was helpful towards cell regeneration – particularly for aging or sagging skin. Bingo! The perfect combination: a beautiful-smelling, mood-lifting, fountain of youth in a bottle. Does it get any better than that?

Additional Properties of Geranium/Rose Geranium Essential Oil
- helps oxygenation of the skin
- sebum balancing (good for both dry and oily skin)
- helps clear congested skin (haven't tried this)
- aids towards healing of wounds (haven't tried this)
- promotes circulation in the skin (indeed!)
- a good lymphatic cleanser (great for cellulite)
- an insect repellent (works better if mixed with lemongrass)
- fights head lice (haven't tried this one)

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