Geranium - Pelargonium graveolens

Early American women regularly drank a tea made from the roots, which was thought to prevent pregnancy...

Geranium is an uplifting and balancing oil with a green, rosy-sweet, minty scent.

Nature: uplifting, balancing

Geranium is mainly a woman’s oil; it’s a uterine tonic for PMS and is especially effective for menopause.

Ideal in a cream or lotion to balance combination skin. It brightens the skin as it improves blood flow.

Geranium is one of the most useful of all aromatherapy oils; it helps people overcome fatigue and speeds up recovery from lengthy illnesses.

Principal Actions: Balancing for all skin types; antidepressant; uterine tonic for PMS and menopause.

Practical Uses

Methods of Use: application, aroma lamp, bath, diffusor, inhaler, lightbulb ring, massage, mist spray

Skin Care with Geranium

As a skin care oil geranium is wonderful in its balancing effects. Good for all skin types; dry to oily. It is nourishing for dry skin, and it brightens the skin as it improves blood circulation. Geranium is also used for congested skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis, eczema, burns, ringworm, wounds, head lice, cellulite, athlete’s foot, fungal infections, and sores. It also can be used as a highly effective insect repellent.

Soothing Hand Cream: Mix 1 drop geranium, 4 drops rose, 2 drops lemon, 2 drops sandalwood in a basic hand cream and massage into hands as needed.

Nourishing Lip Balm: Mix 2 drops geranium, 2 drops Roman chamomile in 10ml/2tsp aloe vera gel and use as needed.

Stimulating Foot Rub: Mix 3 drops geranium, 5 drops rosemary, 4 drops peppermint in 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and massage into feet daily.

Relaxing Foot Fresh: Mix 3 drops geranium, 1 drop rosemary, 2 drops calendula and 3 drops peppermint in 2 litres of warm water. Add 1 tbsp baking soda and use as a foot bath.

Normal or Combination Skin: to even out combination skin and to leave your skin feeling soft and supple, mix 4 drops lavender, 2 drops geranium (or ylang ylang) and 4 drops chamomile into 20ml/4tsp of apricot or peach kernel carrier oil and massage into face.

Face Oil for Congested Skin: Mix 10 drops geranium, 5 drops jasmine, 5 drops fennel, 5 drops lemon into 20ml/4tsp of sweet almond and evening primrose oil. Apply every night to damp skin.

Dry Eczema: Mix 2 drops Roman Chamomile, 2 drops geranium 4 drops lavender and 2 drops myrrh in 20ml/4tsp jojoba or evening primrose carrier oil and gently massage into affected areas.

Itching Skin: Mix 3 drops geranium, 3 drops Atlas cedarwood, 3 drops peppermint in 20ml/4 tsp carrier oil and rub into affected areas.

Dry Skin Replenishing Bath: Mix together 5 drops geranium, 5 drops rose, 5 drops German chamomile, 10 drops lavender and 5 drops patchouli in a small dark glass bottle. Use 6 drops of this blend in a bath.

Hair Shampoo for Normal Hair: Mix 2 drops geranium, 6 drops lemon, 2 drops lavender in 100ml soap base.

Hair Rinse for Normal Hair: Mix 3 drops geranium, 2 drops lemon, 2 drops lavender in 1 litre of water and 2 tsp vinegar. Use as a final rinse after shampoo.

Hair Rinse for Dry Hair: Mix 3 drops geranium, 2 drops sandalwood in 1 litre of water and 2 tsp vinegar. Use as a final rinse after shampoo.

To Promote Hair Growth: Mix 3 drops rosemary, 4 drops geranium, 4 drops lavender, 2 drops ginger, 4 drops cypress into 50ml warm water and rub this gently on to the scalp. Repeat daily. Alternative oils are: basil, juniper berry and neroli.

Black Eyes: Mix 1 drop of geranium, 1 drop Roman chamomile, in 1 dessertspoon of witch-hazel and blend well together. Now add this to 1 tablespoon ice-cold water, mix well and soak some cotton-wool pads in it. Close your eye and apply to the eyelid and surrounding area.

Bruises: Mix 2 drops geranium, 3 drops lavender and apply to bruise. Wrap some ice cubes in a towel and hold against the area. Then mix 30 drops hyssop diluted in 30ml vegetable oil and massage into area.

Cold Sores: At the first sign of a cold sore put 1 drop geranium on a tissue and apply to affected area.

Cold Sores: Mix 10 drops geranium, 10 drops lavender, 2 drops thyme, 8 drops lemon into 30 ml vegetable oil and massage the whole body including the face and neck.

Impetigo: Mix 5 drops geranium and 5 drops winter savory (Satureia Montana) in 20ml/4 tsp carrier oil and apply to affected skin.

Wounds: To reduce inflammation, mix 1 drop frankincense, 2 drops lavender and 1 drop geranium in 5ml /1tsp carrier oil and apply to the affected area.

Stretch Marks: Mix 10 drops geranium in 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and massage over affected areas.

Circulation, Muscles & Joints

Geranium has strong astringent and diuretic properties; it assists with congested lymph conditions and poor circulation.

Cellulite: Mix 5 drops rosemary, 5 drops juniper berry, 10 drops lemon, 10 drops geranium into a small glass bottle. Add 5 drops of this blend into a bath. Soak for 15 minutes. Add 10 drops of this blend into 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and massage into the affected areas regularly.

Frostbite: Drop up to 5 drops of neat geranium into the affected area. Do NOT rub the area and do NOT apply direct heat. Alternately, use lavender. When the person is warm, massage with 4 drops geranium, 2 drops clove diluted in 1 teaspoon vegetable oil.

Lymph Congestion: Mix 3 drops geranium, 3 drops myrtle, 2 drops Atlas cedarwood and 2 drops Scots pine in 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and use in a massage, concentrating primarily in the areas with the largest concentration of lymph nodes: the neck, armpits, spleen and groin.

Digestive System

The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory actions of geranium are useful for sore throats, laryngitis and tonsillitis.

Laryngitis: Mix 3 drops geranium, 2 drop Scots pine in 500ml hot water and use as a steam inhalation.

Sinusitis: Mix 2 drops geranium, 2 drops Scots pine, 1 drop sweet thyme and 1 drop peppermint in 500ml hot water and use as a steam inhalation.

Tonsillitis: Mix 2 drops geranium, 2 drops West Indian bay (Pimenta racemosa), 2 drops sweet thyme and 2 drops winter savory (Satureia montana) into 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and massage into the neck and throat.

Mouth Ulcers: mouth ulcers are caused by a minor viral infection. Make a mouthwash by adding 1 tsp of the mixture below to a glass of warm water. Swish well around the mouth but do not swallow. Mix 2 drops peppermint, 4 drops lemon, 2 drops geranium, 2 drops thyme diluted in 1 dessertspoon of brandy. Blend the following together and use a little to smooth around the ulcerated area: Mix 2 drops Roman chamomile, 1 drop thyme blend in 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel or liquid.

As a wide spectrum blend for reducing inflammation, mix 6 drops lavender, 3 drops geranium and 3 drops Roman chamomile into 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and apply to the affected area.

Genito-Urinary System

Geranium is mainly a woman’s oil; it’s a uterine tonic for PMS, balances female hormones and is especially effective for women experiencing menopause.

Menopause: To ease the symptoms of menopause (hot flashes, headaches, fatigue, mood swings and depression) create a balancing blend to keep handy for “those moments”. To create a multi-purpose master blend, first mix together 10 drops lavender, 10 drops geranium and 5 drops clary sage. From this blend, you can use 10 drops in the bath and/or add 10 drops of the master blend to 20ml/4tsp carrier oil, and use in a massage.

PMS: Mix 5 drops geranium, 5 drops nutmeg, 5 drops bergamot in 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and massage into the abdomen and lower back. Add 6 drops of this blend in a bath. Alternate oils that could be used: clary sage, fennel or jasmine.

Period Pain (Dysmenorrhoea) Soothing Blend - Mix 3 drops geranium, 2 drops clary sage, 2 drops yarrow and 5 drops German chamomile in 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and rub into the abdomen using gentle, clockwise strokes.

Period Pain (Dysmenorrhoea) Stimulating Blend – Mix 3 drops geranium, 2 drops cajeput, 2 drops fennel and 3 drops myrtle in 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and rub into the abdomen using gentle, clockwise strokes.

Period Pain (Dysmenorrhoea) Astringent Blend – Mix 3 drops geranium, 2 drops cypress, 5 drops peppermint, 5 drops nutmeg in 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and rub into the abdomen using gentle, clockwise strokes. Alternate oils that can be used: angelica, lavender or sage (Salvia officinalis).

Nervous System

Geranium is an anti-depressant, particularly helpful for mood swings resulting from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopause. Combine geranium with other uplifting oils such as bergamot, clary sage, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, melissa (lemon balm) or neroli. Mix 3 drops bergamot, 2 drops lavender and 1 drop geranium and use in a diffusor, bath or as an inhalation.

To help the body recover from a mental shock, mix 3 drops lemon, 2 drops geranium and 1 drop of lavender in 10ml/1 dessertspoon of carrier oil and massage on the body before bed.

Palpitations: Put the following on a tissue and inhale – 2 drops lavender, 1 drop Roman chamomile, 2 drops geranium. Mix: 10 drops lavender, 10 drops Roman chamomile, 3 drops rosemary, 7 drops lemon in 30ml carrier oil and massage over the entire torso every night. Before bed, add 2 drops Roman chamomile and 2 drops lemon to a bath. Alternative oils for palpitations: valerian, neroli, rose. 

To Help Recover from an Emotional Shock: Mix 2 drops Roman chamomile, 2 drops geranium, 1 drop clary sage, 5 drops rose in 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and use as a before bed massage, or add these to a bath before bed.

Geranium in Aromatherapy

Botanical Name: Pelargonium graveolens

Note: Middle – 29

Parts Used: leaves, stocks and flowers

Source: Steam distillation of the leaves, stalks and flowers of the shrub native to South Africa. Most of the oil is produced in Reunion (Bourbon) and Egypt.

Description and Odor Effect: a greenish liquid with a piercingly sweet rose-like scent. Its odor effect is uplifting, but can be highly stimulating to certain individuals, especially children.

Blends well with: citrus oils, clary sage, jasmine, lavender, lemongrass, palmarosa, rose, rosemary, sandalwood. A small amount harmonises and balances other essences.

Applications: massage oil, face oil, local washes, bath, deodorizer, vaporize, cold compress, add to skin lotions and ointment, fragrance

Therapeutic Properties: analgesic, antibacterial, anticoagulant, antidepressant, antidiabetic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antineuralgic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antistress, astringent, cicatrizant, cytophylactic, deodorant, depurative, diuretic, healing, hemostatic, insect repellent, insecticide, parasiticide, protectant (cells), refreshing, regulator (glandular functions and hormones), rejuvenator (skin tissue), sedative (mild), (anxiety), stimulant (adrenal glands; circulatory and lymphatic systems), tonic, tonifying (skin), uplifting (menopause and premenstrual tension), vasoconstrictor, vermifuge, vulnerary

Safety Data: Non-toxic, non-irritant, generally non-sensitizing; possible contact dermatitis in hypersensitive individuals. Can be highly stimulating to certain individuals, especially children.

Chemical Composition

Chemical Composition:

Pelargonium Graveolens Fol. [geranium] Geraniaceae
Representative constituents
Hydrocarbons
monoterpenes (1–2%) α-phellandrene trace, β-phellandrene, α-pinene 1%, β-pinene 0.2%, β-myrcene 0.2%, limonene 0.2%, cis-β-ocimene 0.2%
sesquiterpenes (1–2%) guai-6,9-diene 3.9–5.3%, guaiazulene, α-copaene, δ-cadinene, γ-cadinene, α-bourbonene, β-bourbonene, caryophyllene 0.7%
Alcohols monoterpenols (55–65%) citronellol 21–45%, geraniol 17–25%, linalool 1–13%, nerol 1.2%, α-terpineol 0.7%
sesquiterpenols 10-epi-γ-eudesmol 1%
aromatic phenyl ethyl alcohol <1%
Esters (15%) monoterpenyl citronellyl formate 8–18%, geranyl formate 1–6%, citronellyl propionate 1–3%, geranyl propionate 0–1%, geranyl angelate 1–2%, geranyl acetate 0.4%, citronellyl butanoate 1.3%, geranyl butanoate 1.3%,
other phenyl ethyl isobutanoate, phenyl ethyl angelate
Aldehydes (Bourbon variety) (0–10%)
monoterpenals neral, geranial 0–9%, citronellal 0–1%
Ketones (1–8%)
monoterpenones menthone 0.6–3%, isomenthone 4–8.4%, piperitone
other methyl heptanone, furopelargone 0.4%
Oxides (only in Chinese variety) (2–3%)
monoterpenoid cis-rose oxide 2–25%, trans-rose oxide 1%, cis-linalool oxide 0.6%, trans-linalool oxide 0.2%

Geranium – Quick Reference

Skin: acne, bruises, broken capillaries, burns, congested skin, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, hemorrhoids, lice, oily complexion, mature skin, mosquito repellent, ringworm, ulcers, wounds

Circulation, Muscles & Joints: cellulitis, engorgement of breasts, edema, poor circulation

Digestive: sore throat, tonsillitis

Genito-urinary: adrenocortical glands and menopausal problems, PMT

Nervous: nervous tension, neuralgia and stress related conditions

Keyword: Balancing

Geranium Magic: encourages you to see life's beauty

Geranium Harmony

Add these essential oils to 20 ml / 4 teaspoons carrier oil

To soothe and balance oily or combination skin:

  • 2 drops Geranium
  • 4 drops Neroli
  • 4 drops Roman Chamomile
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Home Essentials

  • One drop of lemon essential oil on a soft cloth will polish copper with gentle buffing.
  • When washing out the fridge, freezer or oven, add 1 drop of bergamont, grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange or mandarin essential oil to the final rinse water.
  • Essential oils of Atlas cedarwood, cypress, frankincense, myrrh and vetiver all make wonderful firewood oils. Drop approximately 2-3 drops of oil or blend of your choice on a dried log and allow time for the oil to soak in before putting the log on the fire.
  • Flies and moths dislike lavender oil. Sprinkle it on the outside of your window frames.

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Body Essentials

  • Overindulge last night? Essential oils of carrot seed, cedarwood, fennel, grapefruit, juniper berry, lavender and lemon help soften the effects of a hangover. Make your own blend from these oils and use a total of 6-8 drops in a bath.
  • 6 – 8 drops of eucalyptus oil in the bath cools the body in summer and protects it in winter.
  • Add 1 drop geranium oil to your facial moisturizer to bring out a radiant glow in your skin.
  • Place 1 or 2 drops of rosemary on your hair brush before brushing to promote growth and thickness.

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Creating a Balanced Blend

For a balanced massage blend, combine the essential oil drops in these proportions of essential oil "notes":

  • 3 drops Base Note
  • 7 drops Middle Note
  • 5 drops Top Note

For a total of 15 drops of essential oils per 30ml (1 oz) of carrier oil.


Top notes are the first impression of the blend; short-lived, yet brilliant. Top notes are sharp, penetrating, first to evaporate, extreme, and either hot or cold. Top notes provide the "ahhhh" in a blend.


Middle notes give body to blends - the developing phase with breadth and variety. Middle notes are warm, round, soft and mellow. Middle notes often provide the bulk, 50% to 80%, of the blend.


Base Notes are the final, lasting message of the blend; they deepen your blend and draw it into the skin, giving it roots and permanence. Base notes are deep, intense, rich and sensual. Base notes should be used sparingly, about 5%, so as not to overpower the blend.


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