Description There are several aromatic pelargoniums. This particular variety grows to about two feet high, has serrated, pointed leaves and small pink flowers. The whole plant is aromatic. It is found on waste land, in hedgerows and on the outskirts of woods. There are several oil producing species such as P. odorantissimium and P. radens, but P. gravelolens is the main one commercially cultivated for its oil.
Native to S Africa, widely cultivated in Russia, Egypt, Congo, Japan, Central America and Europe. The three main regions for producing are Reunon, Egypt and Russia.
History / Traditions It was used by the ancients as a remedy for wounds and tumors. The essence is clear to light green with a delightful scent. The British plant Geranium robertianum and the American cranesbill G. maculatum are the most widely used types in herbal medicine today.
“It is under the domination of Venus, and is commanded to stay blood, where or however flowing: it speedily heals all green wounds, and is effectual in old ulcers” Nicholas Culpeper
Extraction Essential oils is extracted by steam distillation from the leaves, stalks and flowers. An absolute and concrete are also produced in Morocco.
Details of Oil Non-toxic, non-irritant, generally non-sensitising; possible contact dermatitis in hypersensitive individuals, especially with the bourbon type oil.
Geranium blends well with Lavender, patchouli, clove, rose, sandalwood, jasmine, juniper, neroli, bergamot and other citrus oils. The bourbon oil is a greenish-olive liquid with a rosy-sweet, minty scent. The bourbon oil is generally preferred in perfumery work.
Properties It is a mild analgesic and sedative, and may be used for neuralgia, and where there is pain of perhaps more nervous that physical origin. As an analgesic-cicatrisant-antiseptic it is an excellent remedy for burns, renowned for its efficacy.
Geranium can be used in the treatment of inflammation, with its mild, soothing effect. The action on the nervous system is pronounced, being a sedative with uplifting characteristics. It is a stimulant of the adrenal cortex and can be used to balance the production of androgens or octoroons, such as occurs during the menopause. Geranium is a good insecticide due to its terpine content making it effective as a mosquito repellent. It can also be used in the treatment of lice and ringworm. Geranium has great value in skin care and can be used on almost any type of skin.
Other Uses Used as a fragrance in all kinds of cosmetic products: soaps, creams, perfumes etc. Extensively employed as a flavouring agent in most major food categories, alcoholic and soft drinks.