Its Latin name Pelargonium graveolens comes from the Greek pelargos, which means a stork; this naming was inspired by the shape of the fruit, which resembles this bird’s beak. The other part of the word, graveolens, refers to its intoxicating scent which is reminiscent of a rose. Geranium originates from southern Africa, where it blooms from August to January. In addition to being a fragrant balm for the senses, geranium oil nourishes and heals the skin. The essential oil that is produced from this plant is a secondary metabolite: it is an organic compound that is not necessary for the plant to grow and develop, but it facilitates its reproduction. With its strong composition and smell it attracts insects and birds that transmit pollen and seeds over long distances.
Geranium oil is dominated by citronellol, nerol and geraniol. Citronellol – which has a pleasant, citrusy scent – is known for repelling mosquitoes among other things. This terpenoid is much more than that – it is a common ingredient in cosmetic products, shampoos and lotions. However, its action, as well as that of geraniol, is very wide: antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, astringent, bactericidal, cicatricial, sedative … Geraniol itself has an even wider spectrum of action – according to some scientific research it is active even in cancers of the prostate, bowel, liver, kidney and skin, and its antibacterial action destroys respiratory pathogens and strains that attack the skin and food, so in the future it may become a possible agent in the treatment of the most severe diseases.
All ingredients of geranium oil – through their synergistic effect – effectively destroy bacteria, fungi, free radicals, and are also effective against diabetes. They are most effective in gram-negative bacteria, E. coli, P. vulgaris and E. aerogenes; its antifungal effect is most pronounced in Candida albicans. This plant with its intoxicating scent, medicinal substances and positive effects does not cease to fascinate with the range of the health problems that it solves.
GERANIUM AND DIABETES
The biggest surprising discovery made recently is geranium’s action against diabetes. According to the latest studies, this serious disorder which is spreading more and more all over the world occurs and worsens due to oxidative stress, which is caused by radicals whose progress is triggered by hyperglycemia. They destroy the defence mechanism of our cells, which is why we are susceptible to other diseases that often accompany diabetes. As geranium is used in folk medicine as a therapy for diabetes, scientists decided to investigate its effect. After four weeks of using a serum containing the essential oil of geranium on rats in a 150 mg/kg dose, glucose was significantly reduced alongside oxidative stress. In diabetic rats that received this therapy, scientists observed an increase in resistance to peroxidative damage, reduction of oxidative stress and inhibition of free radical formation, which prevents further progression of diabetes and the emergence of new disorders.
Geranium also helps to neutralise the negative effects of toxins that are present all around us, and which affect all aspects of health, including fertility in men, specifically the number and motility of sperm. Studies have shown that the essential oil of geranium prevents oxidative damage to the testes and improves sperm quality in mice with its antioxidant properties.
The essential oil of geranium also helps with uropathogens. In one study, it was used together with ciprofloxacin for urinary tract infections, which proved to be an excellent and effective combination against Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis and Staphylococcus aureus.
As it balances many functions in the body, geranium also balances hormones. That is why it helps with irregular menstruation and menopause. The scent of geranium itself has a positive effect on menopausal symptoms, irritability and stress, and even more than that: it prevents and reduces depression in postmenopausal women. Some studies have shown that aromatherapy with geranium stimulates oestrogen secretion and alleviates the physical and mental symptoms of PMS.
GERANIUM SOOTHES THE SKIN
All the beneficial properties of geranium come to the fore when it is applied to the skin. Here is a list of the plant’s healing properties:
- geranium reduces wrinkles and the signs of ageing, tightens the skin while retaining moisture
- it regulates sebum secretion, prevents abundant secretion of grease, unclogs the pores and allows skin to breathe
- it soothes irritations and inflammation, regenerates, restores the skin’s natural glow and healthy appearance, and is used for the natural treatment of eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis
- it reduces scars caused by acne and sunburn, signs of irritation, soothes redness, heals wounds and prevents their infections
- it protects the scalp, moisturises dry skin, reduces excessive sebum secretion and eliminates dandruff
- it soothes insect bites, relieves itching and redness, and thanks to citronellol also acts as a repellent
- with its antibacterial action it deodorises the armpit skin, eliminates the unpleasant smell of sweat and prevents the development of microbes.
Its healing properties have been scientifically proven and are powerful thanks to their antiseptic effect. Therefore, it does not only promote wound healing, but also works against pathogens that often cause infections and are resistant to antibiotics, such as Staphylococcus aureus. Geranium oil also has a strong anti-inflammatory effect, so it helps to treat acute or chronic inflammatory skin diseases, such as psoriasis, eczema or dermatitis. Today, when the increase in these disorders is noticeable, new and natural anti-inflammatory therapy would be a salvation for many.
With all this in mind, the anti-inflammatory antioxidant action of geranium makes it an ideal ingredient in sunscreen products. This oil reduces or prevents oxidative stress and thus protects the skin not only from disorders and diseases, but also from ageing, especially the one caused by the negative effects of UV rays. Geranium oil has a photoprotective effect and an estimated protection factor of 6.45 and therefore is a great addition to products for sun protection and to treat sunburn.
Geranium oil is there to protect our health and promote our beauty. When it comes to the latter, women’s cleavage in particular, it works best when combined with nourishing oils of jojoba, Chilean rose, evening primrose and bergamot as well as hops and fenugreek that naturally contribute to lush breasts. It is in this combination that geranium is used as an ingredient in Devi Bust and Decolletage Gel, which strengthens and increases breast volume and gives the décolleté a delicate, velvety look.
The following products contain this plant: