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5 November 2021 / Caitlin Devlin

Geranium Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits

Geranium oil is a highly therapeutic oil with strong stress-relieving properties.

Geranium Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits

With its gentle, floral scent, geranium oil is popular for its ability to soothe both skin and soul. 

Geranium essential oil is extracted from stems, leaves and flowers of the Pelargonium plant, and was traditionally used in South Africa by the Hottentots and Zulus for its anti-septic and therapeutic properties. One of the gentlest essential oils on the skin – although it should still never be applied undiluted – geranium absorbs easily into the body and is able to reduce inflammation and relieve pain to a significant degree.

These days, the oil is most commonly cultivated in Egypt and China. Chinese geranium oil typically has a slightly higher concentration of citronellol, whereas Egyptian geranium oil is usually slightly higher in geraniol. This can lead to a very slight variation in scent, but most of the time the two nationalities are virtually indistinguishable.

Geranium oil is often confused with rose geranium oil, as the two both come from variations of the Pelargonium plant. The two have fairly identical properties, and whether one is used over the other usually comes down to a preference in smell.

Geranium essential oil is an anti-inflammatory.

Since acne and other skin conditions are often marked by inflamed areas on the face, the used of diluted geranium oil can reduce the appearance of these conditions due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Its antimicrobial properties are also very beneficial for skin, and a study in 2017 found that geranium oil was effective against a number of skin diseases.

Beyond that, geranium oil’s anti-inflammatory properties are beginning to be explored in medicine. Since inflammation is linked to a huge number of health conditions, a study in 2013 tested geranium’s effectiveness at combatting this inflammation compared to cholesterol and joint pain medications. The research suggests that geranium oil could be a safer and more effective ingredient for anti-inflammatory medications, with fewer side effects.

    It's a natural deodorant.

    Geranium is a natural circulatory oil, which means that it absorbs easily through the skin and into the bloodstream, and then exits the body through perspiration. When diluted geranium oil is applied to the skin, it can act as a natural deodorant or perfume. The geranium scent absorbs, and then the flowery smell gradually releases through the skin to create a subtle natural fragrance.

    It soothes pain and anxiety.

    A 2003 study suggests that geranium oil has the power to fight nerve pain when applied to the skin. Research showed that applying rose geranium oil to the skin significantly reduced the pain that followed shingles, a condition caused by the herpes virus. There is also research showing that geranium can calm the mind as well as the skin – a study in 2015 demonstrated that geranium oil helped pregnant women to decrease their anxiety during labour. This suggests that smelling or inhaling geranium oil can have a positive effect on stress and anxiety.

    Learn more about using essential oils to manage anxiety here.

    It promotes healthy urination.

    As a natural diuretic, geranium oil encourages a healthy amount of urination in the body, which usually means that it causes a person to urinate more frequently. Frequent urination has many benefits. It releases toxic chemicals, heavy metals, sugar, sodium, and pollutants from the body, and also removes excess bile and acids from the stomach.


    Geranium oil remains a popular essential oil because it not only has powerful benefits, but very few side effects. It is gentle on our bodies whilst improving our health, reducing our stress, and even helping us to smell better. Whether you prefer the milder scent of geranium oil or the more overtly floral tones of rose geranium, this soothing oil makes for a great addition to any self-care collection.


    Shop our geranium essential oil here.

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