Rose geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) is probably most famous for its traditional uses regarding skin health and uplifting mood.1 Recently, I began using it for skin health and noticed a little application could help maintain a healthy glow!
So, my mind started to wonder, “what else can geranium do?” You know where that led me…straight to PubMed.
1. Of Mice & Fungus
In an in vitro and rodent study, geranium essential oil and geraniol application, “suppressed Candida cell growth in the vagina and its local inflammation when combined with vaginal washing.” Interestingly, growth inhibition of this fungus was only seen if washing and the use of the essential oil were combined.2
2. In Vitro Inhibition of Certain Microbes
Several studies have demonstrated in vitro inhospitable activity of geranium to certain microbes.3-5 One study concluded that when adding geranium to microbe infested quiche, which was done in order to determine its effect on food spoilage, “At 500 ppm, there was a greatly increased inhibition of microbial growth using the Pelargonium essential oils, which was comparable with that of commercial thyme, clove, geranium and coriander oils. As there is no evidence for the toxicity of any of these novel Pelargonium oils, and their odour does not make the delicately flavoured quiche filling unpalatable, there is a strong potential for their use in food processing.”6
Any nutrition geniuses out there want to try this geranium-flavored quiche and report back?
3. Immune Supportive
An Asian study reported that pharmacological experiments with citronellol, citronellyl formate, geraniol and citronellyl acetate demonstrated that geranium could support immune modulation.7 Furthermore, in a few rodent studies, geranium was shown to have inflammation modulating activity. 8-9
4. May Repel Unwanted Critters
In a study using “biological tests with a vertical filter paper bioassay,” where ticks must cross an area of the paper treated with repellent to reach their model victims, the authors concluded, “Most repellents are marketed with much higher concentrations of active ingredient than the concentrations of the natural repellents tested herein; therefore, effective compounds, such as (-)-10-epi-?-eudesmol, found in geranium oil, have the potential for commercial development.”10
5. Temporary Relief of Nerve Discomfort
A study reported on temporary relief from nervous system discomfort with the use of topical geranium.11
6. May Help With Modulating Nose Bleeds
In a small human cohort trial, it was reported that, “A sesame/rose geranium oil compound can significantly reduce the epistaxis severity scores of patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia-related epistaxis.” 12
All this diversity in a little drop of oil, the power of synergism exhibited again! Geranium’s suggested use is applying 1-2 drops topically or to be used aromatically. It hasn’t been added to the list of secrete ingredients in world-renowned quiches yet!
Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic, Grade A essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been AFNOR and ISO standardized. There is no quality control in the United States and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. Please check the original study to determine sourcing of the essential oil.
This information is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness.
- Natural Medicines Database. Rose Geranium Professional Monograph. 2015.
- Maruyama N, Takizawa T, Ishibashi H, Hisajima T, Inouye S, Yamaguchi H, Abe S. Protective activity of geranium oil and its component, geraniol, in combination with vaginal washing against vaginal candidiasis in mice. Biol Pharm Bull. 2008 Aug;31(8):1501-6.
- Pattnaik S, Subramanyam VR, Kole C. Antibacterial and antifungal activity of ten essential oils in vitro. Microbios 1996;86:237-46.
- Sienkiewicz M, G?owacka A, Kowalczyk E, Wiktorowska-Owczarek A, Jó?wiak-B?benista M, ?ysakowska M. The biological activities of cinnamon, geranium and lavender essential oils. Molecules. 2014 Dec 12;19(12):20929-40. doi: 10.3390/molecules191220929.
- Bigos, M.; Wasiela, M.; Kalemba, D.; Sienkiewicz, M. Antimicrobial Activity of Geranium Oil against Clinical Strains of Staphylococcus aureus. Molecules 2012, 17, 10276-10291.
- Lis-Balchin M, Buchbauer G, Hirtenlehner T, Resch M. Antimicrobial activity of Pelargonium essential oils added to a quiche filling as a model food system. Lett Appl Microbiol 1998;27:207-10.
- Fang HJ, Su XL, Liu HY, et al. [Studies on the chemical components and anti-tumor action of the volatile oils from Pelargonium graveoleus]. Yao Hsueh Hsueh Pao 1989;24:366-71.
- Abe S, Maruyama N, Hayama K, Inouye S, Oshima H, Yamaguchi H. Suppression of neutrophil recruitment in mice by geranium essential oil. Mediators of Inflammation. 2004;13(1):21-24. doi:10.1080/09629350410001664798.
- Boukhatem MN, Kameli A, Ferhat MA, Saidi F, Mekarnia M. Rose geranium essential oil as a source of new and safe anti-inflammatory drugs. The Libyan Journal of Medicine. 2013;8:10.3402/ljm.v8i0.22520. doi:10.3402/ljm.v8i0.22520.
- Tabanca N, Wang M, Avonto C, Chittiboyina AG, Parcher JF, Carroll JF, Kramer M, Khan IA.Bioactivity-guided investigation of geranium essential oils as natural tick repellents. J Agric Food Chem. 2013 May 1;61(17):4101-7. doi: 10.1021/jf400246a.
- Greenway FL, Frome BM, Engels TM. Temporary relief of postherpetic neuralgia pain with topical geranium oil. Am J Med. 2003;115:586-7.
- Reh DD, Hur K, Merlo CA. Efficacy of a topical sesame/rose geranium oil compound in patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia associated epistaxis. Laryngoscope. 2013 Apr;123(4):820-2. doi: 10.1002/lary.23736. Epub 2013 Feb 9.
Thanks istock images.