In experimental outpatient clinics in Azerbaijan, patients sit comfortably in an aromatherapy room sniffing fragrant plants such as rose geranium. They inhale the aromas according to a prescription, which specifies how many times a week and for how many minutes the fragrance should be inhaled. According to the clinic, inhaling geranium actually lowers or raises blood pressure a few points, depending upon what the person’s body requires. They also report success in using geranium to control depression and mental disturbances.
A relative newcomer to the fragrance trade, geranium is a small, tender, South African perennial whose essential oil was not distilled until the nineteenth century. Since it is a veritable medicine cabinet with a lovely scent, it became an instant hit. It is also an insect repellent, and one that is certainly more aromatically pleasing than the commonly used citronella.
The scent of geranium mixes well with almost any other essential oil. There are more than 600 varieties, including several with a roselike fragrance. The pharmaceutical industry uses its main component, geraniol, to stretch true rose oil or, with other components, to make a synthetic rose.
Principal constituents of geranium: Geraniol, citronellol, linalol, borneol, terpineol, and many others
Scent of geranium: The scent is bright, with a herbaceous-rose-citrus combination.
Therapeutic properties of geranium: Antidepressant, antiseptic, astringent; stops bleeding, possibly gently stimulates the adrenals and normalizes hormones
Uses for geranium: In its native Africa, geranium was used as an herb tea to stop diarrhea and internal bleeding. A popular skin therapy, the essential oil treats a host of problems including inflammation, eczema, acne, burns, infected wounds, fungus (like ringworm), lice, shingles, and herpes.
It also decreases scarring and stretch marks. Use it in the form of a salve, cream, lotion, or massage/body oil, whichever is most appropriate. It balances all complexion types and is said to delay wrinkling. Inhale this pleasant scent to treat PMS, menopause, fluid retention, and other hormone-related problems, or include it in body rubs and baths.