Geranium is a flowering plant with over 300 species and is found throughout temperate regions and mountains in the tropics, particularly in the Mediterranean region. It has long leaves and five purple, white, or blue flowers petals. This plant has been popular in gardens for over two hundred years for its fragrance and variety in color and size. It is also a great indoor and outdoor plant.
Originated in South Africa, geraniums spread across to Europe and was then shipped to North America by Thomas Jefferson. Geranium oil, which is an essential oil in perfumery, gained commercial popularity and is widely used in soaps, perfumes, food and beverages, as well as in ointments and for other medicinal uses.
Health Benefits of Geranium
The leaves and stems of geranium are used to extract essential geranium oil that is used for medicine and other uses. This oil is used to relieve nerve pain, especially pain caused by shingles. It also treats diarrhea, sore throat, and fungal infections. It has antioxidant properties that are used to clear acne, tighten skin, treat eczema, and reduce inflammations. It may help women with menstrual and menopausal effects.
Geranium oil has antiseptic properties that useful for treating burns, cuts, and bug bites. It heals wounds and fights infections. Other uses include treating depression, anxiety, and possibly hemorrhoids.
How to Grow Geraniums
Geraniums root easily from cutting and planting the stem of an adult plant. This plant can be grown outdoor and indoor. To grow indoor, geraniums need a lot of light for blooming and an indoor temperature of around 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Grown in well-draining potting soil.
For outdoor gardening, plant your geraniums where they can get at least six to eight hours of sunlight and space plants about 8-12 inches apart. Mulching is also recommended and the soil must be moist and well-draining, with equal amount of peat, soil and perlite.
How to Use Geranium
Geranium oil used in aromatherapy can help treat depression, anxiety, and improve mood and general health. Applied topically, it improves and heals skin.
To make this oil at home, take the geranium leaves and wash them in cold water. Dry and mash with mortar and pestle. Leave the mashed leaves for a few hours, Next, add the mashed leaves to a jar and add a carrier oil (like extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil, for example) to the jar, just enough to cover the leaves mixture.
Store jar in dry, cool spot for two weeks. Then, use a strainer to strain out the leaves, until you are left only with the oil. Take this oil and store in a cool, dry place, until needed.
Geranium oil is not recommended for use by pregnant or lactating women. The oil does have a sensitizing effects in rare cases, which encourages certain hormone secretions; therefore, it is unclear whether those same effects will transfer through breastfeeding.