Updated: Dec 11, 2020
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) Essential Oil is actually quite a confusing ingredient.
I am not sure why they are called Geraniums because in actual fact they are not!
I only go to the effort to garden plants that can be used medicinally or for eating so I buy my plants as seedlings or as a seed so I can be sure that the plant I am growing is of the right species to ensure I don't poison anyone.
My neighbour gives me a hard time for buying packets of seeds for what are considered weeds sometimes but under it all I know she understands and will probably appreciate it being mentioned as she is one of my sources of knowledge with having studied Horticulture and has her own landscaping business with her husband. I learn a lot from them!
When it came to trying to find the plant that produces the oil I use in my Healing Salve which I could tell you was Pelargonium graveolens do you think I could find it any where? I went around on the hunt looking at Geraniums trying to match the Latin generic and specific name and could not find one. So I did what anyone else as stubborn as me would do and I researched it.
What I discovered is that Pelargonium graveolens is not actually a geranium, some how it has just kind of fostered that nickname although the plants themselves are similar. The easiest way to tell the difference is to look at the petals of the flower. A geranium has 5 equally sized petals where the Perlagonium has 2 upper and 3 lower petals as you can see below.
I did manage to find some up the island further but they weren't cheap so I only got a couple, then one day recently one of my clients messaged me to say that she had a Rosewood Geranium she was about to take cuttings off and asked if I wanted any, I jumped at the chance, how thoughtful of her! I have to be honest and say with all the confusion around these plants I wasn't sure that it would actually be what I was after and as I mentioned before I am very careful about identifying the correct species. But I turned up and she had the most amazing spot with a beautiful view in Tuatapere and a lovely landscaped garden her and her husband had done together. The plant was perfect and I now have multiple cuttings in pots being nurtured.
Who shouldn't use Pelargonium?
Patch tests are always recommended because there are always a few who can be allergic. Generally speaking though Geranium Essential oil is safe to be used by pregnant and breastfeeding women
Why do I choose to use Pelargonium?
Skin inflammation can be caused by many things including insect bites, rashes and allergic reactions etc. This study shows that Geranium Essential Oil is effective in reducing inflammation.
Skin infections are normally caused by a rash that has become infected. This study goes into its effectiveness against many different strains of bacteria.
What do I Use It In?
I recommend this product for assisting the healing of Eczema, Psoriasis, grazes, burns and other minor skin irritations including cracked heals.