Everyone thinks they know what geraniums are and what they smell like. However, you’d probably be wrong! Most plants that we tend to think of as geraniums are in fact pelargoniums, and of the 700 + varieties of pelargonium, only around 10 of them produce enough essential oil to be extracted.
It smells floral and almost slightly spicy and has distinctly different uses emotionally and physically. It is an uplifting oil which has a great all-over balancing effect on the mind. It helps to sort out emotions - where it helps to relieve feelings of stress and anxiety, and helps with mild depression.
Its effects on the autonomic nervous system and adrenal cortex mean that it appears to help with hormonal imbalances making it especially useful for women who are pre-menstrual, menopausal or who suffer from some other form of hormonal imbalance.
Physically it’s quite interesting that something that smells so good can be so versatile. It is excellent for use in skincare; as part of a cream it is good for eczema, acne, and shingles. Its wound healing abilities mean it can be used to help prevent and dissipate scar tissue - again, used in a base oil or cream. This also makes it useful when treating ulcers and minor burns and scalds where it helps in reducing inflammation. It seems to help promote cell health and encourages the recycling of dead cells and regeneration of new ones. Its ability to improve circulation mean that it has been used to help with chillblains and frostbite. It acts as a natural deodorant - probably the combination of its pleasant smell, ability to regulate sebum production, and astringent anti bacterial and anti microbial qualities.
It is considered to be a diuretic, which means that it increases urination. Now you’re probably thinking that’s a bad thing, right? Wrong. Urination is the most effective of the three natural ways to remove toxins from the body - the others are excretion and perspiration. Beware though - there are many naturally occurring diuretics in nature including pineapple juice, garlic and leafy green vegetables: if you overdo diuretics you become dehydrated, so keep up your fluid intake!