Rose Geranium essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from the leaves and stems of the pelargonium graveolens plant. The main growing areas for oil production are Africa, Reunion Island, Russia and China. When extracted from the Bourbon geranium, which is exclusive to Reunion Island, it is used as a premium perfume oil. The aroma can range from very sweet and rosy to musty with minty undertones and can be both uplifting and calming. It is said to have a balancing effect on the nervous system and can relieve depression and anxiety, while also lifting the spirits.
The oil comes from the same genus as the red flowered window box geranium which is now grown all over the world. Although there are some two hundred species of the geranium plant, the majority of the oil is extracted from only four of those species. Geranium does vary across the different strains and distillations mainly due to the climate and soil in which the plant grows.
Geranium blends well with other essential oils such as bergamot, cedarwood, citronella, clove, grapefruit, jasmine, juniper, lavender, lime, neroli, orange, patchouli and sandalwood.
As well as it's use in aromatherapy, rose geranium essential oil is considered a natural perfume and is commonly used in a variety of skin care products including soaps and perfume. It is often utilised to help with oily and dry skin where it can assist in returning the skin to it's normal balance. Other uses include the treatment of acne, bruises, burns, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, ulcers and varicose veins.
Even though it is considered non toxic, as with all essential oils, geranium should be diluted with a carrier oil, usually in a ratio of fifteen drops of essential oil to one ounce of carrier oil. Caution should be observed when using this oil to avoid dermatitis in hypersensitive persons. Because of its antispasmodic and hormone balancing effects, it's use should also be avoided during pregnancy.
Under good storage conditions, rose geranium essential oil can be kept for up to five years. The oil should be stored in amber colored, well sealed glass bottles, in a dry and well ventilated area away from direct sunlight and heat.