What’s the fuss about…Geranium?

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) is an aromatic perennial shrub about 1m high, with serrated leaves and small pink flowers. For the gardeners, it is grown for ornamental purposes, but some varieties are used in the perfume industry. Aromatherapists would be well aware of Geranium, as it is known for its balancing and

uplifting properties. The essential oil has a sweet aroma similiar to Rose, but with the sharpness of Bergamot.  In Afrikaans, it’s also known as the “malva”.

I am really fond of most products that include Geranium. The smell is divine! Usually I do not like flowery fragrances, so the geranium came as a surprise. It settles to a soft rosy-sweet, minty scent. (And just a warning, the smell may become addictive! ;)

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)

Did you know… Pelargonium graveolens is indigenous to South Africa! Perfect excuse to go buy some now at your local nursery!

 For gardeners: This plant can be propagated by means of stem and tip cuttings, or seed. Cuttings root well when dipped into a suitable rooting hormone and then placed in trays filled with coarse river sand. The trays should be kept in cold frames. Optimum rooting time is autumn (March – May) and Spring (September – November). Seed can be sown in spring, summer and autumn.

Beauty and Aromatherapy uses: Helps to balance the sebum secreted by the sebaceous glands and keeps the skin supple by moisturising it. Also good for congested, oily skin. As a diuretic it helps the lymphatic system by relieving congestion and the fluid retention that leads to swelling. Said to be helpful for anxiety and depression (related to hormones) and will lift spirits.


Hoare, J. (2010). Aromatherapy Tutor: A structured course to achieve professional expertise. Octopus Publishing Group Ltd: London

Lawrence, E. (2002). Pelargonium graveolens. <http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantnop/pelarggrav.htm&gt; (Accessed 15 April 2012)


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jan-Hendrik
    Apr 22, 2012 @ 08:24:19

    Being a botanist at the University of the Free State I’d say its a well researched piece of info! Thanks


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