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What is Rose Geranium?

What is Rose Geranium?

Some people use the essential oil from the rose geranium plant for various medicinal and home health remedies. Keep reading to find out what we know about the properties of rose geranium essential oil for healing and home use.

A rose geranium is a type of geranium plant with leaves that smell strongly like roses. This species of geranium is native to certain parts of Africa.

It’s also called rose-scented geranium, sweet-scented geranium, or old-fashioned rose geranium. The plant has velvety, plush leaves and flowers that bloom pale pink or almost white.

Researched benefits of rose geranium oil

Some claims about rose geranium essential oil are well-researched and proven, while others aren’t as well-documented. The claimed benefits of rose geranium essential oil include:

Antioxidant and anti-aging properties

Rose geranium oil is an active ingredient in some cosmetic products, like lotions and fragrances. A 2017 review of studies demonstrated that antioxidant properties in rose geranium oil may help reduce the signs of aging.

Antioxidants are well-established as natural agents for improving your skin’s ability to heal itself from environmental toxins and exposure.

Anti-inflammatory properties

The anti-inflammatory properties of rose geranium oil have been demonstrated in animal studies.

In fact, one 2013 study with trusted sources showed rose geranium oil had a strong impact on reducing swelling in mice paws and ears. It suggested that rose geranium oil could be the basis of new anti-inflammatory drugs that may have less harmful side effects than current medications.

Antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral properties

Rose geranium oil has strong antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. The foodservice industry even uses rose geranium oil as a natural preservative in some food products. In one 2017 review of studies, rose geranium was shown to reduce bacterial, fungi, and viruses that cause skin disease and infections.

Analgesic and anti-anxiety properties

The scent of rose from the rose flower has been studied and shown from trusted sources to enhance relaxation, offer pain relief, and soothe anxiety in a clinical setting. It’s unclear if it’s the scent itself, memories of the scent, or a chemical agent in the scent which creates this chemical reaction in your brain.

Anecdotally, some people believe that since rose geranium smells like roses, it can have the same impact on you when you inhale its essential oil.

How do people use rose geranium oil?

Rose geranium oil is contained in lots of cosmetic products, including soaps, fragrance, lotions, and anti-aging cosmetics.

Some weight loss and body-building supplements include rose geranium oil as an “active ingredient.” There are no studies that demonstrate that rose geranium oil can help you lose weight or build muscle, although it might help you to regulate your blood sugar.

Rose geranium essential oil has components in it that could make it an effective tick repellent. In one 2013 trusted sources study of 10 different geranium essential oils, each oil demonstrated some repellent activity against the lone star tick, in particular, the nymph or young lone star tick.

Essential oils are very potent and meant to be diluted before applying to the skin. Their scent can also be diffused into the air.

Diluted rose geranium essential oils can be applied to the skin as an astringent that tightens, brightens, and removes dead skin cells. It can also be used as a soothing and antimicrobial topical agent to help treat bacterial acne.

Steps to use rose geranium oil for skin

Rose geranium oil can be used in a diffuser, inhaled, added to a warm bath, or mixed with a carrier oil and applied topically.

To use rose geranium oil, start by diluting it with a carrier oil, like jojoba oil or coconut oil.

  • Before applying it to your face, do a patch test with the diluted oil on a small, inconspicuous area on your arm and wait 24 hours to make sure that you don’t have an allergy to rose geranium oil.
  • Mix one to two drops of rose geranium oil for every eight or nine drops of your carrier oil.
  • Apply the mixture to your skin and let it absorb. Rose geranium oil might not be a good base for makeup to stick to, so it might be best if you use it as a part of your nightly routine.

Risks and side effects

For people who aren’t allergic to rose geranium oil, it’s typically safe to be used topically, inhaled, or in a diffuser. Essential oils are not meant to be swallowed, as many are toxic.

Never use rose geranium oil as a replacement for a medical prescription that a doctor has given to you.

Similar essential oils

If you are interested in rose geranium oil to treat acne or inflammation, you may also consider grapeseed oil or tea tree oil.

Rose geranium oil is an effective antibacterial and antioxidant essential oil. Other essential oils with similar antioxidant properties include rosemary oil, lemon oil, and carrot seed oil.

If you’re interested in using rose geranium oil as a natural tick repellent, you may also want to consider garlic oil or lemon eucalyptus oil. There are effective natural tick repellent options.

The takeaway

Rose geranium has been used for centuries as a treatment for skin disease, blood sugar regulation, and even digestive relief. But we need more research for most of the claims that are being made about rose geranium essential oil.

Rose geranium oil is safe for most people to use on their face and skin as an antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-aging agent. It may also work to calm and relax you with its gentle notes of rose scent.


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