Geranium oil has been a popular and sought-after resource for hundreds of years, dating back to the 17th century. It makes its home in the aromatics and cosmetics industries, and is an often-misunderstood plant dating back to its origins. Why? Let’s get to work...
During the classification process, in which scientists and botanists were naming and classifying vegetation and animals amidst the Kingdoms, Phylums and so forth, the scientific names of many plants became lost in translation. Throughout this time, in an attempt to make things easier to remember, people applied more commonly known names to plants that were similar in appearance, regardless of their biological origin. This is especially true in the case of Pelargonium graveolens as it is often referred to as Rose Geranium - regardless of the fact that it’s not even geranium at all. Pelargonium graveolens belongs to the Geraniaceae Plant Family, which helps make some sense out of the name, but it’s the appearance of Pelargonium graveolens that proved to cause the name to stick. Geranium grows in hundreds of varieties - many of which sprout pinkish-white or magenta flowers throughout the months of August to January. Pelargonium graveolens is no different, in fact, it passes the sight test with flying colors. It looks nearly identical to Geranium! So how did it get its scientific name?
Don’t let the title fool you, Pelargonium graveolens cannot fly. It is a plant. Plants cannot fly. Then why, I wonder, is it named after the Greek word for ‘stork’ and ‘crane’? As it turns out, the Ancient Greeks were not only revolutionary in language and education, they were pretty witty, too! Pelargonium is rooted in the Greek word ‘pelargos’ which translates to ‘stork’ - they named it as such due to the Stork Bill-shaped fruit it bears after flowering and pollination. Who would’ve thought?! Not me, that much is certain - but it’s definitely a pretty ‘fly’ name…
Please forgive me; Dad jokes are fun.
According to the International Trade Council’s excerpt on Geranium oil, Pelargoniums originated in South Africa, and were brought back to Europe, France in particular, in the 17th century. While in South Africa they often grew wild and in hybrids, but when brought to France they were quickly introduced into commercial cultivation for their aromatic essential oil. Following its introduction into continental France, the French colonies throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Asia began growing Pelargonium to increase the market output and to meet consumer demand.
Pelargonium graveolens quickly gained momentum and became a staple in the aromatics industry, however, after the French colonies were disbanded and the indigenous peoples of the various regions regained control over their lands, it was no longer France’s industry to control. The world’s top producers of Rose Geranium shifted almost overnight from countries in Europe to North African and East Asian territories like Egypt and China. Today, Egypt and China remain the two largest producers of Rose Geranium, respectively - producing a combined 405 tonnes amidst the world’s estimated 457 tonne annual production levels. That is a LOT of Rose Geranium; which means one of two things. 1. Farmers and Farms are wasting their time and resources by growing Rose Geranium or 2. Rose Geranium is in VERY high demand globally. I think it’s safe to argue the latter to be true. Why the high demand, though?
Rose Geranium, or Geranium oil as it’s commonly referred, is chock-full of powerful and effective constituents, primarily Citronellol (which is also found in just about every citrus fruit essential oil on earth) and Geraniol, which are both known astringents, antidepressants, antiseptics, deodorants, tonics, and vulneraries. This set of characteristics lands Rose Geranium amidst oils like Frankincense, Lavender, Clary Sage, and Ylang Ylang as one of the most versatile and clinically effective essential oils in the world. Due to its sweet and gentle, yet flowery and herbaceous, smell, Rose Geranium makes for a great double-acting deodorizer and calming agent. In addition, as an antiseptic and astringent, Rose Geranium is reportedly effective at preventing wounds from becoming septic, and helps to close open cuts and wounds faster. So, while you’re using your favorite lotion for dry and cracked skin, you might not be aware that you’re likely using the constituent properties of Rose Geranium essential oil to heal those aching hands of yours! For the reasons listed above, and many more, you’ll find Rose Geranium oil in many cosmetics and household items like soaps, shampoos, lotions, candles, perfumes, deodorants, and even bath bombs and bath salts!
After learning about the benefits, aroma, and overall lack of toxicity in Geranium oil, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on some to try. This was well before the conception of Corked, but when Corked got going, we knew we needed to bring Geranium oil along for the ride. Today, you can find Geranium oil in our Refresh and Ecstacy blends, BUT starting tomorrow, you’ll also find it in our Mix of the Month: Green Lite! Green Lite features a combination of Thyme, Sage, Lemongrass, and of course, Geranium - it’s a perfect blend for Spring-time as it’s light and refreshing, and helps you to lift your mood! Check out Green Lite starting tomorrow - and start your Spring engine on the right note!
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