12 Amazing Benefits of Geranium

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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The most interesting health benefits of geranium include its ability to lower stress levels, reduce inflammation, relieve menstrual pain, strengthen the immune system, ease digestion, and improve kidney, skin, and hair health. It has antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties, which help heal wounds faster.

What is Geranium?

The name geranium is quite general and it refers to over 200 species of plants under the family of Geraniaceae. Here, we are discussing Geranium pelargonium, also known as rose-scented geranium, which is the only known species that can safely be consumed. This evergreen perennial is actually native to the southern region of Africa but has been exported throughout the world as a popular garden plant and medicinal herb.

Geranium plants have flowers with five petals and the leaves are usual pinnate on long stems. The leaves are the main medicinal elements in traditional medicine and are primarily used to brew a pleasant-tasting tea that bears a slight hint of rose. The essential oil of the flowers is also highly sought after for its health benefits and for its floral, rose-like aroma which has a calming, meditative effect on the body and mind.

Close-up of pink geranium flowers on a wooden stairs

Geranium plants are easy to grow and care for and are one of the most popular potted plants. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Geraniums were first brought to Europe in the 17th century and with time, their fame has spread throughout the world. Unlike many other herbal remedies, there is not a major culinary application for geranium, and they are almost exclusively used for either decoration or for their medicinal benefits.

Geranium Health Benefits

Let’s take a closer look at some of the important health benefits of geranium.

Lowers Stress

The impact of geranium on the nervous system is well-known and the plant has been used in this way for generations. If you brew the leaves of its plant, you can produce a tasty tea that has soothing properties, derived from its organic compounds that positively impact the endocrine system and help balance hormones that cause stress and anxiety. A quick cup of tea, when you’re stressed, can quickly relieve unpleasant mood and a cluttered mind.

Reduces Inflammation

Researchers from Algeria in a 2013 study revealed the anti-inflammatory properties of geranium. If you suffer from sore joints, aching muscles, or even internal inflammation of the gut or cardiovascular system, geranium tea can provide relief from the discomfort while reducing the strain on your body’s sensitive areas.

Relieves Pain

Although quite similar to its anti-inflammatory properties, the analgesic ability of geranium has made it a popular traditional remedy for headaches and other injuries. If you suffer from chronic pain or migraines, research has shown that its tea can release endorphins and relieve pain quite rapidly. This effect is relatively mild, and shouldn’t be relied on for permanent pain relief.

According to a study conducted by Dr. Bruce Frome of Beverly Hills, published in the American Journal of Medicine, the topical application of geranium oil provides temporary relief of postherpetic neuralgia pain. It also concludes, “Geranium oil relieves pain in minutes and is well tolerated.”

Boosts Immunity

It helps strengthen the body’s defense system against diseases and infections. Its antimicrobial properties can help prevent internal and external pathogens from negatively impacting the body.

An infographic on health benefits of geranium

Geranium plants Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Antibacterial Properties

Geranium has natural antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties that make it a wonderful cold and flu reliever if you feel yourself getting sick. Drinking a cup of geranium tea or even chewing on the leaves (remember, only the rose-scented variety) will boost the strength of your immune system. It also promotes quick recovery from a variety of illnesses, including cold, according to a study by Dr. Gail Patrick, The University of Chicago, USA.

Treats Respiratory Disorders

Geranium relieves symptoms of bronchitis, sinusitis, and nose infections because it is a powerful antiviral. This is confirmed by a report by Gene Bruno, Professor of Nutraceutical Science and Provost of Huntington College of Health Sciences.

Antihemorrhagic Effect

Geranium, being a styptic, has the ability to stop the occurrence of hemorrhage as it slows down the blood flow by contracting the arteries and veins. It also has hemostatic properties, which cause the blood to clot. This helps heal wounds faster.

Promotes Kidney Health

The volatile components of geranium can improve the health of kidneys and stimulate urination because of its diuretic properties. This eliminates toxins, excess salts, fats, and water from the body, and helps reduce the strain on your kidneys. According to the Lipids in Health and Disease journal, due to its anti-hyperglycemic properties, rose-scented geranium could be used as a safe alternative for diabetic patients too.

Aids in Digestion

If you’re suffering from cramping, bloating, or a generally upset stomach, drinking a cup of geranium tea can be one of the easiest and most painless remedies. The beneficial organic compounds can quickly soothe inflammation and eliminate bacteria that may be causing the discomfort, and get your gastrointestinal system back to normal!

Treats Menopause

Geranium is excellent for treating a range of women’s health issues from hot flashes and distress during menopause and menstrual cramps. According to a thesis submitted by Melissa Clanton, Australasian College of Health Sciences, subjects who applied 5% dilution of clary sage and geranium to their feet, experienced a reduced intensity of hot flashes. The oil works two-fold, as a tonic and an antidepressant. It has been traditionally used to stabilize hormonal levels during menopause through its action on the adrenal cortex.

Skin Care

If you are looking for a natural skin cleanser and tonic, opt for geranium essential oil. It can be used directly on the skin or added to your bathwater. It helps tighten and tone the skin and keeps it blemish-free.

Hair Care

Geranium promotes hair growth because it regulates the secretion of sebum on the scalp. The essential oil can be added to either, carrier oils or shampoo. This helps give the hair a smooth sheen and a lovely, mild rose aroma.

Word of Caution: It is important to remember that the only rose-scented type can be safely consumed. You should be absolutely certain about the type you are using for herbal remedies if you aren’t getting your herbs from a professional. Also, be sure to consult your medical professional before adding it to your herbal supplement regimen.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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