Friday, June 15, 2018

A Rose (geranium) by any other name....

We recently received a newsletter that was focusing on Rose and Geranium essential oils, and saw what is, in our experience, some disinformation.

Geranium Blossom - but the oil comes from the leaves!
First, the writer recommended substituting Geranium oil for Rose oil in formulas.  I'm sorry, but no. Just no. Geranium is a lovely oil (for those who like it.. it does tend to have rather a love it or hate it
aroma.)  It's a powerful germ killer and anti-fungal agent without the medicinal note of the more commonly used Tea tree. And it is said to be the ultimate balancer, helpful for balancing hormones, extreme emotions, combination skin, etc.  But it is not a substitute for Rose, aromatically, emotionally, spiritually, or even for the physical effects.   Geranium oil,  almost any member of the Pelargonium species is a very useful oil for your tool box. Physically I would say it is more useful than true Rose, but emotionally and spiritually? No.

Please don't try to substitute it for Rose.

But then the author went on to state, and I quote....

Sometimes you’ll even see co-distills of the two oils, or Geranium called “Rose Geranium.”
Um.. no.

Just NO.  Pelargonium roseum is a variety of geranium originally from South Africa, and now grown in many locations.    The plant is commonly called "rose geranium" as is the essential oil.  It is much more floral than most other distilled Geranium (Pelargonium) oils.

There ARE co-distillations of Rose and Geranium occasionally available. There are also co-distillations of Neroli (blossoms) and Petitgrain (Leaves.)   These are clearly labeled codistillations, normally "Rose over Geranium" and "Neroli sur (over) Petitgrain.

They are not normally sold as "Rose Geranium."  If they were offered as such, they would be mislabeled.

Nomenclature of the Pelargonium species seems to be ever changing. When I was learning about the oils they were all Pelargonium graveolens.  Recently the botanists started calling them Pelargonium x asperum.

Jade Shute's has a good blog article about the nomenclature.

Wonderful article about Geranium's anti-bacterial effects.

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