Anxiety is a common problem among Americans, and drugs like benzodiazepines are commonly used to treat it.
Not only can these drugs cause withdrawal symptoms, but they also lead to a host of health problems that include memory loss, hip fractures, and impaired concentration, which further develop into unnecessary stress and expenses.
Instead, the underlying cause of anxiety can be dealt with using natural stress management methods and one of them worth trying is aromatherapy.
If you’re interested in trying this out, you can start out by using geranium essential oil.
What is geranium essential oil?
Geranium is a perennial shrub with small pink flowers and pointy leaves that are native to South Africa. Out of the many varieties of the plant, Pelargonium graveolens is the source of the essential oil. The oil is widely used in aromatherapy and contains a number of beneficial compounds.
It contains about 67 compounds and the main components of the geranium oil are citronellol and geraniol.
In aromatherapy, geranium oil is used to help treat acne, sore throats, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. It is popular among women due to its rosy smell and its beneficial effect on menstruation and menopause. The essential oil can also aid in uplifting your mood, reducing fatigue and promote emotional wellness.
Geranium oil also functions to assist in pain reduction and inflammation. Its antiseptic properties can help speed up the healing of wounds and treat a variety of skin problems, such as burns, frostbite, fungal infections, athlete’s foot and eczema. Hemorrhoids can also be potentially treated with the use of geranium oil.
Frequent travelers can use geranium oil as a natural insect repellent. Topical application can also help heal insect bites and stop itching. It may also be used as a massage oil to help relieve aching muscles and stress.
How to make geranium essential oil
While geranium oil is available in stores, it is possible to create a homemade variety.
- Geranium leaves
- Mortar and pestle
- Carrier oil like jojoba oil
- Large jar with lid
- Small jars or bottles with lids
- Remove the leaves from a geranium plant (more leaves mean more oil produced).
- Remove pests, dirt and other debris from the leaves by washing them in cold water.
- Dry the leaves by gently patting them with a cloth or paper towel.
- Using the mortar and pestle, ground the leaves until they are completely mashed and pulpy. Leave the crushed leaves for a few hours.
- Afterward, transfer the ground leaves to the large jar. Pour some of the carrier oil — just enough to cover the leaves. Then, seal the jar and place it in a cool, dry spot. Set aside for two weeks.
- Once the two weeks are up, check the scent of the oil. You may add more ground leaves to make the scent stronger and set aside for another week. If the fragrance is too strong, just add some oil to dilute the finished product.
- To store, pour the geranium oil into the small sterilized jars or bottles through a strainer lined with a cheesecloth. This will separate the crushed leaves from the oil. Once the oil has been transferred, seal the bottles/jars and store them in a cool, dry place.
How does geranium oil work?
There are several ways of using geranium oil. Inhaling it is one of the most common practices. Place a few drops onto a cloth or use an aromatherapy diffuser. This sends messages to your limbic system, which is in charge of controlling emotions and affecting the nervous system. Inhaling geranium oil may also influence your heart rate, stress levels, breathing, blood pressure and immune system.
Note: Geranium oil should not be applied directly to your skin as a massage oil. It should first be diluted with a carrier oil like jojoba oil or olive oil. Also, it should not be used on babies and young children due to the delicate nature of their skin