A few months ago, I began my series to vindicate the good name of essential oils for hormonal health and body balance. It started with the mass media releasing headlines on a study that scared the bottles of essential oilers’ hands. The reporters were claiming that the essential oils of lavender and tea tree could be endocrine disruptors. I thoroughly debunked the validity of these extrapolations regarding the action of essential oils from examining only one or two of its compounds in a petri dish.
If you missed it, you can read the summary or watch its accompanying video here. I will also have a few more publications on this subject for physicians and for those who wish to get more into the science that will be released soon.
After I gave this general overview of the biases of these in vitro conclusions, I decided to highlight several single essential oils that have been deemed to be causing hormonal harm. So far, clary sage, fennel, and sage oils have been vindicated regarding their overall wellness effects and safety. A summary can be found here.
Now, after some interruptions for a few timely topics, I’m back to focus on several of the most famous essential oils that have a rep for hormonal effects.
The next defendant I am representing is geranium essential oil, specifically, rose geranium (Pelargonium graveolens).
The goal of this series, and my most recent article releases on individualizing essential oils, is to provide an overview of the science, other expert’s opinions, and my experience. This is in hopes that I can give you what you need to make an educated decision on which essential oil to choose for your needs at the time.
Overview of Rose Geranium Essential Oil
The Chemistry- for Interested Geeks
Pelargonium graveolens (rose geranium) is a member of the 250 species within the Pelagornium genus. (source) It can be confused with other members of the Geraniacea family, but Geranium and Pelagornium are different genera and rose geranium may actually be a hybrid. (source, source) This means that each plant will have different chemical constituents and compositions, beyond the usual variations from cultivation, distillation, region, and quality measures. (source, source, source, source, source, source, source, source)
Geraniol, citronellol, linalool, isomenthone, geranyl formate, citronellyl forate, guiaa-6-9-dience, and 10-epi-y-eudemol may help to distinguish geranium oils from different regions. Linalool is one constituent, if present, that can help to determine if rose geranium has been extracted from steam distillation rather than other means. (source)
Traditional and Common Usages
Rose geranium oil is one of the most familiar essential oils used in perfumes and cosmetics. It is distilled from the leaves and stems of the rose geranium plant (source, source). It has been studied for its benefits for the skin, wound healing, mood, nerve health, discomfort, soothing tissues, acting as an antioxidant, and eliminating unwanted microbes. (source, source, source, source, source, source)
Traditional and historic uses for rose geranium include: dysentery, hemorrhoids, inflammation, heavy menstrual flows, and healthy cell growth. The French are said to use this oil for diabetes, diarrhea, gallbladder problems, stomach health, liver problems, sterility and urinary issues. (source, source)
One rodent study compared its effect on paw edema (a measure of inflammation) in rats to that of the drug, diclofenac, the positive control, and found similar effects from both. (source)
An interesting in vitro study demonstrated it may be helpful in calming neuroinflammation in the brain. (source) Still, remember the caveats of petri dish studies…they are helpful but not absolute translations to humans.
Back when I wrote about six uses for rose geranium oil, I did mention two human trials, however. One was regarding nerve discomfort and the other focused upon nose bleeds.
Toxicity and Safety
Natural Medicines stated that the reports of toxicity are low and mostly related skin irritation. (Please see this article on skin sensitivity.)
In another overview of its safety via animal and petri dish studies, the authors cited evidence of its low toxicity as well. In fact, with rodents, higher doses were protective from oxidative stress on the reproductive system.
Finally, another animal study further supported hormonal protection in mice sperm. The authors state:
Essential oil of geranium prevented testicular oxidative damage explored by reduced LPP and improved total sperm motility, viability and morphology in mice spermatozoa. Our study showed a positive influence of geranium essential oil in the animal male reproductive system similar than that of Vit E. (source)
These are all factors to consider as we continue on with our discussion of geranium oil for hormonal health in the next few weeks.
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- Safety First! Please review the resources for essential oils safety here.
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* Please note that the studies from PubMed aren’t specific for any essential oils company.
This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. ( Affiliation link.)
Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.