The geranium is not only a beautiful garden plant, but is also useful for it’s healing properties. Native to South Africa, the plant produces essential oils in small glands around the foliage and flowers. Geranium oil can be harvested when the plant starts flowering and can be taken 2 or 3 times a year.
The oil of the Geranium makes a good astringent and can be diluted with water and used topically to help clean the face or in a bath. It also has great antiseptic properties and is said to help restore the balance to dry or oily skin and hair. You can also make a tea with the leaves and flowers or an oil infusion. The geranium is considered to be safe for most people (those with an autoimmune disease and those who are pregnant should avoid it) and can be used as an herb in cooking as well.
In addition to it’s astringent qualities, the geranium also has soothing qualities and is helpful in relieving symptoms of anxiety as well as PMS and menopausal symptoms. The geranium is reputed to help heal bruises, cuts and scrapes, eczema, hemorrhoids, nail fungus and sunburns as well as help with insomnia and varicose veins. It is also said to be a great natural insect repellent and is well known in the ancient world as a tick repellent for dogs and humans alike!
To Make A Tea:
You can make a tea from dried or fresh geranium leaves. For dried leaves, use 2 teaspoons, for fresh use ¼ cup. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the leaves and let sit for 5 minutes. Strain the leaves out and drink.
To Make A Compress:
Pour boiling water over the dried geranium herbs. Cover tightly and let sit for 15 minutes. Strain out the herb so that you are left with the infused water. Soak a cotton cloth in the infusion and squeeze it out so it is only damp. Apply the compress.
Fill a jar with the dried herbs almost to the top. Pour in extra virgin olive oil – make sure the oil covers the herbs and goes 1” above the volume of the botanicals. Put in the sun for 2 weeks shaking it daily. Strain out the flowers. You can store this infusion in the fridge for up to 3 months.