Rose Geranium: A Companion for Confidence and Love
The first home I owned came with a courtyard filled with rose geranium. The musky, rose scented plant seemed to thrive regardless if I gave it a lot of attention or very little. I began to look at the plant as a comrade, a loyal friend who stood beside me, offering medicine and companionship through the years of mothering wee little ones. I quickly noted that Rose Geraniums can and will fill any space given.
Its heady aroma billowed around me in a cloud of protection when I dabbed the essential oil on my wrists or simply sat in the garden and rubbed the downy leaves. Geranium minimizes stress and lifts the emotions out of depression. It also works as an appetite suppressant, eases menstrual cramps and increases fertility. The plant not only equalized my mood, it also brought me to new heights of invincibility and illimitable options. I found solutions in the most unlikely of places and was empowered to host a women’s retreat to Fiji and submit my first article to Sage Woman Magazine.
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) is a genus of approximately 700 varieties, commonly known as cranesbill: only about 10 of these varieties supply essential oils. Red geranium carries magickal protective powers and is often found in pots by witches’ cottages, according to legend. White geranium promotes fertility, whereas pink geranium imbues love of self, healing energy and a deep connection to Life. According to Muslim legend, the first geranium grew when the Prophet Mohammad hung his shirt on a plant to dry in the sun. When he returned, he discovered that his short was covered in the fragrant flower. It is believed that snakes will not go where wild geraniums grow. If the blossoms point downward, this is a signal that the grower is stuck in the past.
Rose Geranium is associated with a host of Gods and Goddesses, including Aphrodite, Venus and Eros (Love), Isis (Divine Feminine), Gaia (Mother Earth Energy), Hecate (Mystery), Mars (Assertiveness) and Cernuous (Fertility). It brings all these Deities into balance with its association to Libra. Rose Geranium is like a complex, blended perfume, with top notes that offer the first impression of the many layers of love associated with Aphrodite, Venus and Eros. Next comes the bouquet, which unfolds and develops in a few minutes. Now we sense the power of Isis and the Divine Feminine working harmoniously with Mars’ assertiveness and the fecund, sultry nature of Cernuous. Hecate’s magick and mystery and Gaia’s groundedness make up the foundation or back notes.
Rose Geranium is available as a concrete or absolute, which are the natural ingredients most typically used by professional perfumers who seek to create blends with many layers (such as winemakers). Geranium absolute is obtained through distillation of the aerial parts of the plant. The rose-like aroma of geranium is particularly delicate, both sweet and strong, very similar to that of rose, yet distinctive thanks to its light green and citrus notes. As an essential oil, rose geranium is also steam distilled, and it used in this bath salt to call upon the Gods and Goddesses associated with his powerful and generous herbal ally that grants courage for things you might not necessarily dare to try.
Self-Love Rose Geranium bath salt:
1 cup fine unscented bath salt of your choice. Dead Sea salt, epsom salt, Himalayan salt etc
8 drop geranium essential oil
5 drops ylang ylang essential oil
3 drops cardamom essential oil
Simply pour the salt into a clean dry glass jars. Add the essential oils drop by drop. Place lid on jar and gentle shake until all the essential oils have mixed with the salts. Let the jar sit a week or two so the essences and salt can settle into one another. Use ½ cup of the salts per bath. This recipe comes from artisan perfumer and owner of Jade Daisy Perfumes, Stacey Lazzara, who creates opulent and unique fragrances for perfumes and soaps from natural essences she carefully sources from all around the world. She added the ylang ylang to this blend to soften the geranium and create a beautiful creamy floral. Whereas, the cardamom brings a spicy yet sweet warmth to the blend.
As Rose Geraniums are a native of Morocco, Renunion, Madagascar, Egypt, South Africa and China, they can withstand the heat and prefer full sun or partial shade where they can receive at least six hours of light. In China and Madagascar people grow Bourbon type geraniums, from which the most valuable Bourbon essential oil is derived. Watering your rose geraniums is all about balance (underscoring the plant’s association with Libra). Give them a drink when the soil is beginning to become dry, being careful not to overwater nor allow them to become dried out, otherwise you will have reduced blooms. Dried blooms can be crushed with mortar and pestle, placed in a muslin bag and added to your bath.
Geranium is considered a diuretic, antiseptic, anti-depressant, regenerative, tonic, anti-spasmodic and anti-infectious. Traditionally, Geranium is best known for its astringent properties and ability to clean and heal wounds. Rose Geranium oil can stop bacteria from growing on the skin. You can apply the essential oil neat to a small cut or skin blemishes, cut with a carrier oil such as grapeseed, apricot kernel oil or avocado oil to help with sunburns, rub it into your lymphatic areas as a deodorant. Try adding drops of Rose Geranium oil to a foot bath with warm water and sea salt twice daily to alleviate athletes’ foot. I put a few drops of Rose Geranium oil in my diffuser for this past winter’s wicked outbreak of influenza and never got sick. I also put a few drops into the palm of my hands, rub together and apply to my split ends due to the mountain’s bone-dry winds. And when I just can’t get enough of the herb, I make this rather tasty Rose-Geranium Pound Cake, originally printed in The Wicca Herbal: Recipes, Magick and Abundance.
A classic pound cake is made with a pound each of butter, sugar, flour and eggs. Traditionally, the ingredients for a pound cake are listed in weight measurements, however, I have also listed the ingredients below in standard measurements for those who do not have a kitchen scale:
Nonstick vegetable oil
12 to 16 organically grown rose geranium leaves, carefully wipes clean and stemmed
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound (2 cups) sugar
1 pound (2 cups) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
9 large eggs, separated
2 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Preheat oven to 325°F. Place a rack in the center of the oven. Spray 9×6-inch loaf pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment. Arrange the geranium leaves, with underside of leaves facing the pan, along the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar for about 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder. With the mixer on low speed, add the yolks one at a time to the butter mixture, alternating to add the flour mixture until all mixed together. Turn the mixer to medium speed, beat in the vanilla and cream (batter will be thick). Transfer the batter to a large mixing bowl. Set aside. Using clean dry beaters, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, stir about half of the egg whites into the batter to lighten. Fold in the remaining whites. Carefully spoon the batter into the prepared pans. Place any additional leaves on top of the batter. Bake 80 to 90 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the loaves comes out clean. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 2½ hours, and then remove from pans. Peel off the leaves. Wrap the cakes tightly in wrap and keep at room temperature overnight: pound cakes always taste better served the day after they are baked.
As I reach perimenopause, I call upon Rose Geranium to balance my hormones, alleviate anxiety, grant me courage to make major life decisions and restore my mood equilibrium. Geranium oil tightens the skin and helps contracting muscles due to its astringent properties. It can prevent your skin from sagging and presents a more toned look. I add the essential oil to coconut oil and apply generously after dry-brushing my skin. Not only does this produce supple skin (when I remember to do it 2-3 times a week) it also promotes lymphatic drainage and reduces fluid retention, especially good after a girls’ night out with a couple bottles of wine!
Rose Geranium grants the ability to look at your feelings and opinions with an open heart and calm demeanor. It can help you stay alert and conscious to all of life. It will remind you to count your blessings, however, small or inconsequential they may seem compared to your obstacles.