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Scented Geraniums

March 3, 2010

Well I didn’t know that there are so many varieties of scented geraniums: apple, candy dancer, cinnamon, citrus delight, coconut, fernleaf, ginger, lemon, lemon verbena, nutmeg, peppermint, rose, scarlet pet, and snowflake. We’re not sure what type our geranium plant is, but as we rediscovered this morning, it smells absolutely beautiful. Just rub the leaves to release their divine fragrance. I would like to have every variety in my front garden and it’s so easy to propagate – just break it off and shove it into the soil! Even my black thumb can manage that.

My herb book says that the essential oils of geranium are valued in aromatherapy for premenstrual tension, fluid retention, dermatitis, eczema, bruises, herpes, dry skin, and as a nervous system tonic. You can make an oil rub by putting a large handful of finely chopped leaves with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into 1 cup of carrier oil (e.g. safflower or almond). Put in a jar, stand in a warm place, and shake daily for 2 weeks. Strain, bottle, then use as a rub on tired muscles, aching limbs or to prevent stretch marks in pregnancy!

I was very surprised the first time John Palmer picked it as part of a herbal tea mix but it was lovely. According to Shipard, geranium tea is valued as a tonic and as a gargle for sore throats, mouth ulcers and sore gums. You can also use the tea to wash cuts, burns, acne and skin eruptions. Crushed leaves can be applied to a boil that has come to a head. Smelly breath? chew a geranium leaf!! A folk remedy for diabetes is to chew one leaf of lemon scented geranium leaf per day. Steeped geranium water can be used as a foot soak for tired feet.

I did not know that geranium leaves and flowers are edible. You can use them as flavouring in puddings, cakes, muffins, jellies, vinegars, honey, barbecued fish, etc. etc. And of course, geranium is a beautiful addition to a lovely home made pot pourri. Now here’s a lovely suggestion for those (like me) who hate chemical perfumes: take a leaf and rub it into your pulse points. For me, I’m going to start adding it to my nightly cup of fresh lemon grass tea.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Judy Harvey permalink
    March 4, 2010 5:05 pm

    Thanks Filippa – had no idea that the leaves and flowers were edible. …

  2. March 7, 2010 9:02 pm

    Hi Filippa – apparently it is also a wonderful natural soap. Simply rub and rinse, or not rinse if you enjoy fragrant hands….xo

  3. March 7, 2010 9:07 pm

    Mmm, I like that!! Will definitely try it out. Thanks! I want to have all the varieties growing in my garden. I really enjoyed the fragrance of the geranium wafting around me today as I was making the mulch path. Imagine: peppermint, lemon, cinnamon, apple, coconut, ginger. Breathe in…. mmmmm

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