Geranium

Multicolor Geraniums

Rose Geranium flower & oil (Pelargonium graveolens)

Pelargonium graveolens, Rose Geranium, is an uncommon Pelargonium species native to the Cape Provinces and the Northern Provinces of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. It is in the subgenus Pelargonium along with Pelargonium crispum, Pelargonium tomentosum and Pelargonium capitatum.

You will find Geranium essential oil in Mother Jai’s Aroma Sprays, Toners, & Bath Oils.

There are many cultivars of P. graveolens and they have a wide variety of scents, including rose, citrus, mint and cinnamon as well as various fruits. Cultivars and hybrids include:

  • P. ‘Graveolens’ (or Pelargonium graveolens hort.) – A rose-scented cultivar of P. graveolens. Possibly a hybrid between P. graveolens and P. radens or P. capitatum. This cultivar is often incorrectly labeled as Pelargonium graveolens (the species). The main difference between the species and this cultivar is the dissection of the leaf. The species had about 5 lobes but the cultivar has about 10.
  • P. ‘Citrosum’ – A lemony, citronella-scented cultivar of P. graveolens, similar to P. ‘Graveolens’. It is meant to repel mosquitos and rumour has it that it was made by genetically bonding genes from the citronella grass but this is highly unlikely.
  • P. ‘Cinnamon Rose’ – A cinnamon-scented variety of P. graveolens.
  • P. ‘Dr Westerlund’ – A lemony rose-scented cultivar of P. graveolens, similar to P. ‘Graveolens’.[citation needed]
  • P. ‘Graveolens Bontrosai’ – A genetically challenged form of P. graveolens. The leaves are smaller and curl back on themselves and the flowers often don’t open fully. Known as P. ‘Colocho’ in the US.
  • P. ‘Grey Lady Plymouth’ – A lemony rose-scented cultivar of P. graveolens. Similar to P. ‘Lady Plymouth’. The leaves are grey – green in colour and beautifully contrast of scented pelargonium varieties.
  • P. ‘Lady Plymouth’ – A minty lemony rose-scented cultivar of P. graveolens. A very popular variety with a definite mint scent. Possibly a P. radens hybrid.
  • P. ‘Lara Starshine’ – A lemony rose-scented cultivar of P. graveolens, similar to P. ‘Graveolens’ but with more lemony scented leaves and reddish pink flowers. Bred by Australian Plantsman Cliff Blackman.
  • P. ‘Lucaeflora’ – A rose-scented variety of P. graveolens, much more similar to the species that most other cultivars and varieties of P. graveolens.
  • P. × melissinum – The lemon balm pelargonium (lemon balm – Melissa officinalis). This is a hybrid between P. crispum and P. graveolens.
  • P. ‘Mint Rose’ – A minty rose-scented cultivar of P. graveolens. Similar to P. ‘Lady Plymouth’ but without the variegation of the leaves and lemony undertones.
  • P. ‘Secret Love’ – An unusual eucalyptus-scented variety of P. graveolens with pretty pale pink flowers.
  • P. ‘Van Leeni’ – A lemony rose-scented cultivar of P. graveolens, similar to P. ‘Graveolens’ and P. ‘Dr Westerland’.
Rose Geranium

Composition of Geranium Oil

Geranium oil contains about 67 compounds. The main components of geranium oil are citronellol (26.7 percent) and geraniol (13.4 percent). Other major constituents include:

  • Nerol (8.7 percent)
  • Citronellyl formate (7.1 percent)
  • Isomenthone (6.3 percent)
  • Linalool (5.2 percent)
https://www.planttherapy.com/geranium-egyptian-organic-essential-oil?v=1595

Functions

The most interesting health benefits of geranium include its ability to lower stress levels, reduce inflammation, relieve menstrual pain, strengthen the immune system, ease digestion and improve kidney, skin and hair health. It has antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties which help heal wounds faster.

Pelargonium graveolens is a geranium extract used in cosmetics and personal care products as a fragrance ingredient. It is cultivated in large numbers in South Africa, and known for its rose-like scent, although it is also used for other smells it imparts, including citrus, mint, coconut and nutmeg, as well as various fruits. It is sometimes known as rose geranium, old fashion rose geranium, and rose-scent geranium, according to Wikipedia. It is considered a less expensive alternative to other rose oils, and is often used in aromatherapy formulas as well.

Pelargonium graveolens has other skin care properties as well and is known to create a balance between oily and dry skin by balancing the production of sebum; this balance assists in boosting and improving the elasticity of the skin. It also stimulates the lymphatic system, releasing excess water that may be retained in the tissue. This may not only prevent cellulite but can also relieve swelling. Pelargonium graveolens also has therapeutic abilities that can calm irritated skin, clear acne, and heal bruises, burns, cuts and eczema, due to its astringent, antiseptic, tonic, antibiotic and anti-infectious properties.

Wild Geranium – ‘Cranesbill’

Uses of Geranium Oil

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.4 The essential oil can also aid in uplifting mood, lessening fatigue and promoting 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. Other uses of geranium oil include:

  • Food — Geranium oil can be added to baked goods, frozen dairy, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages and candies.
  • Perfumery — Geranium oil has been used to create an artificial rose scent in fragrances and cosmetics.
Wild Geranium – ‘Cranesbill’

Benefits of Geranium Oil (OrganicFacts.net & Mercola.com)

Geranium essential oil provides numerous health benefits due its uses as an astringent, hemostatic, cicatrisant, diuretic and many others. Below are just some of the ways this essential oil serves both your physical and emotional health:

  • It causes your gums, muscles, intestines, skin, blood vessels and tissues to contract due to its astringent properties. It assists in preventing skin problems like sagging and wrinkling and helps give your muscles a toned appearance.
  • It contains antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties. It can aid in inhibiting the bacterial strains Brevibacterium linens and Yersinia enterolitica, as well as the fungal species Aspergillus niger. It can also help prevent bacterial infections.
  • It can help eliminate the appearance of scars and dark spots by helping improve blood circulation just below the surface of the skin and helping promote an equal distribution of melanin.
  • It can help speed up the healing of wounds by triggering blood clotting. This also helps in stopping toxins from reaching your bloodstream through open wounds.
  • It assists in detoxification by increasing the rate of urination. This process of elimination does not only remove toxins from your body, but also aids in your digestive function and helps inhibit the excess gas in your intestines.
  • It can serve as a deodorant due to its fragrant scent. It can also help prevent body odor due to its antibacterial action.
  • The impact of geranium on the nervous system is well known and the plant has been used in this way for generations. If you brew the leaves of its plant, you can produce a tasty tea that has soothing properties, derived from its organic compounds that positively impact the endocrine system and help to balance hormones that cause stress and anxiety. A quick cup of tea when you’re stressed can quickly relieve unpleasant moods and a cluttered mind.
  • Although quite similar to its anti-inflammatory properties, the analgesic ability of geranium has made it a popular traditional remedy for headaches and other injuries. If you suffer from chronic pain or migraines, research has shown that its tea can release endorphins and relieve pain quite rapidly. This effect is relatively mild, and shouldn’t be relied on for permanent pain relief.
  • Geranium relieves symptoms of bronchitis, sinusitis, and nose infections because it is a powerful antiviral.
  • Geranium, being a styptic, has the ability to stop hemorrhage as it slows down blood flow by contracting the arteries and veins. It also has hemostatic properties which cause the blood to clot. This helps heal wounds faster.
  • If you’re suffering from cramping, bloating, or a generally upset stomach, drinking a cup of geranium tea can be one of the easiest and most painless remedies. The beneficial organic compounds can quickly soothe inflammation and eliminate bacteria that may be causing the discomfort, and get your gastrointestinal system back to normal!
  • Geranium is excellent for treating a range of women’s health issues from hot flashes and distress during menopause and menstrual cramps. It works two-fold, as a tonic and an antidepressant. It has been traditionally used to stabilize hormonal levels during menopause through its action on the adrenal cortex.
  • If you are looking for a natural skin cleanser and tonic, opt for geranium essential oil. It can be used directly on the skin or added to your bathwater. It helps tighten and tone the skin and keeps it blemish-free.
  • Geranium promotes hair growth because it regulates the secretion of sebum on the scalp. The essential oil can be added to either, carrier oils or shampoo. This helps give the hair a smooth sheen and a lovely, mild rose aroma.
Rose Geranium

The 17 Best Uses for Geranium Essential Oil, A-Z (TheTruthAboutCancer.com)

#1. Adrenal Health – Geranium has been used for centuries for its ability to support the adrenal glands. It acts as a tonic for the paired adrenal glands that sit atop the kidneys. In so doing, geranium may help those suffering from chronic exhaustion and fatigue.

#2. Allergies – A June 2016 Japanese study found that geranium essential oil had an inhibitory effect on cultured mast cells. These are immune cells involved with triggering allergic reactions, inflammatory conditions and autoimmune dysfunction. Geranium also inhibited tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a cell signaling protein known as a cytokine, involved in systemic inflammation. TNF is also involved in the regulation of immune cells.

#3. Anxiety, Depression, Nervous Tension – The aroma of geranium is very calming to the nervous system. It helps to relieve nervous tension, melt away anger and aggression, balances emotions, lifts the spirit, and promotes feelings of peace and well-being.

#4. Blood Sugar Problems – Geranium is held in high esteem in Tunisia and is much studied there for its ability to decrease blood glucose levels. Animal studies reported in 2012  revealed that serum glucose levels were significantly decreased in diabetic rats and much more effective than glibenclamide, an antidiabetic drug. Hopefully studies will continue and humans will be included!

Rose Geranium

#5. Brain Clarity & Concentration – Geranium helps to improve cognitive function and improves concentration. It is even being studied for its ability to prevent neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

#6. Cancer – Geranium has long been used by natural healers for its anti-tumoral properties. One 2002 study found that geraniol had anti-proliferative effects (proliferation is the ability of cancer cells to spread) and, when combined with the chemotherapy drug 5-fluorouracil, had twice the cancer-killing action of  5-fluorouracil alone in cultured colon cancer cells. Several of the researchers in that study released a subsequent study in 2004 showing this combination also worked in mice. Researchers observed a 53% reduction in tumor size using the combination of 5-fluorouracil and geraniol.

A Chinese study reported in 2012 stated that the combination of geranium and several traditional Chinese herbs greatly assisted breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation. The geranium/herb combination was found to delay or slow the associated reduction of leukocytes (white blood cells involved in immune function) for women receiving chemotherapy and/or radiation.

Research released in May 2016 revealed that citronellol can be used in an interesting way. Researchers combined citronellol with the anti-cancer drug cabazitaxel, a taxane used to fight prostate cancer. The combination (called a conjugate self-assembled nanoparticle, or CSNP) improved the drug’s ability to accumulate at the site of a tumor. Researchers said this method was an effective antitumoral, in vitro (test tube).

Rose Geranium

#7. Candida – Because of its strong anti-fungal properties, geranium has been investigated for candida sufferers. Research reported in 2008 found that of three essential oils studied, geranium was the most effective in combination with Amphotericin B, an antifungal drug, against 11 strains of candida. Geranium helps the antifungal drugs work better and they appear to have a synergistic effect. Another study reported in 2008 on mice found that geranium oil suppressed candida cell growth in the vagina.

#8. Cold Sores (Herpes Simplex) – Due to its anti-viral qualities, geranium essential oil is excellent for helping to heal cold sores. It will reduce the pain and size of a cold sore quickly.

#9. Golden Staph and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) – A research study reported in 2012 demonstrated that geranium has excellent antimicrobial properties against Staphylococcus aureus (“golden staph”) and even methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus. Indeed, the author’s own mother-in-law was diagnosed with MRSA several years ago. Geranium essential oil was one of several essential oils used topically (on the skin), instead of the antibiotic drugs given to her by the doctor. It completely healed the MRSA in what her doctor called “record time.”

#10. Hair and Scalp Health – Geranium has been used traditionally for decades for hair regrowth. It is known to nourish and tone the scalp. Geranium works on the sebaceous (oil) glands of the scalp, regulating the secretion of sebum. This helps to balance both dry and oily scalps, resulting in smooth and silky hair.

#11. Hemorrhoids – The astringent properties of geranium can help to shrink and heal swollen tissue, and ease the pain of hemorrhoids.

Rose Geranium

#12. Inflammatory Conditions – Geranium, and geraniol in particular, has been widely studied for its anti-inflammatory properties. 2014 research indicated geraniol increased interleukin-10 production, which is an anti-inflammatory cytokine. Because inflammation is involved in many disease processes, from arthritis to hemorrhoids to cancer, geranium essential oil is very useful indeed.

#13. Insect Repellent – Bugs don’t like geranium! It is an excellent insect deterrent. Going hiking? Take your geranium essential oil along. 2013 research found that the phytochemical 10-epi-gamma-eudesmol in geranium was just as effective as DEET against ticks.

Even dust mites don’t like geranium. 2008 research found that geraniol and beta-citronellol out-performed DEET and benzyl benzoate (two common chemically-derived mite and lice deterrents, both with side effects) for controlling dust mites. The beta-citronellol component makes geranium very effective for repelling mosquitoes as well. Several research papers investigating effective botanical insecticides have explored this and other essential oils for their ability to kill mosquito larvae.

#14. Shingles – Research released in 2003 found that application of geranium oil was helpful for relieving nerve pain caused by shingles (herpes zoster). Being a good anti-viral, geranium also helps to speed the healing of shingles.

Rose Geranium

#15. Skin Health, Scars, and Regeneration – Due to its potent anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antioxidant properties, geranium has been used for centuries in skin tonics, lotions, moisturizers, and balms for such conditions as dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, oily skin, and acne. It is balancing to the skin’s production of oil and superb for fading scars.

#16. Urinary Tract Infections – 2011 research examined the effect of geranium oil combined with ciprofloxacin, a commonly used drug for treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Researchers found that the oil/drug combo worked synergistically to effectively kill the bacteria causing UTIs.

#17. Wound Healing – Geranium is a natural styptic − it helps to stop the flow of blood. Geranium also speeds wound healing by triggering blood clotting. This process, together with its natural antiseptic action, keeps harmful bacteria from reaching the bloodstream via open wounds and cuts.

Wild Geranium – ‘Cranesbill’

Safety Measures/Side Effects

Pelargonium graveolens is considered a safe and natural ingredient that is repeatedly listed as non-toxic, non-irritant and generally non-sensitizing. The Cosmetics Database finds it to be 99% safe and lists data gaps as the only concern.

However, it may cause allergies and sensitivities in some people. If you’re looking for essential oils that offer the same therapeutic benefits as geranium oil does, your options include lavender oil, orange oil, lemon oil and jasmine oil. To be on the safe side, consult your physician before using any essential oils for medicinal purposes.

Geranium infused oil

How to Make Geranium Oil Infusion

Geranium essential oil is extracted through steam distillation of the plant’s stems and leaves. When made from young, green leaves, geranium oil appears with a lemon scent. However, if extracted from older leaves that have changed their color, the oil will have a strong rose fragrance. While geranium oil is available in stores, it is possible to create a homemade oil infusion.

What You Need:

  • Geranium leaves
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Carrier oil like jojoba oil
  • Large jar with lid
  • Small jars or bottles with lids
  • Strainer
  • Cheesecloth

Procedure:

  • 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.
Pink Geranium

Homemade Conditioner

This homemade conditioner recipe is awesome, for it helps to restore the hairs natural pH, thus rehydrating the hair. The result is soft, luscious and healthy hair. Add 10 drops of geranium oil and see how it helps to condition your dry hair.

 Total Time: 2 minutes  Uses: 20–30

 INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 10 drops of essential oils
  • BPA-free plastic bottles or glass bottle with dispenser

 Customize Your Conditioner:

  • Rosemary or sage essential oils for all types of hair
  • Lemon, bergamot or tea tree essential oils for oily hair
  • Lavender, sandalwood or geranium essential oils for dry hair or dandruff

DIRECTIONS:

  • Mix ingredients together in eight-ounce spray bottle
  • Shake bottle before using and then spray hair
  • Leave in hair for five minutes, then rinse

Tips for Using Geranium Essential Oil

A) Massage geranium into the skin and muscles of the back, especially mid-back and just over the bottom of the rib cage (over area of the kidneys). Use an organic carrier oil like jojoba, almond, coconut, hemp, or argan to dilute if desired or if you have sensitive skin.

B) Drip 1-2 drops of oil into your hands and make a tent over your nose and mouth (avoid the eyes), breathe in deeply for a couple of minutes.

C) Using an ultrasonic cool mist diffuser, diffuse several drops of geranium into a room where you intend to sit for an hour or so.

D) Massage oil into the soles of the feet. They have the largest pores in the body and the oil will be in the bloodstream and working in just a few minutes. This method works especially well if digestion is impaired.

E) Gently massage oil into the sides of the neck, overlying the carotid arteries, diluting as described in A above if needed. Also massage into the back of the neck just under the base of the skull.

F) Geranium essential oil is generally regarded as safe for human consumption by the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA). To take orally, put 1 drop of oil in 3-4 ounces (about 100 ml) of liquid such as almond or rice milk. It can also be combined with 1 teaspoon of honey. Avoid for children under 5 years of age.

G) Massage geranium oil into the abdomen and lower back.

H) Rub a drop of geranium on the affected area, being careful to dilute if you have sensitive skin. If using as an insect repellent, rub geranium into exposed skin.

I) Add a drop or two of geranium oil to one teaspoon of jojoba oil and pat it on topically. Use a small amount of gauze if you wish to hold it in place.

J) Add a drop or two of geranium to your favorite organic personal care products like cleanser, body wash, moisturizer, toner, shampoo, or conditioner.

Wild Geranium – ‘Cranesbill’

Important Precautions When Using Essential Oils

If you intend to use geranium essential oil medicinally, please do your homework and work with a qualified healthcare practitioner who is well versed in essential oil usage.

  • Be aware that quality of essential oils varies widely. Find out whether or not your essential oil supplier uses organic growing methods, and knows how to properly distill the oils. Always buy your oils from a trusted source because if they are not organically grown or properly distilled they may be adulterated with toxic chemicals that will not help to heal you… and may indeed cause harm.
  • Do not apply essential oils anywhere near eyes, ears, or sensitive regions of the body.
  • If you have sensitive skin, be sure to dilute essential oils first. If you are unsure, do a patch test on a small area of skin just inside the elbow. You may want to dilute essential oils with an organic carrier oil such as jojoba, almond, coconut, hemp, or argan.
  • Be cautious when using essential oils with children and in pregnancy. Always dilute essential oils for children. Some oils need to be avoided during pregnancy. When in doubt, work with an experienced expert in essential oils.
  • It is not recommended to use any essential oil by itself as a sole treatment for cancer, or for any other health issues mentioned above. When used in combination with other treatments, both conventional and alternative, essential oils can be very effective in assisting the healing process.

References:

  1. https://kollectionk.com/blogs/news/everything-you-need-to-know-about-skin-care-oils
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelargonium_graveolens
  3. https://www.truthinaging.com/ingredients/pelargonium-graveolens
  4. https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=PEGR11
  5. https://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/geranium-oil.aspx
  6. http://www.reherb.eu/en/content/pelargonium-graveolens
  7. https://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Pelargonium+graveolens
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4312398/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3641007/
  10. http://ageless.co.za/rose_scented_geranium.htm
  11. http://www.academicjournals.org/journal/JMPR/article-full-text-pdf/054149D15942
  12. https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/med-aro/factsheets/GERANIUM.html
  13. https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/geranium-essential-oil/
  14. http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/33014/1/IJTK%2014(4)%20558-563.pdf
  15. http://essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/rose-geranium.htm
  16. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283051914_An_overview_on_phytopharmacology_of_Pelargonium_graveolens_L
  17. https://draxe.com/10-geranium-oils-benefits-healthy-skin-much/
  18. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3793238/
  19. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25514231
  20. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18670079
  21. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23401038
  22. http://www.acanceresearch.com/cancer-research/pelargonium-graveolens-rose-geranium–a-novel-therapeutic-agent-for-antibacterial-antioxidant-antifungal-and-diabetics.pdf
  23. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-153-rose%20geranium%20oil.aspx?activeingredientid=153&activeingredientname=rose%20geranium%20oil
  24. http://arnoldia.arboretum.harvard.edu/pdf/articles/1974-34-3-aromatic-pelargoniums.pdf
  25. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/20013071662
  26. https://www.hchs.edu/sites/default/files/files/Geranium%20article.pdf
  27. http://japsonline.com/admin/php/uploads/1200_pdf.pdf
  28. https://www.naturalbynature.co.uk/organic-geranium
  29. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/geranium
  30. https://www.newdirectionsaromatics.com/blog/products/all-about-geranium-oil.html
  31. http://www.essencejournal.com/pdf/2014/vol2issue2/PartA/2-2-8-979.pdf
  32. http://www.doctorsbeyondmedicine.com/listing/candida-geranium-oil
  33. http://www.globalsciencebooks.info/Online/GSBOnline/images/2010/MAPSB_4(SI1)/MAPSB_4(SI1)77-79o.pdf
  34. https://www.rxlist.com/rose_geranium_oil/supplements.htm
  35. https://lipidworld.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1476-511X-12-30
  36. http://www.worldresearchlibrary.org/up_proc/pdf/420-147558255618-21.pdf
  37. http://ijm.tums.ac.ir/index.php/ijm/article/download/681.pdf/451
  38. http://www.worldresearchlibrary.org/up_proc/pdf/420-147558255618-21.pdf
  39. http://www.theresearchpedia.com/health/aromatherapy/health-benefits-of-geranium-essential-oil

Cypress Leaf

Cypress Leaf oil (Cupressus sempervirens)

Cupressus sempervirens, the Mediterranean cypress (also known as Italian cypress, Tuscan cypress, Persian cypress, or pencil pine), is a species of cypress native to the eastern Mediterranean region, in northeast Libya, southern Albania, southern coastal Croatia (Dalmatia), southern Montenegro, southern Greece, southern Turkey, Cyprus, northern Egypt, western Syria, Lebanon, Malta, Italy, Israel, western Jordan, and also a disjunct population in Iran. C. sempervirens is a medium-sized coniferous evergreen tree to 35 m (115 ft) tall, with a conic crown with level branches and variably loosely hanging branchlets. It is very long-lived, with some trees reported to be over 1,000 years old.

The foliage grows in dense sprays, dark green in color. The leaves are scale-like, 2–5 mm long, and produced on rounded (not flattened) shoots. The seed cones are ovoid or oblong, 25–40 mm long, with 10-14 scales, green at first, maturing brown about 20–24 months after pollination. The male cones are 3–5 mm long, and release pollen in late winter. It is moderately susceptible to cypress canker, caused by the fungus Seiridium cardinale, and can suffer extensive dieback where this disease is common. The species name sempervirens comes from the Latin for ‘evergreen’.

Mediterranean Cypress has been widely cultivated as an ornamental tree for millennia away from its native range, mainly throughout the whole Mediterranean region, and in other areas with similar hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters, including California, southwest South Africa and southern Australia. It can also be grown successfully in areas with cooler, moister summers, such as the British Isles, New Zealand and the Pacific Northwest (coastal Oregon, Washington and British Columbia). It is also planted in Florida and parts of the coastal southern United States as an ornamental tree. In some areas, particularly the United States, it is known as “Italian” or “Tuscan cypress”.

Cypress Leaf Essential Oil – has a calming, soothing action on the mind. It is also used in perfumes and colognes as a tenacious fragrance component. We have not tried this, but author Scott Cunningham states that a combination of cypress and patchouli essential oils creates an ambergris-like substitute. Another source states that the proportions should be one-part Patchouli to two parts Cypress.

Aromatic Profile: Fresh, woody, resinous, sweet, deep green balsamic aroma with a faint smoky and ambergris-like undertone in the tenacious drydown.

Appearance: Pale yellow to yellow-orange, transparent, mobile liquid.

Blends Well With: Ambrette Seed, Benzoin, Bergamot, Cardamom, Cedarwood, Cistus, Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Juniper, Labdanum, Lavender, Lemon, Linden Blossom, Liquidambar (Styrax), Mandarin, Marjoram, Orange, Pine, Rosemary, Sandalwood.

Composition of Cypress Oil: The medicinal and soothing properties of cypress oil come mainly from terpenes like alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, and alpha-terpinene. These organic hydrocarbons are the main building blocks of any plant resin or essential oil, and contribute to their scent, flavor and colors, as well as medicinal effects. Cypress oil also contains carene, camphene, cadinene, sabinene, myrcene, terpinolene, linalool, and bornyl acetate, all of which are essential to cypress oil’s healing effects.

Safety Considerations: Skin sensitization if oxidized. Dilute before using. A patch test should be performed before use for those with sensitive skin.

Therapeutic properties: The therapeutic properties of cypress oil are astringent, antiseptic, antispasmodic, deodorant, diuretic, hemostatic, hepatic, styptic, sudorific, vasoconstrictor, respiratory tonic and sedative.

Benefits of Cypress Oil

Cypress oil’s health benefits are far-reaching, and it has demonstrated properties that are beneficial for your circulatory and respiratory systems. For instance, it can help reduce cellulite and varicose veins, and tighten and reduce pores. Cypress oil can also:

Relieve pain — When massaged over affected body areas, cypress oil can relieve rheumatism, osteoarthritis, and muscle and joint pain. It also helps control spams, relieves period cramps, and may even be used for injury rehabilitation.

Strengthen and tighten your tissues — Cypress oil’s astringent properties cause the tissues in your gums, skin, muscles, and even hair follicles to contract, which aids in strengthening them and holds them in place. This helps prevent them from becoming loose or falling out. The main function associated with astringency is contraction, so cypress oil makes your gums, skin, muscles, and hair follicles contract and prevents teeth and hair from falling out. It also tightens up loose skin and muscles.

Treat wounds — Owing to its camphene content, the oil has antiseptic properties that help treat internal and external wounds. Cypress oil is even used as an ingredient in antiseptic lotions and creams.

Serve as a diuretic — This helps promote good digestion and assists in stopping gas from forming in your intestines. It also potentially reduces swelling, cleans your kidney, and eliminates toxins and excess water from your body. Cypress oil increases urination, both in frequency and in quantity. This is very important and can be very beneficial for health. When you urinate, up to 4% of the volume is actually fats being eliminated by the body. Therefore, the more you urinate, the more fat you lose and subsequently weight. The most important role played by urine is that it removes toxins from the body. In addition to that, it also reduces blood pressure and cleans out the kidneys. Many of the mainstream medicines for lowering blood pressure are based on this benefit of urination.

Constrict your blood vessels — By constricting your veins, it helps stop bleeding, and may also benefit those who suffer from hemorrhoids and varicose veins. It can also be used for alleviating bleeding, perspiration, and irregularly heavy menstrual flow. While hemostatic means an agent that can stop blood flow or promote its clotting, styptic primarily means having the properties of an astringent, while also helping to stop excessive blood flow through contraction of the blood vessels. Both of these properties are very important in their own areas of application.

Promote proper liver function — It maintains adequate bile secretion and helps protect the liver against any kind of infection, which are both essential for optimal liver health.

Aids Toxin Removal – Cypress oil is a diuretic, so it helps the body flush out toxins that exist internally. It also increases sweat and perspiration, which allows the body to quickly remove toxins, excess salt and water. This can be beneficial to all systems in the body, and it prevents acne and other skin conditions that are due to toxic buildup. This also benefits and cleanses the liver, and it helps lower cholesterol levels naturally. A 2007 study conducted at the National Research Center in Cairo, Egypt, found that isolated compounds in cypress essential oil, including cosmosiin, caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid, showed hepatoprotective activity. These isolated compounds significantly decreased glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase, glutamate pyruvate transaminase, cholesterol levels and triglycerides, while they caused a significant increase in the total protein level when given to rats. The chemical extracts were tested on rat liver tissues, and the results indicate that cypress essential oil contains antioxidant compounds that can rid the body of excess toxins and inhibit free radical scavenging.

Relax your nervous system — It has a calming and sedative effect on your mind and body by relieving nervous stress and anxiety. It also stimulates a happy feeling in case of anger or sadness. Cypress oil is also beneficial for people who have suffered a major trauma or shock. To use cypress essential oil as a natural remedy for anxiety and anxiousness, add five drops of oil to a warm-water bath or diffuser. It can be especially helpful to diffuse cypress oil at night, beside your bed, to treat restlessness or symptoms of insomnia.

Cures Spasms – Cypress oil is helpful in curing nearly all types of spasms and the problems associated with it. It efficiently relieves spasms in the respiratory system and intestines as well as muscular spasms in the limbs. It also helps to cure convulsions, muscle pulls, cramps, and spasmodic cholera which can be irritating or dangerous.

Tones Respiratory System – Cypress oil tones up the respiratory system and increases the efficiency of the lungs. It also helps eliminate the cough and phlegm accumulated in the respiratory tracts and lungs. Furthermore, it clears up congestion, thereby making breathing easier when you are suffering from a cough and cold.

Promotes Sweating – A sudorific substance is something which can cause sweating or perspiration. Periodic sweating makes you feel lighter, fitter and helps quickly remove toxins, excess salt, and water. This cleans the skin pores and openings of the sweat and sebum glands while keeping away acne and other skin diseases. Cypress oil is considered a very powerful sudorific substance.

Eliminates Odor – Cypress oil has a spicy and masculine fragrance that can easily replace synthetic deodorants which boast a similar natural and distinct aroma.

Fights Infection – A 2004 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that a component present in cypress oil, called camphene, inhibited the growth of nine bacteria and all yeasts studied. This is a safer alternative than antibiotics that can lead to damaging side effects like leaky gut syndrome and loss of probiotics.

Treats Varicose Veins and Cellulite – Because of cypress oil’s ability to stimulate blood flow, it serves as a varicose veins home remedy. Varicose veins, also known as spider veins, occur when pressure is placed on blood vessels or veins — resulting in the pooling of blood and bulging of veins. According to the National Library of Medicine, this can be caused by weak vein walls or a lack of pressure exerted by tissues in the leg that allow the veins to transport blood. This increases the pressure inside of the veins, causing them to stretch and widen. By applying cypress essential oil topically, blood in the legs continues to flow to the heart properly. Cypress oil can also help reduce the appearance of cellulite, which is the appearance of orange peel or cottage cheese skin on the legs, butt, stomach and back of the arms. This is often due to fluid retention, lack of circulation, weak collagen structure and increased body fat. Because cypress oil is a diuretic, it helps the body remove excess water and salt that can lead to fluid retention. It also stimulates circulation by increasing blood flow. Use cypress oil topically to treat varicose veins, cellulite and any other condition that is caused by poor circulation, such as hemorrhoids.

Other Benefits – In addition to stimulating perspiration, it also curbs excessive sweating, heavy menstruation and bleeding. It is anti-rheumatic and anti-arthritic, so it can also be used in the treatment of varicose veins, cellulite, asthma, bronchitis, and diarrhea.

Uses of Cypress Oil

The cypress tree was valued by ancient civilizations for its medicinal uses. The Chinese chewed the cones to heal their bleeding gums, while Hippocrates recommended it for treating hemorrhoids. The Greeks loved cypress’s comforting smell, and used it to clear their mind and senses. Today, cypress oil is used for industrial and medicinal practices. Perfume and soap industries often use cypress oil, as its fresh evergreen aroma, with a slightly sweet and balsamic undertone, adds a masculine note to men’s cologne and aftershaves. Medicinally, cypress oil can be used topically, inhaled via vapor therapy, or ingested in small doses. It’s said to help regulate blood flow and alleviate menstrual problems, detoxify and decongest the lymphatic system, reduce water retention, and relax muscles. Cypress oil can also have profound effects on your respiratory and digestive systems, especially during cold winter months. Here are some ways to use cypress oil:

  • Inhale or vaporize it through a diffuser to calm and relax your mind. It can also help alleviate breathing disorders, such as asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis.
  • Use it as a massage oil to relieve asthma, arthritis, rheumatism, cramps, varicose veins, and heavy menstrual flow. You can also add it to your warm bath.
  • Add it to your favorite lotion or cream to help soothe broken skin and varicose veins. It also has astringent effects that can help clarify oily and congested skin.
  • If you have a nosebleed, apply a few drops to a cold compress and press against your nose to help stop the bleeding.
  • Add it to your foot soak to help deodorize and clean sweaty feet.

How to Use Cypress Essential Oil

It’s safe to use cypress oil aromatically and topically. When applying the oil to the skin, it is best to dilute it with a carrier oil, such as coconut or jojoba oil, before rubbing it into the skin. Here are some ways to use this essential oil in your everyday life:

  • Diffuse 5–7 drops of cypress oil in the home or office to create emotional balance, induce calm and energizing effects, and help with feelings of anxiousness or anxiety.
  • Apply topically, diluted with equal parts carrier oil, to treat arthritis, restless leg syndrome, cramps, asthma, bronchitis, cough or cold, carpal tunnel, and heavy periods. Simply rub the oil mixture into the effected area; this can be done 2–3 times daily, depending on your needs.
  • To reduce the appearance of cellulite, varicose veins, wounds, cuts or incisions, apply 2–3 drops of cypress oil to the area of concern.
  • Add 5 drops of cypress essential oil to a warm-water bath to treat respiratory conditions. You can also dilute cypress with a carrier oil and apply the mixture to the chest to work as a vapor rub. To reduce phlegm, add 3–5 drops of cypress oil to boiling water, place a towel over your head and breathe in the steam for 5–10 minutes.
  • To deodorize the home, add 5–10 drops of cypress oil to cleaning soap or add the oil to water and spray the mixture on curtains, sheets and couches; 1–2 drops of cypress oil can also be added to shoes, hats and jackets to prevent bacterial growth and body odor.
  • For hair and skin care, add 1–3 drops of cypress oil to your shampoo, conditioner or Homemade Face Wash. It is perfect for a deep clean, and it’s beneficial to the skin and hair because of its antimicrobial properties.

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