(This blog post was originally written for, and commissioned by Pompeii Street Soap Co., February 2018)
If you suffer from common skin challenges like acne, rosacea, eczema or even topical fungal issues, you’re going to love making friends with Palmarosa essential oil!
Palmarosa ( Cymbopogon martini) belongs to the Poaceae family of tall aromatic tropical grasses that include other well-known oil producers such as Lemongrass ( Cymbopogon citratus), Citronella (Cymbopogen nardus) and Gingergrass ( Cymbopogen martini var sofia).
This versatile essential oil has a slightly floral aroma reminiscent of geranium and is commonly referred to as East Indian Geranium oil. The rosy notes of Palmarosa make it a frequent choice for adulterating the more expensive rose oil. Traditionally, this oil was used in Indian medicine for the treatment of infectious diseases and fevers as well as bacterial infections of the digestive system. In today’s aromatherapy, it shines in its ability to support skin issues. It also has a calming yet uplifting effect on the nervous system and is terrific for boosting the immune system, and calming anxiety.
In Vol 1, Issue 1 of the International Journal of Professional Holistic Aromatherapy, a clinical case study was published regarding a 53-year-old woman with chronic rosacea who was treated with Palmarosa essential oil .
The Aromatherapist who worked with this client cited that her reason for Palmarosa was because it is known to contain a high percentage of the chemical component, geraniol. Research has shown geraniol to be anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal and cooling to the skin; all very suitable properties for addressing rosacea. Further, this component has relaxing and central nervous system calming properties that would help the stress that was adding to her skin issues.
The Aromatherapist chose a batch of Palmarosa that contained 75% geraniol as indicated on the GC/MS analysis for that batch of essential oil, with organic Jojoba wax as a carrier. Jojoba is considered to have mild anti-inflammatory properties and a molecular structure that closely resembles our natural sebum, making it a nice alternative to lotion or vegetable oils.
The client used a mixture of 6 drops of Palmarosa in one ounce of jojoba for seven nights , and her condition improved visibly after just one week. After two weeks the client felt sure it was the Palmarosa and Jojoba blend that was helping reduce her rosacea and was delighted to have found a natural remedy for her dilemma.
ESSENTIAL OIL PROFILE
Botanical Name: Cymbopogon martini var. motia
Plant Family: Poaceae
Origin of Growth: Palmarosa is native to Pakistan and India, although it is also cultivated in Brazil, Africa, and Indonesia.
Method of Extraction: Steam Distillation
Plant Part: Aerial parts, (everything above ground; in this case the grassy leaves and stems)
Oil Characteristics: The essential oil is thin and usually clear to a pale yellow color.
Aroma: Palmarosa is a favorite of many people due to its fresh, floral, and sweet rosy fragrance
Blends well with: Frankincense (Boswellia carteri), Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha ), Carrot Seed (Daucus carota), Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Typical Chemical Constituents: Palmarosa is high in Monoterpenols 80-95%, primarily geraniol at 70-85%. This high geraniol content is what contributes to this oil’s antifungal, antibacterial and cooling properties.
Safety Data: Non-toxic and Non-irritating
THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS OF PALMAROSA
· Supports skin healing, especially for rosacea, eczema, psoriasis
· Analgesic – helps with pain relief
· Inhibits growth of fungus
· Calming and Sedative
RECIPES WITH PALMAROSA
Nourishing Dry Skin Cream
In a 2 oz Clear Glass Jar, fill with unscented natural body butter (allowing head space) then add the following essential oils and stir well:
Directions: Gently rub into your skin before bed or anytime your skin feels dry.
Antifungal Skin Gel
Using a 1 oz Bottle, fill with Organic Aloe Vera (allowing head space) then add the following essential oils and shake well:
Directions: Add a few drops of the antifungal blend to affected skin or toenails twice a day.
Battaglia S. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 2nd edition, The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2003
Davis P. Aromatherapy an A-Z, New revised edition C.W. Daniel Company Limited, England, 1999
Mojay G. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, Henry Holt and Company Inc., England, 1996
Essential Oil Safety. 2nd edition
International Journal of Holistic Aromatherapy , Vol 1, Issue 1, Summer 2012, p 9-11
ABOUT LIZ FULCHER
Liz brings 27 years of essential oil experience, research and education to her work as a Clinical Aromatherapist and Educator. Her passion is empowering others to become creatively inspired by essential oils and hydrosols and to follow their dream of becoming successful Aromatherapists.
She has served as the Pennsylvania Regional Director for the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy ( www.naha.org) for 18 years and is the owner of the Aromatic Wisdom Institute.
You can hear Liz on iTunes on her popular “Aromatic Wisdom Podcast” where she shares practical and informative aromatherapy information. To listen go to
Contact Information: Email: Liz@AromaticWisdom.com
For more information about Liz's classes, please visit her website at Aromatic Wisdom Institute.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult a licensed healthcare professional before administering essential oils.