Oil of the Month – December: Peppermint Scented Geranium Essential Oil

Decembers are made up of cloudless blue skies, freshly cut grass gardens that are adorned with big bushes of Christmas roses, fully stocked fridges and summer night braais accompanied with gooey, chocolatey peppermint crisp tart, ripe watermelons and 80’s rock classics (and maybe even some sokkie music). If this doesn’t bring a smile to your face, you must be the Grinch. Because for me, words that are synonymous with December are joy, laughter, celebration, and fun. And if this is too cliché for you, then maybe the Christmas-spirit-bug (most likely a type of mosquito) just hasn’t bitten you yet. But I can help with that. This month at Le Riche Naturals, we’re inviting you to join in on the celebrations, because we’re celebrating a very special essential oil; Peppermint Scented Geranium oil.

Geranium oil is extracted from the leaves of the geranium flower which is a part of the Pelargonium Graveolens botanical family, also known as the “scented geraniums”. The perennial shrub is native to South Africa (and many of our gardens) and commonly known as Malva blommetjies. The steam distillation process produces a pale-yellow oil that has a distinctive and strong fresh, citrus and floral scent. For a stronger rose fragrance, older leaves that have changed colour are used in the extraction process.

The essential oil has a beautiful reputation for being an oil well suited for women. The numerous health benefits are well known in the cosmetic industry and in aromatherapy. It is an oil that supports female hormones through each phase of her life, from the reproductive system to the menstrual cycle and menopause. Emotionally, it is an oil that has a calming and relaxing effect. It is used in aromatherapy to combat stress, anxiety and depression. It is also believed to help heal wounds, relieve premenstrual syndrome and menopausal symptoms, reduce fatigue, remove acne and combat insomnia.

The benefits of using this oil in skincare are longer than most five-year-olds’ Christmas gift wish list. The antibacterial properties of the oil destroy bacteria and prevent infection. It is an astringent that also promotes radiant skin whilst getting rid of clogged pores, removing excess sebum (helps to balance oil production levels) and healing inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, acne and psoriasis. The antioxidant-rich oil reduces the appearance of blemishes and wrinkles. It promotes shiny hair and brighter, younger-looking skin – why would you not want to add this oil to your daily beauty routine? It sounds like the jackpot to me.

If you’re travelling this month, apply a few drops of the oil topically or diffuse the oil in your bedroom for a natural insect repellent. One of the main constituents are citronellol. The oil will even help to heal the insect bites and stop the itching (can I get an Amen?).

The pleasant aroma and anti-bacterial properties make for a great deodorant. Sweating and excess physical activity releases the fresh scent since it is a circulatory oil. Therefore, you will easily eliminate those summer body odours.

At Le Riche Naturals, we incorporate this oil into our unique Perfume Workshops. We also use it for its skincare benefits in the Cape Mountain Youth Elixir and Regenerating Night Balm. Ever since we’ve included this miraculous oil in our apothecary and perfumery, we’ve never looked back.

The flora in South Africa is truly one to be celebrated. For its beauty, its scent, its contribution to the environment and for its wonderful natural health benefits. So, next time your neighbours come for tea, tell them about the miracle plants in your garden and spread the knowledge (and the joyous Christmas spirit). Who knew that one of the world’s best-kept beauty secrets was in your garden all along?