Published on 28/04/2020 by Dr Lilla Cooper
I love scented plants and one of my all time favourites is rose geranium. I grow lots of a type called Attar of Roses (even the name is beautifully exotic!) and at this time of year in my green house and on sunny windowsills in my clinic the little plants are covered in pink flowers and are filling the air with the gorgeous scent of roses.
Rose geranium has a whole host of therapeutic uses; it’s beautiful scent enhances relaxation and soothes anxiety, and the oil itself is also a great skin healer combining anti-inflammatory properties with natural anti fungal, viral and bacterials.
I buy Egyptian rose geranium essential oil which is sweet and floral (I love bourbon geranium too which is grown as a crop in Madagascar and has a bit more depth and complexity ) for making my own therapeutic skin creams, but it’s possible to make a more dilute oil from your own plants without needing a distillery!
It’s been so sunny for the last 6 weeks that my little over-Wintered plants are really taking off in my green house, so I can start harvesting leaves and flowers already for making oil. Here’s what I do...
Recipe: Therapeutic Face Cream
- Take a clean jam jar or kilner jar and pack it three quarters full with freshly picked leaves and flowers.
- Pour in a good quality oil with not much natural odour of its own, such as jojoba oil, sweet almond oil or even just a good (organic if possible) sunflower oil. You want to completely immerse the cut leaves and flowers. If anything is left above the surface of the oil it’ll start to rot and spoil the oil.
- Pop the jar on a sunny window sill and leave it for a week for the scent to infuse into the oil.
- After a week, strain the mix through a couple of layers of muslin into a second clean container. Compost the old leaves and flowers and add a fresh batch to the strained oil. Leave for another week and repeat. Aim for three batches of leaves and flowers, so three weeks of infusing fresh leaves and flowers into the same oil, to maximise the amount of scented oil transferring into your oil.
- On your final straining use three layers of muslin and be really careful not to transfer any little bits of plant into your final oil. If you’ve managed to get the final oil really clean it’ll keep for up to a year in a dark cupboard.
You can do the same process for all sorts of therapeutic oils; Peppermint, Chamomile, and I also use Hearts Ease Violas for their use in Chinese Herbal Medicine to reduce abscesses and inflammation - especially good for teenage acne!
Here’s a video to our lovely Gardener’s World Gardeners showing us how save money by making lots more plants from our original one! If the Rose Geranium scent didn’t relax you then watching a bit of Gardeners World will do the trick; and relax...