March Essential Oil of the Month – Palmarosa

Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii) is a relative of Lemongrass and Citronella but its fragrance profile is much softer, with a fresh, rosy-floral scent. It has a cooling, hydrating and uplifting effect on body, mind and spirit making it a versatile oil to add to your collection.

Its gentle fragrance belies its powerful antimicrobial properties so if you’re looking for something effective without the medicinal, typical “antiseptic” fragrance, this is a lovely choice.

Palmarosa Background

Palmarosa is a tropical species of grass that can grow up to 3 metres in height.

Native to India where it still grows wild, it is now widely cultivated throughout Indonesia, Madagascar, East Africa, the Seychelles and Brazil.

The essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from the fresh or dry grass to produce a pale yellow/olive coloured oil with a sweet, floral fragrance used in perfumery and in soap-making. In India, the oil is used in massage to treat musculo-skeletal aches and pains and neuralgia whilst the leaves of the plant are bruised and then used to perfume bath water.

Therapeutic Actions of Palmarosa

The chemistry of Palmarosa Essential Oil makes it antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It is also a digestive tonic and stimulant; febrifuge (reduces fever); hydrating and cytophylactic (stimulating normal cell growth), amongst other properties.

It has a cooling and refreshing action on body, mind and emotions and is a very useful ingredient in skincare. It is hydrating and suitable for all skin types whilst its anti-microbial properties make it a great addition for minor skin infections.

The Neal’s Yard Remedies Palmarosa Range has been formulated to help balance oily, acne-prone skin due to the oil’s ability to balance sebum production but Palmarosa Essential Oil is also a key ingredient in the Wild Rose Range too.

In Clinical Aromatherapy, alongside its excellent skincare uses, Palmarosa is a supportive oil for digestive issues, particularly to help with loss of appetite and to stimulate a sluggish digestion.

Energetically, Palmarosa Essential Oil has a cooling and moistening effect, clearing heat and strengthening ‘Yin’ energy.

Its calming, uplifting affect on the nervous system make it a useful choice to alleviate stress, restlessness and anxiety whilst emotionally Palmarosa is said to encourage adaptability and give a feeling of security. In his Complete Guide to Aromatherapy (Second Edition) Salvatore Battaglia says it is, “recommended for those who have suffered from nervousness and insecurity, and a frequent absence of intimate loved ones.”

Useful in calming palpitations and as a cardio-tonic, it can also be a useful oil to turn to for emotional fortitude, to open the heart (in an emotional sense) and to bring stability and comfort in times of need.

Peter Holmes, in Aromatica Vol. 1, describes Palmarosa as, “Nourishing, supporting and softening, the oil can be extremely helpful for those with stifled or hardened feelings involving emotional denial or simply disconnection.”

Personally, I find Palmarosa a beautifully soft, gentle and soothing oil with an uplifting and refreshing fragrance.

Try It Yourself

Palmarosa blends well with many other essential oils including other florals, wood oils, citrus and herbal oils.

Why not try Palmarosa for yourself in this gorgeous Diffuser Blend I have created to instil a sense of calm, security and contentment. This is a simplified version of a blend I came up with when I was feeling emotionally restless, overwhelmed and in need of reassurance. It worked for me and left me with the sense that, in my little world at least, all is well. So that is what I have called it.

All Is Well Blend
2 drops Palmarosa Essential Oil
2 drops Bergamot Essential Oil
1 drop Cedarwood Atlas Essential Oil

Add to the water reservoir in your diffuser unit and take some time out to sit quietly, breathe deeply and feel a sense of calm serenity return to your personal space.

All the oils in this blend are available from my Neal’s Yard Remedies shop.

Try it in a Treatment

If you think Palmarosa could be of therapeutic benefit to you, why not book in for a Clinical Aromatherapy session with me and I will create a bespoke blend and use it in a massage treatment and/or for you to use at home.

Please note that essential oils must be treated with respect. Never apply neat oil to the skin and DO NOT use internally. Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Consult a qualified Clinical Aromatherapist for advice, especially if you have underlying medical conditions, are pregnant, or for use around or with those vulnerable including children and the elderly.

If you experience any symptoms of allergy or illness/discomfort when using essential oils, discontinue use immediately and consult a medical professional.




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