Geraniol, also known as lemonol, Guainol, and beta-geraniol, is a monoterpenoid and a component of plant essential oils derived mainly from lemongrass and geraniums. It is an oily, pale yellow or colorless liquid with a sweet rose-like aroma. Geraniol is soluble in most organic solvents but is insoluble in water.1
The geraniol-based functional group (lacking the -OH terminal) is called geranyl. It is important in the biosynthesis of other terpenes and in acidic solutions, geraniol is converted to the cyclic terpene alpha-terpineol. As a by-product of the metabolism of sorbate, it becomes an unpleasant contaminant in wine when bacteria have been allowed to grow in it.
Classification within Terpenes: Monoterpene
- Lemon Myrtle
- Lemon Thyme
- Geraniol is the main constituent of:
- Citronella oil
- Rose oil
- Palmarosa oil
As a phytonutrient, it is also present in:
Geraniol is also produced in the scent glands of honey bees that helps identify nectar-bearing plants as well as their hive openings.
The therapeutic attributes of geraniol include anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic, and analgesic properties. It is a naturally occurring insect repellant that is extremely effective in repelling mosquitoes, house flies, horn flies, stable flies, and household pests such as cockroaches, fleas, gnats, ticks, and fire ants.
Therapeutic Uses of Geraniol
Geraniol is used as an analgesic to relieve pain and is also an effective topical drug enhancer.
Geraniol contains anti-inflammatory properties that have been found to exert anti-inflammatory effects in a study with rats with diet-induced atherogenesis. The study reported that Tissue Remodeling (which plays a significant part in the inflammation and oxidative stress phase) is greatly reduced and even prevented by the anti-inflammatory and free radical scavenging effects of geraniol.
Proven Anti-cancer Agent
The natural antioxidant activities of geraniol essential oils are effective at preventing certain types of cancer. In human cell culture studies, it has been found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and has been successfully used in the treatment of lung, breast, skin, prostate, colon, hepatic, and pancreatic cancers. A study has found that geraniol inhibits the growth of cancer cells and the polyamine biosynthesis in colon cancer. The study found that geraniol reduced the growth of cancer cells by 70% and also inhibited the synthesis of DNA.2
Geraniol reduces bacterial infections and studies have found that the microbiological characterization of pure geraniol exerts a large antibacterial activity against harmful bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica, and Escherichia coli.
The anti-fungal properties of geraniol are used in the treatment of fungal infections such as Candida albicans, as well as non-albican species of Candida.3
The strong antiseptic properties of geraniol have been found to be 7 times stronger than that of phenol.
Uses of Geraniol in Aromatherapy
Essential oils, a mixture of natural compounds, are produced from aromatic plants characterized by their strong odor. One of these secondary metabolites from the essential oils in plants is geraniol, a monoterpene alcohol with a variety of healing benefits that are put to good use in aromatherapy.
Plant-derived essential oils are one of the most important sources for exploring the potentially useful structural compounds needed for the development of new therapeutic drugs. Geraniol is an important compound of the essential oils of lemon, ginger, nutmeg, lavender, lime, orange, and rose. As an acyclic monoterpenoid, it is the main constituent of rose and palmarosa essential oils.
The antimicrobial agents that eliminate the living organisms in an infected body are very important in therapeutics and relate highly to the success of treatment. In a scientific test, 5 different essential oil constituents were tested for antimicrobial activity against 18 types of bacteria and 12 fungi. Linalool was found to be the most effective by inhibiting 17 bacteria, followed by geraniol and cineole which inhibited 16, and citral and menthol compounds that inhibited 15 bacteria respectively. In terms of fungi, geraniol and citral oils inhibited all 12 fungi in comparison to the other compounds with 10 or less.4
Anxiety is a common problem that affects the lives of most people to a lesser or greater extent. The symptoms are usually dealt with by using drugs like benzodiazepine that can cause serious side effects. Aromatherapy is a natural stress management method that deals with the underlying causes of anxiety instead of just treating the symptoms. It is popular for its aromatic rosy smell that uplifts the mood, lessens fatigue and promotes emotional healing. As a massage oil, it can reduce stress and soothe aching from muscle tension.
For Pain and Inflammation
Geranium essential oil is very effective in assisting in pain reduction. Its anti-inflammatory properties reduce tissue swelling and reduce pain caused by acute and chronic conditions. It is highly effective in treating the discomfort and pain experienced during menstruation. A few drops of geranium essential oils in the bath will calm and relax the nervous system and improve blood flow to reduce inflammation that causes pain.5
Treatment of Insomnia and Mood Swings
Essential oils rich in geraniol, when used in a diffuser at night, will calm you down and relax your nerves so that you can fall asleep naturally without any harmful drugs like sleeping pills. This may be why MONQ’s Sleepy blend can be effective for occasional sleeplessness. The sweet floral aroma will lessen fatigue at night and promote emotional feelings well-being. It will also improve your mood and uplift your spirits. It is a great remedy for the treatment of menopause and its debilitating symptoms.
Antiseptic for Wounds and Skin Problems
The antiseptic properties of geraniol can help speed up healing in a variety of skin problems. Essential oils that contain high amounts of geraniol, blended in a carrier oil, can be used to treat burns, fungal infections, eczema, frostbite, and athlete’s foot. It has also been shown to effective in the treatment of hemorrhoids. Just add a few drops of essential oil to a carrier oil like sweet almond or jojoba and massage it into the affected area. A warm Epsom Salts foot bath with a few drops of geranium, lemongrass or lemon thyme essential oil is a highly effective treatment for athlete’s foot.
Other Information on Geraniol
Because of its pleasant aroma, it is commonly used in perfumes, skin creams and lotions, aftershave lotions, bathing products, soaps, and detergents. In the food industry, it is used as a flavoring agent to reproduce the natural flavors of fruits and to enhance the smell and flavor of baked goods, candies, and ice cream. Many cigarette manufacturers list geraniol as one of the 599 additives added to cigarettes to improve flavor.
Molecular Formula:6 230 °C (446 °F; 503 K)
Molecular Weight: 154,25 g/mol
Boiling Point: 230 °C (446 °F; 503 K)