Herb: Rose Geranium

Latin name: Pelargonium graveolens

Family: Geraniaceae (Geranium Family)

Medicinal use of Rose Geranium:

An aromatic, rose-scented herb, the whole plant has relaxant, anti-depressant and antiseptic effects, reduces inflammation and controls bleeding. All parts of the plant are astringent. It is used internally in the treatment of pre-menstrual and menopausal problems, nausea, tonsillitis and poor circulation. Externally, it is used to treat acne, haemorrhoids, eczema, bruises, ringworm and lice. The leaves can be used fresh at any time of the year. The essential oil from the leaves is used in aromatherapy and is also applied locally to cervical cancer.

Description of the plant:


120 cm
(4 feet)

May to


Habitat of the herb:

Near the Hex river in S.W. Cape province.

Edible parts of Rose Geranium:

Flowers - raw. Added to salads. The leaves are rose-scented and are used as a flavouring in desserts, jellies, vinegars etc. The fresh leaves are brewed into a tea.

Other uses of the herb:

An essential oil is obtained from the plant, it has an orange-rose fragrance. This plant is the main constituent of geranium oil, which is used extensively in aromatherapy, skin care and as a food flavouring. The leaves are used in pot-pourri.

Propagation of Rose Geranium:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. Stored seed should be sown in early spring in a greenhouse. The seed germinates best with a minimum temperature of 13C, germination usually taking place within 2 weeks though it sometimes takes some months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. If trying them outdoors, plant them out in early summer and consider giving them extra protection during the winter. Cuttings succeed at almost any time in the growing season but early summer is the best time in order for the new plant to become established before winter.

Cultivation of the herb:

Near the Hex river in S.W. Cape province.

Known hazards of Pelargonium graveolens:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.