These notes were originally prepared for two
short CPD (Continuing Professional Development)
"essential oils refresher" sessions which I led for
Professional Aromatherapy Network in South Yorkshire. I would
be glad to lead such sessions for other groups, e.g.
local/regional IFPA or IFA branches.
For list of other essential oil profiles see USES.
To buy organic palmarosa oil visit the ONLINE
Cymbopogon Martinii var. Martinii
Also known as Cymbopogon Martinii var. Motia. In
same family (Graminaceae) as citronella and lemongrass.
Gingergrass (Cymbopogon Martinii var. Sofia) is a different
Origin Originally India and Pakistan, now also grown in
Comoro Islands, Indonesia, Brazil, Africa (1).
Extraction Steam or water distillation of
fresh grass. It is harvested before the flowers appear and the
highest yield is from grass which is fully dried - about one
week after it has been cut (2). Colour pale yellow or olive.
History Once known Indian or Turkish Geranium oil – it
used to be shipped from Bombay to ports of the Red Sea and
transported, partly by land, to Constantinople and Bulgaria,
where the oil was often used for adulteration of Rose oil (3).
Used as a fragrance ingredient in soaps and cosmetics. Used in
traditional Indian medicine for fevers and infectious diseases
Chemistry High in geraniol. Also
citronellol, farnesol, citral, citronellal, geranyl acetate,
dipentene and limonene and others (1).
Blending Suggestions Middle note, strong
smell. Benzoin, bergamot, black pepper, camomile Roman,
cardamom, cedarwood atlas, citronella, clove bud, elemi,
eucalyptus, frankincense, ginger, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender,
lemon, lemongrass, melissa, neroli, petitgrain, ylang ylang.
Major Properties Antifungal, antiseptic,
antiviral?, bactericidal, cicatrisant, digestive, febrifuge,
hydrating, stimulant (circulatory and digestive), tonic.
Uses Stress, nervous
Bronchitis, otitis, sinusitis.
Digestive atonia, intestinal infections, poor appetite.
Acne, athlete's foot, broken capillaries?, dermatitis, dry skin,
inflamed skin, insect repellent, scalp conditioner, scars, minor
“It is said to help stimulate and hydrate the skin while
balancing the production of sebum. Palmarosa may help to boost
cellular regeneration in the skin (not unlike Neroli and
Lavender) which may help smooth wrinkles and may even tone up
crepey skin on the neck” (5). “Valuable for all types of
treatment for the face, hands, feet, neck and lips” (1).
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1) Julia Lawless, The Encyclopedia of Essential
Oils, Element, Shaftesbury, 1992, pp.149-150.
Essentially Oils newsletter Feb. 1993.
4) Patricia Davis, Aromatherapy - An A-Z, C. W. Daniel, Saffron
Walden, 2000 ( revised ed.), p.228.
http://www.57aromas.com/mar2004.html, April 2004.
Other sources for information, present and past;
books, articles or other material by Martin Watt (safety); Wanda
Sellar, Valerie Ann Worwood.
May 2004 Newsletter (looks like they may only keep current
month's newsletter on website).
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Paul Boizot. Information revised 01.06.04. Page
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My address from 30.04.12 is 14 Holly Bank Grove,
York YO24 4EA, U.K.
contact me on: 01904
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