The plant Palmarosa is a relative of lemongrass and citronella, coming from the same plant family, Gramineae. It is also related to ginger-grass – Cymbopogon matinii var. sofia – which is used to obtain an oil that is similar but considered by most to be inferior in quality. The plant grows wild in India and Pakistan. It is now cultivated for commercial purposes in India and in Indonesia, the Comoros Islands, East-Africa and Brazil, all of which produce the oil. The plant has fragrant grassy leaves.
The oil is obtained from the leaves of the plant, either fresh or dried, by the process of steam distillation. It is pale yellow or green in color and has a sweet floral smell. Palmarosa essential oil is used in the perfume industry as a fragrance ingredient. It is also used in the production of soaps and bath products.
Essential oil of palmarosa is useful in the treatment of stress-related feelings of depression. It calms troubled spirits and lifts the mood, encouraging a more optimistic view of life.
The oil can be used in the treatment of various digestive problems, combating infection and improving digestion. It can stimulate a poor appetite and can help the intestinal flora to return to a state of balance after a bout of infection or following antibiotic treatment. Use in massage or in bathing.
Palmarosa oil is very useful in skin care, where its balancing qualities make it suitable for the treatment of a variety of conditions, either associated with dry or oily skin. It helps regulate the production of sebum and also moisturizes dry skin. It can be used to good effect on mature complexions, reducing wrinkles and improving the skin’s tone and appearance. It will also help reduce scar tissue. Use in facial massage, creams or in facial steam baths.
Suitable methods of use
- Skin care
Palmarosa is quite safe to use in dilution. It is nontoxic, nonsensitizing and nonirritant.