to the Indian subcontinent, Palmarosa is a wild herbaceous plant, growing to a height of nine feet (three
meters). With long, slender stems, fragrant grassy leaves, and flowers in ‘terminal’ clusters
Palmarosa is a member of the Cymbopogon (formerly Andropogon) genus of aromatic tropical grasses. Palmarosa
has a soft, lemony-fresh green scent with hints of geranium and rose. Considered a “middle-note”,
Palmarosa essential oil is extracted by steam or water distillation of the fresh or dried grass.
Also known as (Indian) rosha, Palmarosa oil has been distilled since the 18 th century.
Featured in the Indian Materia Medica, Palmarosa essential oil and the dried herb are both used in Ayurvedic
medicine. Palmarosa essential oil is recommended by aromatherapists for neuralgia, lumbago, sciatica, and rheumatic pains. The
herb is used to (treat) fevers, dyspepsia, and colitis.
In terms of traditional oriental medicine, Palmarosa oil is cool and moist in energy. Like
both Rose and Geranium, Palmarosa clears heat and strengthens yin-energy (the body’s
calming, moistening functions). It is thought beneficial to the skin because of its moisture balancing effects.
Palmarosa essential oil may be beneficial for candida, the cardiovascular system, circulation, digestion, infection,,
nervous system, and rashes. It is valuable for all types of skin problems, as it is thought by aromatherapy professionals to stimulate new cell growth,
regulate oil production, moisturize and speeds healing. Palmarosa’s most common application is in the
treatment of skin challenges as well as in general skin care. Its ability to tonify the yin gives it
a superb hydrating property. Palmarosa is helpful for dry, undernourished skin conditions. Palmarosa is cooling
and anti-inflammatory making it applicable for wrinkles, dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. The oils anti-bacterial,
anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties make it indicated for a wide variety of skin infections, including acne,
boils, shingles, and mycosis (fungal infections).
Combined with Lavender, Tea Tree, and Geranium essential oils, Palmarosa oil can often assist in clearing genitor-urinary
infections, such as cystitis, urethritis, and vaginitis.
A cardio-tonic and nervous relaxant, Palmarosa essential oil helps to stabilize both the Heart and nervous
system. Reinforcing the Heart-yin and calming the Mind (Shen), it is indicted for palpations,
restlessness, insomnia, and anxiety.
The elegant, long stems of this aromatic grass convey the principle of flow or movement. Its zylem tissue transports
water and nutrients from the roots to the plants aerial parts; while its phloem tissue transports nutrients manufactures
in the leaves to other parts of the plant. All the while the stem tissues are also used for water and food storage
(this function is yin in nature).
Conveying a sense of movement, containment, and contentment (purna), palmarosa essential oil encourages free-flowing
adaptability and a sense of security and trust in the divine flow of life. The gentleness of Palmarosa’s
lemony-rose aroma is both soothing and astringent, dispersing, and gathering. Palmarosa essential oil (like rose
oil) centers, supports, and softens the Heart and Mind (Shen), and similar to lemon essential oil, Palmarosa
can assist in clearing away oppression.
Palmarosa essential oil is especially good for hot conditions where there is a tendency towards tension
and exhaustion. Palmarosa is suited for individuals who suffer from nervousness, and insecurity, but who, in
addition, cannot abide change, and the frequent absence of intimate loved ones. Palmarosa is appropriate as well
for those who feel “clingy” jealous or possessive.
The pale yellow or olive colored liquid is characterized by a sweet, floral, rose-like scent. Palmarosa essential
oil blends well with basil, fennel, geranium, lemongrass, myrtle, pine, thyme, sandalwood, cedarwood, and floral
Palmarosa oil is non-toxic, non-irritating, and non-sensitizing. If pregnant or under a doctor’s care, consult
Properties: Antibacterial, antidepressive, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, astringent (mild), calmative, cardiotonic,
cellular regenerator, febrifuge, neurotonic, uterine tonic.
To learn more about the use of all our essential oils, we encourage you to visit The Ananda Apothecary Forums, where you can post questions regarding specific applications of each oil. Questions in the forums are regularly answered by Ananda Apothecary staff, and other experienced aromatherapy practitioners.