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Egyptian geranium essential oil has numerous analgesic, anti-inflammatory and tonic properties. The upper parts are harvested in May and June. This rose geranium known as Egyptian or Pelargonium roseum has leaves covered with small hairs that contain the fragrant essential oil with minty sweet, rose and lemongrass notes. Pelargonium comes from the Greek word Pelargos, meaning ”stork" and Geranium owes its origin to the Latin word Geranos, meaning "crane". These two refer to birds with long beaks, an analogy to the pointy shape of the seeds.
The geranium is native to the Cape Province in South Africa. It was introduced in European gardens starting in the second half of the 17th century when the Cape of Good Hope became a stopover for Dutch sailors going to the East Indies (from today’s Pakistan to Thailand). In 1678, the botanist Paul Hermann picked several feet which he brought back to Holland where they acclimated perfectly. Then, in the 19th century, the trend was rose notes and geranium was a great substitute for the overly expensive rose. Several cultures were born in Grasse and Corsica, as well as in Algeria and Spain. Today, principal production occurs in China and Egypt.