Palmarosa, or cymbopogon martinii, is a species of grass in the lemon grass genus that can grow to a height of nearly nine feet. This perennial grass is native to the Indian subcontinent and is cultivated for its oil. The essential oil of palmarosa is extracted from the fresh or dry grass, yielding a liquid that is usually pale yellow or olive-colored and has a soft, lemony scent.
One of the most popular uses of palmarosa essential oil is as a skin toner due to its hydrating properties, and practitioners of alternative medicine suggest adding this oil to bathwater to give the skin an overall healthy glow. This essential oil is also reputed to stimulate cell regeneration, making it a possible remedy for wrinkled skin. Practitioners advise adding a few drops of this oil to an unscented moisturizer for daily use.
In addition to beautifying purposes, palmarosa is also a suggested herbal remedy for many different skin problems due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Examples of conditions that may be helped by this oil include shingles and fungal infections; also, this oil may prevent skin infections from occurring in conditions that produce raw and inflamed skin, such as eczema or psoriasis. This oil is also believed to help balance the production of oil by the skin and is therefore considered an herbal remedy for acne.
Palmarosa oil has been distilled since the 18th century, and it is used for a variety of purposes in both ayurvedic and traditional Eastern medicine. In these alternative practices, palmarosa is primarily believed to be a cooling or a calming oil, and it is frequently prescribed as an aromatherapy remedy for psychological conditions involving excessive nervousness, tension, insecurity, and exhaustion. The cooling nature of this oil is believed to clear excessive heat energy out of the body and restore a calm mind.
This herbal remedy is also suggested as a cardiac tonic or a relaxant, especially in the treatment of heart palpitations and insomnia. Other conditions thought to benefit from treatment with palmarosa include fevers, poor digestion, and sciatica. When used in combination with other essential oils such as tea tree oil, geranium and lavender, palamrosa may also assist in clearing up disorders of the urinary tract such as cystitis and urethritis. Additionally, the essential oil of palmarosa contains the active compound geraniol, which makes it an effective outdoor herbal remedy by serving as a natural mosquito and insect repellent.