Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini)

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Botanical name Cymbopogon martinii var motia

Family  Poaceae

Source Leaves

Origin  India

Processing Method  Steam Distillation

Color/Consistency    A thin, yellow to light brown liquid.

Aroma    A middle note with a middle aroma, Palmarosa Essential Oil has a sharp, floral note with a hint of rose.

Blends With   Ylang-Ylang Geranium, Lime, Rosemary and  Bergamot

Product Abstract

Palmarosa is the gift of nature for skin nourishment and health. Indian Palmarosa also known as Rosha, Motia and Indian Geranium. Essential oil obtained from the leaves and flowers of the grass by steam distillation. Palmarosa essential oil is completely safe for body and skin. It’s regulated and moisturizes skin, useful dry and oily both skin. Palmarosa essential oil is most frequently used for skin care because of its moisturizing properties. It’s also used for skin treatment like psoriasis and eczema, as well as boils, abscesses and acne.


The name palmarosa was given to this unique therapeutic plant because its fragrance is similar to that of rose oil. In the historical times, the Turks and Indians combined palmarosa essential oil with rose oil. While palmarosa pure essential oil has numerous therapeutic uses, it is more frequently used for cosmetic or rose solutions due to its moisturizing properties.

Harvesting/Extraction Information

Extraction of this essential oil is done by steam distillation of dried grass which is harvested before flowering. The chief constituents of this oil are geraniol, geranyl acetate, dipentene, linalool, limonene, and myrcene. This oil smells like rose oil, which is how it got the name, Palma rosa. This is also why it is sometimes used in place of rose oil and is often adulterated with rose oil since it is cheaper.

Common Usage

  • Fights Viral Infections
  • Prevents Sepsis
  • Cures Bacterial Infections
  • Improves Digestion
  • Heals Wounds
  • Treats Dehydration
  • Acts as a Cytophylactic


This oil is considered completely safe since it is a non-irritant, non-sensitizing, and non-toxic substance.

Key constituents

Geraniol 78.4–91.0%

Geranyl acetate 0.6–9.8%

(E,Z)-Farnesol 0.5–6.1%

Linalool 3.5–3.8%

(E)-b-Ocimene 1.3–4.1%

b-Caryophyllene 0.8–3.6%

Geranial 0.6–2.8%

Caryophyllene oxide 0.3–1.9%

b-Myrcene 0.5–1.4%

Elemol 0.02–1.0%

(Z,Z)-Farnesol 0.01–1.0%

Quality  Palmarosa oil may be adulterated by the addition of geraniol.

Safety summary
Hazards  Drug interaction; skin sensitization.
Cautions (oral)  Drugs metabolized by CYP2B6.
Maximum dermal use level  6.5%

Our safety advice We recommend a dermal maximum of 6.5%, based on 81% geraniol content with a dermal limit of 5.3%.
Regulatory guidelines Has GRAS status.

Organ-specific effects
Adverse skin reactions  In a mouse local lymph node assay, palmarosa oil was a weak sensitizer, with a similar potency to geraniol. Undiluted palmarosa oil was moderately irritating to rabbits, but was not irritating to mice; tested at 8% on 25 volunteers it was neither irritating nor sensitizing. It is non-phototoxic.

Systemic effects
Acute toxicity  Non-toxic. Palmarosa oil acute oral LD50 in rats >5 g/kg; acute dermal LD50 in rabbits >5 g/kg .

Carcinogenic/anticarcinogenic potential  No information was found for palmarosa oil, but it contains no known carcinogens. Geraniol, farnesol, b-caryophyllene and geranial display anticarcinogenic activity. Considering these constitute 85% of palmarosa oil, it is very likely to possess anticarcinogenic activity.

Drug interactions  Since citral and geraniol inhibit CYP2B6, there is a theoretical risk of interaction between
palmarosa oil and drugs metabolized by this enzyme.

In spite of European legislation listing geraniol as an allergen, the risk of geraniol allergy is relatively low.

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