Our Complete Guide to Palmarosa Essential Oil: Benefits, Uses and Cautions

Meet your new best friend: Palmarosa; she’s sweet and rosy, her name is super cute, and she’s ready to help with any DIY home remedies, your mental health and your beauty routine.

Read more about the benefits of palmarosa essential oil.

Content/Quick links

  • What is palmarosa essential oil?
  • Palmarosa essential oil - quick facts
  • How is palmarosa essential oil made?
  • Benefits of palmarosa essential oil
  • Preventing infection
  • Skin care ingredient
  • Fighting depression and anxiety
  • Insect repellent
  • How to use palmarosa essential oil
  • Aromatherapy
  • Topical use
  •  Bath
  • Palmarosa essential oil research
  • Antibacterial effects of palmarosa essential oil - 2020
  • Acne benefits of palmarosa essential oil - 2021
  • Anti-aging properties of palmarosa essential oil - 2011
  • Palmarosa essential oil for anxiety and depression - 2011, 2019
  • Palmarosa essential oil as an insect repellent - 1995, 2020
  • Side effects of palmarosa essential oil
  • Contraindications of palmarosa essential oil
  • Where to buy palmarosa essential oil
  • Volant
  • Amazon
  • Pharmacies
  • DoTERRA
  • Palmarosa essential oil FAQs
  • How do you use palmarosa essential oil?
  • What blends well with palmarosa essential oil?
  • Is palmarosa similar to rose?
  • In summary

What is palmarosa essential oil?

Contrary to the phonetic sound of the plant, the palmarosa is not a descendent of the rose family; it is in fact connected to the lemongrass flora. Palmarosa is a tall, grassy and tufty plant, and the scent is soft, rosy and gives off hints of citrus.

It is a perennial herb that thrives in humid conditions, and it was used for centuries in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat coughs, bronchitis and other respiratory issues due to its powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties. Palmarosa has since made its way to the western world where it is used as a soothing and supporting essential oil in daily routines. You may be surprised to learn that the plant is already in some products you already use.

Palmarosa essential oil - quick facts

✅   Latin name: Cymbopogon martinii

Also known as: Indian geranium, ginger grass, rosha grass

✅   Country of origin:  🇮🇳 India 

   Scent note: Top

✅   Popular uses: Skin care, anti-aging, mood, antimicrobial, insect repellent

How is palmarosa essential oil made?

Palmarosa is cropped and harvested before the flower on the plant turns completely red from green. They are then left to dry, and the oil is extracted from the stem through steam distillation. Steam distillation is one of the most common forms of oil extraction where steam evaporates the oil, which is then condensed, separated and collected.

Benefits of palmarosa essential oil

Palmarosa essential oil has a wide range of benefits. Some of the main benefits of palmarosa oil include the following:

  • 🌿 Preventing infection
  • 🌿 Skin care ingredient
  • 🌿 Fighting depression and anxiety
  • 🌿 Insect repellent

Let's look at each of these benefits of palmarosa oil in more detail.

Preventing infections

woman holding magazine with essential oil and diffuser

Palmarosa oil is high in antibacterial, antioxidant, and antifungal properties, and because of this, it certainly helps in preventing infection, especially of the skin and nails. It has even been found more potent than some antimicrobial drugs!

Palmarosa and its components have also been found effective in preventing food-borne pathogens and could probably be used similarly to lemongrass as a DIY cleaning agent (although it might not be the most economical option).

Skin care benefits

woman looking at the mirror and smiling

Enjoy the myriad of benefits from palmarosa essential oil. The oil itself holds antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal properties, and your skin will thank you for it. It can help reduce infections of the skin, improve acne, and reduce inflammation. Palmarosa also acts as a natural anti-aging treatment for your skin because the oil’s antioxidants may reduce the free radicals, DNA damage and cell damage that lead to wrinkles. Who’s ready for a glow-up?

Palmarosa is also thought to promote healthy hair and may strengthen hair follicles. 

Fighting depression and anxiety

woman focused on working while inhaling essential oil

Imagine that a sweet, rose-like scent could help lower depression and anxiety… Well, the good news is that you don’t need to imagine it because the relaxing aroma from palmarosa has shown a significant effect on the nervous system which includes a mood boost. It’s been clinically shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

A natural insect repellent

Keep pesky insects away, especially mosquitoes, when you’re trying to sleep or going on a little vacation in the great outdoors. Palmarosa essential oil is high in limonene, citronellal and geraniol, which are natural repellents. As a bonus, you won’t smell unpleasant like conventional bug spray - instead, you’ll smell rosy!

How to use palmarosa essential oil

Palmarosa essential oil can be used in a variety of ways, depending on its intended purpose. Here are some of the most common ways to use palmarosa essential oil:

  • 🌿 Aromatherapy
  • 🌿 Topical use
  • 🌿 Bath

Let’s look at each of these uses of palmarosa essential oil in more detail.

Aromatherapy

The scent of palmarosa is simply beautiful; it is soft and rosy and can be used in aromatherapy either on its own or blended with other uplifting or relaxing oils to create a soothing blend which can reduce stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression. Add them to your diffuser to scent your space and change your atmosphere.

To boost your mood, try blending palmarosa essential oil with grapefruit. To help you relax, try blending palmarosa essential oil with lavender or ylang ylang.

volant clay essential oil diffuser for aromatherapy
volant clay essential oil diffuser for aromatherapy
volant's clay diffuser brings the joy of the Mediterranean into your home
volant clay diffuser parts unassembled
volant clay diffuser for diy bathroom spa

Clay Volant Diffuser

69 €
volant organic grapefruit essential oil to relieve stress and rich with antimicrobial properties
volant organic grapefruit essential oil to relieve stress and rich with antimicrobial properties
organic grapefruit slices
volant organic grapefruit essential oil bottle packaging to relieve stress and rich with antimicrobial properties
volant clay diffuser using organic grapefruit essential oil to relieve stress

Organic Grapefruit Essential Oil

9 €

Topical use

Since palmarosa oil is considered safe (unless you have highly sensitive skin), the oil is amazing in every way for your skin. It fights bacterial and fungal infections, reduces inflammation, fights acne, protects against free radical damage, and provides anti-aging benefits for your skin. No wonder many beauty products already contain palmarosa!

For your daily skincare routine, add some palmarosa to your lotion or dilute with a carrier oil and gently massage the oil into the skin to improve the texture, elasticity and the moisture content of your skin.

Although there’s little clinical evidence on palmarosa’s hair health benefits, it’s commonly used to this end. Whether or not it’s effective for hair health, it’s safe and will provide an antioxidant and antimicrobial benefit to your scalp. Add a few drops to your shampoo and massage your scalp. The massaging action will stimulate the hair follicles to make them thicker and help dilate the blood vessels beneath the scalp to encourage hair growth. It will also make your hair smell amazing and give you the aromatherapeutic effect of palmarosa oil for hours!

Applying the oil topically (when diluted with a safe carrier oil) can also help keep mosquitoes away!

And finally, an aromatherapy massage with palmarosa essential oil is a wonderful way to boost your mood and help ward off symptoms of anxiety and depression. It’s the perfect combination to really beat your blues.

Bathtime with palmarosa

Because it’s safe and effective in many ways, adding palmarosa essential oil to your bath is a great way to use it. It’s perfect for a bath at the end of a long day to help you relax, boost your mood and set you in the right state of mind for a good night’s sleep. Or, treat yourself to a spa day and include palmarosa oil on the agenda!

Palmarosa essential oil research

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Palmarosa has a surprising amount of clinical evidence and has been the subject of a tremendous amount of research. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot palmarosa can’t do. It deserves to be better known around the world! Below are some of the most striking studies and discoveries about palmarosa essential oil.

Antibacterial effects of palmarosa essential oil - 2020

Among 143 essential oils studied for antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, the main bacteria responsible for most skin infections, palmarosa was among 7 that showed the highest activity at the lowest concentration.

Palmarosa was also among 9 essential oils that were more effective than tosufloxacin, a drug given to help resolve drug-resistant bacterial infections. This demonstrates palmarosa’s powerful antibacterial effects and its benefits for skin health.

Acne benefits of palmarosa essential oil - 2021

One kind of bacteria known to cause acne is known as Cutibacterium acnes. A recent study showed that palmarosa killed the bacteria and reduced inflammation and was also safe for topical use, meaning that palmarosa is a safe and effective skincare product for acne.

Anti-aging properties of palmarosa essential oil - 2011

Because palmarosa has been found to have powerful antimicrobial effects against bacteria, viruses, yeast and fungi, it was investigated for its protective properties. This research found that palmarosa had powerful antioxidant effects on human cells, protecting DNA and lipids (or cell walls) from free radical damage. This confirms palmarosa’s benefits as an anti-aging skincare ingredient on top of its antimicrobial skincare benefits.

Palmarosa essential oil for anxiety and depression - 2011, 2019

Several studies have been done to prove the mental health benefits of palmarosa essential oil. In particular, a 2011 study found that palmarosa inhibits monoamine oxidase, a common target for drugs that treat depression (ie. MAO inhibitors).

 In menopausal women, the scent of palmarosa was found to reduce the psychological symptoms of mood swings, anxiety and depression in the short term.

Palmarosa essential oil as an insect repellent - 1995, 2020

In 2020, research was done on the effectiveness of keeping insects away and using palmarosa essential oil as a natural repellent. The study found that the oil contained limonene, geraniol and citronella which repel insects, mainly mosquitoes. This confirms field research from 1995 which found that palmarosa was among three plants most effective in repelling mosquitoes.

Side effects of palmarosa essential oil

Palmarosa essential oil is considered safe since it is a non-irritating, non-sensitizing and non-toxic substance, but it can cause skin irritation if you have highly sensitive skin. If you do have sensitive skin, you may experience a burning sensation or a rash when applied topically. Always be sure to dilute the oil with a safe carrier oil or lotion before you apply it to your skin, and always carry out a patch test before applying it more liberally.

Contraindications of palmarosa essential oil

Essential oils should never be taken orally unless diluted with water and measured at the right dosage. If you plan on doing this, you should speak to a doctor before ingesting any oil. Palmarosa oil is suggested for external use and can provide great benefits when used correctly. At volant, we do not recommend ingesting essential oils.

Where to buy palmarosa essential oil

Palmarosa essential oil is widely available online and in stores. When purchasing palmarosa oil, be sure to look for a 100% pure essential oil - not an extract. This ensures that you're getting an authentic product with all the therapeutic benefits of palmarosa. If it’s organic, even better!

Here are some of the places where you can purchase palmarosa essential oil.

Volant

At Volant, all our essential oils are produced using only the highest-quality plants, which are harvested and distilled with the utmost care. You can enjoy Palmarosa in Volant's essential oil blends: Relax and Sleep along with our other favorite scents. Rest assured that you'll receive 100% pure and organic essential oil with no additives or synthetic ingredients. This ensures that you receive the greatest possible benefit from your palmarosa essential oil.

volant sleep essential oil blend bottle made with pure Lavender, Frankincense, and Palma Rosa and Roman Chamomile
volant sleep essential oil blend bottle made with pure Lavender, Frankincense, and Palma Rosa and Roman Chamomile
volant white diffuser using sleep essential oil blend made with pure Lavender, Frankincense, and Palma Rosa and Roman Chamomile
volant sleep essential oil blend bottle packaging made with pure Lavender, Frankincense, and Palma Rosa and Roman Chamomile
girl sleeping using volant sleep essential oil blend made with pure Lavender, Frankincense, and Palma Rosa and Roman Chamomile

Sleep

16 €
volant relax essential oil blend made of pure Palma Rosa, Ylang Ylang, Eucalyptus, and Grapefruit
volant relax essential oil blend made of pure Palma Rosa, Ylang Ylang, Eucalyptus, and Grapefruit
volant white diffuser using relax essential oil blend bottle made of pure Palma Rosa, Ylang Ylang, Eucalyptus, and Grapefruit
volant relax essential oil blend bottle packaging made of pure Palma Rosa, Ylang Ylang, Eucalyptus, and Grapefruit
woman reading using volant relax essential oil blend bottle made of pure Palma Rosa, Ylang Ylang, Eucalyptus, and Grapefruit

Relax

13 €

Amazon

Amazon is a popular place to shop for essential oils. It's important to note that Amazon is a marketplace rather than a store, so there are many different businesses selling essential oils through Amazon. For this reason, we'd recommend checking the ingredients and reviews of any essential oil that you choose to purchase through Amazon, as not all essential oils sold on the platform are pure, organic and trusted.

Pharmacies

If you prefer in-person shopping and holding the product in your hand to get a better idea of what you’re buying, then you will find that your local pharmacies may have what you’re looking for. However, palmarosa is a less well-known essential oil and may be harder to find. As always, check that the oil you're buying is an essential oil rather than an extract and that it is 100% pure.

doTERRA

doTERRA is a company that manufactures organic essential oils, including palmarosa essential oil. If you’re looking for a 100% pure palmarosa oil, purchasing from doTERRA will guarantee quality.

Palmarosa essential oil FAQs

How do you use palmarosa essential oil?

You can use the oil in bathwater and soak up all the lovely benefits of the oil while also inhaling the aroma, which also gives wonderful mental health benefits. You can also use it on your skin or in your hair as part of your beauty routine. Your skin will take in all the antibacterial and antifungal properties but will also soothe and protect your skin, while the oil’s aroma will help calm the mind. It’s also a great natural mosquito repellent!

What blends well with palmarosa essential oil?

Palmarosa oil has a beautiful light, rosy scent, and this makes it a stunning oil that blends well with lavender, Roman chamomile, rose, neroli, jasmine, ylang ylang and other floral oils. Palmarosa essential oil also blends well with citrus oils like bergamot, grapefruit and mandarin.

Is palmarosa similar to rose?

Palmarosa essential oil is related to the lemongrass family, but it is an economical substitute for rose otto essential oil because of its scent.

In summary

Palmarosa essential oil has wonderful properties that not only help fight off nasty bacteria but also has an uplifting effect on your mood. There have been many studies on the oil to confirm its health benefits.

Another great benefit is that if you choose to diffuse the oil in your home, your space will be filled with a lovely feminine, rosy scent. But you can also add the oil to your beauty routine and your skin will glow with delight, not to mention the benefit of beautiful, strong, healthy hair if you add it to your shampoo or simply use the oil to massage into your scalp.

You can benefit greatly from palmarosa essential, no matter how you use it or what you use it for. The only thing left to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the aroma, and let the oil do its work.

We’re here to help if you have any questions about palmarosa essential oil. You can contact our support team at support@volantaroma.com and we will be more than happy to assist you with any questions you may have.

Curious of what essential oils can do for you?

98.8%

experience positive effects within 30 days of buying volant essential oils and diffusers.

TrustScore 4.7 | 800+ reviews
"I received my Terracotta Volant right after Christmas and it has been routinely used! I love the smell of the oils and have learned to balance to strength for me and my family. I recommend it to anyone who loves essential oils." Robert S.
"Perfect for meditation, especially Geranium. And Grapefruit for yoga." Cathy S.
"Easy to switch between subscription products, have tested 5 oils. Very satisfied" Mary H.
"I love getting essential oils in my post box every month, cool recipes by mail as well" Johan J.
"Been looking for essential oils for aromatherapy, these oils give me a boost" Svetlana W.
"I purchesed Volant diffuser, and I am obsessed with it! I am using it every day and I feel super satisfied. Excellent experience." Agnieszka S.
"Struggled to fall asleep before, the blend Sleep has changed that" Chloe L.