Category Archives: rosacea

Case Study: The Effects of Cymbopogon martinii on Rosacea

Rosacea mild

Rosacea mild (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rosacea (pronounced “roh-ZAY-sha”) is a chronic condition characterized by facial erythema (redness).    Pimples are sometimes included as part of the      definition.  Unless it affects the eyes, it is typically a harmless cosmetic condition. It primarily affects  Caucasians of mainly northwestern European descent but can also affect people of other ethnicities.  Rosacea affects both sexes, but is almost three times more common in women. It has a peak age of onset between 30 and 60.

Rosacea typically begins as redness on the central face across the cheeks, nose, or forehead, but can also less commonly affect the neck, chest, ears, and scalp.  In some cases, additional symptoms such as semi-permanent redness, telangiectasia (lesion formed by dilation of superficial blood vessels on the face), red domed papules (small bumps) and pustules, red gritty eyes, burning and stinging sensations, and in some advanced cases, a red lobulated nose (rhinophyma) may develop.

There are usually specific triggers that cause a rosacea flare-up, and these can vary from person to person.  Some of the more common triggers are:  sun exposure, emotional stress, hot weather, wind, heavy exercise, alcohol consumption, hot baths, cold weather, spicy foods, humidity, indoor heat, and  certain skin-care products.

Reasons for choosing Palmarosa for my client’s rosacea:

  • I wanted an essential oil high in geraniol as research has shown geraniol to be anti-inflammatory (Maruyama et al, 2008; Ji et al, 2002; Marcuzzi et al, 2008; Momin et al, 2003), antibacterial (Duarte et al, 2007; Inouye et al, 2001; Kim et al, 1995; Lorenzi et al, 2009), anti-fungal (Dalleau et al, 2008; Maruyama et al, 2008; Zore et al, 2010), and cooling (Behrendt et al, 2004; Mahieu et al, 2006).
  • Palmarosa typically has a high geraniol content, and the GC/MS report for the batch I used indicated it contained 75% geraniol (see  Table 1).
  • Palmarosa has calming properties which I felt would help her relax since her rosacea was exacerbated by stress.
  • Is generally considered to be a very safe, non-irritating essential oil.
  • Energetically, Palmarosa stabilizes the heart,    reduces anxiety and restlessness (Mojay, 1996)
  • My client enjoys floral aromas.

The client’s condition improved as a result of using this product.  She contacted me the following day and was very excited to tell me she noticed less  redness.  After one week I checked in with her and I could see less redness in her cheeks.  After two weeks she felt confident that the facial moisturizer was helping.

Liz Fulcher brings over 21 years of essential oil experience, research and education to her work as a Clinical Aromatherapist and Essential Oil Educator.  For ten years Liz was on the faculty of the Mt. Nittany Institute of Natural Health in State College, PA as Director of Aromatherapy Studies.   Liz is Director of the Aromatic Wisdom Institute, School of Creative Aromatherapy in Selinsgrove, PA where she offers a NAHA-approved 235-hour Aromatherapy Certification Program plus other classes on the therapeutic and energetic uses of essential oils.  Websitehttp://AromaticWisdomInstitute.com

More information on Liz’s case study can be found is Volume 1 Issue 1 (Summer 2012) of the International Journal of Professional Holistic Aromatherapy.

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