In: Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed®) [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; 2006.


Geranium (Pelargonium species) leaves contain small amounts of dimethylamylamine which is a sympathomimetic stimulant. Rose geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) oil contains citronellol, citronellyl acetate, citronellyl formate, and geraniol. Applied topically, the essential oil may have antibacterial and antifungal activity and has been used for neuropathic pain. Topical application of fresh, whole geranium leaves, furry side against the skin has been used for cracked, painful nipples during breastfeeding.[1-3] Alternatively, geranium essential oil mixed into calendula cream has been advocated for the same purpose.[3] None of these claims have been scientifically validated.

Dietary supplements do not require extensive pre-marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Manufacturers are responsible to ensure the safety, but do not need to prove the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements before they are marketed. Dietary supplements may contain multiple ingredients, and differences are often found between labeled and actual ingredients or their amounts. A manufacturer may contract with an independent organization to verify the quality of a product or its ingredients, but that does not certify the safety or effectiveness of a product. Because of the above issues, clinical testing results on one product may not be applicable to other products. More detailed information about dietary supplements is available elsewhere on the LactMed Web site.

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