Terpene Spotlight: Geraniol

by | May 16, 2017

Perfumes are the feelings of flowers…

–Heinrich Heine

If that is true, it’s safe to say that geraniums feel quite affectionate toward their fellow creatures. The almost rose-like scent of geraniums is created by the abundant levels of geraniol, also known as lemonol. (This also explains why I hum a happy little tune when it’s time to zest lemons.)

Due to its wonderful scent, geraniol is frequently used in perfumes, cosmetics, and food flavorings. It effectively repels mosquitos (it’s one of the primary components of citronella oil), but it attracts bees.

Therapeutic Uses of Geraniol

This study is a very thorough look at geraniol. It includes something I’ve never seen before: the effective doses of geraniol for a variety of cancers. It might be worthwhile to share that chart with your treatment team, but these studies are still preliminary at best. Under no circumstances should anyone attempt to use this information as a substitute for medical care.

Cannabis Strains with Geraniol

Geraniol frequently appears in strains high in linalool.

  • Afghani
  • Amnesia Haze
  • Great White Shark
  • Headband
  • Island Sweet Skunk
  • Lavender
  • Master Kush
  • OG Shark

Other Sources of Geraniol

lemon blueberry goo drop

  • Bergamot
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Carrots
  • Coriander
  • Geraniums
  • Lavender
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Nutmeg
  • Oranges
  • Roses
  • Thyme

Geraniol as a Functional Ingredient

While our Gold Country Afgoo isn’t a good source of geraniol, we still wanted to incorporate this powerful terpene into our products. That inspired us to create our Lemon Blueberry truffles. Both lemons and blueberries are good sources of geraniol, which helps make them such great antioxidants. This truffle is a delicious way to treat inflammation.

lemon blueberry cake

Image source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

How to Eat More Geraniol

This cake from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe is one of my favorites. It’s moist and delicious and completely worth the time and effort.

Lemon Blueberry Cake with Whipped Lemon Cream Frosting


Lemon Blueberry Cake
  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups (13 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 4 large eggs (7 ounces), room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups (12.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw if frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Whipped Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups (18 ounces) powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Fresh lemon slices
  • Fresh blueberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans with at least 2-inch sides with parchment paper and coat with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer (or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes. (Don’t cut down the time on this step.)
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla until well-combined, 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Stir the dry mixture into the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined and a few dry streaks remain.
  5. Add the buttermilk and lemon juice to the batter, and stir by hand, folding the batter until just combined.
  6. In another bowl, toss the blueberries with the 2 tablespoons flour. Add the blueberries and remnants of flour to the batter and fold in by hand with a spatula or wooden spoon until just combined. Overmixing may result in a tough, dry cake.
  7. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes until just baked through. The top will spring back lightly to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out with moist crumbs but not wet batter.
  8. Let the cakes cool for 5-10 minutes in the pans before turning them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  9. For the frosting, whip the cream cheese and butter together with a handheld electric mixer or with an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix on low speed (so the powdered sugar doesn’t fly everywhere) until combined. Increase the speed to medium and mix until creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add the heavy cream and whip the frosting until very light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
  10. When the cake has cooled completely, place one round on a platter or plate and spread the top evenly with frosting. Place the other cake round upside down on the frosting and press just lightly. Continue frosting with a thin spatula or offset spatula until the top and sides of the cake are evenly frosted. Garnish with blueberries and lemon slices, if desired.
  11. This cake, once frosted, lasts very well in the refrigerator for several days.

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