For generations, the rose flower has been nature’s prime embodiment of love, beauty, peace and purity. Its varied colors, shapes, and sizes can fit every mood and occasion, and its sweet note is the most distinctively known natural fragrance in the world. Even those with no prior knowledge of the beneficial qualities it holds will attest to one thing: seeing and smelling a rose flower can soften the toughest of hearts.
In addition to its beautiful petals and the intoxicating scent, the rose flower is also known for its rose essential oil, which harbors many therapeutic and aromatic properties. It’s widely used in the treatment of physical and mental health conditions, as well as in natural beauty products to promote the good health of the skin.
Rose essential oil in history
Rose essential oil is derived from the flowers of the Damask rose, the most fragrant species of rose. Sometimes called the Rose of Castile, Damask is a natural hybrid that results from two parent species, Rosa gallica and Rosa moschata.
The Damask rose plant blooms heavily in the summer. The color of its blossoms ranges from light pink to bright red, and the sweet, strongly floral aroma easily attracts bees, hummingbirds and other pollinators.
The rose plant has a diverse history and is featured in countless stories, legends, and myths. According to records, the early civilizations of China, Egypt, Greece, and Persia grew roses as long as 5,000 years ago.
However, the Damask species didn’t appear until about 20 BC, in Assyria, which was then part of the Roman Empire. It particularly thrilled the Romans because of its strong perfumery note and was used as body fragrance by emperors and nobles. Concurrently, Italian physicians realized the effects of heated flower vapors to the mind and spirit, and the rose quickly became a regular ingredient in aromatherapy.
Despite its long history, the Damask rose was not distilled for its oil until the 10th Century by Avicenna, the famous Persian polymath. The first fully-fledged rose oil distillery was later established in Shiraz, Persia, in the 1600s.
Today, the Damask rose is no longer found growing in the wild. Instead, it’s cultivated in Asia, Europe, and Africa, where most of the produce goes to the perfume and cosmetics industry.
Some flowers are however steam-distilled to obtain the precious essential oil. It takes about 60,000 roses to make one ounce of rose oil. When fresh, Damask rose oil has a thin consistency, a light yellow shade, and a deep, rosy, fresh scent.
Rose oil uses
Rose essential oil harbors antibacterial, antiviral, antidepressant, antiphlogistic, astringent, aphrodisiac, cicatrisant, hepatic, nervine, stomachic and depurative properties, and is, therefore, widely employed by medical practitioners and herbalists.
Some of the common uses of rose oil include:
Relieves stress, anxiety, and tension
Aromatherapists value rose essential oil for its ability to invoke mental and spiritual relaxation, joy, happiness, and hope to people with negative feelings, such as fear, worry, stress, and sadness. When diffused in a room, its fragrance is carried directly to the brain and nervous system, where it leads to reduced levels of Cortisol, the universal stress hormone.
Consequently, rose oil has found an essential role in the treatment of anxiety, panic attacks, and acute depression. Patients recovering from depression can also take regular doses of the oil to boost morale and enlighten the spirit.
Kills harmful microbes
As an effective antiseptic and antimicrobial agent, rose essential oil can be applied to fresh injuries to prevent infections. It’s occasionally used to treat wounds and cuts when the scent of mainstream antiseptics is irritating or unpleasant to the recipient.
Internally, rose oil is a proven shield against respiratory bacteria and viruses, which cause complications like colds, coughs, flu and fever. It can also be used to cure typhoid, diarrhea, dysentery, and other digestive diseases, as well as remedy infections in the stomach, intestines and urinary tract.
Rose essential oil promotes the good health of the skin in several ways. For starters, its effective antiseptic properties help to cleanse the skin and prevent the accumulation of harmful bacteria and fungi. It also possesses astringent characteristics, which assist in toning, tightening and lifting saggy skin.
Additionally, this essential oil rejuvenates and restores damaged skin by quickening the healing of wounds and fading of persistent scars. These include marks left after boils, acne, pox, injury or surgery as well as fat-cracks associated with pregnancy and childbirth.
Roses are a primary symbol of love, and the thing that makes them so indispensable when it comes to romance is their essential oil. Inhaling rose oil immediately boosts the libido and induces romantic feelings, which are necessary for a successful sex life.
In men, rose essential oil is regularly used to help with sexual dysfunction, especially that related to depression, trauma, stress, performance anxiety, or a general disinterest in sexual activity.
Improves the circulatory system
When rose essential oil finds its way into the bloodstream, it helps in the neutralization and removal of toxins. This not only prevents health complications but also promotes the steady movement of blood through the vessels.
Furthermore, the astringent property of rose oil contracts and tones blood vessels to minimize blood loss from hemorrhages after an injury or surgery.
Lastly, the fragrance of rose oil instills a relaxing effect, not only to the mind and body but the heart as well. This lowers blood pressure and smooths the pulse, ensuring the healthy functioning of the cardiovascular system.
Treats numerous feminine problems
Rose essential oil has many beneficial effects on the female reproductive system. It's routinely recommended by physicians as a natural cure for uterine discharge, and irregular menses. It also purifies the uterus and keeps it functioning well, even in advanced age, hence delaying menopause.
Massaging a few drops of rose oil on the lower abdomen can help to relieve the discomforts of menstruation, such as cramps, bloating, pain, nausea, and fatigue. The oil’s vapors can also eliminate the emotional symptoms associated with menses.
Aids in Digestion
Rose essential oil promotes the flow of bile from the gall bladder and helps to regulate the acid levels in the stomach and the blood thus preventing cases like acidity and acidosis. The bile also helps in the digestion of food, together with the acids secreted into the stomach. Improved digestion can reduce the chances of constipation, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome.
Rose essential oil acts as a tonic for the nerves. It strengthens them in case of shock and protects them from disorders resulting from age and injuries.
Recent studies have comprehensively proven the favorable effects rose oil has on the liver. It keeps it healthy and infection-free and deals with problems like excessive bile production, gastrointestinal acidity, and ulcers.
Rose essential oil can also strengthen the gums and hair roots; this prevents untimely loss of teeth and hair.
As a laxative, rose essential oil influences the stomach, intestinal and anal muscles to empty the bowels. This prevents toxicity and the accumulation of gas in the body and also helps to lose weight.
As one of the friendliest essential oils, rose exhibits no significant side effects to the skin or body when used in moderation. However, although its aroma can eliminate headaches, fever and nausea, inhaling for an extensive period can do just the opposite.
Because of rose oil's effects on the reproductive and circulatory systems, it should be avoided during pregnancy. Moreover, there is not enough information to support or disprove whether rose oil has any effects on the fetus.
Always test for sensitivity before widespread use on the skin by first applying it to a small, relatively safe area, such as the feet. Rose essential oil is considered safe to use undiluted, but it’s always advisable to use a suitable carrier oil like almond or jojoba when administering to the skin.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.