From Cleopatra and the goddess Venus, to the poetry of Rumi and lovers all over the world, roses invoke feelings of love by opening the heart and bringing much joy. Other flowers pale in comparison to the rose, and no other herb or plant is referenced to more often in all of history, nor exalted in literature and mythology, nor used for so many sacred purposes as the rose. It has become a symbol of adoration, youth, immortality, pleasure, and beauty and is recognized as such all over the globe.
Rose is sometimes referred to as the Queen of flowers, the King of essential oils, and a gift from angels. Cherished and held high esteem for its intrinsic beauty, mesmerizing aroma & stupendous health benefits, the rose was used in garlands, scented baths, perfumes, and for ostentatious public events. Satapatri is the Ayurvedic name of Rose and in India, roses are used in abundance to bring in prosperity and joy at weddings, and also used in funeral ceremonies to cleanse the aura and the atmosphere.
The word rose comes from the Greek “roden” which translates to red as the original rose of the ancients is thought to have been a deep crimson colour. The rose and rose oils have been revered for thousands of years, and perhaps even longer. Fossil evidence shows the rose to be 35 million years old. Today there are over 100 species and over 1000 cultivers of rose known. Rose oil (Rosa damascena) is steam distilled from rose petals. It takes a substantial amount of petals to extract a small drop of oil - approximately 180 pounds of rose petals, or 60,000 fresh-picked roses, to achieve 1 oz of rose oil. The flowers are generally picked by hand between 5 and 10 in the morning as this is the period that the flowers are open and the oil content is at the highest.
Rose has the distinguishing attribute of carrying the highest vibration of all oils and it one of the most complex essential oils known, containing more than 300 chemical compounds. Perhaps for this reason rose oil has the most diverse therapeutic properties of all essential oils. It is said to be effective on the body, mind and soul and is used in all levels of life. Rose has been called a “miracle of nature” and “perfection personified.” It is described by Worwood as “representing passion of the spirit with a deep, hypnotic personality – vivacious and alive…epitomizing the gentleness of the female spirit.”
There are two main types of rose essential oil. Rosa damascene (rose otto) is sometimes referred to as the Bulgarian or Turkish Rose because it is cultivated in Bulgaria and Turkey, where the flowers are picked at dawn and the yellow-brown-orange oil is extracted through steam distillation within 24 hours. This oil is particularly high is citronellol and geraniol and is the oil recommended for health, skin, and beauty benefits. The second type of rose essential oil is Rosa centifolia (rose absolute) which is cultivated in France, Morocco and Egypt is also called Moroccan Rose. This oil is high in phenyl ethanol and is characterized by a different colour, aroma and therapeutic properties. This type is more commonly used in the perfume industry. Due to its different extraction method, residues of solvent may remain in rose absolute, therefore, rose otto is more desirable for purposes of healing with aromatherapy.
The magic of the rose can comfort a broken heart, soothe the ache of a love lost or not actualized, and help one let go of past relationships. It can ease grief and sorrow, subdue sadness, and help eliminate feelings of disappointment, jealousy, resentment, fear, despair, frustration, and anger. While nurturing the heart, it encourages feelings of love, compassion, and trust, and opens the doors to empathy and friendship. It supports the emotions, calms the nerves, and helps to overcome hyperactivity and insomnia. Rose stabilizes mood swings and it can lift depression, ease anxiety and panic, dissolve psychological pain, elevate the spirits, and reduce stress and tension. It can help dissolve emotional blocks that stand in the way of experiencing happiness and joy by inspiring creativity, boosting confidence, and activating intuition.
Rose oil is revered as an aphrodisiac, as it symbolizes love, purity and innocence, yet is sensual and stimulating at the same time. It has an affinity with the heart chakra and also with the sacral chakra. Rose oil has been traditionally classified as an herb of love and it boosts the libido of both men and women. “When rejection or loss has injured one’s capacity for self-love and nurturing, rose oil brings a sweet, gentle comfort, restoring the trust that makes love possible again.”
Rosehip oil, which is made from the fruits of the rose bush, is rich in essential fatty acids and high in antioxidants. It penetrates to the deep layers of skin, stimulating collagen production. It nourishes, rehydrates and moisturizes skin, heals age spots, hyperpigmentation, and scars, smooths fine lines and wrinkles; improves skin tone and texture. It is known to protect against sun exposure and promote skin regeneration. You will find both rosehip oil and rose otto essential oil in abundance in my Sensational Skin Serum.
Rose otto essential oil benefits all skin types, especially mature, dry, sensitive, or damaged skin. Its emollient and hydrating properties contribute to the skin’s softness. It helps restore the moisture balance and smooths wrinkles. It has a tonic and astringent effect on capillaries and constricts tiny blood vessels, thus helping to diminish the redness of broken capillaries and rosasea. Rose oil has a cooling effect, therefore, it helps reduce inflammation, fades acne scars, and improves skin texture. Rose water is a soothing and nourishing treatment to use as a skin toner or facial mist.
Rose Petals contain quercitin, tanins and volatile oils with so many health benefits. Roses are believed to have an aphrodisiac effect, helping in the proper functioning of the reproductive system, treating sexual dysfunction. They are used in treatment of gynechological disorders, dysmenorrheal and menstrual problems. They nourish, soothe and strengthen the tissues. They are a promising aphrodisiac for enhancing reproductive health and increasing female libido. Their astringent action increases toning of the uterine wall and helps tighten the endometrium. They are anti-inflammatory, helping to relax muscles and they have a cooling effect on the skin. High in antioxidants, rose petals prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. In addition, these powerful petals have a cleansing effect, while helping to retain moisture in the delicate skin, resulting in more firm and plump tissues. Organic rose petals are the main ingredient in my Sacred Steam Herbal Blend.
The health benefits of rose otto essential oil can be attributed to its properties as an antidepressant, antiphlogistic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, aphrodisiac, astringent, bactericidal, cholagogic, cicatrizant, depurative, emmenagogue, hemostatic, hepatic, laxative, nervine, and stomachic. It is considered to be a general tonic to the nerves and uterus. It may relieve circulatory problems, constipation, headaches, and skin disorders. It is used in treatment of mental problems, as it cures convulsion and remedies mental fatigue. Rose oil controls high fever, prevents internal bacterial infections, purifies the blood, and helps with muscle pulls & cramps. It also prevents wounds from developing infections, protects the liver & stomach, strengthens gums & hair roots, and speeds up blood coagulation. It helps stimulate menstruation, and gives strength during shock.
When making perfumes, Rose essential oil blends well with jasmine, neroli, geranium, lavender, clary sage, sandalwood, lemon, Roman chamomile, mandarin, ylang ylang, petitgrain, vetiver, bergamot and patchouli.