Secret of the Rose
Spring is here and one of the amazing things I have learned in holistic medicine is how important flowers are to our health. Their beauty is pleasing to the eye, their scent is pleasing to our nose, but their amazing medicinal qualities are important for our overall health. This week I want to rave about the rose.
One of my favorite flowers is the rose. I don’t really have a color preference just that it’s a rose is wonderful to me. I couldn’t explain why it made me feel so good just that it was a beautiful and aromatic flower. I enjoyed the flower but also bought rose-scented lotions and perfumes so I could enjoy the aroma anytime.
When I began working with essential oil I noticed Rose oil was quite expensive and it’s very difficult to find a true, pure rose oil. I began making my own rose water because it was so difficult to find a pure, organic one. I was ecstatic to find how easily rosewater could be made at home. Rose oil, well not so much.
I quickly learned making rose oil would be much more difficult than I thought. Did you know that it takes ten thousand pounds of roses to make one pound of oil? It also takes one hundred five pounds of rose petals to make one five milliliter bottle of oil. No wonder it is so expensive and difficult to find a true and pure rose essential oil. I guess I will just stick to making my rosewater and purchasing my rose essential oil.
So, what is in a rose that attracts us to it besides its natural beauty? Let’s look at the Rosa damascene petals and see what they are comprised of.
Citronellyl Acetate is what gives the rose the delightful scent we enjoy so much.
Phenyl Acetyldehyde is part of the sweet aroma and is also in chocolate.
Phenyl Geraniol is the natural form of geraniol which is used in flavoring and perfumes.
Citronellol is an effective mosquito repellant.
Citral is what gives lemons their flavoring and part of the Vitamin A synthesis and is an antimicrobial agent.
Carvone acts as a digestive aid and is also found in dill.
Eugenol is considered by many to be the most powerful antioxidant substance known and is found mostly in clove.
Farnesol is a natural pesticide and found in plants such as jasmine, orange blossoms and ylang-ylang.
Methyl Eugenol has local antiseptic and anesthetic effects and can be found in cinnamon as well.
Nerol is a sweet-smelling antibiotic also shared with hops and lemongrass.
With all these compounds in each petal you can now see why rose essential oil distilled from the Rosa damascene delivers wellness and healing to the body. While other rose varieties contain many of these chemicals it’s the Rosa damascene that carries the most and has the strongest scent.
Now that we know what these compounds are and what they do we can see how useful the rose is for depression and relaxation, a heightened libido and keeping your skin healthy.
The Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practices Journal reported the effects of rose and lavender oil aromatherapy being helpful to women suffering with postpartum depression.
In the Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment Journal reported that rose oil was effective in the treatment SSRI induced sexual dysfunction in men with major depressive disorder.
For centuries women have used rose oil as an anti-aging ingredient for youthful beauty. In 2010, Chinese researchers found that after just five minutes with a .25% dilution, rose essential oil was able to completely destroy the bacteria that causes acne.
Also, in 2010, German researchers found benefits of how rose oil can increase the permeability of substances and what they carry into your skin. This can be frightening if you are using rose oil with products using harmful ingredients in them.
It’s best to use the pure rose oil with a carrier oil made for your skin type and dab directly on your problem areas. I have also made a spritzer with it using witch hazel to use as a daily toner.
There are so many other uses that the rose can do when distilled into an essential oil. It can relieve spasms in the respiratory and intestine area. Protect us from viruses and colds. Reduce the symptoms of sexual dysfunction while boosting the libido. Tones and lifts skin and contracts muscles, intestines and blood vessels. Helps end the flow of blood from wounds by contracting the blood vessels. Purifies the blood by removing and neutralizing the toxins and free radicals in your body. Eases menstruation and the list goes on.
Now that you understand the inner beauty and graciousness of this exquisite flower you will never look at it the same. Whether you enjoy it in your garden, at your dining room table, as an essential oil or rosewater you will now realize the good health and joy it can bring you.
Psalm 103:15-17 King James Version (KJV)
15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;
Boskabady, Mohammad Hossein, et al. “Pharmacological Effects of Rosa Damascena.”Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3586833/
Conrad, P, and C Adams. “The Effects of Clinical Aromatherapy for Anxiety and Depression in the High-Risk Postpartum Woman - a Pilot Study.” Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 18 Aug. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22789792.
Zu, Yuangang, et al. “Activities of Ten Essential Oils towards Propionibacterium Acnes and PC-3, A-549 and MCF-7 Cancer Cells.” Www.mdpi.com, Molecules, 25 Feb. 2010, www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/15/5/3200.
Schmitt, S, et al. “Comparative Study on the in Vitro Human Skin Permeation of Monoterpenes and Phenylpropanoids Applied in Rose Oil and in Form of Neat Single Compounds.” Die Pharmazie., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20225652.
Facts, Organic. “19 Surprising Benefits Of Rose Essential Oil.” Organic Facts, 30 Oct. 2017, www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-rose-essential-oil.html.