Rose essential oil: The essential oil collection
Our sense of smell is strongly connected to our emotions and memories as our scent receptors are located next to the emotional centres in our brain, the amygdala and hippocampus. That is one of the reasons why aromatherapy is so powerful – using oils can trigger the body’s own healing process to begin, as well as soothe and calm your mind to actually allow the process to take place. Essential oils can also interact with certain hormones, neurotransmitters, or enzymes, resulting in a specific change to our bodies’ chemistry. Oils are powerful, and they have little or no side effects.
Just smell the roses – slow down and appreciate life. We are running from one thing to the next, our lives are hurried and devoid of calm. How fitting then that the flower we use to remind people that they owe it to themselves to be happy and mindful is a rose! Roses, so often the symbol of love, is also associated with peace, beauty, and affection.
The Queen of oils
Rose essential oil, sourced from the fresh petals and flowers of the Damascus Rose (Rosa damascene), has many medicinal benefits and uses, and have been used in natural beauty treatments for thousands of years. The oil has properties that makes it an antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, aphrodisiac, astringent, bactericidal, hemostatic, hepatic, and laxative substance. The oil can be obtained in one of three ways: steam distilled, solvent extracted and CO2 extracted. The oil contains several therapeutic compounds such as citronellol (mosquito repellant), citral (antimicrobial needed for vit A synthesis), carvone (digestive aid), citronellyl acetate, eugenol, farnesol (natural pesticide), methyl eugenol (local antiseptic and anesthetic), nerol (antibiotic compound), phenyl acetaldehyde and phenyl geraniol.
Steam distilled rose essential oil is known as Rose Otto, solvent extracted known as Rose Absolute and CO2 extracted oil, the superior one, known as Rose CO2 Extract. Although all 3 oils are all beautiful smelling and therapeutic, there are some differences:
Light yellow in colour, with less viscosity (so it is thinner) compared to the other 2 types of oils. The oil can become solid at lower temperatures without losing any of its integrity. The oil’s aroma is less intense than the other two; this does not make the oil any less effective. Producing Rose Otto takes more rose petals than with the other two methods, making Rose Otto more expensive than the other oils. Together with Rose CO2 Extract, Rose Otto is the preferred oil for use topically.
Favoured by perfumists and fragrance formulators, rose absolute has more fragrance, aromatic strength and a lower cost compared to Rose Otto or Rose CO2 extract. The oil has a deep red colour, and is thick.
Rose CO2 Extract
The oil is thicker, even at room temperature, because the CO2 extraction process extracts more of the heavier aromatic molecules, natural plant waxes and resins. The aroma more closely represents the natural fragrance of fresh roses.
Uses for rose essential oil:
Some of the oil’s health benefits:
Rose oil for skin health:
There are many qualities of rose essential oil that make it beneficial for skin. The antimicrobial and aromatherapy benefits alone are good reason to put a few drops in your DIY lotions and creams. Rose oil, compared to other essential oils, have one of the strongest bactericidal activities, and quickly kills the bacteria responsible for acne. The oil furthermore improves your skin’s ability to absorb nutrients; if used correctly you feed your skin, if not – you are increasing the percentage of chemicals you are absorbing. When applied directly to the skin, skin care products containing rose essential oil have been found to hydrate dry skin, clear acne, reduce signs of aging, minimize the appearance of scars, and help with conditions such as eczema and rosacea.
Libido and hormone health: natural aphrodisiac
The very scent of it can arouse you, and it boosts the libido while invoking romantic feelings which are essential for a successful sex life. This, paired with the anti-anxiety properties, helps to reduce symptoms of performance anxiety, erectile dysfunction, frigidity, and general disinterest in sexual activity. Studies have also implied that the oil can help balance the hormones responsible for your sex drive.
Eases stress: anti-anxiety
The oil can make you feel relaxed, decrease your breathing and blood pressure and overall make you feel calm and collected.
Menstrual cramps and pain:
When combined with lavender, cinnamon, and clove oils in a base of almond oil, rose essential oil used for abdominal massage may be effective in decreasing the severity of menstrual cramps.
Rose oil has successfully been used to fight typhoid, diarrhea, cholera, food poisoning, and other diseases which are caused by bacteria. It can be used to treat acne, as well as external infections on the skin, ears, eyes, and wounds.
The oil’s astringent properties can be used to strengthen hair, improve dental health, contract and tone the skin and improve firmness, and contract blood vessels.
Use the oil to relieve muscle spasms, convulsions, cramps, and muscle pulls.
The antiseptic properties makes it great to treat wounds, protecting you from septicemia and infections.
The anti-inflammatory properties of rose essential oil makes it great in relieving pain, swelling and discomfort associated with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatism, arthritis and gout. It can also be used to reduce fever.
Tips on using rose essential oil safely:
If diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or jojoba, rose essential oil can be applied topically or added to bath water – but only in small amounts. The oil can be diffused or vaporized, but not often and only in small quantities (a drop or two). Rose essential oil should rather not be taken internally. In small concentrations, rose oil can reduce or cure headaches, but in high concentrations it will do the opposite. Rose Otto may contain methyeugenol. All the normal safety rules and precautions for essential oils should be followed.
Rose essential oil blends well with the other floral scents such as geranium and jasmine, or the more spicy oils such as clove oil.
Use essential oils safely:
Because essential oils are highly concentrated they should always be used with caution. Essential oils should not be used undiluted, and should never be applied to the eyes or mucous membranes. Toxicity can occur if too much of the oil is absorbed, hence always dilute. A skin patch test is always recommended prior to using any new essential oil, or after first time use after a long break. Although most essential oils have been proven by science to work as efficiently, or even more, as allopathic drugs, they are not a substitute for medical care. Chronic conditions should not be self-treated, and you should never avoid or delay getting standard medical care. Always consult with your doctor first. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult with their doctor before using any natural or alternative treatment, and also speak to your doctor first before using oils on your kids. People who are epileptic, have liver damage or issues, have cancer, are diabetic, or have any other medical problem, or who suspect they might have any of these conditions, should definitely consult with their doctor first.