An exquisite native of the Orient largely known for its seductive fragrance, the essential oil of Rose (Rosaceae) is highly valued in beauty products for fighting wrinkles, regenerating, soothing and toning skin.
While many varieties are grown extensively all over the world, the damask rose (Rosa Damascena) that originated in Syria is the most cultivated for its exotic perfumed oils and therapeutic uses. The damask rose is said to be one of the most fragrant and oldest species of roses, most valued for its strong aroma and highest oil content.
Widely regarded as one of the most illustrious flowers in the world, roses have played a notable part in legends, myths and legacies (perfumery and aromatherapy). Roses were grown in monasteries throughout Europe for their medicinal properties in the middle ages.
The ancient civilizations of the Romans, Greeks and Egyptians used roses extensively in religious ceremonies and perfumery. Homer eulogized it in both the Iliad and Odyssey; Greek poet Sappho called it the queen of flowers and Roman poet Virgil claimed that Aphrodite asked for Hector's body to be embalmed with an ointment of rose essence.
Although the enchanting scent of rose has traditionally been used as an aphrodisiac and a key note in sophisticated perfumes, Rose also happens to have a multitude of additional body and skin benefits.
It helps scars from acne, boils or pox fade quickly. This includes stretch marks, surgery scars, and fat cracks associated with pregnancy and delivery. Much of this is due to the antioxidant activity of rose essential oil, which aids and enhances the natural healing process of the epidermis.
It is also used in a variety of skin care solutions to soothe and tone skin due to its antiseptic, anti-bacterial and astringent properties. It regulates hormone production and smoothens wrinkles and age spots, so is also used extensively in anti-aging creams for mature skin.
Body and Health
Rose is an anti-depressant and used to treat depression, nervous disorders and promote mental health. It can be used to relieve anxiety, boost self-esteem and uplift mood. In aromatherapy it is applied topically to enhance spiritual well being, invoke relaxation and feelings of hope and happiness.
The anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and anti-viral properties of rose are used to reduce inflammation from fevers and microbial infections and thwart viral infections. It can reduce swelling from rheumatism, muscular spasms and arthritis. Topically applied, rose oil can help protect wounds from becoming septic and developing infections.
Rose also promotes the general health of the digestive tract, boosts liver health, and improves general blood circulation. It enhances libido and cures sexual disorders, while tightening gums and muscles, regulates hormone production and promotes uterine health.
When used in moderation rose essential oil is a wonderful panacea to a multitude of health concerns. However, if used in excess its strong aroma can cause headaches in sensitive people and should generally be avoided during pregnancies.