Rose Benefits

Rose
Latin Name

Rosa centifolia

Origin

Asia, Europe, North America, Northwest Africa

Parts Used

Petals and hips

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Known as the “Queen of the Flowers”, Rose is perhaps one of the most ancient medicinal plants known to humans, with fossil records showing it is at least 35 million years old! From ancient times until the present day, the humble Rose has been used and recommended for various ailments including; wounds, inflammation, skin health, women's health, stomach complaints, headache, dizziness, grief and heartache, and colds & flu (to name just a few).

Rose Benefits

Skin Health

One of the most famous Rose benefits is of that to the skin. In the form of Rose water or Rose Hydrolat, it has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce the redness of irritated skin. It is naturally astringent, helping to tighten the pores, tone the skin and promote a flawless, glowing complexion. Rose water also contains many free radical fighting antioxidants that help to heal and soothe the skin, helping to reduce wrinkles and fine lines and helping to maintain the skin’s delicate Ph balance.

Naturally antibacterial, Rose contains the phytochemicals; nerol, geraniol and citronellol which are effective against many strains of microbes and bacteria. It makes a wonderful natural cleanser that can combat acne, rosacea and other bacterial skin conditions. Not only that, it hydrates and moisturises, leaving the skin feeling soft and silky smooth.

Rose Oil is a hugely popular ingredient in many cosmetic facial preparations. Also powerfully antioxidant, Rose essential oil is extremely effective at combating the signs of aging. The antioxidants in Rose essential oil specifically fight the free radicals that cause fine lines and wrinkles whilst helping to protect against UV damage.  This essential oil can help to regulate moisture levels in the skin keeping it plump, hydrated and healthy.

Rose essential oil and water are cooling and anti-inflammatory, making them a good choice to take the sting out of sunburn or insect bites.

Depression/Anxiety

Naturally uplifting, Roses have been found to contain certain plant flavonoids that are exhibit antidepressant properties. According to the “Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health”, a study in Taiwan was conducted to discover if drinking Rose tea on a regular basis could reduce the occurrence and severity of menstrual cramping. The study, which comprised of 130 women, discovered that consuming Rose tea not only reduced cramping during periods but also noted a significant decrease in distress and anxiety.

The delicate, calming aroma of Rose essential oil is perfect to lift the spirits, helping to overcome stress, anxiety and depression. Promoting emotional balance, it can help to stabilise mood swings, ease nervous tension and relax the body and mind for a restful night’s sleep.  A 2009 study on Rose essential oil took 40 volunteers and administered either Rose essential oil or a placebo through the skin. The ones who received the Rose experienced a greater increase in feelings of calm and relaxation, as well as a greater decrease in breathing rate and blood pressure, compared to those who received the placebo.

Women’s Health

Rose has long had an affinity with the feminine, gently nurturing and supporting women through every aspect of their reproductive lives. Rose essential oil has been found to be effective at reducing the severity of menstrual cramps. Simply massaging diluted Rose oil into the abdomen for 7 days prior to menstruation can significantly reduce the intensity and duration of cramps according to a 2013 study published in “Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine”.

For the menopause, the balancing effect of Rose essential oil on the hormones can help to reduce hot flushes and balance the mood.

Typical Use

Rose Petal Tea

Infuse 2 - 4 teaspoons of Rose Petals in a teapot or cafetiere with boiling water. Use 1 cup of boiling water per person. Let the tea brew for 5 - 15 minutes. Strain the leaves and enjoy.

Rose Essential Oil

Rose essential oil can be used in the bath, or vaporized in an oil burner. It can be added to a massage oil or cream. Use 6-8 drops per bath and 10 -18 drops per 30ml of carrier oil.

Rose Water Hydrolat

Rose Water Hydrolat can by used to spritz the skin to refresh and replenish. It can also be used as a facial toner, to balance the skins Ph and in cleansers and body lotions. 

Folklore and History

Roses have forever been associated with love and beauty. With their distinctive and alluring scent, it’s not surprising that they were revered by the ancient Greeks and Romans who used rose petals to adorn their baths – not only for their heady fragrance but for their beautifying properties too.

Roman women from high society would make rose petal poultices in the belief that they could banish wrinkles with them, and ancient Egyptians would boil down whole roses to create a beauty balm with healing properties.

The notorious Egyptian queen, Cleopatra, famously seduced Mark Antony by covering the floors of her palace and bedroom in rose petals to a depth of half a metre. She is also said to have soaked the sails of her royal barge in rosewater so that the scent was carried on the wind wherever she went.

Rose
Constituents

The most common constituents of Rose include; citronellol, geraniol, nerol, linalool, phenyl ethyl alcohol, farnesol, stearoptene, α-pinene, β-pinene, α-terpinene, limonene, p-cymene, camphene, β-caryophyllene, neral, citronellyl acetate, geranyl acetate, neryl acetate, eugenol, methyl eugenol, rose oxide, α-damascenone, β-damascenone, benzaldehyde, benzyl alcohol, rhodinyl acetate and phenyl ethyl formate.

Precautions

Essential oils need to be diluted first; never apply an essential oil directly to the skin. Avoid contact with eyes and mouth.