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Health Benefits Of Rose Essential Oil: Roses Really Are Red!

Published on Sep 30, 2017 in Essential Oils

Wake up and smell the roses! A natural remedy that has been in use for hundreds of years and is probably growing in your neighbors garden. Roses have always been associated with love, romance – even war, and are common features in art, plays and movies in modern times. But other than our cultural obsession with this amazing flower – most of us will have encountered them in their natural form at some point during our lives. Maybe you gave (or received) a rose on Valentine’s day at some point, or walked past them at your local florist – if they aren’t already growing in your garden.

Either way, they’re very popular and have a wide variety of uses other than adding a bit of color to a room or being offered as a token of your love and gratitude. The medicinal properties of the rose flower have also been known to man for a long time and this was largely why they were cultivated as far back as 5000 years ago. One can say that it was one of the earliest plants to be cultivated by man and has been farmed with ever since. There are many different species of roses and each has its strong points and can be utilized for different reasons. However, the most common use for roses is in the domestic garden for aesthetic purposes as they add color and a pleasant smell to any garden.

Rose essential oil and rose water (which is a distilled by-product of the oil) have been distilled from the petals of the rose flower for hundreds of years to treat a number of illnesses and ailments. The oil has also been the key ingredient in a variety of modern perfumes, shampoos and skin care creams because of the many chemical compounds that naturally occur in the flower – not to mention its distinctive and delightful odor. I recently gave a vial of the oil to a friend to help treat her skin and I’ve only heard great things about it. I’ll give you a few tips on how to use the oil and what it’s most suitable for in the rest of the article, so take a scroll and smell the roses.

What is Rose Essential Oil and Where Does It Come From?

Roses were used to decorate homes, temples and various religious occasions

Roses were very popular during the Greek and Roman empires and were used to decorate homes, temples and various religious occasions. There are over 250 different types of roses in the world. However, the two most commonly used variety of roses in the distillation of the essential oil are Rosa damascena and Rosa centifolia. Both are native to parts of Northern Africa, India, the Middle East and the lower regions of Europe and Eastern Europe. Strangely enough though, the mass cultivation of roses was only introduced to Europe in the 18th century from China who were some of the first to start growing the rose in large quantities 5000 years ago – as I mentioned earlier.

The distillation of rose essential oil and rose water actually originated in ancient Persia and India respectively, and then later spread to Europe as trade routes opened up. Europe began mass distillation of roses for commercial use in the mid to late 19th century and it became very popular as a form of perfume. It is also a key ingredient in a variety of beauty, cosmetic and healthcare products due to its pleasant and distinctive natural odor as well as the many beneficial properties for health that are provided by the various phytonutrients and chemicals that are contained in the petals of the rose flower.  

The most common way to distill pure rose essential oil is through a means known as steam distillation. It’s one of the oldest distillation processes known to man. However, the difference in distilling rose oil from other oils is that the organic material (the rose petals) are combined with the water that is heated to produce the nutrient vapor which later forms the pure extract. Generally, the organic material is separated from the boiling water and the steam (produced by heating the water) fills the chamber containing the organic matter. However, by utilizing the combination method, we get two separate products when distilling the rose petals, namely the rose essential oil and rose water – which is the water that is left behind after the steaming process.


In the combination method, the steam leaves the heating chamber and gathers in a separate condensing apparatus that is usually made of glass. As the vapor cools, it forms droplets which gather to makeup the pure oil extract as we know it. However, it takes a lot of rose petals to produce pure essential oil – a general ratio that is used in the industry (and can give you an idea of how many petals one needs to produce the oil) is 5 tons of roses to 1 liter of essential oil. So, because of the high costs involved with creating pure rose essential oil, it is generally adulterated or blended with the rose water (the redistilled leftovers of the initial distillation process) as well as other oils, such as Jasmine, Palmarosa.

This allows for more volume to be created and also to ‘water-down’ the rose essential oil. In its raw, natural form it can cause skin irritation and headaches when used in excess or too often. In general, the rose water is more commonly used and can be applied to the skin without risk of irritation and is even safe to consume in regulated amounts. Essential oils are generally very concentrated and should always be used carefully – as they’re quite potent in their natural form. I generally recommend patch testing them on your skin before applying on a regular basis as well as avoiding most essential oils during pregnancy, as they can affect your child whilst in the womb.

Rose Essential Oil as An Antiviral Treatment

Inhale rose essential oil through a steam treatment as a way of lowering your temperature during a fever

Most of us probably didn’t realize that the wild rose is a rich natural source of many vitamins and minerals that we often only equate with fruits and vegetables. The petals have high amounts of Vitamin A, B, E, C and K which make them good for strengthening your skin and eyes as well as purifying and detoxifying your blood of any impurities that could cause or lead to infections later on. You can use the rose in many different forms in order to maximize the natural healing benefits of the flower.

Rose water and essential oil is great to add to teas (in small amounts – less than a half a teaspoon) or inhale through a steam treatment as a way of lowering your temperature during a fever as well as strengthening your immune system and increasing your bodies probiotic count, thus strengthening its natural defenses overall. In fact, the dried petals of wild roses have such high levels of Vitamin C that if taken in high enough doses, can actually become pro-oxidants (or toxic) and increase cell damage as well as promote free-radical damage or bonding with cells. I recommend keeping a vial of the oil or water-based extract around your home during the winter times as they’ll protect your body from harmful infections as well as strengthen your immune system. It’s easy to include in your diet as well and can be added to juices, smoothies, teas and even on salads or in your baking – although the baking process generally neutralizes the effects that the oil or water has on your body.

Rose Essential Oil for Acne and Skin Care

The hemostatic and cicatrisant qualities of rose essential oil will help to heal wounds and scars quickly

Rose essential oil and the water extract formed as a by-product of the distillation process not only contain Vitamin A, B, E, C, and K (as I mentioned before) but also have high levels of potassium and iron which are important minerals for keeping skin healthy and rejuvenated. The potassium is an important factor in keeping our electrolyte and internal fluids balanced which means that the membranes of the cells are strengthened thus sustaining cell integrity. The balance of the internal fluids also means that your skin will be hydrated from the inside, and leave it feeling more moisturized in general. So I recommend using the oil both as a topical treatment on the surface of your skin and adding 1 or 2 drops to your tea to help revitalize your skin and give you a healthy complexion.

The oil is also a strong natural antibacterial agent, with natural hemostatic and cicatrisant qualities that will help to heal wounds and scars quickly. The hemostatic nature of the oil redirects cell migration to open wounds and allows clotting to occur faster. The cicatrisant nature of the oil means that the high antioxidant count in the oil allows for it to rid your skin of any toxins that would otherwise slow the healing process, thus strengthening the effects of your skin’s natural regenerative qualities and allowing the healing process to happen more efficiently.

The oil can be applied to a clean cotton swab and wiped onto your skin after cleansing. The oil will remove any excess oil that commonly occurs with oily and combination skin types and it will prevent your pores being clogged up – helping to relieve your skin of any blemishes and marks that generally occur with a build up of oil and dirt in the pores. Finally, the oil also helps to relieve any inflammation that may occur on the surface of your skin, helping to reduce redness and swelling around pimples or wounds. It’s safe and non-toxic so it can be used on a variety of skin-types without worry of irritation or dryness.

Rose Essential Oil for Hair Care

The vitamin, E, A and K found in Rose essential oil help strengthen hair follicles

The skin on our face is very similar to our scalps and can be treated in much the same way. The high Vitamin, E, A and K content found in Rose essential oil can help to strengthen our hair follicles by nourishing them from within and making them stronger, healthier and adding volume to your hair. The potassium content in the oil also stimulates the flow of blood cells in the scalp, which helps to increases the number of natural minerals that reach your hair, encouraging growth. On top of that, this amazing oil also contains high amounts of linalool and limonene – which have been proven to reduce a chemical compound known as 5 alpha -reductase.

This compound commonly occurs in men who have a genetic disposition for pattern baldness and occurs when testosterone builds up in the layers of skin just beneath the surface of the scalp. This reductase then blocks the pores, meaning that the follicles receive fewer nutrients and minerals – which they need to maintain healthy levels of growth – and slowly stop growing and will eventually fall out if the problem is not treated. To treat this as effectively as possible, as well as moisturize your scalp and hair, I recommend utilizing a hot oil treatment – which is something I’ve recommended often because it’s cheap and efficient.  

To do this, all you need is 7-8 drops of Rose Essential oil or 10 drops of Rose Water, Almond oil and Orange oil and two tablespoons of a carrier oil like coconut, castor or olive oil. Simply add the carrier oil to a pan and bring the pan up to a reasonable heat (it should be warm – not too hot). Once the oil is heated, add the essential oils and stir so that they blend nicely. Take the pan off the heat and allow it to cool – note that the oil should be warm, but not hot as you don’t want to burn yourself! Apply the oil to your fingertips and rub it into your scalp slowly and work your way to the bottom of your hair.

Once you’ve coated your head and scalp, wrap your hair with a plastic sandwich wrap or a towel and let the oil soak into your hair and scalp for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Once the time has elapsed, rinse your hair with warm water or a natural herbal shampoo or conditioner. After the first application, your hair should feel smoother, softer and have more body.

Which Oils Blend Well with Rose Essential Oil?

Rose essential oil has a delightful top note odor that is used as the key ingredient in a variety of perfumes and cosmetic products such as moisturizing creams, shampoos and deodorants. When applied to your body, the odor has a fixative property that gives it longer, slow release qualities – basically, it lasts a while longer than most scents do. These fixative qualities also allow the oil to blend well with other scents or oils as it will not overpower them, but rather strengthen the odor of both.

Due to Rose oil’s floral fragrance, I would recommend blending it with oils that are produced in a similar manner such as Ylang Ylang, Palmarosa, Neroli, Jasmine and Geranium. These oils also have many of the same active chemical compounds and vitamin content as Rose essential oil, so they will be more effective in treating your body when utilized together.

Conclusion

Rose essential oil has been in use for hundreds of years – so its healing properties and floral aroma are certainly not news. I think it’s interesting to examine this flower in detail and look beyond its common image as simply being a decoration for one’s garden or household and really being able to utilize flowers more medicinal qualities. I mean, who would have thought that the Rose flower was such a rich natural source of Vitamin A,B,E,C and K!

That’s really enough to rival most on-the-shelf multivitamins, which should make you think twice the next time you think about giving one of them away. It’s important for us to understand that nature has provided solutions for most of our health problems and that all we really have to do is start understanding them and embracing them as holistic alternatives to the often harmful pharmaceutical products that line most of our medicine cabinets or cupboards at home.

Instead of using treatments that have a negative effect on the general quality of your health, why not at least try ones that can strengthen and benefit the overall quality of your health and prevent you from forming another illness on top of the one you already have or plague you with a long list of side-effects that will only make your life harder. Rose essential is an amazing oil to start your alternative treatment collection because it’s safe, familiar to almost all of us (at least in it’s natural form) and is incredibly effective. Investing in your future is as important as treating any illness in the immediacy and natural alternatives are definitely better for your overall quality of life in the long term. So wake up and smell the roses – it’s time to make the switch!

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