MapleHolistics

Rose Absolute Essential Oil Benefits Explained

Red and white rose petals.

Rose and absolute oil are a match made in heaven. For a long time, I thought all oils were basically created equally. While that may be the case for true essential oils, some organic material cannot be subjected to the same processes that are used to create essential oil. It’s important to note that essential oil is created through a method known as steam distillation, wherein heat (steam) is used to extract the various vitamins and minerals from the organic matter through evaporation.

However, certain types of organic material are too sensitive for steam distillation and cannot withstand these high levels of heat. Because of this, a process involving the use of various chemical solvents is sometimes used to extract the phytochemicals, vitamins, nutrients, and other bioactive compounds from organic matter. The end result of this process is known as an ‘absolute’ and it’s important for me to stress that it is not an essential oil.

What Is Rose Absolute Oil?

As I mentioned briefly in the section above – rose absolute oil is not the same as rose essential oil. While the two may have vaguely similar properties and definitely come from the same organic matter, the process through which each is made differs so greatly from one another that they cannot really be compared to each other. By using the solvent method, a manufacturer can save time and money by producing a larger quantity of absolute oil per production run, even if the initial setup of the machinery and the various chemicals needed for the process cost more than the setup of a steam distillation process.  This makes the solvent-based method more suitable for mass manufacturing and ultimately allowing a company to cater to a wider clientele.

However, this comes at the loss of product quality – and you’ll soon see why. In order to extract the necessary elements from the organic material via chemical solvents, the plant matter has to be subjected to a few different stages of extraction. First, the organic matter is laid out on perforated trays and washed with an initial solvent – usually hexane or another hydrogenated chemical solvent. The remaining solution is then filtered again so that most of the solvent is separated from the plant material to be used again. The remaining product is a thick and waxy substance that contains most of the organic compounds of the plant material.

This waxy substance is then washed again with an industrial grade alcohol (usually ethanol) to separate the ‘essential oils’ from this waxy chemical byproduct. To further help the separation process, the mixture is frozen at very low temperatures. This helps to separate the wax molecules from that of the ‘wax-free’ material, or the absolute i.e. the final product. During this process, 3 products can be made at once (another reason why manufacturers prefer this method), namely the initial concrete that results after the first treatment, the floral waxes that are created after the separation process, and the final product – the absolute.

However, it’s also quite easy to see why many tend to avoid these products as there’s no guaranteeing that all of the chemicals used in the separation process will be properly removed from the finished product. This means that by utilizing these products, you’re often exposing yourself to the very chemicals you’re trying to avoid – which is rather ironic. So always be sure to know what you’re buying.

Rose Absolute Oil As An Antidepressant

Close up of tree branches.

Wild Frankincense Tree.

First, it’s important to stress that since absolute oils have varying degrees of chemical contaminants that remain in the final product, you should never ingest them or even apply them directly to your skin. This is because the chemicals can have adverse effects on your health and could lead to skin irritation or an allergic reaction.

That being said, there are other, safe ways to make use of an absolute oil, in this case, rose absolute. For example, a great way to utilize the relaxing qualities of rose absolute oil and help treat stress and anxiety is to dilute it in a suitable carrier oil (such as rose, ylang-ylang or frankincense). If you’ve diluted the oil properly – you shouldn’t experience any issues. On the other hand,  if you start to feel light-headed or develop a headache after using the oil in a burner or vaporizer, be sure to switch it off, open the windows and drink lots of water until the irritation subsides.

The scent of rose essence is well known for helping people relax and unwind and is often used as an active ingredient in skin, hair and beauty products. By regularly using a suitably diluted mixture in your home or personal space, you can help to relieve the effects of stress and anxiety as well as increase your feelings of joy and happiness.

This is because the olfactory gland in our sinuses helps turn smells into chemical responses for our brain to process. Just like there are certain smells which emit chemicals associated with positive feelings (happiness, joy etc.), there are those which have the opposite effect. Roses help to treat stress and anxiety and actually make you feel good. While this method may take a while longer than a conventional antidepressant drug, it’s infinitely less risky. So, instead of choosing a ‘quick-fix’ option, try the holistic approach first and take it from there.

Rose Absolute As An Antiseptic

Essential oil bottle surrounded by pink roses.

Rose Absolute Oil.

This one is a bit tricky for me to prescribe in an ‘off-the-cuff’ way because as I mentioned earlier, it’s quite unwise to apply an absolute oil directly to your skin – let alone on an open wound. While some absolutes may be created better than others, the reality is that anywhere from 5% to 20% of the final product could be made up of chemical contaminants left over from the production process.

This means that when you apply the oil to your skin or to a wound, you’re basically exposing yourself to chemicals which could lead to infection or irritate your skin. This is why I generally recommend using a pure, steam-distilled essential oil for medicinal uses rather than an absolute. However, if you don’t have any around the house and are in need of a makeshift antiseptic treatment for minor wounds, then diluting rose absolute with a kitchen based carrier oil could work in the interim.

For this, I would go with olive oil or castor oil (using the same ratio of 1 rose:2 carrier) and stir the mixture well so that they blend effectively. Rose oil in its natural form is a quite potent natural antiseptic and antimicrobial agent. Applying it to your wound can help to keep the affected area clean and free of bacteria – thereby reducing the chances of infection and encouraging the healing process.

To make a more effective antiseptic, I would consider blending rose absolute with a mixture of orange essential oil and eucalyptus essential oil. While the smell may be weird (although not unpleasant), the healing benefits of this mixture are tremendous and can do a lot more than your conventional antiseptic treatment. So I’d recommend trying this before wasting your money on expensive and toxic antiseptic products and compare the results with your own eyes.

Rose Essential Oil As A Cicatrisant

This section ties into the one before, on using rose absolute oil to help treat minor wounds.  More specifically, I want to focus on rose’s ability to keep open wounds and insect bites clean and treat other skin related issues such as scars, bruises, and stretch marks. Again though, I cannot stress enough how important it is to ensure that you have correctly diluted any absolute oil before putting it on your skin or even using it in a burner or vaporizer. The last thing you want to do is apply it vigorously only to find you’re irritating your skin or potentially introducing harmful, toxic chemicals to your body.

However, once diluted, you can use rose absolute in small amounts on the surface of your skin to help speed up the recovery process of minor wounds as well as for scars, stretch marks, and even bruises. This is due to the oil’s ability to penetrate the skin’s surface and stimulate the flow of blood cells to the affected area. This means that your skin tissue can receive more of the essential minerals and compounds needed to enable cellular regrowth and ultimately speed up the healing process.

Where To Find Rose Absolute Oil?

Absolute oils, in general, can be found at most holistic lifestyle stores – but the best resource for finding and buying practically anything these days is the internet. There are a wide variety of online stores that stock different types and brands of absolute oils – a simple Google search should give you a good idea of just how many options are out there.

This also means that you can often buy directly from the manufacturer and therefore save money plus be able to contact them directly should there be any hassles or worries regarding the formula etc. Absolute oils are a lot more common than most essential oils due to their affordability, so that means you shouldn’t struggle to find them online or offline.

Conclusion

Ultimately, absolute oils are great for DIY deodorants, perfumes, and they can be effective skin treatments once they’ve been properly diluted. However, for a more efficient, safer and generally more environmentally friendly or holistic product  – I would go with a pure, steam-distilled essential oil any day of the week.

While they may cost a little more than most absolutes, the quality difference is immense and can be noticed immediately. Because of the fact that steam distilled or cold-pressed essential oils are generally free of chemical additives or ingredients, they are more versatile and can be used to treat almost everything – from the pores of your skin to the inside of your body.

In my opinion, you get what you pay for in life. While absolute oils may be cheaper in the short run, the long-term issues that may occur by using absolute oils on a regular basis aren’t worth it. So if you’re serious about making the switch to a more holistic and natural lifestyle – spend your money wisely and invest in the real thing. Not just another mass-made, chemical product. Food for thought indeed.