The smell of a rose is intoxicating; symbolizing that of love, friendship or desire.
The rose, itself, has been a part of society for years. Typically given to loved ones throughout the year; especially on Valentine’s Day – the rose has an open invitation to our hearts.
It is said that at least 15-20 tonnes of rose essential oil are produced worldwide each and every year with America being the primary importer of the oil.
As the age old question goes “Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?” Shakespeare did have it right because no matter what you call it a rose is a rose and the smell can be intoxicating evoking fond memories and a sense of love.
Origins of Rose Essential Oil
Roses have a strong and rich history in human society. The timeless floral has been known to be used by the Chinese, the Greeks, the Indians, the Persians and the Romans. It has been incorporated in many stories and legends throughout time and it has been a part of many traditions passed down as well.
The rose is native to the Orient but now is grown all over the world. It has varying colors and scents which make it attractive to a wide breadth of people.
There are at least 250 different and yet distinct species of the rose. This includes wild and hybrid versions as well. However, there are only three varieties that are specifically cultivated and harvested for perfume and essential oil use. These three are the rosaceae gallica or the French rose, the rosaceae centifolia or the Provence rose and the rosaceae damascene or the Damask rose.
Rose essential oil typically comes from the Damask rose and is a pale yellow or olive green in color. It can have a thick yet sticky consistency with a rich floral scent. Sometimes the scent can also have some spicy notes to it.
The rose plant is tall and can climb or trail along the ground. The stems of the rose bush are covered in thorns and the leaves are oval in shape and jagged. The flowers can have as little as five petals or have multiple sets. They come in a variety of colors and shapes.
The Romans and the Greeks often used roses in ceremonies adorning their gods and goddess with them. They would also scatter them all over their floors during festivities for not only beauty but for their aromatic scent as well.
It is said that Aphrodite asked that Hector’s body be embalmed with rose essential oil and the garden of Tarquin the Superb was known throughout the lands because of the variety of roses it held.
The Greeks said that the rose was the flower of queens. The Egyptians used roses in many ceremonies, especially those including their dead. Roses have been found in many of the tombs next to the mummies they contain.
Migration to Europe
Though the rose was introduced to Europe early on it did not start to be cultivated until the Middle Ages when they were grown outside of monasteries for medicinal use.
The purity of the rose remained until 1816 when the first hybrid rose was produced, the “Rose du Roi”. After this point more hybrids came to be, hence why there is now such a large variety of roses as well as colors.
Prior to the French Revolution, and ever since, roses have been used to make the world-famous French rosewater. It just so happened that while making rosewater rose oil was a by-product and so the essential oil revolution for rose oil began.
Rose essential oil has been made for over 300 years in Bulgaria. Taking nearly 9000 pounds or 4000 kilograms of rose petals to produce about 2 pounds or 1 kilogram. Now that is crazy. Bulgaria is still the largest producer of rose oil, though China, France, India, Morocco and Turkey all make and distribute it as well.
Roses bloom in early May. They are typically harvested at this time as well because this is when the rose is most fragrant which is essential for making rose essential oil. They are harvested at night and begin the extraction process right away to ensure the rose petals do not lose too much of their moisture; though they are sprayed with water from time to time to keep their moisture.
Roses are the flower of lovers as well due to their sweet and soothing scent and nature. Their blooms and coloring are highly sought out and desired by lovers. Whether to be used in a full bouquet or to use their petals to shrew about the bedroom lovers far and wide seek out the perfect flower or petal.
Rosewater is also used in many culinary dishes as well as in many perfumes. The scent of the rose is very powerful, sweet and feminine; though pure rosewater or essential oil can be expensive to purchase. Though in the end, the health benefits that roses provide can out weight the cost for many; especially when it comes to fighting the signs of aging.
The Many Benefits of Rose Essential Oil
Rose essential oil is not just a beautiful gift to send or receive, it has many health benefits to offer
- Rose essential oil has been known to help with depression, improve the overall health of your skin and improve one’s libido.
- Rose essential oil can help to calm and relax the mind and the body, this is important in help to reduce the symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.
- Rose essential oil helps with the skin by helping to reduce the signs of aging as well as helping to relieve many skin ailments such as eczema, scarring and reducing inflammation due to injury.
- Rose essential oil is also known to help with PMS and menopausal symptoms; helping to reduce menstrual cramps and hot flashes.
- Rose essential oil also blends well with many other essential oils which make it great for treating specific ailments and giving a boost to what is being treated as well as treating multiple ailments at the same time.
- Rose essential oil is a lovely essential oil to keep in your essential oil kit at home because of the many health benefits and calming aromatic flavor it delivers.
10 Common Uses of Rose Essential Oil
Rose essential oil has many health benefits that can be useful on a day to day basis. It is a foundational oil to have in your home essential oil kit; though the flower itself is not bad to look at or smell either.
- Antioxidant: Rose essential oil has many antioxidant properties. First of all it helps to purify the blood by removing unwanted toxins from it; it also helps to neutralize the blood too. This can help to protect the skin from unwanted ailments including rashes, boils or ulcers. Second it is a powerful laxative helping to rid the body of toxins in the digestive system such as food poisoning. Third, it possess good bactericide properties, meaning it can help in the treatment of bad bacteria in the body such as cholera, food poisoning and other disease that can be caused by bacteria. It helps with both external and internal bacteria that may be plaguing the body.
- Antiseptic: Rose essential oil has antiseptic properties which help in treating wounds both inside and out of the body. It helps to clean said wounds and help to prevent infection from taking hold.
- Aphrodisiac: Rose essential oil is a lovely aphrodisiac to have on hand. It helps to boost the libido sparking romantic feelings thus helping to create a better sex life with your partner. It can help with erectile dysfunction, sexual dysfunction and frustrations as well as frigidity and general disinterest in sex.
- Depression and Anxiety: Rose essential oil helps with anxiety and depression. It helps to boost self-confidence and esteem in individuals thus boosting mental strength which is important in helping to fight depression and anxiety. It helps to promote relaxation and evoke feelings of joy and happiness in those suffering from anxiety and depression. It helps to lift the mood and bring back pleasant feelings and emotions.
- Digestive System: Rose essential oil helps the digestive system in many ways. It helps to remove toxins from the system with its laxative properties. It helps to remove harmful bacteria from the body with its bactericide properties. It helps to promote a strong and healthy liver by removing harmful toxins and bacteria from the system. It helps to reduce stomach pain and inflammation improving stomach function. It also helps to reduce acid production, gas build-up and constipation. Rose essential oil also helps to reduce inflammation in the digestive system that can be caused by many different ailments. Basically rose essential oil helps to promote, maintain and regulate your digestive system to ensure that it runs smoothly causing little to no problems for a person.
- Immune system: Rose essential oil is important to the immune system. It helps to reduce fevers by sedating and reducing inflammation that causes the fever. The antispasmodic properties are important in helping to reduce symptoms caused by colds and flus. It also helps to fight against viruses and bacteria that may be invading the immune system. Its antiseptic properties along with the good bactericide it contains are important in boosting the immune system when an attack on it is present.
- PMS and Menopause symptoms: Rose essential oil is wonderful in helping women during their time of their month and later on in years. It helps to lessen the symptoms of PMS as well as helping to delay the symptoms of menopause. It helps to calm and reduce cramping as well as help to balance hormones, reduce bloating and overeating and helping to reduce excessive bleeding. It also helps to regulate the period by triggering menstruation which is important for women who suffer from obstructed or irregular periods. It can also help to fight against nausea and fatigue which can also be associated with PMS and menopause.
- Respiratory System: Rose essential oil helps the respiratory system as well. Its antispasmodic properties are important in help to spasms due to a chest infection and/or cough. This helps to heal and rest the lungs during a cold or flu. Its antiseptic properties are important in helping to rid the body of unwanted bacteria or infection that may be present causing a cold or flu. This helps to get rid of the infection and prevent future infections from taking hold. Finally good bactericide that rose essential oil contains is important in ridding the body, once again, from infection. All of these properties are helpful in ridding infection to allow the body to heal and get over any damage that has been caused
- Skin Care: Rose essential oil is highly supportive of proper skin care. It helps in wound care by healing and keeping infection away; due to its antiseptic properties. It helps to strengthen the hair and the gums due to its astringent properties. This property also helps to tighten the skin and contract the muscles helping to reduce wrinkles and the signs of aging. It helps to protect against hair and teeth loss. It also helps to reduce scarring caused by injury or acne, helping to fade the look of the scar and creating a more even skin tone. It also is important in speeding up the healing process of a wound which is also important in reducing scarring. It helps to promote blood circulation which keeps skin looking youthful.
- Stress reliever: Rose essential oil is great in helping to reduce stress. It helps to calm the nerves and reducea the symptoms of stress that are often caused by depression and anxiety. It will help to keep a person calm and level headed in times of high stress or trauma.
7 Recipes to Use with Rose Essential Oil plus Some Other Helpful Uses Ideas
Rose essential oil can be used in a variety of ways. Since rose essential oil has so many health benefits it can be used alone or blended with other essential oils to create a powerful tonic. Have fun using rose essential oil and create your own special blend and use for the oil.
Rose Anti-Aging Blend
- In a dark glass bottle mix together the above ingredients.
- Mix well.
- Apply to skin and massage in.
- Can be applied to wrinkles, puffy eyes, broken capillaries and even to dry skin causes by ailments such as eczema.
Rose Vinegar Toner
- 3 oz. or 80 grams pink or red rose petals – fragrant
- 3 fl. oz. or 75 mL white wine vinegar
- 18 fl. oz. or 500 mL distilled water
- In a glass jar mix together the rose petals and vinegar.
- Let sit for a week shaking it every so often.
- After the week is over strain the mixture into a dark glass bottle.
- Add in the distilled water.
- Mix well.
- Apply a few drops to a cotton swab and massage over the face.
- Use after washing your face.
Rose Essential Oil Breast Toner
- In a dark glass bottle mix all of the above ingredients together
- Mix well.
- Apply to the breast after childbirth to encourage firmness of the breasts.
- 5-6 drops rose EO
- 1 tsp. carrier oil (argan, avocado, coconut, sesame, sweet almond, jojoba, grapeseed, macadamia) or full-fat milk
- Combine the above ingredients together in a jar.
- Mix well.
- Add into your bath water and allow to dissolve and mix into the water.
- Get in, relax and enjoy.
PMS and Muscle Pain Reliever
- 2-3 drops rose EO
- 3 Tbsp. carrier oil of your choice
- In a glass jar mix the above ingredients together.
- Mix well.
- Massage a few drops in the palm of your hands and massage over the stomach or any sore, tired or aching muscle.
- Apply as needed.
Simple Rose Diffusion
- 2-4 drops rose EO
- Add the rose essential oil to a diffuser.
- Allow it to diffuse and penetrate the air to help deodorize and calm the air you are breathing.
Depression and Sleep Aide
- Add the above ingredients to a diffuser.
- Place the diffuser in your bedroom and turn on as you go to bed.
- Use as needed nightly as it will help to reduce the symptoms of depression allowing you to have a more restful sleep.
Here are a few other ideas you may want to try when it comes to use rose, rosewater or rose essential oil.
- Try cooking with rose petals or rosewater. It can be amazing in pies and jams as well as candies and salad dressings.
- Try having some rose tea.
- Perhaps try making some homemade rose petal wine or a rose liqueur.
- Try putting some rose oil into your laundry to make the sheets smell heavenly.
- Gargle with some sage to help with a sore throat.
- Diffuse in the air or massage onto your partners next to help boost the libido.
- To help clear acne try applying some rose essential oil directly onto your breakouts using a cotton swab three times day.
- Try diffusing it throughout the home to clean and purify the air as well as helping to relieve symptoms of stress and depression.
- Try inhaling it to help to boost the immune and respiratory system.
Possible Side Effects and Cautions When Using Rose Essential Oil
Caution should always be used and exercised when it comes to using and consuming essential oils and rose essential oil is no exception. Though, a great essential oil to have in your home kit there are, of course, a few things to note when using it at home.
- When used in high concentrations rose essential oil can induce headaches due to its strong aroma, though in mild concentration doses it can actually help to eliminate headaches.
- Caution should also be used and exercised around women who are pregnant, about to become pregnant or who are breast-feeding children. Rose essential oil may cause complication with the pregnancy and may cause a miscarriage if taken improperly.
- Children are highly sensitive to all essential oils to great care should be used around children.
- Caution should also be exercised around pets, especially cats, as essential oils are toxic to them.
- Dogs are more able to handle essential oils but be sure to check that your dog and/or other pets can handle essential oil use in the home.
Rose essential oil is non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing which makes it an easy essential to oil to use on a daily basis and in the home. Be sure to test the essential oil prior to full use to ensure there are no adverse effects to you or anyone in your home. Always test on a small patch of skin prior to full use as well.
It should be noted that absolute essential oils are highly concentrated forms of the essential oil and should be diluted or used in smaller doses. These are, however, the purest forms of the essential oil that is extracted and therefore will give you the health benefits you desire.
What to Look For and Note When Purchasing Rose Essential Oil
What to look for when purchasing rose essential oil can be a daunting task. You want to ensure you are purchasing the purest form of the essential oil. You also want to ensure you are getting the right oil for therapeutic use. So here are a few things to keep in mind when you are out searching for your oil.
Check the manufacturer/company is a reputable. You want to ensure they are an honest company and that they go about their harvesting and distillation process properly.
- Check the harvesting and distillation process is done correctly and ethically.
- Check to see what distillation process they use. You want to ensure they use the steam distillation process for therapeutic use. Solvent distillation is not recommended for therapeutic use.
- Check the ingredients. You want to ensure you are purchasing pure or absolute rose essential oil and not rose essential oil diluted with a carrier oil. Dilution with a carrier oil is not a bad thing, however, some of the therapeutic properties may be muted.
- Price compare. Prices are going to vary to price check with multiple companies and a manufacturer to ensure what you are purchasing is pure and true and fits within your budget.
- Note that each and every harvest will vary. The temperature, weather, environment and even pollination can affect the rose and thus will change slightly the composition of each harvest. Don’t worry the main features and health benefits will always be there, but you may notice one year the color is more yellow and the scent is stronger which the next year the color will have a greenish color and the scent is a little muted. This is normal and the main health benefits will be there.
How to Make Rose Essential Oil at Home
Making rose essential oil at home can be a long process. Rose essential oil is made by the process of solvent distillation, known as rose absolute oil, or steam distillation, known as rose otto oil.
The process of solvent distillation can be dangerous because the solvents that are used to make the rose essential oil are highly flammable and volatile so great care needs to be taken to ensure there are no fires or explosions.
Once harvested the rose petals are removed and quickly put into the solvent to begin the distillation process. It is important to begin the distillation process immediately after harvest to ensure that the petals do not dry out; retaining as much moisture in the roses ensures the best end product possible. Sometimes the roses are sprayed with water to help retain their moisture content.
The rose petals are spread out onto trays and layered inside of the distillation cylinders. Essentially it is a pressure cooker. Water and the solvent are added into the cylinders and the process begins. Temperature is constantly checked to ensure it correct; it needs to be between 113-122 °F or 45-50°C.
The water and the solvent constantly run through the roses extracting the essential oil. Once done a thick mixture remains at the bottom of the cylinders and is then removed and cooked off to create the desired end product.
This process can take days to accomplish and can be costly, but the end product is highly sought after and desired.
As stated above, rose essential oil can also be made through the process of steam distillation as well. This process is not as costly or dangerous, but can be just as time consuming.
Solvent distillation is not typically used for therapeutic purposes, steam distillation is, but can still be used in other ways for a person to reap the many health benefits that rose oil has.
Hopefully this post has been helpful for you. If you have any questions, comments or recommendation of your own concerning rose oil please let us know in the comment section below.