Rose Essential Oil- Benefits, Uses, and Origin
The aroma given off by rose essential oil is one of the coveted scents used in the production of perfumes. There are different species of rose from which essential oils are collected, but the two primary sources are the damask rose (Rosa damascene) and cabbage rose (Rosa centifolia).
Damask rose, a natural hybrid of a wild rose species and the Gallica rose, is originally from Eastern Mediterranean. It is described to have flowers ranging from pink to white with stems that are heavily thorned. The cabbage rose was grown around the 17th century in Europe. They are described as round, with petals that have a velvety feel with colors that range from pink, white, and dark red purple.
Rose essential oil comprises around 200 components but what gives it its distinct scent are the key compounds: beta-damascenone, beta-damascone, beta-ionone, and rose oxide.
It was in India where the distillation of rose was first discovered. The rose-covered canal was exposed to the heat of the sun, which resulted in the oil's separation from the water, releasing the sweet scent of the oil.
Types of Rose Oil
Rose otto, also known as rose attar, was first imported from Persia to Europe. Its rich, floral scent is attributed to the exorbitant amount of geraniol on the oil. This oil exhibits a waxy texture under low temperature but returns to its liquid phase at room temperature, with its scent becoming more potent when warmed in the skin. Its rich, floral scent makes it a famous ingredient on lotions and perfumes.
Rose alba oil, also known as white rose otto oil, has a more potent smell than damask rose. Compared to others, it is more expensive because of the labor-intensive process of collecting it.
Its long-lasting fragrance is described as rich and sweet with a hint of spicy aroma. It is used in producing high-end perfumes.
The cabbage rose has an intensely sweet, floral, and woody aroma. It is commonly cultivated in Egypt, Morocco, France, and China. Its very delicate petals make it challenging to process and harvest the essential oil.
The rosy, fresh fragrance of the damask rose essential oil can ease stress and feelings of depression. Its petals are edible and are used in dishes as a substitute for sugar. Using rose petals in food is popular in Iranian dishes.
Traditional Uses of Rose Essential Oil
Roses have been around for millions of years based on fossil evidence collected around Central Asia. Rose essential oils, aside from their aromatic scent, are famous for a good deal of health-related benefits.
Greek physicians believe that the oil possesses astringent properties. It was also used to treat wounds because of its anti-inflammatory property.
Damask rose played an important role on traditional Iranian medicine. Traditionally, rose essential oil has been used to treat chest and abdominal pain.
Benefits of Using Rose Essential Oil
When rose essential oil is combined with carrier oil, they can be applied directly to the skin. It helps moisturize the skin and ease the symptoms of skin problems, such redness, irritation, and inflammation.
The antioxidants in rose essential oil increases the strength of skin cells, which helps rejuvenate the skin.
Rose essential oil is also packed with vitamins A and C which help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots. Sweet orange oil can be added to rose essential oil and witch hazel to create a face mist to tone and nourish the skin.
Relieve anxiety and promote healthy sleep
Several studies showed how rose essential oil improves one’s mood, lessening anxiety level. It can also give a feeling of calm and relief to the user. For those who have a hard time trying to sleep, rose oil blended with lavender, jasmine, ylang-ylang, and cedarwood oil used in aromatherapy enhances sleep quality.
Works against menstrual cramps and menopause
Rose essential oil, mixed with other oils, can be used for massage to ease the pain from menstrual cramps.
Based on a study, applying oil on the abdomen area before menstruation lower the intensity and duration of pain experienced during the period itself.
It can also ease the symptoms of menopause by affecting women’s hormones. The oil can help with mood swings, hot flashes, loss of libido, and pain associated with menopause.
For colds and flu
The anti-viral property of rose essential oil helps boost the immune system and fight off the symptoms of cold and flu.
To strengthen hair and scalp
Rose essential oil can be massaged on the scalp to strengthen the hold of the root follicles. It can be applied to the hair to add a sort of shine without looking oily or greasy.
Safety Tips and Precautions
If planning to use rose essential oil on the skin, it is best to dilute it with carrier oil because of its potency. Direct use of the oil on the skin can cause rashes, a burning sensation, or irritation.
It is not recommended to inhale rose oil from its container or diffused in a non-ventilated room. Doing so can cause damage to the respiratory tract and can cause coughing.
Although rose petals can be used in dishes, ingesting rose essential oil is not recommended. Taking the oil internally can cause several discomforts such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and even coma.
It is best to keep it out of children’s reach.