For as far as we can recall, roses have been a symbol of love, affection, and also a typical prop for fairy tales over the years. However, unknown to many, the rose has more to offer us than just a beautiful flower with an irresistible smell.
Rose essential oil has been used to cure health conditions and as a natural beauty remedy for thousands of years. Its incredible health benefits include, but are not limited to, treating acne, improving anxiety and depression, naturally increasing libido, etc.
Even more fascinating is its role in elevating the mood by easing grief, nervous tension, and stress. As such, the rose essential oil qualifies as a natural antidepressant in more ways than one.
What is Rose Essential Oil?
The rose essential oil is typically extracted from the damask rose plant, aka Rosa Damascena. It takes about 10,000 petals to make one pound of oil, hence making it an expensive essential oil.
The steam-distilled oil from the rose petals is often sold as Bulgarian rose oil or Bulgarian rose otto in the market.
As of today, Bulgaria and Turkey are the top producers of rose essential oil. Rose essential oil separates itself from other essential oil with its extremely sweet and slightly spicy floral scent. The smell of rose oil is even more enhanced than the rose petals it comes from.
Rose Oil Benefits
1. Natural Perfume
The rose flower is known for its incredibly fragrant smell. It is already used as a key ingredient in many commercially available perfumes and cosmetic products. It has a uniquely sweet and slightly spicy scent, thus giving a head-turning fragrance to its users. We would highly recommend using only 2-3 drops of rose essential oil on your body as a natural perfume, which is better than many chemically synthesized perfumes available in the market today.
2. Improves Anxiety and Depression
The pleasant sights and smell of the beautiful rose offered more than superficial pleasures to our ancestors. Years ago, when antidepressants weren’t a thing, but anxiety and depression were still kicking, the rose became a powerful natural mood stabilizer that relieved the effects of stress and alleviated humans from the state of dampened slumber.
This was further proved in a study conducted by the Journal Complementary Therapies in Clinic therapies on rose aromatherapy. Their subject group consisted of 28 postpartum women, who were separated into two groups. One group received 15-minute aromatherapy sessions using rose Otto with lavender oil twice a week for four weeks, and the other was the control group. The results were remarkable.
The group that received aromatherapy experienced significant improvements on the Edinburgh postnatal depression scale (EPDS) and Generalized Depression Scale (GDS). In layman’s term, women exposed to rose oil aromatherapy experienced a significant drop in their postnatal depression scores than the control group.
3. Improves Acne
Rose oil is an active ingredient in many skin care products, and for a good reason. Rose oils anti-microbial properties make it an effective natural remedy for overcoming acne and other skin related issues.
A 2010 study uncovered that rose oil contained one of the strongest bactericidal activities compared to ten other essential oils. The study found that rose oil, along with thyme, cinnamon, and lavender oil was able to completely destroy propionibacterium acnes after only five minutes of a 0.25 percent dilution.
4. Anti-Aging Benefits
There are multiple reasons as to why rose oil can prevent aging and promote great skin health. It has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that flush out free radicals from the skin, thus helping the skin retain its youthful glow. Free radicals are major culprits when it comes to damaging skin tissue, which later results in other issues like wrinkles, rashes, lines, etc. Rose oil keeps free radicals from harming the skin by effectively eliminating them.
5. Boosts Libido
We have already stressed Rose oil’s role as a potent mood stabilizer and an effective anti-stress agent. As such, rose oil can act as a great remedy for men suffering from sexual dysfunction often associated with stress and performance issues. Rose oil can also help in balancing the sex hormones, which can ultimately boost the sex drive.
6. Improves Dysmenorrhea
Primary dysmenorrhea can be defined as cramping pain in the lower abdomen occurring just before or during menstruation. A study was conducted in 2016 to study the effects of rose oil on women with primary dysmenorrhea.
The subject group containing 100 women were divided into two groups. One received a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, and the other received anti-inflammatory in addition to aromatherapy that contained 2 percent rose oil.
After 30 minutes, the group that received aromatherapy reported less pain than the group that didn’t. The research concluded that aromatherapy with rose oil as an adjuvant to conventional treatment methods might help relieve pain in individuals with primary dysmenorrhea.
Using Rose Oil
Rose oil can be found in the local market or online. As we mentioned, it is very expensive due to the fact that it takes over 10,000 petals to make one pound of oil. For those seeking an affordable option, you can opt for oil that is labeled “rose absolute” This is an affordable alternative that is a mix of rose absolute and a carrier oil like jojoba oil. However, it doesn’t hold the potency or therapeutic effects of pure rose oil.
We would recommend making a onetime purchase of rose oil, as it can come in handy and can last a very long time. A small rose oil bottle will last you a very long time, enough to experience all of its benefits.
Rose oil can be used in the following ways for maximum benefits.
Aromatically: The oil can be diffused in your home using a diffuser, or you can inhale the oil directly. You can also make a natural room freshener by putting a few drops of oil along with water into a spritz bottle.
Topically: Rose oil has many skin benefits and can be used topically to stop aging and other skin issues like acne, rashes, etc. It is recommended to dilute rose essential oil with other oils like jojoba or coconut oil in a 1:1 ratio before applying it. Perform a small patch test on the skin to learn whether you have an unfavorable reaction to the solution. Once confirmed of no unsavory side effects, then you can use a few drops of rose oil in your lotion, cream, body wash, etc.