In celebration of Valentines Day, I feel it is important to take a moment to commemorate one of Nature's most treasured and romantic gifts, roses. Roses have served as universal symbols of love, beauty, purity and passion from antiquity. Their timeless beauty has gained them integral roles in poetry, art, divine ceremonies, and mythology. In some cultures, rose water has been traditionally scattered at weddings to ensure a happy marriage and has also been used to aid meditation and prayer. (Boskabady, M. H., Shafei, M. N., Saberi, Z., & Amini, S., 2011)
The undeniable beauty and alluring fragrance of roses is recognized across cultures and has inspired romantic feelings in even the hardest of hearts. Although many people may recognize the enchanting properties of a rose, many are unaware of their innate healing properties.
Roses are one of my favorite ingredients to work with because they infuse the air with a sweet, heartwarming and blissful energy whenever I am creating products. You can harness the benefits of roses in many ways including using rose essential oil, rosewater (hydrosol), rosehip oil, or rose flower petals.
The traditional medicinal uses of roses (R. damascena) has been for the treatment of abdominal and chest pain, treatment of menstrual bleeding, strengthening the heart and for digestive problems. Some North American tribes use the root of Roses to make cough syrup. (Boskabady, M. H., 2011)
Scientific research studies have also confirmed the therapeutic properties of roses (R. damascena). They have been found to have antimicrobial, antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and anti-depressant properties. The main constituents of rose essential oil that are responsible for these therapeutic activities are citronellol and geraniol. (Mahboubi, M., 2016).
How to Incorporate Roses into your Holistic Wellness Routine:
From an aromatherapy perspective, roses are uplifting and have anti-depressant qualities and have been used to alleviate nervous stress and tension. (Boskabady, M. H., 2011) The most effective way to experience the aromatherapy benefits of roses is by using a pure essential oil. You can create a nice body oil by placing a couple of drops of rose essential oil in a carrier oil such as grape-seed or jojoba oil. You can start with 4-5 drops of rose essential oil and increase the concentration to meet your personal preferences. Both grape-seed oil and jojoba oil have their own distinct, herbal scent so you will need to add enough essential oil to mask it.
Another way to experience the beautiful essence of roses is by using rosewater. Rosewater is made by distilling tons of rose petals and is the hydrosol (or water portion) that remains when making rose essential oil. It isn't as potent as using concentrated rose essential oil, but it still contains the beneficial properties of rose. It is astringent and is soothing to the skin. You can use rose water directly on your skin to soothe redness.
Rose petals can be used as a poultice (mashing the fresh rose petals, mixing with olive oil and applying directly on the skin) or can be dried and drank as an herbal tea. Rose tea is used in many cultures to assist with female hormonal imbalances. It has a bitter taste.
Rosehip oil is one of my favorite herbal remedies from the rose plant. It is extracted from the bright orange bulbs (rosehips) that remain when the flower petals of a rose fall off. Rosehip oil is an amazing oil and is typically used for sun-damaged skin and premature aging. It is high in Vitamin C and can be helpful on combating fine lines and wrinkles. Rosehips have traditionally been used in sweets in some culture and can be eaten or drank as an herbal tea.
You can find roses and/or rose essential oil in my handmade Romance Dead Sea Bath Salts and my Romance Aromatherapy Wellness Candles. If you are interested in trying some of my products, I will be showcasing them at Lavender Label in Astoria, NY this Sunday, Feb. 18th from 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm.
For more info on this event, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Anthesisholisticwellness/
1) Boskabady, M. H., Shafei, M. N., Saberi, Z., & Amini, S. (2011). Pharmacological Effects of Rosa Damascena. Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences, 14(4), 295–307.
2) Mahboubi, M. (2016). Rosa damascena as holy ancient herb with novel applications. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, 6(1), 10–16. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcme.2015.09.005