The thought of roses evokes beauty, passion and a luxurious scent to most people. Beyond those ageless symbols, however, roses can boast of many healing properties. In "The A-Z Guide to Healing with Essential Oils: Aromatherapy," authors Shelagh Masline and Barbara Close state that roses produce the most popular kind of essential oil. Essential oils result from the extraction of plant essences and can often benefit your emotional, mental and physical health..
The rose plant family includes hundreds of varieties, according to Masline and Close. Essential oils of roses generally come from France, Bulgaria, Turkey and Morocco. Also, they often occur in mixtures with the essential oils of sandalwood, neroli, lavender and jasmine. Among roses, however, the damask rose stands out for yielding the rose essential oil with the greatest health benefits. You may know it as otto or attar. In "The Aromatherapy Kit," author Charla Devereux explains that most varieties of rose essential oil are removed from the petals with chemical solvents, while rose otto results from steam distillation.
Rose essential oil most commonly addresses emotional and mental complaints. According to Masline and Close, it creates changes in the brain that create a sense of calmness. A rose's calming and balancing effects can provide relief for PMS, menopause, insomnia and stress. In addition to mental health, rose essential oil can help relieve physical symptoms, such as sore throats and headaches. Rose essential oil has potent antiseptic qualities but is more gentle than most essential oils, says Devereux.
According to Masline and Close, it takes two thousand pounds of rose petals to produce a single pound of rose essential oil. As a result, rose essential oils tend to be expensive. A less costly alternative to the full-blown essential oil is to purchase a hydrosol, which is actually a rose oil and water mixture. Rose hydrosols still provide the healing scent of essential oils while being more budget-friendly.
You can use the essential oil of rose in a number of different ways in order to reap its benefits. You may, for instance, place a few drops into one tablespoon of a carrier oil, such as almond, jojoba or canola oil. Rubbing this mixture on your skin produces effects through inhalation or absorption in your skin. Putting a few drops of rose essential oil in an aromatherapy diffuser also disperses the scent for you to inhale. You can also add rose essential oil to your bath, place it on a warm damp compress, as well as gargle with a rose essential oil and water mixture to relieve mouth sores, bad breath and sore throats.
Masline and Close warn that a number of sellers secretly mix rose extracts with other oils in order to reduce production costs. They therefore recommend only buying rose essential oil from trustworthy sources. As with any essential oil, use rose essential oil with caution. Essential oils are highly concentrated and require dilution in oil or water before use. Before applying an essential oil to your skin, do a spot test to check for allergies. A certified aromatherapist can help guide your use of essential oils.
- "The A-Z Guide to Healing with Essential Oils: Aromatherapy"; Shelagh Masline and Barbara Close; 1997.
- "The Aromatherapy Kit"; Charla Devereux; 1993.
- bouton de rose rose image by Jean-Michel POUGET from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.