Rose Oil - A Gift From The Flowers Of Love
Misty Rae Cech, ND
Ah, Wonderful Rose Oil
If there's an aroma that more individuals find deeply moving than any other, it is the oil of rose. The scent is divinely sweet, rich, and deeply floral - exclusive to the extract of history's most revered flower. Though the rose is renown for it's fragrance, the flower actually contains very little aromatic oil by weight. Some 60,000 roses are needed to distill a single ounce of oil, or about 60 roses PER DROP, a fact which brings the seemly high cost of rose oil into perspective.
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The Flower of Love
The hardy nature of the thorny rose bush and the flower's magnificent beauty make it a horticulturalist's dream. The genus Rosa has some 150 species spread around the globe, being cultivated in your grandmother's backyard garden, in vast fields in Bulgaria's Valley of Roses, and everywhere in between.
Model Beauty Tip: Muriel's Rose Water
Muriel is a fitness model from Colombia. Muriel uses Rose Marigold Floral Water by Fresh as a toner along with rose oil extract as moisturizer.
Roses have somewhat of a unique past, peppered with interesting
stories and extravagant displays of affection. The flower's
association with devotion was perhaps most wonderfully
expressed during the Roman empire, with banquet halls being
carpeted with petals. Cleopatra once received her beloved Marc
Antony in a room literally knee-deep in rose petals – how's
that for greeting? Roses are the unrivaled symbol of love,
given dear ones through the ages as an affirmation of true
affection. It's no wonder the flower's oil has great healing
properties, both physically and emotionally, for the human
Rose's health Benefits
With it's considerable therapeutic and aesthetic value, the
'queen of the flowers' had a special place in medicine and
perfumery in the ancient civilizations of Persia, Egypt, India,
Greece and Rome. The modern healing tradition of the extract of
rose began in the 17 th century with the writings of English
physician Nicholas Culpeper. The herbalist described the use of
red roses to strengthen the heart, it's cooling and astringent
actions, and its effect on headaches and tired eyes. Perhaps
inspiring it's use as a beauty tonic 'par-excellence', he went
on to suggest it's use as a remedy for a variety of skin
In aromatherapy, the psychological effects are wondrous for
those with a broken heart, or other emotional wounds. Rose oil
calms and supports the heart center, inspiring a sense of
happiness and well-being. When rejection or loss has injured
one's ability to love and nurture, either themselves or those
around them, rose oil can bring sweet and gentle comfort and
allow an emotional 're-opening'.
Use in Aromatherapy
It is the Bulgarian Damask rose, or Rosa Damacena, most often
used in aromatherapy. The oil of this 36-petaled beauty is
available in two forms: the 'otto', or true essential oil, and
the 'absolute'. Harvest of the flowers occurs in the early
morning, before the sun's rays has warmed away the aroma. Rose
otto is made in a two step steam-distillation process; the
first distillation yields an essential oil and a large amount
of 'rose water'. The water is again distilled, producing an oil
which is combined with that from the first distillation.
The absolute is made with a different process entirely. Similar
in a way to 'effleurage' (the pressing of petals in fat to
produce an extract), the flowers are processed in a solvent,
with a wax-like 'concrete' being produced. Through a second
extraction of the concrete, rose absolute is yielded. This
method is significantly more efficient than steam distillation,
producing nearly 7 pounds of oil per 10,000 pounds of roses
(distillation yields 1 pound oil per 10,000 pounds of roses),
with a corresponding lower cost. Does one produce a better oil?
There is certainly debate; while some argue that traces of
solvent are likely to exist in the absolute, others claim the
heat of distillation does not result in a true representation
of the flower. And as with either method, the quality and
effect of the oil varies greatly with the experience and care
of the manufacturer – the answer truly lies with the individual
and the application.
Using Rose Oil
Oil of rose can be utilized in a number of ways; it is very
gentle, being suitable for use on the skin 'neat', in massage
oil, and in a bath, as well as in a diffuser. As a perfume, the
absolute can be worn directly on the skin – it's 'tenacious'
quality will have the aroma slowly released for many hours. For
therapeutic use for the emotions, a dilution of 10% of otto or
absolute in jojoba oil is often used, being massaged into the
heart area – a diffuser is very effective for this purpose as
well. The absolute or otto can also be added in small amounts
to any skin cream, though using a home-made natural recipe is
often the nicest. Rose water, or hydrosol, the water resulting
from the distillation process of rose otto, can also be used
directly on the skin, with it's mild astringent and toning
A rose and lavender facial cream can be made using the
Melt ½ ounce of beeswax in 4 ounces of jojoba using a double
boiler. Add 3 ounces of distilled water in a thin stream while
stirring vigorously with a wire whisk. Remove from heat and
continue stirring while adding 20 drops of rose oil (absolute
or otto) and 15 drops of lavender. Allow to cool, then enjoy
this wonderful homemade cream for sensitive skin.
There are, of course, many ways to enjoy rose oil's benefits.
It is revered on many levels, from its pure aesthetic aromatic
beauty, to its physiological healing and emotional uplifting.
True rose oil, with its great depth and sweetness, is easily
appreciated by almost all who experience this natural wonder.
About The Author: Misty Rae Cech, ND, is a naturopath and yoga
teacher practicing in Boulder, Colorado. She enjoys rose
absolute and other essential oils, using aromatherapy as an
adjunct to other natural therapies. More can be found at the
Ananda Apothecary, http://www.anandaapothecary.com