A Rose by Any Other Name

rosa damascenaNew Year’s Day means the Rose Parade. Grabbing a snack and catching it on tv is a treat, but I have seen it in person as well. You get up early and it’s cold. Real cold. Yet seeing the flowers is worth it. The artistry of the floats is stunning and the aroma of that volume of roses is amazing. However, roses do more than smell divine, they are also beneficial.

Roses have a long history of use in perfumery, medicine and cosmetics with records from 1000 AD describing rose petal distillation. It takes 40,000 blossoms to produce one ounce of oil, or 67 blossoms to make one drop. Rosa damascena is potent!

Using rose essential oil produces a gentle but powerful antidepressant effect. It inspires joy, banishes melancholy, reduces fear, and helps recovery from sadness or grief. Rose oil relaxes the nervous system, aids the adrenal glands, and balances female hormones. Rose is also a famous aphrodisiac.

In 2009 rose was studied for stress relief. Using 40 healthy volunteers, scientists found that those who took in rose oil through their skin felt more relaxed than those who were treated with a placebo. Those receiving rose oil also had a greater decrease in breathing rate and blood pressure than those who received the placebo.

Bring rose into your life by adding rosewater to your beauty regimen. The flower is good for all skin-types, especially dry, aging and sun-damaged skin. A spritz of rose hydrosol on your face is hydrating, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory. Your skin and mind-set will be rejuvenated, and you’ll smell great. But don’t be surprised if you leave a trail of love-sick admirers in your wake.

Rose is my favorite essential oil. Which one is yours?