Alternative Health Information

Aromatherapy Favorites - Beautiful Rose Oil

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.

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.

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 heart.

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 complaints.

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 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 properties.

A rose and lavender facial cream can be made using the following recipe:Melt ˝ 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.

Misty Rae Cech is a Naturopath in Boulder, Colorado. She enjoys rose oil absolute and otto for their many applications, along with other aromatherapy essential oils.

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at

Baltimore Sun

Alternative Fact of the Week: Stick to the truth about gun violence; it's bad enough without embellishment
Baltimore Sun
As impressive as the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been in calling attention to the issue of gun violence — and as much as their upcoming protest, “March For Our Lives” in Washington is likely to draw considerable attention to ...

and more »

Washington Post

Republicans seek alternative to 'Nazi' candidate after he secures ...
Washington Post
Arthur Jones will be on the ballot as the GOP candidate to unseat Daniel Lipinski in Illinois' 3rd Congressional District.
Republicans seek alternative to 'Nazi' candidate, after he secures nominationSFGate

all 1 news articles »

Leaving Facebook: What are the alternatives?
At this point, there is no real alternative to the site in every respect; no greener pastures to speak of. Many community organisers, minority groups and isolated individuals use the platform as a lifeline. Its thousands of groups and 2.2bn users allow ...
We need a nationalised alternative to Facebook – and the BBC could provide the answerThe Independent

all 7,345 news articles »

The Hill

Bring back the alternative fiscal scenario to restore fiscal sanity
The Hill
The CBO's alternative fiscal scenario improves on the baseline budget score by incorporating more realistic and likely assumptions that paint a more complete picture of the long run fiscal situation. It makes the simple assumption, based on past ...

The State Journal-Register

GOP seeks alternative to Illinois 'Nazi' candidate after he secures nomination
The State Journal-Register
Republicans, looking to mitigate the embarrassment of a neo-Nazi grabbing the party's nomination in an Illinois congressional race, are considering an independent or write-in campaign for an alternative candidate. “Arthur Jones is not a real Republican ...
Denounced by His Party as a Nazi, Arthur Jones Wins Illinois GOP Congressional PrimaryNew York Times
Holocaust denier is officially the GOP nominee in Chicago-area House raceCNN
Arthur Jones - Anti-Defamation LeagueAnti-Defamation League

all 34 news articles »

The Globe and Mail

What to know if you're considering a mortgage from an alternative lender
The Globe and Mail
Samantha Brookes has been warning Canadians to take a close look at the clauses in their mortgage contracts for years, but her refrain has become a bit more prevalent in recent months. Since the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions ...

and more »

Greentech Media

US Rejects EU Solar Tariff Alternative at the WTO | Greentech Media
Greentech Media
Washington's rejection of the EU request opens the door for retaliatory measures, although both parties agreed to “monitor the impact of the measures on trade flows” and to continue trade discussions.

and more »

Winona Daily News

THROWBACK THURSDAY: In 1974, alternative education was up and running at Riverhaven
Winona Daily News
Mrs. Marvin O'Grady, president of Riverhaven's board of administration and a full-time certified teacher at the school, recalls that the transition from informal discussions to serious consideration of the establishment of an alternative school began ...

The Guardian

Mosques launch anti-radicalisation scheme as alternative to Prevent
The Guardian
East London Mosque worshippers gathering to remember victims of the Manchester terror attack in May last year. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images. An anti-radicalisation programme billed as an alternative to the government's much-maligned Prevent ...

Want to teach? Charleston County Schools just opened another alternative route
Charleston Post Courier
After years of leaning on South Carolina's alternative-certification programs to recruit nontraditional teachers into the profession, the Charleston County School District has decided to grow its own. TeachCharleston, a three-year certification program ...

and more »

Google News

home | site map
© 2007