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Rose Essential Oil: A Beautiful Aromatic And A Healing Wonder

By Sylvia Jones

The roses has been an enduring symbol of love and beauty throughout history. The flower itself is beautifully complex, with deep hues, luxuriant petals, and an Absolutely wonderful aroma. This same beauty is found in the aromatic oils made from rose flowers. Not only is the smell sweet, rich and distinctive, but it so happens that rose oil has the most diverse healing applications of any essential oil used in aromatherapy today. The oil is considered a supreme healer of both the body and soul, and it is very easy to use with basic natural healing techniques.

The oil of the deep red “Rosa damascena” is considered the premier heart opening aromatic; can you think of something we need more of in this world? And even if you’re still just a little vain (just kidding!), rose is one of the most active essential oils in beauty care — it helps us love more and be more beautiful at the same time. Plus it’s anti-viral, antiseptic, and a stress-reliever too. What’s so special about rose oil? What is it, where do you get it and how do you use it? Let’s have a practical look at this profoundly useful therapeutic essential oil.

True rose essential oil is truly a remarkable liquid. A few drops of oil is actually the aromatic concentrate of thousands of roses; the yield by weight is on the order of one-to-5000. This means it takes on average 5000 pounds of roses to make 1 pound of true rose oil. And the oil itself is not so simple; there are well over 200 identifiable natural chemicals that make up the oil of Rose. It is the number of Roses is needed to make a drop of essential oil that gives the oil its potency — and the number of natural chemicals within the oil that give it its great variety of their actions.

There are two distinct types of rose oil in use today, distinguished by the distillation techniques from which they were made. Rose absolute is the solvent extract of rose petals — Roses are immersed in a solvent such as ethanol, which draws the aromatic oil out of the flower. The ethanol is then evaporated off, leaving the deep red colored aromatic concentrate behind. Rose absolute is most close to the natural rose aroma, smelling like a fresh cut flower. Rose otto is the steam distilled essential oil of Rose; because it is steam distilled otto is considered true rose ‘essential oil’. The most highly prized varieties of both oil are produced in Bulgaria, though other countries such as Turkey and Morocco also distill excellent rose oils.

The alternative health applications of rose oil are many. On a physiological level, rose otto is a strong antiviral, used primarily to treat herpes and shingles outbreaks. The otto is also exceptionally beneficial to the female reproductive organs. It acts as a tonic for the whole system, and can be diluted in an aromatherapy carrier oil and massaged into the pelvic region for this effect. It is said to be both a regulating and purifying agent, and may help with infertility and other conditions of the uterus.

Rose otto is found in many of the world’s finest skin care formulations. It is considered the hands-down finest therapeutic oil for dry and mature skin, with a great many healing properties. It is softening, hydrating, and gently stimulating to skin cell metabolism. It is mildly astringent and antiseptic without being drying, and can heal broken capillaries, reduce redness and smooth skin texture. Rose water, the left-over water from the steam distillation process, is an excellent all-around facial tonic, and can be splashed or swabbed-on after washing anytime.

While not the most common, certainly the most important therapeutic application of rose is as a healer of the Soul. The aromas of both the absolute and the otto are well-known antidepressants, an action that is not clearly defined by modern medicine. The olfactory sense is the one of the five senses directly hardwired to the brain, and here has a deeply rooted in effect on our overall well-being. Rose absolute can be worn as a natural perfume for this purpose, often diluted to 10% in jojoba oil and dabbed on the wrists and neck. The same can be done with the Otto, though it may be even more useful and small concentrations as an aromatherapy massage oil. In the esoteric medicine systems, inhalation and topical application of rose is thought to regulate the flow of Chi through the liver. This is of profound importance, as it is a blocked flow of this Chi that can lead to anger, irritation, and anxiety. And perhaps the greatest of all effects is the unfolding of the heart chakra, allowing us to be more open, loving, and receptive to one another, and to be comforted in tense times.

Using rose oils is very easy and uncomplicated. Both the otto and absolutes are very safe and non-irritating, and can be used at 100% concentrations without concern for anything but perhaps the cost. Pure rose oils are very strong aromatics, and can be significantly diluted and still retain all it’s therapeutic properties. A 10% dilution in Jojoba is very common, and a little bottle will go a long way for aromatic use. This can be massaged in small amounts into the wrists, solar plexus or pelvic region. Rose Otto can be used undiluted on herpes legions, but again, dilution would not reduce the efficacy (with many essential oils, dilution in fact enhances the efficacy). Either otto or absolute can be used in a diffuser, filling your space with a brilliant uplifting aroma. Rose oil can be added to bathwater, or used in a massage formula at between a .5 and 3% dilution as well.

The essential oils of rose are considered among the most transformative and aromatherapy, and effect which seems a natural evolution of Nature’s symbol of love and beauty. Mankind has developed the technological know-how to put the power of thousands upon thousands of roses in one tiny bottle, and transport it around the world almost instantly. It is Nature however, who developed this fantastic medicine millennium ago. If you’d like a little more beauty and love in your life, you might consider giving rose essential oils try.

The author is a natural health practitioner in Boulder, Colorado. She is a regular user of therapeutic aromatherapy and consultant to aromatherapy creations at The Ananda Apothecary.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Jones, Sylvia "Rose Essential Oil: A Beautiful Aromatic And A Healing Wonder." Rose Essential Oil: A Beautiful Aromatic And A Healing Wonder. 27 Jun. 2010. 13 Feb 2016 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Jones, S (2010, June 27). Rose Essential Oil: A Beautiful Aromatic And A Healing Wonder. Retrieved February 13, 2016, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Jones, Sylvia "Rose Essential Oil: A Beautiful Aromatic And A Healing Wonder"

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