The smell of a rose is one of those experiences that can ignite fond memories of young love and backyard gardens. But did you know that roses are more than a pretty smell? It’s true, for they have therapeutic benefits that can help heal many health conditions.
Rose essential oil, which is created through a simple process of steam distillation, has been used to treat health conditions and used in natural beauty treatments for thousands of years.
Rose Essential Oil Profile
Rose essential oil is made by extracting Rosa damascena, and researchers have uncovered that it contains several therapeutic compounds known to promote healing in the body:
- Citronellol – effective mosquito repellant (also found in citronella).
- Citral – strong antimicrobial that is necessary for vitamin A synthesis (also found in lemon myrtle and lemongrass).
- Carvone – effective digestive aid (also found in caraway and dill).
- Citronellyl Acetate – responsible for the pleasant flavor and aroma of roses, which is why it’s used in many skin and beauty products.
- Eugenol – powerhouse behind clove, the richest antioxidant in the world.
- Farnesol – natural pesticide (also found in orange blossom, jasmine and ylang-ylang).
- Methyl Eugenol – local antiseptic and anesthetic (also found in cinnamon and lemon balm).
- Nerol – sweet-smelling aromatic antibiotic compound (also found in lemongrass and hops).
- Phenyl Acetaldehyde – another sweet-smelling and aromatic compound (also found in chocolate).
- Phenyl Geraniol – natural form of geraniol, which is commonly used in perfumes and fruit flavorings.
Top 3 Rose Oil Benefits
1. Rose Oil Improves Depression
A perfect example of how beneficial Rose oil can be is seen in how it affects depression. As our ancestors battled situations where their mental status was dampened, or otherwise impaired, they would have been naturally drawn to the pleasant sights and smells of the flowers that surrounded them. I have never seen a person take a whiff of a powerful rose and not smile; instead, they remark how incredible and uplifting it is.
The journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice recently published a study that set out to prove these types of natural reactions to rose aromatherapy clinically. With a subject group of 28 postpartum women, the researchers separated them into two groups: one who would be treated with 15-minute sessions of a 2.5 percent solution of rose/lavender oil aromatherapy twice a week for four weeks, and a control group.
Their results were quite remarkable. Not only was it discovered that the women experienced a significant decrease in postnatal depression scores, they also reported marked improvement in general anxiety disorder!
How to use rose oil for depression: If you’re ever feeling anxious or down in the dumps, try putting five drops of rose and five drops of lavender in a diffuser by your nightstand before bed. Hopefully you will wake up renewed and at peace!
2. Rose Oil for Skin Health
There are many qualities of rose essential oil that make it beneficial for skin. The antimicrobial and aromatherapy benefits alone are good reason to put a few drops in your DIY lotions and creams.
In 2010, Chinese researchers published a study uncovering that rose oil exhibited one of the strongest bactericidal activities compared to 10 other oils. They also discovered that just after five minutes of a 0.25 percent dilution, Propionibacterium acnes (the bacteria responsible for acne) was completely destroyed!
How to use rose oil for acne: If you suffer from acne, try dabbing one drop of pure rose essential oil on blemishes three times a day. Make sure you use a sterile cotton swab; if the antimicrobial power is too much for you, dilute it slightly with some coconut oil.
Another reason to use rose essential oil for skin health is because of its uncanny ability to increase your skin’s permeability!
As German scientists explained in a 2010 article, one of the most intriguing aspects of rose essential oil is that, “For substances applied in rose oil, a clear relationship between their lipophilic character, chemical structure, and skin permeation could be confirmed.”
Essentially, what this means is that when rose is added to your beauty and skin products, it opens up your skin to absorb more of the chemicals and nutrients.
Used to your advantage, this can be quite life-changing if you mix your own products and include only the best ingredients. On the other hand, if your products are filled with harmful ingredients, even if the manufacturer includes rose oil (as many do), you may be unknowingly exposing yourself to toxic chemicals!
3. Rose Oil for Libido & Hormone Health
Because it acts as an anti-anxiety agent, rose essential oil can greatly help men with sexual dysfunction related to performance anxiety and stress. It has also been reported that it can help balance sex hormones, which can contribute to increased sex drive.
How to use rose oil for libido: Many men and women who are planning a romantic evening will rub two drops of the following essential oils on their neck or diffuse them throughout the home or bedroom:
Also, these oils can be combined with carrier oils — like jojoba, coconut or olive — and then give your spouse a therapeutic massage.
To learn more about how to use essential oils, check out this free, in-depth, essential oils guide.