Essential Oils

Rose oil (Rosa damascena; Rosa centifolia)

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Sources:  Mediteranean Europe, North Africa
Extraction: Solvent extracted (absolute); steam distilled (otto)
Note: Middle
Scent: Floral
rose oil infographicKey points:

  • Used for female issues
  • In diffusion, use for depression and grief
  • Expensive. Some sources recommend the absolute as best for diffusion, while others caution against the absolute for therapeutic use due to potential residue from the solvent extraction process

Properties:  aphrodisiac, anxiety, antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, sedative
Uses: asthma, depression, insomnia, headaches, stress, grief, menopause, PMS, hangover, coughs, nausea
Cautions: Avoid during pregnancy

About Rose oil:

Rose oil is a precious essential oil that is most often used in skin care. Rose oil is expensive since it takes 4000 kg of rose petals to produce 1 kg of essential oil. Not only does it take a lot of plant material, but somebody has to pick all of those petals!  Rose oil comes in absolutes, which are solvent extracted, or ottos which are steam distilled.

Benefits of rose essential oil:

The primary benefits of inhaling rose oil are stress reduction and as an aphrodisiac. As an aphrodisiac it can be diffused in the room, or diluted in carrier oil and applied topically. It also works well in diffuser jewelry. Some of its action as an aphrodisiac may be related to its ability to relieve anxiety.

As an agent to reduce stress and anxiety, it has been studied in rats. A 2004 study compared the anxiety reducing effects of inhaled rose oil to diazepam. The effects were equal, and in some cases greater than diazepam.

Cautions in a diffuser:

Rose oil has some waxy components that can cause it to solidify below room temperature. For this reason, it is contraindicated in a nebulizer. It is best used on passive diffusers (e.g. any diffuser that uses an absorbent pad) or in an oil lamp. It is lovely in a diffuser pendant and can be blended with other oils such as bergamot, orange flower, jasmine or geranium to create a wearable perfume.

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