Digging Deeper: Rose Essential Oil

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Thanks for joining us! Who’s ready to dig deeper into Rose?

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Who hasn’t heard of the rose? They are bought and sold for Valentine’s Day, first dates, anniversaries. This heavily scented flower may as well be synonymous with LOVE.

Of course the rose isn’t just one flower with only one purpose. The rose is a whole host of plants consisting of over a hundred species and thousands of hybrids. Old fashioned wild roses with five petals and sunny faces. Modern roses bred to be so full and fat with petals that you can barely count the layers. My favorite has always been the unruly, climbing country roses. As a child I would envision whole houses engulfed by the thorny beauties. As a grown woman, I can hardly imagine a garden without climbing roses tumbling over an arbor entrance.

Such are grown for their scent and their beauty, but did you know that roses also have medicinal value? Some varieties of roses actually produce prolific amounts of fruit called rose hips. We personally add rose hips to our elderberry syrup as an additional vitamin C and flavor boost. Rose hip jelly is also going to find its way onto our shelves as soon as I have a full sized functioning kitchen.

History and Folklore

Roses have been cultivated for over 5,000 years. There are 150 natural named species worldwide and thousands more cultivars. The Chinese were the first to cultivate roses and begin hybridizing them.

In the Iliad, Homer mentions that Hector’s body was anointed with rose oil after he was killed by Achilles. The Greek poet Anacreon says that the foam that dripped from the body of Aphrodite when she emerged from the sea turned into white roses, later, when she is mourning over the body of her lover Adonis, her tears turn a white rose red. Roses are also associated with Eros, another Greek love God. Sappho called the rose the Queen of the Flowers.

Roses were also important to the Romans. Large public rose gardens were established by the nobility. Both Horace and Pliny wrote advice on the proper growing of roses. They were used as for medicine, fragrance and as confetti at celebrations. In Roman mythology, roses are associated with Flora, Bacchus, Vertumnus, Hymen, Venus and Cupid. Roman brides and grooms were crowned with roses and they were scattered at the feet of the victorious.

In Christian folklore, the red rose has symbolized the blood and suffering of Christ, the five petals representing his five wounds. Roses have also been used to represent Mary and the purity and motherhood associated with her.

In Muslim folklore, one of Muhammed’s wives was accused of adultery. He gave her a bouquet of red roses and told her to throw them into a pool. They turned yellow, indicating her guilt. Another story says that the first rose came a drop of sweat from Muhammed’s brow.

In Jewish folklore, a man once accused a woman of a crime in retribution for refusing his advances. She was to be burned at the stake. Miraculously, the fire does not kill her but killed him. From his ashes red roses grow, symbolizing his treachery. From the ashes at her feet grow white roses, symbolizing her innocence.

In England, if a petal falls as a rose is being cut, bad luck is sure to follow!

In Italy, only rosebuds, or partially closed roses may be given as gifts. To give a fully open rose to another marks them for death!

Sub Rosa

The Latin term Sub rosa, or “beneath the rose” references secrecy. A rose hung from a ceiling indicates that anything that takes place beneath it should be held in the utmost confidence. In Greek lore, Aphrodite gave the rose to Eros, who gave it to Harpocrates, the God of Silence, symbolizing the necessity for secrecy in certain amorous affairs- we don’t kiss and tell.

In Roman dining rooms, images of roses reminded diners that their conversations should remain confidential. This symbolism can be seen in Catholic tradition, as images of roses sometimes appear on confessionals.

The symbol of the rose can also be seen in the Rosicrucian emblem.

Magical Use

Roses are associated with Aphrodite, Adonis and Eros.

Rosewater is a protective agent worn on clothes.

Rose petals can be added to charms against the evil eye.

White roses worn at weddings will bring happiness and security to the couple.

Roses are used traditionally in love spells. It is great in incense and potpourri. Thorns can be used to mark wax figures.

Rosehips can be carried for general good luck or strung like beads for luck in love.
Rose hips can also be used as offerings to encourage friendly spirits to take up residence.


Zodiac Sign: Taurus
Planet: Venus
Element: Water
Gender: feminine

Culinary Use

Rose petals can be eaten on salads, in sandwiches or made into tea or jam. Rose hips also make wonderful jellies and a delicious tea and are high in vitamin C. The leaves can also be made into tea.

Household Use

Roses look great in dried or fresh arrangements and they smell great. Excellent for potpourri. Dab a drop of rose oil on all your light bulbs to keep your house smelling sweet. Rose hips can be strung on a string and used as garland.

Medical Use

The best roses for medicinal use are fragrant and deep red or cabbage roses.

A tincture is used for a weak stomach and for hemorrhaging. 1 pint boiling water to 1 ounce of rose petals. Add 15 drops of oil of vitriol and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir till sugar is dissolved and the mixture is nice and red. Strain. Take three or four spoonfuls daily.

Rose flavored honey is good for coughs and sore throats. Rose honey can be made by pounding the fresh petals and boiling them with honey.

Rose vinegar is good for headaches caused by being out in the sun too long. Steep the petals in the vinegar for several days, do not boil. Apply a cloth wetted with the vinegar to the forehead.

Rosewater ointment is good for chapped skin and abrasions.

Rosehips, the fruit of the rose, are rich in vitamin C and can be added to healing teas and make a delicious syrup to help the body fight infection.

Sourced from https://witchipedia.com/book-of-shadows/herblore/rose/

The rose that I am most familiar with for its hips is Rosa canina, the Dog Rose. Lucky for me it hits both medicinal and beauty buttons as an old fashioned country climbing rose. Don’t those hips look delicious?

The Damask Rose, Rosa damascena, is the better choice for distilling the essential oil.

Rose essential oil—the product of one of the most recognizable and culturally significant flowers in the world—has a rich, intoxicating aroma that’s just as beautiful as the bloom itself. Rose oil is distilled to gently release the delicate flower’s oil through steam. Because each 5 ml bottle requires 22 pounds of rose petals, Rose is one of the most valuable essential oils you can acquire.

What It’s For

The strong, pungent aroma of rose encourages feelings of self-confidence and happiness. When diffused, it can create an inspiring atmosphere with its uplifting floral scent. When applied topically to the skin, rose is very nourishing and balancing. For this reason, we find rose essential oil in man skincare products.

Rose opens the heart chakra, which helps to release fears associated with intimacy, trust and possessiveness, as well as encourage confidence and self love. Many people experience an aphrodisiac effect from rose, making it ideal for the bedroom.

Constituent Highlight

Citronellol is the primary constituent of rose. This constituent imparts cleansing and purification properties and can also help reduce inflammation and irritation, which is why rose is so therapeutic to skin.

Sourced from https://yledclub.com/product-videos/rose-essential-oil/

Rose essential oil uses

  • Apply directly to skin to help moisturize and support the appearance of healthy, youthful-looking skin.
  • Add a few drops to your favorite facial cream for added moisture.
  • Diffuse in your home or bathroom for a spa-like setting and a fresh, soothing aroma.
  • Combine with V-6™ Vegetable Oil Complex for a relaxing, indulgent massage.
  • Place a few drops in your shampoo or conditioner for a floral scent and additional moisturizing properties.

Rose has been used for the skin for thousands of years. The Arab physician, Avicenna, was responsible for the first distilling rose oil, eventually authoring an entire book on the healing attributes of the rose water derived from the distillation of the rose. Throughout much of ancient history, the oil was produced by enfleurage, a process of pressing the petals along with a vegetable oil to extract the essence. Today, however almost all rose oils are solvent extracted.

Note: The Bulgarian Rosa damascena (high in citronellol) is very different from Moroccan Rosa centifolia (high in phenyl ethanol). They have different colors, aromas, and therapeutic actions.

Medical Properties: Anti-inflammatory, anti-HIV, antioxidant, anxiolytic, hepatoprotective, relaxant, reduces scarring, antiulcer, immunomodulating, cancer chemopreventive, DNA damage prevention

Uses: Hypertension, heart strengthening, anxiety, viral infections (herpes simplex), skin conditions (scarring, wrinkles, acne), ulcers

Fragrant Influence: Its beautiful fragrance is intoxicating and aphrodisiac-like. It helps bring balance and harmony, allowing one to overcome insecurities. The effect of rose on the heart brings good cheer with calming and lightness of spirit.

Excerpted from The Essential Oils Desk Reference, 7th Edition, page 125-126

Thank you for digging deeper into Rose with me. I am very passionate about herbs, oils, and the education of their uses.

Please remember that essential oils are very concentrated products and should never be ingested unless specifically labeled for such use.

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Finally, the obligatory disclaimer.

I am not a doctor. None of the statements included in this post have been approved by the FDA or any other cool acronym known agency. It is Young Living’s official stance that they and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any specific disease or illness. Young Living Independent Distributor #14632733

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