By: Nutrition expert- Vidula Kozarekar, Mumbai.
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Rosa species commonly known as rose (Family Rosaceae) are among the most popular and widely used medicinal plants all over the world. They are originated from the Middle East but are cultivated all over the world. Rose oil is the essential oil extracted from the petals of Rosa species especially R. damascena and R. centifolia. Some historical evidence shows that rose oil is originated from Greece. Currently, the main producing countries of this essential oil are Bulgaria, Turkey, and Morocco. This oil is semisolid, pale, yellow, and very expensive (1).
The most important components of rose oil are terpenes, glycosides, flavonoids, and anthocyanin. In Persian Medicine, rose oil has been alleged to have anti-inflammatory, anti-infective and wound healing activities and has been used for relieving headache, hemorrhoids, inflammatory conditions of gastrointestinal tract, and muscular pain (2), (3).
Therapeutic properties of Rose oil:
- Relieving Stress and depression
According to a 2011 study in Chemical Senses, rose oil is able to decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood. Doing so not only alleviates the physiological symptoms of stress (including rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, and sweating), but stimulates the so-called mesolimbic reward pathway in the brain (4).
In a study; compared to placebo, rose oil caused significant decreases of breathing rate, blood oxygen saturation and systolic blood pressure, which indicate a decrease of autonomic arousal. At the emotional level, subjects in the rose oil group rated themselves as more calm, more relaxed and less alert than subjects in the control group. These findings are likely to represent a relaxing effect of the rose oil and provide some evidence for the use of rose oil in aromatherapy, such as causing relief of depression and stress in humans (5).
- Relieving low back Pain during pregnancy
A study concluded that, since the use of rose oil has reduced pain and increased functional ability in pregnant women having LBP (low back pain) without any serious adverse events as well as considering its feasibility to apply and its low price, it could be considered as a safe and efficacious remedy for the management of this disorder (6).
- In treating Dysmenorrhea
Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for painful menstrual periods which are caused by uterine contractions. A study aimed to evaluate the effects of rose essential oil on primary dysmenorrhea; suggests that aromatherapy with rose essential oil, which is a non-pharmacologic treatment method, as an adjuvant to conventional treatment methods may be beneficial for pain relief in individuals with primary dysmenorrhea (7).
- Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects
Rose hip oil also contains high level of phenolic acids, especially p-coumaric acid methyl ester, vanillin, and vanillic acid. Due its high composition of unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants, this oil has relatively high protection against inflammation and oxidative stress. Shabikin et al. has tested the efficacy of topical rose hip seed oil together with an oral fat-soluble vitamins on different inflammatory dermatitis such as eczema, neurodermatitis, and cheilitis, with promising findings of the topical use of rose hip seed oil on these inflammatory dermatoses (8), (9).
- Neuro-psychic effect
A 1969 study using 48 medical students tested the neuro-psychic effect of rose, lavender and geranium. The study showed an increase in concentration capacity, improved attention span and a faster reflex action, when a 1% solution of oils was sprayed into the room (10).
Recommended Daily dosage (11)
Three times daily unless stated otherwise:
- Adults- 1 drop three times daily on a sugar cube or lactose tablet
- External- 1 to 4 drops in the bath
Caution: Always talk to your physician before using essential oils to treat a medical condition.
- Agili Shirazi MH. makhzan al advieh. Tehran: Sahbae tehran; 2008. pp. 782–784.
- Ibn Sina H. Al-Qanun fi al-Tibb. In: IS a-D., editor. vol 2. Lebanon: Alamy Le- Al-Matbooat institute; 2005. pp. 417–418.
- Shabykin GP, Godorazhi AI. [A polyvitamin preparation of fat-soluble vitamins (carotolin) and rose hip oil in the treatment of certain dermatoses] Vestnik Dermatologii i Venerologii. 1967 Apr;41(4):71-73.