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The rose is not only considered the queen of flowers - its oil also cared for the queens' bodies, and very few could afford them. One litre Rose oil comes from 5000 kilograms of rose petals - a single picker brings together a maximum of 50 kilograms a day. In the Middle Ages of Europe, rose water was used to clean hands before eating, and doctors around the world used it to strengthen the organs and protect the heart. Rose oil was an extremely valuable perfume. In Persia the rose was considered a symbol of beauty, as well as in Greece, Rome and modern Europe.
The story of the rose
The Chinese have been proven to grow roses around 4700 years ago and care for them in specially designed gardens. In Egypt they are from the time of Ramses II, that is 1200 years before our era. From Egypt she came to Greece, Rome and later to Central Europe, while the Persians probably cultivated roses independently.
The effect of rose oil
Rose oil has been used for a variety of purposes for millennia: to relieve cramps, relieve depression, fight inflammation, strengthen hair, tighten the skin, relieve pain during periods or to relieve stomach and headaches.
Essential rose oil overflows with healing substances. The most important are the terpene alcohols geraniol and citronellol. Both work against microorganisms. In the plant, they are probably used to ward off harmful microbes; people use them for skin care. Both substances are absolutely compatible. Other substances are famesol, nerol, ethanol, linalool, eugenol, citral, phenylethyl alcohol, carvone, eugenol methyleter, aldehydes, malic and succinic acid. Citronellol, geraniol, phenyl alcohol and linalool can also be mixed together in other ways, which is why there is also synthetic rose oil. This is much cheaper, but does not come close to real rose oil in terms of effect and smell, because several hundred fragrances and active ingredients are missing.
Rose oil calms the psyche, but also serves as a remedy for various other diseases, namely:
- Allergic reaction
- Depression, especially after childbirth
- Tiredness and tiredness
- Menstrual problems
- Inflammation of the gums
- a headache
- Lack of potency in men
- Racing heart
- Muscle tension and cramps
But be careful: rose oil is extremely expensive. If any headache medication is sufficient, aspirin or acetaminophen are much cheaper to use.
Applied externally, rose oil is used for baby care, for pain during the birth process, for stretch marks (because it smoothes the skin), for digestive problems (as a cold wrap), for skin care on the face and body.
To apply rose oil internally, pour two drops of it into a cup of tea. It can be used to treat inflamed bronchial tubes, diseases of the uterus, vaginal infections, headaches such as migraines, heart failure and problems with the formation of bile secretions.
The rose in myths and legends
The rose already played a role in the stories about the creation of the world and man. With the Hindus, Vishnu, the highest god of India, formed his bride Lakshmi from 108 large and 1008 small roses. The rose was the symbol of beauty for the Indians. Greeks and Romans assigned the rose to the gods, the Persians associated it with the nightingale in their poems and pictures. For Muslims, Allah calls the white rose the "Queen of Flowers".
The nightingale is said to have been so enchanted by the beauty of the white rose that it flew down to the flower and injured her chest with her thorns. The drops fell on the earth and new roses grew from it. These became the blood-red roses of today's Iran. One explanation for this fantasy is that "nightingale" does not mean the European nightingale for the Persians, but a translation of the Farsi word bolbol, which denotes the Bülbüls - a family of passerines. Their most common representative in Iran is the red-eared bulbul, which has characteristic "blood-red" cheeks.
The early Greeks and Romans associated love, beauty, purity and passion with the rose. This is how the roses were supposed to have come into being when foam detached from Aphrodite's body as she was born and turned into white roses. This represented Aphrodite's beauty and innocence. The Christians had very similar associations with the rose, and the white rose represented the purity of the Virgin Mary. The pink rubiginosa, on the other hand, was said to have grown from a drop of blood from Jesus, which dripped down when he wore the crown of thorns.
Where can you find rose oil?
Rose oil can be found in creams, body lotions, bath additives, hair shampoos, shower gels and various cosmetics, in capsules and hair oils.
Around 120 varieties of rose are used today to produce oil. The most important of these is Rosa damascenas, from which the most sought-after rose oil comes. The roses are picked from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. between mid-May and mid-June before the sun is too high, as otherwise up to half of the fine oil evaporates easily. Between 3000 and 5000 kilograms of rose petals make up one liter of the oil and leave rose water such as mash, which are used for jams, liqueurs, medicines and food flavors.
Rose oil applications
Rose oil is famous as a powerful anti-aging agent. It's full of antioxidants that keep free radicals out. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that steal oxygen from healthy cells to stabilize them. If you take away the oxygen from the healthy cells, the cells die and the skin ages.
High concentrations of vitamins E, A and K in rose oil strengthen the hair follicles from the inside. You heal and the hair gets more volume. Potassium in rose oil stimulates blood flow from the cells to the scalp hair, which results in more minerals reaching the hair and inspiring it to grow.
Rose oil has a relaxing effect, relieves sleep disorders and even helps with less severe depression. The calming effect makes it a popular active ingredient in palliative care and end-of-life care. For depression, stress and anxiety disorders, rose oil is ideal for aromatherapy: Simply place a fragrance lamp with a few drops of this intensive oil in your home and let the oil evaporate. You determine the setting yourself - you can read, cook, lie in bed or tidy up the apartment.
In aromatherapy, rose oil harmonises with lavender, geranium, myrrh, frankincense, bergamot, lemon balm, sandalwood, jasmine and citrus oils.
Rose oil not only helps with depression, but also against stress and problems with falling asleep. Various reports mention rose oil to treat post-traumatic stress syndrome. The use of rose oil is widespread in professions that involve a lot of stress, such as military personnel, professional athletes and firefighters.
Protection of the uterus
This oil helps with women's problems such as irregular menstruation, bleeding and uterine discharge. It cleans the uterus and helps it function. It also fights the complaints associated with uterine disorders such as excessive bleeding, cramps, bloating, cravings, hormonal fluctuations and changes in mood. First, rose oil has an anti-spasmodic effect and thus reduces the contractions when the uterine muscles relax. Second, it ensures healthy blood flow, making it easier for the uterus to work when it expels the mucous membrane.
Rose oil for the facial skin
Rose oil is one of the most sought-after products for skin care and has been famous for it since ancient times. In addition to the caring properties, the excellent smell also played a part in this good reputation. The rose oil stimulates the blood circulation, improves the elasticity and moisture of the skin through unsaturated fatty acids.
Rose oil is usually mixed, and you can also mix it yourself. The combination with almond oil, soybean oil, olive oil, argan oil (for very dry skin) and jojoba oil is particularly suitable for storing moisture. All these products cost a lot of money in retail.
Massages, baths and envelopes
You should never use pure rose oil for baths, envelopes and massages, as that would be a waste. Because the oil is so intense that a few tropics of rose oil on one unit of the much cheaper olive or almond oil are completely sufficient. If you use rose oil for washing, about 20 drops are enough for a glass of water.
Of course, rose oil is a first-class perfume and for many people the mother of all fragrances. Body heat enhances the sweet aroma. The scents have a slightly euphoric effect.
Rose hip oil
However, rosehip oil is not a perfume. We don't get this from cultivated roses, but from wild roses. It is extracted from the seeds of the roses and refined, keeps cool and dark for about a year. This oil is yellow to orange (like rose hips). It does not smell as dreamy as the oil of the Damascus rose, but rather sour, somewhat nutty, slightly metallic or even unpleasantly greasy. Wild rose oil does not smell like rose! It mainly consists of linolenic acid, oleic acid and linoleic acid. Wild rose oil is full of vitamins A and C. It provides the skin with moisture, smoothes it (vitamin A) and builds up the skin collagen.
Instead of being used as a fragrance oil, wild rose oil is mainly used in medicine and is used to treat dry and cracked skin, helps against eczema and strong pigment formation, also against burns, but also against injuries in the mouth and throat. In addition, rosehip oil is part of night creams that regenerate the skin.
Rose oil in the kitchen
Rose petals, rose water and especially rose oil give many delicacies the final touch. Rose oil refines vinegar for salads, it excels in ice creams, cakes and desserts. The Turkish dessert Lokum is made with rose and people in the Balkans season honey with rose oil. In India, rose pastilles are used as sweets. Cocktails also give rose oil a special note and are particularly suitable in fruity mixed drinks.
Rose oil harmonises with honey, elderflower, vanilla, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, bananas, citrus fruits, apples, pears, peaches or mangoes. You can also add a few drops of rose oil to a fruit or black tea. In teas, rose harmonises with mint, lemon balm, lavender and marigolds, with white tea, mild green tea and flowery black tea. An Earl Gray also benefits from a dash of rose oil. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Dr. phil. Utz Anhalt, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
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