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? These beautiful flowers also hold incredible health boosting benefits! Rose essential oil has been used to treat health conditions and used in natural beauty treatments for thousands of years.
What is rose oil good for? Research and personal experiences tell us that rose oil can improve acne, balance hormones, relieve anxiety, improve depression, reduce rosacea and naturally increase libido. Traditionally, rose oil has been used for grief, nervous tension, coughs, wound healing and general skin health, allergies, headaches and as a general anti-inflammatory.
Where does rose essential oil come from? It most often comes from the damask rose (Rosa damascena) plant, but it can also come from the cabbage rose (Rosa centifolia) plant.
The oil is steam distilled from the flower petals. The oil distilled from damask roses is sometimes sold as Bulgarian rose oil or Bulgarian rose otto. Bulgaria and Turkey are the top producers of rose oil from the Rosa damascena plant.
Have you ever stopped to smell the roses? Well, the smell of rose oil will definitely remind you of that experience but even more enhanced. Rose essential oil has a very rich floral scent that is both sweet and slightly spicy at the same time.
Researchers have uncovered that rose essential oil contains several therapeutic compounds:
Helps Depression and Anxiety
One of the top benefits of rose oil is definitely its mood-boosting abilities. 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. For example, it is hard to take a whiff of a powerful rose and not smile.
The journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice recently published a study that set out to prove these types of natural reactions when rose aromatherapy is used on human subjects experiencing depression and/or anxiety. With a subject group of 28 postpartum women, the researchers separated them into two groups: one who would be treated with 15-minute aromatherapy sessions using an essential oil blend consisting of rose otto and lavender twice a week for four weeks, and a control group.
Their results were quite remarkable. The aromatherapy group experienced "significant improvements" greater than the control group on both the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7). So not only did the women experienced significant decrease in postnatal depression scores, they also reported marked improvement in general anxiety disorder.