Rose and Rosehip oils offer many Health Benefits – Roses grace the gardens of many homes worldwide, cherished for their beautiful blooms, colors and sweet appealing fragrance. Not only are petals and rosehips edible but the oil obtained from the petals has many health applications. The most commonly used rose varieties for extraction of rose oil are the damask rose, tea rose and cabbage rose. These roses have the most captivating scent and produce potent concentrations of rose oil. It takes ten thousand pounds of rose petals to produce only one pound of rose oil. To extract the rose oil, rose petals are placed into water inside stills. They are then subjected to increasing temperatures causing the rose oil to be released into the water. The oil infused water then evaporates through a long tube where it cools and condenses, separating the oil from the water. The oil is then collected for its use in herbal remedies and the rosewater is used in perfumes, cosmetics and sweets. This article discusses the health applications of rose oil and how you can make your own alternative to rose oil using rosehips easily at home. Rosehip oil has similar health benefits to rose oil.
Health Applications of Rose Oil and Rosehip Oil
- Aromatic Health Benefits
Rose oil and rosehip oil are very potent and concentrated. They can easily be dispersed in water or in the air. Using a few drops in a bath of hot water to soak in, added to water and used to spray as an air freshener or used in aromatherapy dispensers, the aroma has a positive effect on the brain. A study showed that a group that inhaled the aroma of rose oil showed many positive health benefits compared to a group who did not. The vital signs were monitored of both groups and it showed a marked decrease in blood pressure and respiratory rates in the group that inhaled the rose oil aroma. The participants also reported feeling calm and relaxed. Other studies have shown that the aroma of these oils can be used to treat the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. It can also be used to induce sleep relieving insomnia.
- Skin Benefits
Both these oils are soothing to the skin. It can be applied to skin irritations, eczema, herpes and acne. It exhibits moderate anti-inflammatory properties helping to reduce redness and pain in these conditions. A few drops of oil can be added to your facial moisturizes for this added benefit and soothing qualities. If treating skin complaints, dilute the oil in a carrier oil such as almond oil, olive oil or water before applying to the skin. Rose oil, is highly concentrated and should never be applied directly to the skin. Always test a small area of skin before applying liberally; it can cause a rash or an allergic reaction in some sensitive skin types.
- Pain Relief
Rose oil or rosehip oil hot or cold compresses can be used to help relieve the pain of strains, sprains and cramps. Simply add six drops of oil to hot or cold water, soak a cloth in the infusion and apply directly over the effected body part. Rose oil and rose hip oil make wonderful massage oils to relieve tired, sore muscles also. Simply add 5 drops to a carrier oil such as almond oil or olive oil and massage into the skin.
- Cough, Cold, Asthma, Chest Congestion, Sore Throats and Fever Relief
Rose oil has been used for centuries to treat these complaints. Simply place 5 drops of rose oil in a bowl of hot water. Cover your head and the bowl with a towel and breathe in the vapor for 15 minutes for relief of symptoms.
Rose oil has been used for centuries as an aphrodisiac. It is known as the oil of romance. Although there is no scientific evidence to support these claims, many use it to treat female frigidity and male impotence.
How to Make Your Own Rosehip Oil
Collect one cup of rosehips from your rose garden. Rosehips appear on the plant after the blooms have died. Wash the rosehips in water, removing any debris. Combine the rose hips with two cups of almond oil in a slow cooker and stir well. Turn the slower cooker on at a low setting and leave to cook for 8 hours. During the cooking process, the oil from the rosehips seeps out into the almond oil infusing them both together. Line a bowl with two layers of cheesecloth. Pour the contents of the slow cooker into the cheesecloth. Gently bring all four corners of the cheesecloth together in the centre and hold the bundle above the bowl. The cheesecloth acts as a strainer, allowing the oil to seep through into the bowl. Discard the cheesecloth and used rosehips. Place the infused oil into a jar and secure tightly with a lid. Store the rosehip oil in a dark place to prevent spoilage. Rosehip oil can become rancid and should not be used if it spoils, it typically will have a sour smell if it has become rancid.
In conclusion, roses are more than just a delight to the eye. The oil from the petals and rosehips has an impressive list of health benefits. Rose oil can be found in most health food shops and due to the quantities of rose petals required to produce small amounts, it can be quite expensive to buy. You should also ensure that you are buying it from a reputable source as many companies who produce the oil, mix it with other oils, dramatically reducing its concentrations. Given that you only need to use a little at a time, it may well be worth the investment. Alternatively, make your own rosehip oil. Rosehip oil is a great alternative to rose oil and the health benefits are virtually the same.
U.S National Library of Medicine Relaxing effect of Rose Oil on humans
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.