Rose has been associated with love and romance for centuries. It looks, smells and tastes great, and is a beautiful remedy for a range of problems. The Greek poet Sapho named rose “the queen of flowers”, but herbalists know it as “a hug in a bottle” for its ability to uplift the soul.
It was used traditionally to strengthen the heart, for digestive and menstrual problems, for coughs, inflammation and to relieve grief, depression and nervous tension. Modern studies have found that rose tincture and essential oil between them have sedative, anti-anxiety, pain relieving, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and bronchodilatory effects.
Rose can be used in many different forms, as an infusion, tincture, aromatic water, essential oil or syrup. Roman women used to dust themselves with powdered rose petals to keep themselves looking beautiful. The aromatic water is particularly good to add to a beauty regime, as it is astringent and antibacterial, so is good for toning the skin and preventing spots and blemishes. The tincture or infusion can be taken internally for the anti-depressant, anxiolytic, sedative, pain relieving, antioxidant and anti-diabetic effects, while the syrup makes a lovely cough mixture and is also used in cooking for its fragrant taste. The essential oil can be used in cosmetics or oil burners for its uplifting effect on the spirit and great smell.
I use rose and geranium essential oils in my rose face cream and body lotion as I love the smell and they are great for spot-prone skin. It lets you capture the smell of a summer day in a rose garden when it’s cold and raining outside.
Boskabady MH, Shafei MN, Saberi Z, Amini S. Pharmacological effects of Rosa Damascena. Iran J Basic Med Sci 2011 14(4):295-307.