Roses are famously associated with love, but there is much more to these sweetly-scented flowers than romance alone. Rose Absolute – Rosa Damascena essential oil has a rich history of healing, uplifting and inspiring. Learn more about the history and benefits of this versatile, beautiful scent.
What Is an Absolute?
First, let’s examine what “absolute” means in the the context of essential oils. Many essential oils are extracted using a steam distillation technique, however, this can damage delicate rose petals. Because of their fragility, a softer technique was required to obtain the oil from the rose petals: solvent extraction.
This method involves using solvents to extract the scented, lipophilic elements of the rose. Additionally, the solvent also removes other materials such as the plant tissue and chlorophyll. These extracted plant elements produce a thick, sticky substance known as concrete. The concrete is then mixed with alcohol, which helps extract the rich scent. After the mixing is completed, an absolute is the result (NAHA.org).
Absolutes are extremely concentrated, and therefore ought to be handled with great care. Refrain from applying absolute oil directly to your skin without first diluting it with a carrier oil. Dilution also enhances the richness and complexity of the scent.
Roses have been utilized for many purposes throughout the centuries. According to “Pharmacological Effects of Rosa Damascena,” a scholarly article published through the National Library of Medicine, there is evidence that roses have existed for millions of years — 30 million, to be exact. It’s believed rose essential oil originated in Greece, however, Iran was the leading provider of rose oil for many centuries.
Historically, the Romans placed roses beneath their chariots and used the petals to perfume their extravagant baths. In reference to the aforementioned article “Pharmacological Effects of Rosa Damascena,” many cultures used roses medicinally to treat hormonal problems, digestive issues and inflammation.
Rose oil continues to aid health problems today. The feminine, flowery scent has relaxing and uplifting properties, and also promotes balance and healing.
- Apply to blemishes and other skin imperfections to kill bacteria, encourage healing and reduce redness.
- Add 4 drops (diluted with a carrier oil) to your bathwater for a luxurious soak.
- Massage (after a small dilution) to areas affected by arthritis. Rose oil’s anti-inflammatory components can reduce the pain associated with muscular ailments.
Because of the low concentration of oil in rose petals, many flowers are required to create a small amount of rose absolute. In fact, it takes 10 pounds of petals to produce just one gram of oil!
Next time you come across a rose, breathe deeply and take a moment to luxuriate yourself in its rich floral scent. By understanding the history and benefits of this flower, you can better appreciate how truly remarkable this natural wonder is.