The Rose has been an enduring symbol of love and beauty throughout history. The flower itself is beautifully complex, with deep hues, luxuriant petals, and an Absolutely wonderful aroma. This same beauty is found in the aromatic oils made from Rose flowers. Not only is the smell sweet, rich and distinctive, but it so happens that Rose oil has the most diverse healing applications of any essential oil used in aromatherapy today. The oil is considered a supreme healer of both the body and soul, and it is very easy to use with basic natural healing techniques. Rose essential oil is becoming more popular, which is interesting at this time where its unique healing applications may be most needed the world over.
True Rose oils are the number one choice for opening of the heart chakra, an opening that many individuals are seeking to inspire; this heart-opening action is evidence of the true symbol of love. Rose essential oil is a premier ingredient in the finest skin care products as well, revealing its potential to enhance beauty. Further, it's an effective antiviral and antidepressant.
All this in one tiny concentrated bottle. What makes Rose oil so special, and how can anyone (not just the natural health enthusiasts) make use of its abundant healing actions? All pure Rose oils are special for these extraordinary reasons: It takes an incredible amount of flowers to make even the tiniest amount of oil -- on average, the yield of essential oil is 1:8000. For every 8000 pounds of flowers, 1 pound of oil is produced, thus being one of the most concentrated natural aromatics (Melissa, also an exceptionally potent healing oil is another example of such a concentration).
And chemically, Rose is one of the most complex essential oils, being made up of over 300 distinct natural constituents. This unique make up is the source of its great variety of therapeutic applications. There are two distinct types of Rose oil available, with significantly different properties. There is the 'Otto', which is the steam distilled variety (as is the most common method of essential oil production) and there is the 'Absolute', a liquid chemical extract done at cool temperatures. Rose absolute has the distinct aroma of the rose flowers, deep and rich, with a natural red color.
The absolute is produced primarily in two countries: Bulgaria and Morocco. The Moroccan variety is a little higher note in aroma, with the Bulgarian being deeper and richer. Otto is completely different animal -- the essential oil is clear, or sometimes a very pale yellow.
It's aroma varies depending on the country of origin; the source being typically Bulgarian or Turkish. The Otto doesn't smell like the flower exactly; it has its own unique aroma that's brilliant, with nearly everyone that smells it uttering some exclamation of pleasant surprise. Therapeutic applications of Rose oil, as mentioned above, are many and very diverse. On a biological/physiological medicine aspect, Rose Otto is a strong antiviral.
It has been successfully used in treating herpes and shingles outbreaks. Either oil is considered especially healing to the female reproductive system; it is noted to 'have an astonishing effect on the female sexual organs as a purifying and regulating agent' (Battaglia -- 'The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy'). It can provide potent overall support to the health of the uterus, and can address infertility.
For such applications, a 5% dilution can be made in Jojoba oil and massaged into the pelvic region several times daily (essential oils are quickly metabolized by the body, and it is best to use a little bit frequently, rather than a lot every so often). Rose Otto is found in many of the world's finest skin care formulations. It is considered the hands-down finest therapeutic oil for dry and mature skin, with a great many healing properties.
It is softening, hydrating, and gently stimulating to skin cell metabolism. It is mildly astringent and antiseptic without being drying, and can heal broken capillaries, reduce redness and smooth skin texture. Rose water, the left-over water from the steam distillation process, is an excellent all-around facial tonic, and can be splashed or swabbed-on after washing anytime. Perhaps the greatest potential of Rose oil lies in its heart-opening action.
Both the Otto and Absolutes have this effect, though the Otto may be more dramatic. Users report just a drop on their wrists or solar plexus has a profound effect on their emotions, imparting a more open, friendly nature. Indeed, Rose essential oil is one of the most important antidepressants in aromatherapy. Its sweet cooling nature works to counter anger and anxiety we see so often in our fast-paced culture. Rose alleviates 'hot' conditions of the liver and gall bladder which can make a person irritable; the combination of energetic action on the center of our emotions and on the flow of mind/body/spirit (chi) energy make it the first choice for psycho-emotional aromatherapy for our times. Employing the healing properties of Rose oils is fun and easy to do.
Both the Otto and Absolute are safe, and can be used undiluted whenever desired. They are both considered highly potent, and diluting them in a carrier oil will not reduce their efficacy however. A 5 to 10% dilution is most often used for personal perfume, a 1 to 3% dilution as a massage oil, and a 1 to 2% dilution and beauty care preparations. Either oil is excellent for use in even the simplest of aromatherapy diffusers, by themselves or blended with other aromatics of your choice. There are other aromatherapy methods of course, and you should use your intuition to guide you for the most appropriate technique.
Rose essential oil, and particularly Rose Otto has the potential to be very transformative. It may be that this revered symbol of beauty and love is now offering us its incredible health-giving effects in its most concentrated and portable form. One of the interesting aspects of our digital age is that while the planet is in peril, positive information and healing materials are available faster than ever. A bottle of Rose originating in Bulgaria can be delivered almost anywhere on Earth virtually overnight. If Rose oil sound right for you, it's encouraged that you give it a try -- every little bit one can do to open their hearts and bring out their light will make the world a better place for everyone.
The author has been a contributor of aromatherapy articles and information around the internet. Her websites contain useful information for beginning and advanced aromatherapists alike. More information on quality therapeutic grade essential oil and therapeutic natural skin care are available at the Ananda Apothecary.