The rose is, according to fossil evidence, 35 million years old. It had been grown for thousands of years throughout Asia and the Eastern world before it ever made an appearance in the Western world.
You can find references to roses in Christian, Confucian, and Buddhist religions. Many early civilizations including Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks, Romans and Phoenicians all prized roses and even extensively cultivated them as early as 5,000 years ago.
In Greek mythology, Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, is said to have created the rose which arose from her tears and the blood of her lover Adonis.
The Romans made Aphrodite their goddess Venus, and adopted the rose as the symbol of love and beauty. Cupid, offering a rose when trying to bribe the God of Silence to hush Venus's amorous escapades, made the flower a symbol for secrecy. "Sub Rosa", meaning under the rose, to this day means "confidentially".
In an ancient Arabic legend, all roses were originally white. One night, a nightingale met a beautiful white rose and fell in love. Nightingales were not known then for their melodious song, but merely croaked and chirped like any other bird. However, the nightingale's love was so intense that he was inspired to sing for the first time. Eventually his love was such that he pressed himself to the flower and the thorns pierced his heart, coloring the rose red forever.
Not only is the rose cultivated for its beauty and fragrance, but it also has a myriad of uses from culinary to beauty to romance, and packs some powerful medicinal benefits. Our ancestors associated what smelled good with what was good for you, and believed that the rose had curative powers, giving it, rightfully, a prominent place in pharmacopeia.
The oil from the rose is one of the most precious you can ever use: It takes 22 pounds of rose petals to create just 5 ml of rose essential oil!
The rose and your mood…
Rose is soothing to the nerves and emotional or psychological state of mind. It is a mild sedative and anti-depressant. It eases anxiety and is increasingly used in treatments for conditions of stress or nervous tension. Place a small bouquet of garden grown roses (most commercial roses have virtually no scent) by your bed or on your desk and benefit from the healing effects of both their color and their scent. Or make a simple linen spray with rose water and mist on pillows and bedding to promote a restful night’s sleep.
The rose and your skin…
Rose is suitable for all skin types, but it is especially recommended for dry, sensitive or aging skin. It has a tonic and astringent effect, which makes it useful for diminishing the redness caused by enlarged capillaries.
Rose essential oil helps scars fade quickly. This includes the fading of acne, stretch marks, and surgery scars… Much of this is due to the antioxidant activity of rose essential oil, which spurs on the healing processes of the skin. Use rose oil sparingly, as a little goes a long way. And as with all essential oils, never use it straight, but add a few drops of rose essential oil to a carrier oil, such as jojoba, grapeseed, argan, coconut, etc…
Another amazing fact is that when rose is added to your beauty and skin products, it opens up your skin to absorb more of the chemicals and nutrients. So look for all natural beauty products containing rose essential oil, such as our Eclat Face & Neck Serum, Petal Face & Lip Polish, or Sweet Rose Lip Balm. The addition of rose essential oil helps maximize the benefits of all the ingredients.
Rose water is a less expensive way to provide soothing skincare. It is great for irritated skin. It is also a fabulous tonic that has antiseptic qualities. It may be used liberally. There is no such thing as too much rose water!
QUICK ROSE WATER RECIPE: You can make rose water at home by storing rose petals (from organic roses) in a jar filled with distilled water and steeping in the sun for 2 days (you can also buy commercially prepared rose water, which is truly affordable, at any local Middle Eastern market).
The Rose, your hormones, and your sensuality…
Rose essential oil is an aphrodisiac. It also balances and supports hormone health in the body. It's been shown to help in improving serotonin and other neuropeptides in the brain — aka those good mood hormones.
Because it eases anxiety, rose essential oil can greatly help with sexual dysfunction related to performance anxiety and stress. It is also believed to help balance sex hormones, which can contribute to increased sex drive.
To enhance a romantic or sensual moment, diffuse rose essential oil throughout the home or bedroom (you can even combine with a touch of sandalwood), or use a few drops of rose essential oil (mixed with carrier oil) on your neck, or anywhere you’d like your partner to focus… Do not overdo the rose scent however… Always choose subtlety over intensity. You want the scent to be associated with you, not a “perfume”.
The Rose and your diet …
“Rosa damascene” or the Damask rose is used for rose water. It is believed to have numerous medicinal benefits and has been used for centuries around the world. Rose water contains various vitamins: A, C, E, and B.
Gargling or holding rose water in the back of the mouth may help relieve inflamed sore throats. Sipping rose water tea is also hydrating and cooling.
Many cultures today still use rose water-infused food and drink to soothe and cool down on a hot summer day. You can drink up to two cups a day! It will also help with digestion, bloating, constipation, and fluid retention.
Adding rose tea to your health regimen can help you treat arthritis, menstrual cramps, flu, cold, digestive difficulties, bronchitis, depression, insomnia and many other chronic diseases. Unlike rosehip tea, which is made from the fruit of the rose plant, rose tea is derived from the whole blossoms or petals.
RECIPE FOR FRESH ROSE PETAL TEA:
1. Select pesticide-free petals. You'll need a good amount, at least 1 cup and preferably 2 cups. ...
2. Place the 1 to 2 cups rose petals in a saucepan filled with 3 cups of water.
3. Boil for five minutes.
4. Strain and pour into cups or mugs.
5. Sweeten with honey or maple syrup (yep, it IS good for you) or enjoy as is.
A variety of other products like rose syrups, rose essences, or rose petal jams are all made using rose.
Rosehips, on the other hand, are the tangy fruit part that has a flavor somewhat similar to that of cranberries. They are excellent for consumption fresh, dried and can also be preserved. The best rosehips come from the Rugosa rose plant. As a child, I remember picking rosehips in the countryside after the first frost, when they would be soft and sweet. I used to squeeze the pulp into my mouth and savor this natural treat as if it were candy.
Besides the Vitamin C and A and calcium that rosehips contain, they are also a rich source of bioflavanoids, pectin, Vitamin E, selenium, manganese, and the B-complex vitamins. They contain trace amounts of magnesium, potassium, sulfur and silicon. A single tablespoon of the pulp gives an adult more than 60 mg of Vitamin C.
Because of their high vitamin C content, they are an excellent immune system booster, and are often used to prevent or treat a cold.
And so I am going to leave you with a popular phrase: "Stop and smell the roses", which invites us to slow down, breathe in, and reflect upon the endless wonders of nature.