One of my favorite forbidden treats as a little girl was the delicate glass jar on my grandmother’s vanity, filled with fragrant, pink-tinted rosewater. I would dab just the faintest drop of the blushing potion beneath my nose so that the heady but soothing aroma of rose lingered well after the car ride home.
It wasn’t until much later, on my own journey that I discovered the benefits of that sweet elixir went far beyond its aroma. As my own path meandered towards natural and plant based solutions for both health and beauty, I came to understand the lasting allure of the rose for both mind and body.
The Symbol of Love
The symbol of love, The Queen of the Flowers, the rose draws countless references in art, history, and culture. With the recent passing of Valentine’s Day, roses have been absolutely everywhere.
From ancient Asia to Rome and Greece, this flower is steeped in mythology and revered as a most precious botanical. It was said that in India, Vishnu built his bride, Lakshmi, out of 108 large and 1008 small rose petals.
Nearly everywhere you look in ancient history, the rose is revered. What you may not know about this bud, is that it is honored just as much for its health and beauty prowess as it is for its appearance and aroma. In particular, the rose hybrid known as rosa damascena (or the Damascus Rose) offers wonderful benefits for the mind and body.
Not Just a Pretty Flower
The aroma alone of the Damascus rose carries a potent combination of both relaxing and uplifting properties. As an aromatherapeutic, rose oil is touted for improving and helping to stabilize the mood of regular users. I have to admit, even though I’m not wild about highly floral scents, I am unable to close my eyes and take a deep breath with my face buried in a rose without coming out the other side almost mystically happy.
But the reasons roses have been used for health and beauty for centuries go far beyond a pretty smell. From controlling acne to maintaining moisture in dry or maturing skin, rose oil has many phenomenal benefits:
CLEANSER: Like many essential oils, rose carries both antiviral and antibacterial properties, making it an outstanding cleanser.
MOISTURIZER: As we are learning in the world of natural health and beauty, oil cleansers carry many benefits for maintaining moisture in the skin. Rose is particularly helpful to those facing dry conditions or wishing to maintain their skin’s moisture as they mature.
ACNE: It may seem like a contradiction for something that hydrates so deeply to also help prevent and control blemishes on the skin, but rose oil is known for both of these things, making it an ideal ingredient to have in your routine in all stages of life.