by Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac ~
I am often drawn to the psychological aspects of any healing modality and essential oils are no different. Roses represent Love, Trust and Self-Acceptance. Originally from Asia, there are some 250 species with over 10,000 hybrid varieties.
Only three can be distilled for their aromatic perfume. Rosa Gallica (French Rose), Rosa Damascena (Damask Rose) and Rosa Centifolia (Cabbage Rose). It is the Bulgarian Damask Rose that gives the finest quality of distilled essence or “Otto”.
Since it takes about 120 lbs or 60,000 roses to be distilled down to 1 ounce of Rose Otto, it is reasonable to see why it is such an expensive essential oil. Rose Absolute, created by using a solvent in the process of distillation, allows for this oil to be significantly less expensive and is used by the perfume industry. Often blended in a base of jojoba or sunflower oil, Rose Absolute is what is often sold by most essential oil companies.
A gentle Heart tonifier, Rose’s psychological properties play mostly upon it effects on the mind. The mind, which is the center of our emotional being, extends its energy to the heart. Rose oil calms, nourishes and supports the heart and helps restore a sense of wellbeing. Rose oil can be very beneficial in helping with anxiety, palpitations and insomnia.
The compassion of the Rose is seen through its ability to heal emotional wounds. When loss, rejection or sorrow has injured our capacity for nurturing and self-love, Rose oil brings a sweet and gentle comfort, binding the “heart strings” from the Heart to the Mind. In cases of a broken heart, injured from abuse or hurt, Rose oil can reach deep to warm the soul again and touch the deepest despair, restoring the trust that makes it possible to love again.
In Traditional Chinese Herbology, Mei Gui Hua (Flos Rosae Rugosae) is looked at in a beautifully poetic manor. Rose buds regulate the Qi Energy and harmonize the connection between the Spleen and Liver, soothing distention, pain, fullness and indigestion. Roses are also utilized in a tea for mildly moving Qi related to Menstrual Disorders. The Heart which is Yin, is paired with it Yang channel, the Small Intestines.
Roses were called the “Queen of Flowers” by the Greek poet Sappho. The exquisite fragrance, sweet aroma, blushing colors and considerably therapeutic effects, ensures its special place in the perfumery and medicinal Materia Aromatica that is no less revered today!