Esoteric Aromatherapy: Healing the Heart with Roses

Published: 07th July 2008
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Here's a little tip for all you natural health enthusiasts out there wanting to make a difference: now may be the time to try a Rose essential oil. Roses have always been great symbols of love and beauty, and the potency which nature created is readily available in pure Rose oils. Rose essential oil is considered one of the most profoundly healing natural aromatics by leading aromatherapists. It has an incredible number of diverse and effective healing applications, it is easy to use, and its aroma is loved by nearly everyone.

What a time for Rose it is! The oil of the deep red Rosa Damascena is considered the premier heart opening aromatic; can you think of something we need more of in this world? And even if you're still just a little vain (just kidding!), Rose is one of the most active essential oils in beauty care -- it helps us love more AND be more beautiful. Plus it's anti-viral, antiseptic, and a stress-reliever, too. What's so special about Rose oil? What is it, where do you get it and how do you use it? Let's have a practical look at this profoundly useful therapeutic essential oil.

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 extracts are found in many of the worlds premier skincare formulas. Rose oils are particularly effective for dry and mature skin. Hence the symbol of duty brings about beauty through an overall healing action in the dermis. Rose oils are stimulating to skin cell metabolism, cleansing, hydrating, smoothing, and naturally astringent without being drying. The distillate water of Rose, called Rose Hydrosol, is used as a natural cleansing agent unto itself; it can be applied daily after the face is washed to improve skin texture and impart a healthy glow.

While not the most common, certainly the most important therapeutic application of Rose is as a healer of the Soul. The aromas of both the Absolute and the Otto are well-known antidepressants, an action that is not clearly defined by modern medicine. The olfactory sense is the one of the five senses directly hardwired to the brain, and here has a deeply rooted in effect on our overall well-being. Rose Absolute can be worn as a natural perfume for this purpose, often diluted to 10% in jojoba oil and dabbed on the wrists and neck. The same can be done with the Otto, though it may be even more useful and small concentrations as an aromatherapy massage oil. In the esoteric medicine systems, inhalation and topical application of Rose is thought to regulate the flow of Chi through the liver. This is of profound importance, as it is a blocked flow of this Chi that can lead to anger, irritation, and anxiety. And perhaps the greatest of all effects is the unfolding of the heart chakra, allowing us to be more open, loving, and receptive to one another, and to be comforted in tense times.

Using Rose oils is very easy and uncomplicated. Both the Otto and Absolutes are very safe and non-irritating, and can be used at 100% concentrations without concern for anything but perhaps the cost. Pure Rose oils are very strong aromatics, and can be significantly diluted and still retain all it's therapeutic properties. A 10% dilution in Jojoba is very common, and a little bottle will go a long way for aromatic use. This can be massaged in small amounts into the wrists, solar plexus or pelvic region. Rose Otto can be used undiluted on herpes legions, but again, dilution would not reduce the efficacy (with many essential oils, dilution in fact enhances the efficacy). Either Otto or Absolute can be used in a diffuser, filling your space with a brilliant uplifting aroma. Rose oil can be added to bathwater, or used in a massage formula at between a .5 and 3% dilution as well.

The essential oils of Rose are considered among the most transformative and aromatherapy, and effect which seems a natural evolution of Nature's symbol of love and beauty. Mankind has developed the technological know-how to put the power of thousands upon thousands of Roses in one tiny bottle, and transport it around the world almost instantly. It is Nature however, who developed this fantastic medicine millennia ago. If you'd like a little more beauty and love in your life, you might consider giving Rose essential oils try.

The author is a regular contributor to natural health sites and ezines on the topics of essential oils and aromatherapy techniques. She may be contacted through The Ananda Aromatherapy Research Blog.

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