Rose essential oil has been used throughout history in the ancient art of aromatherapy as a healing tonic and mood-elevating supplement. Interestingly, because rose petals are not very high in oil content, it takes several thousand pounds of rose petals to produce just one ounce of this valuable oil, depending on the variety of plant used. Due to these factors, rose oil tends to be expensive. However, its price does not prevent it from being one of the most popular essential oils.
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Rose essential oil is frequently recommended by aromatherapists for its antidepressant and mood-boosting properties. According to aromatherapist Jeanne Rose in her book, "The Aromatherapy Book: Applications and Inhalations," rose oil is used to soothe the nerves, calm the nervous system and act as a tonic to relieve symptoms of depression. Just the aroma of rose oil can provide alleviation from depressive symptoms. It is used in baths, inhalations and aromatherapy burners to provide a mood boost during times of stress and fatigue. Depressive symptoms can also be relieved when rose oil is used in massage therapy.
You may already be familiar with the use of rose as an aphrodisiac. According to legend, Cleopatra was said to have taken aromatic baths using rose petals to help entice her lovers. Rose oil is used in modern aromatherapy and in Ayurvedic treatments to help stimulate the libido. According to Swami Sadashiva Tirtha -- an Ayurvedic practitioner, instructor at the Ayurveda Holistic Health Center in Bayville, New York, and author of "The Ayurveda Encyclopedia: Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention and Longevity" -- rose is thought to increase feelings of love, compassion and devotion, and acts as a tonic for the female reproductive system. Massage with rose oil is said to stimulate the libido and increase feelings of sexual desire.
Rose oil has antibacterial, astringent, antiseptic and antiviral properties, which make it useful in treating and disinfecting minor cuts and scrapes. According to Jeanne Rose, rose oil contains a compound called farnesol, which helps to kill bacteria and may help with the regeneration of new skin. Rose oil can be used in skincare treatments to help prevent and fight bacteria associated with conditions such as acne. It may help to treat pimples and blemishes by reducing the length and severity of flareups. Rose oil is also beneficial for those who have sensitive skin, as it is generally safe for all skin types and does not usually cause allergic reactions.