A small prickly shrub growing to about 90 cm - 1.8 m high with flowers that have and exquisite fragrance. The flowers are picked very early in the morning for both distillation and solvent extraction.

Common Name:
Botanical Name:
Rosa damascena (Damask Rose)
Rosa centifolia (Cabbage Rose)
North America, Europe, France, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Bulgaria.
Steam Distillation, Solvent
Parts Used:
Flowers/petals, Berries/Fruits
Color and Odor:
The essential oil is pale yellow to dark amber in color and has a sweet, rich, tenacious, spicy, floral aroma.
One of the oldest and best known of all perfumes. The rose is also the most loved, praised, sought-after and written about of all flowers. The history of rose otto is traditionally traced to the wedding of the Mogul Emperor Djihanguyr and Princess Nour Djihan in India. When rose petals were placed on the water of the canals surrounding the palace, it was noticed that a thing film of oil was left floating on the surface of the water. On closer examimation this substance was found to smell of roses. Distillation of rose otto apparently started shortly thereafter, both in India and also in neighboring Persia. In modern times the Indian and Persian rose otto production has declined and the modern production of rose otto is found centered around the Mediterranean. The amount of oil in the rose is so small that it requires 6000 roses to produce 30 ml of otto. Therefore rose oil is one of the most expensive of all perfume ingredients.
Whole books have been written about the glorious rose, inarguably the most beautiful and beloved of blossoms. For more than 3,000 years, this "gift of the angels" has delighted the senses and soothed the souls of people worldwide. Many marvelous myths have sprung up around the origins of the rose, but one ancient Greek legend stands above the rest. Chloris, the Greek goddess of flowers, was wandering in the woods when she discovered the dead body of a lovely wood nymph. She called on the other gods and goddesses to help her transform the lifeless nymph into the most beautiful and enduring of flowers. Dionysus, the god of wine and pleasure, gave the flower its luscious nectar and scent; Aphrodite, the goddess of love, imbued the flower with her own pristine beauty; the three sister goddesses Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalia—collectively known as the Graces—endowed the rose with their respective gifts of intelligence, happiness, and eternal youth. Finally, Chloris herself bestowed on the rose a shimmering crown of dewdrops and declared the blossom the "queen of the flowers". Through the ages, writers, painters, horticulturists, gardeners, florists, perfumers, lovers, and sensualists of every ilk have ensured that the rose's many delights remain forever immortalized.
And if all that were not enough, the rose is also good medicine. Almost 2,000 years ago, the Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, and Romans used various rose preparations to treat over 30 different ailments—from coughs and kidney disorders, to fatigue and infections.
And the herb is still used today for many of the same ailments. Rose petals (the plant's flowers), rose hips (the plant's fruits), and rose oil and rose water (both made from the petals) all have distinct therapeutic properties. Petals from the apothecary's rose and damask rose are most frequently used for medicinal purposes—in teas, rose oil, and rose water. Dog rose is the major source of rose hips used in teas. Rose hips from another Asian species (R. laevigata) with the unlikely common name Cherokee rose in the United States—but jing ying zi in the East—are also popular in the West, but only in the last 250 years. They have been used in Chinese medicine, however, for almost 2,000 years to fight bacterial and viral infections. Cherokee rose traveled to the United States in the mid-eighteenth century—via the East India Trading Company—and became Georgia's state flower.
Chemical Constituents:
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Cyanogenic Glycoside
  • Quercitrin
  • Tannins
  • Vitamins A and C
  • Volatile Oils
  • Known Effects:
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Calming Effects

  • Miscellaneous Information:
  • North American Indians formerly used fruit as a food source.
  • Leaves are used to make tea or salad and smoked like tobacco.
  • Rose hips are used in Vitamin C supplements
  • Rose add flavor to foods during cooking
  • Possible Additional Effects:
  • May smooth skin
  • Potential astringent
  • Potential sedative
  • May help induce sleep
  • Properties:
    Cleansing, tonic, soothing, antidepressant, aphrodisiac, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, choleretic.
    • Digestive Sytem—Strengthens the stomach and promotes the flow of bile; useful in the treatment of jaundice.
    • Circulatory System—Tones the blood vessels, cleanses the blood, promotes circulation, relieves cardiac congestion and regulates the action of the heart. Good for anemia.
    • Reproductive Sytem—Cleanses the womb, regulates menstrual function; useful in the treatment of impotence and sterility. Eases premenstrual tension and painful periods.
    • Nervous System—Rose's soothing action on the nerves promotes sleep.
    • Skin—Useful for all skin types but particularly so for mature, dry or sensitive skin with redness or inflammation. Rose's tonic and astringent effects on capillaries helps to reduce thread veins. Rejuvenates and regenerates the skin.
    • Emotions—Rose is luxurious and erotically sensual. It provides emotional comfort in times of turbulence, enlivens the heart, boosts confidence and brings out ones deepest feelings, increasing affection and sexual desire. The scent calms strife and instils a feeling of peace and happiness, ensuring warm and happy associations. It soothes and calms hyperactive personalities who are ill at ease, unsettled, unsure or unhappy with themselves or who feel a sense of guilt, jealousy, grief and resentment.
    Medicinal Uses:
    Rose has antibacterial, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antiviral, astringent, digestive, expectorant, sedating, stomach-soothing, and tonic properties. Rose petals are taken internally—usually in teas—as a blood and nerve tonic to treat anxiety, bronchitis, canker sores, colds, congestion, coughs, depression, diarrhea, fatigue, menstrual cramps, and sore throats. They are used externally to treat headaches, irritated eyes, mouth sores, skin infections, sore throats, and wounds. Rose hips are used internally—in teas—as a general tonic (the herb is rich in vitamins A, C, E, K, and the B vitamins) and to treat bacterial and viral infections, colds, diarrhea, flu and upset stomach. Rose oil is sometimes used internally for bacterial and viral infections, but only under the supervision of a medical practitioner. It is most commonly used (inhaled) in aromatherapy to relieve anxiety and depression. Rose oil is used externally for inflammatory skin infections and to treat burns and scars. Rose water is used externally for irritated eyes and damaged skin.
    To make a tea from the petals, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried herb and steep for 5 minutes. Strain, and drink up to 2 cups a day. To make a tea from the hips, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of dried herb and steep for 5 minutes. Strain, and drink up to 3 cups a day.
    Rose 5 Rose 6 Rose 6
    Orange 4 Rosemary 2 Sandalwood 5
    Peppermint 2 Melissa 2 Geranium 2

    Rose 6 Rose 3 Rose 5
    Chamomile (R) 2 Lavender 2 Mandarin 4
    Frankincense 2 Patchouli 2 Cedarwood 2
    Warnings and Precautions:
    Do not substitute hybrid or garden roses for medicinal roses featured here. Internal use of rose oil—which is generally considered nontoxic—should be done under the guidance of a qualified medical practitioner. Much rose oil is adulterated with other plant materials and filler. Pure rose oil is expensive and less widely available.

    Don't take if you:
    Are pregnant, think you may be pregnant, or plan pregnancy in the near future.
    Consult your doctor if you:
    Are pregnant, think you may be pregnant, or plan pregnancy in the near future.
    Don't use unless prescribed by your doctor.
    Don't use unless prescribed by your doctor.
    Infants and Childrens:
    Treating infants and children under 2 with any herbal preparation is hazardous.
    None are expected if you are beyond childhood, under 45, not pregnant, basically healthy, take it for only a short time and do not exceed manufacturer's recommended dose.
  • Store in cool, dry area away from direct light but don't freeze.
  • Store safely out of reach of children.
  • Don't store in bathroom medicine cabinet. Heat and moisture may change the action of the herb.

  • Safe Dosage:
    Consult your doctor for the appropriate dose for your condition.
    Aromatherapy Blends and Remedies by Franzesca Watson Copyright ©: 1995 Thorsons, Harper Collins Publishers, Inc. pp.156-159
    The Modern Herbal Primer by Nancy Burke Copyright©2000 Yankee Publishing, Inc. pp.121-123
    Vitamins, Herbs, Minerals, & Supplements The Complete Guide by H. Winter Griffith, MD Copyright©1998 Fisher Books pp. 430-431