The Summer damask rose (Rosa Damascena Mill.) is one of the most important species of the Rosaceae family and has long been used as a healing tonic and mood-elevating fragrance. The plant, the essential oil, and the water extracted from this plant (used in many Ageless La Cure skincare products) have various applications in skin and health care and in the food industry.
Rose may be the most perfect flower on earth.
The Damask rose, sometimes referred to as the king of flowers, is not only beautiful but unrivaled in fragrance. It has been well received and eagerly traded since ancient times.
Growing about six feet tall and wide, the Damask rose grows on long bowing stems bearing heads of loosely cupped rose pink petals. They most often grow with solitary blooms though sometimes in twos and threes. Their velvety petals are pink to purple and bloom 3/4 to one inch long and wide.
The Damask rose gets its name from its place of origin, Damascus, Syria, and it is the most ancient of roses.
In the time of Persian-born Avicenna, a celebrated physician of the Middle East (980–1037), the damask rose was cultivated largely for medicinal purposes. Avicenna chose this particular rose, the damask rose, as the first plant to distill when he created a rose distillery in Shiraz which was fully operational until 1612.
Benedictine monks preserved the damask rose for medicinal purposes in their apothecary gardens during unstable times in Europe when growing roses ranked second to sheer survival for most people.
Those who were able to produce rosewater and rose oil never lacked for business especially since rosewater was also known as a cure for all ills, an aphrodisiac and excellent for the complexion.
The Near East was a perfect cultivating ground for the Damask which required well watered land. They invented equipment for manufacturing rosewater, then scented rose oil and attar or otto (described further below) which is the name for the precious essential oil derived from rose petals.
Today, the roses are cultivated primarily in Turkey, Bulgaria’s Valley of the Roses, Europe, Iran, Morocco, Russia and India. They are grown practically all over the world.
The pink damask rose is the most fragrant of all roses and contains more essential oil than, for example, the white damask or cottage rose.
The yield of the oil is very low: one part of oil from 3000 parts of flowers or more than 70,000 roses are used to produce just one ounce of oil. Because of the low oil yield combined with high demand, it is one of the most expensive essential oils in the world. Even given the high cost, it does not diminish its use in natural applications because it is so effective.
Damask rose essential oil comes in two types–rose absolute and rose otto–and both are used for the same purposes.
- Rose otto is the best for aromatherapeutic purposes because it is extremely heady in fragrance. You will need less and it lasts longer.
- Rose absolute has a pungent rose fragrance and is preferred by perfumers since the scent is closer in fragrance to the flower than the otto.
The damask rose today is known not only for its fragrance but for the quality of oil it yields. The Bulgarian damask rose is considered to produce the finest quality otto today.
Damask rose water is not exactly pure rose water because it contains a certain amount of essential oil depending on the quality of the product.
The physical body tends to spontaneously respond and align with rose’s healing energy.
Damask rose essential oil is excellent for treating all skin types especially mature, dry and sensitive skin. Because of its antimicrobial properties it is beneficial in the treatment of acne. Its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe skin redness and can be beneficial in the treatment of eczema.
- soothing pink Clay Mask
- firming Eye Serum
- Perfection Cream, and
- the Five Secrets Serum and Cream Duo for a 3-Week Cure.
Specific to skincare, damask rose essential oil can help to:
- rejuvenate the skin
- reduce the appearance of fine lines
- minimize the appearance of broken capillaries on the skin
- reduce the appearance stretch marks
- repair sun-damaged skin
- soothe dry, itchy skin
- clear up acne
- fight bacteria; Damask rose is proven to fight effectively against 15 strains of bacteria
- ease poor circulation
With a strong presence of the phytochemical and antioxidant lycopene, Damask rose is found to be very beneficial in the prevention of many conditions resulting from a presence of age-promoting free radicals in the body.
Damask rose essential oil is cleansing, regulating, cooling, mood-lifting and can have powerful effects on female and male sex organs including sexual weakness, frigidity, impotence and low semen count.
Damask rose essential oil is known to assist with cardiovascular health, the repair of broken capillaries and blood purification and circulation, liver, gall bladder and digestive function, and relief for asthma, hay fever and coughs.
Damask rose essential oil can be lightly inhaled, applied topically or taken internally dissolved in honey.
PHYTO5’s skincare scientists who formulate Ageless La Cure skincare products are expert in creating proprietary blends of essential oils including damask rose. Because of the high concentration of potency of the oil, it is best to rely on professionally formulated products like those in the Ageless La Cure line which use the perfect amount of oil for specific purposes.
Rose, known for eons as a healing flower, elicits a state of consciousness within us.
We absorb rose’s energy and frequency when we take in its fragrance and information. We can become transformed by it.
The sublime fragrance of damask rose seems to stimulate a response within us. The response might be love, tenderness, wistfulness, serenity, or joy. It has been demonstrated to soothe and harmonize mind, body and spirit, and to uplift emotions of depression, anger, grief and fear. It supports self-nurturing and a higher self-esteem and bolsters the ability to deal with emotional issues such as grief and anxiety.
Many believe it promotes spiritual love.
Damask rose essential oil calms nervous tension, helps to alleviate headaches and assists to balance adverse reaction to stress.
Traditional Chinese medicine (this link takes you to our sister site at phyto5.us) finds rose to be cooling and moist, able to clear heat and reduce inflammation. Rose helps to restore the body’s yin energy (this link takes you to our sister site at phyto5.us). (Contrasting with yang energy, yin is the passive female principle of the universe, characterized as female and sustaining and associated with earth, dark, and cold.)
According to the scientific study, “Pharmacological Effects of Rosa Damascena” by Boskabady, Shafei, Saberi and Amini, Damask rose includes an “anti-HIV, antibacterial, antioxidant, antitussive, hypnotic, antidiabetic, and relaxant effect…”
The following is a list of medicinal properties of damask rose essential oil:
- general tonic
- powerful neurotonic
- tonic astringent
- choleric (for establishing better humor)
- cicatrizant (for the treatment of wounds and ulcers)
- depurative (for purifying and detoxifying)
- blood pressure regulating
- supportive for hay fever and asthma
- emmenagogue (for stimulating menstruation and blood flow in the uterus); tones the uterus and eases painful menses; lessens the unpleasant symptoms of premenstrual syndrome
- homeostatic (for establishing equilibrium in physiological processes)
- hepatic (for treating the liver); also good for the gall bladder
- helps balance digestive issues and stomach upsets; may relieve nausea and constipation
Photo courtesy of Anna Rye from pexels.
Preedy, Victor R. Essential Oils in Food Preservation, Flavor and Safety. Academic Press, 2016.
Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols. Frog Ltd., Berkley, CA, 2001.
Young, Kac. Healing Art of Essential Oils: a Guide to 50 Oils for Remedy, Ritual, And. Llewellyn Publications,U.S., 2017.
Harkness, Peter. The Rose: An Illustrated History. Buffalo, NY: Firefly, 2003. Print.
Mojay, Gabriel. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit: Restoring Emotional and Mental Balance with Essential Oils. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts, 1999. Print.