The Art of Making Rose Oil and its Therapeutic Benefits | Seed Sistas The Art of Making Rose Oil and its Therapeutic Benefits | Seed Sistas | Herbal Evolutions Cultivating Change

The Art of Making Rose Oil and its Therapeutic Benefits

making rose oil

Making Rose Oil

Considered as the creme de la creme of roses, Rosa Damascena is well known globally for yielding high-quality oil, and has long been associated with Bulgarian historically. While the distillation process of making rose essential oil has changed over the centuries, the artisanal craft of extracting the oil has been passed down through generations for centuries. 

These delicate flowers with their layers of petals, which range from light pink to crimson, are picked early in the morning to preserve their aroma and drops of morning dew before they are taken to a distillery. The whole process is not an easy task: depending on the variety, for a kilo of rose oil, around a ton of rose petals are needed, or for one gram of rose oil, more than 1,000 rose petals must be plucked by hand. If the weather isn’t favourable for picking the roses, thousands more petals may be required to create this ‘liquid gold’, making it one of the most highly prized and expensive essential oils in the world. 

The Art of Making Rose Oil

In ancient times, rose oil was distilled in the fields when vessels were hung over fires for a primitive single distillation method. By the 17th century, the double distillation method in copper stills was introduced, and the first rose oil factory was opened in 1820 near Kazanlak.

making rose oilAfter workers finish picking the roses for the day, the fresh blossoms are taken to begin the distillation process. The rose blossoms and clear water are boiled together in a specialised distillation still and low-pressure steam is then passed through the fresh blossoms, releasing the essential oil into the vapour.

The resulting rose water flows out slowly and is collected in bottles. To extract the oil, the contents of these bottles from several distillation runs are combined in a vessel for a second circuit. The oil, being lighter than water, floats to the surface and is carefully separated and collected.

Each distillery is closely regulated by the Institute of Roses, Essential and Medical Cultures in Kazanlak. In addition to the Damask Rose, other varieties include Iskra, Svezhen, Eleina and Yanina which are distinguished by their oil yield, frost resistance and essential oil content. Rose oil can be referred to as rose otto, attar of rose, attar of roses, or rose essence, depending on the distillation method used.

Therapeutic Benefits of Damascena Rose

There’s a lot more to roses than their rich floral scent! making rose oil

One of the best things you can do is to connect to the energy of a rose. In doing so, it will enhance the vibration of all your cells to bring harmony and balance into your life. The vibration frequency of any essential oil reflects its bio-energy; most essential oil frequencies start at 52Hz and reach a maximum vibration of 320Hz. As the highest vibration frequency on our plants, the vibration of Damask Rose oil makes it one of the most rewarding therapeutic essential oils.

Rose essential oil contains a complex array of natural compounds, including geraniol, citronellol, nerol, linalool, for example, and it is these that give the oil its luxurious aroma and therapeutic properties for self care with roses. Used for centuries, the cultivation of rose oil in Bulgaria has contributed immensely for both skin care and boosting health, and is widely used for perfumery, cosmetics, aromatherapy blends, pharmacy and food industries.

  1. Helps Depression and Anxiety

Damascena rose oil has been shown to have uplifting effects on the mood, helping to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. The dreamy aroma of rose oil can promote relaxation and emotional well-being, and its calming properties make it an effective relaxant or sedative. 

It can also help to alleviate symptoms of insomnia, reduce nervous tension, and promote restful sleep. Using rose oil in a diffuser or in a warm bath will create a calming environment conducive to relaxation and sleep.

  1. Anti-Inflammatory, Antiseptic and Antibacterial

Damascena Rose oil possesses significant anti-inflammatory properties. It can help reduce inflammation in the body when applied topically, making it useful for conditions like arthritis, muscle pain, and skin inflammations. 

Plus, it also has natural antiseptic and antibacterial qualities. Its oil can be used to clean wounds and prevent infections, promoting faster healing. It’s effective against a range of bacteria, making it a valuable component in natural remedies.

  1. Hydrating and Moisturising

making rose oilDeeply hydrating and moisturising, it’s excellent for nourishing dry and sensitive skin. It helps to retain moisture in the skin, providing a natural glow and softness. This makes it very useful in treating conditions like eczema and dry skin, or just as a regular staple in skincare for improving skin texture and tone.

A great treat for skin is a facial steam with 1-4 drops of rose oil to detoxify your skin, clear pores and refresh your face.

  1. Antioxidant and Astringent

The Damascena Rose is rich in antioxidants, which help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. Also containing Vitamin C, its natural antioxidants can aid the prevention of premature ageing and reduce wrinkles by improving your skin’s elasticity. 

Rose oil also acts as a natural astringent, reducing the appearance of pores and combating acne-causing bacteria. Hence, it’s a popular ingredient in anti-aging and skin-tightening products, or you can make your own rose water toner to promote healthy skin.

  1. Hormonal Balance

Rose oil is sometimes referred to as “women’s oil”, helping with hormonal and menstrual problems and imbalances. It’s known to alleviate menstrual discomfort, reduce symptoms of PMS, and support emotional balance during menopause. Rose’s  hormone-regulating properties are beneficial when inhaled or applied topically for menstrual discomfort. The scent of rose releases endorphins which can help with pain relief and have a positive effect on mood levels during the menstrual cycle.

Similarly, rose oil can aid in digestion by relieving symptoms of bloating, cramping, and constipation. It helps to stimulate the production of bile and other digestive juices for improving overall gastrointestinal health.

For the Love of Rose

From the ancient Romans to the Greeks and Egyptians, the rose has long been highly regarded as a divine symbol of love, passion and romance. Nikolas Culpeper, the 17th century famous English physician and herbalist, wrote that rose oil helps strengthen the heart – physically and emotionally. Earning its honour of being the Flower of Seduction, it’s often referred to as an aphrodisiac oil because its scent attracts love, stimulates libido and improves sexual desires, while also promoting self-confidence. A reminder that such a small, delicate flower can have a profound impact in our lives.

Di Bach is an honorary Seed Sista working behind the pages and helping to create the words of herbs for our readers and Member’s Area. Just as Bulgaria has a long-lasting passion for the rose, Di has a deep passion for the country, having travelled around it extensively for a number of years.

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