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Rose Plant

An Introduction
Rose, one of the most beautiful flowers of all times, is undoubtedly an inseparable element of love. For centuries, this wonderful gift of nature has been regarded as a symbol of love and beauty. This matchless flower has been sacred to goddesses of all cultures and prized as an exotic flower. Even in today's hectic life, anyone coming across the beautiful rose forgets all his/her pre-occupations and gets lost in admiring the unexplainable beauty of this astonishing flower. Its mind-blowing fragrance differentiates it from other flowers. The pleasing aroma of a rose not only soothes the soul, but also enlivens the spirit. The word 'Rose' has been derived from the Greek word 'roden', which means red. An aromatic oil "rose oil" extracted from this amazing flower finds innumerable applications. Rose oil is used for a variety of purposes, ranging from perfumery and aromatherapy to medicines.

 

One of the most common and widely used essential oils, Rose Oil, is extracted from the flowers of rosa damascena. It is the costliest volatile oil used in premium grade perfumes and cosmetics. This highly valued aromatic oil is also known by names such as rose otto, or attar of rose, or rose absolut. Rose ottos are obtained through steam distillation, while rose absolutes are extracted by the process solvent extraction or supercritical carbon dioxide extraction, with the absolute being used more commonly in perfumery. It takes approximately 4000 kilograms of rose petals to produce 1 kilogram of pure rose oil. Bulgaria is the largest producer of Rose Oil in the world.

Plant Description

A perennial herb, rose is a flowering shrub or vine of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae, that contains over 100 species. Majority of this species are native to Asia, whereas some are native to Europe, North America, and northwest Africa. The leaves of the rose plant are alternate and pinnately compound, with sharply toothed oval-shaped leaflets, which are 5–15 centimetres long. The flowers of most species of roses have five petals, with the exception of Rosa sericea, which usually has only four.
 

Two major species of rose which are cultivated worldwide for extracting rose oil are:

  • Rosa Damascena: Commonly known as the damask rose, it is widely cultivated in Bulgaria, Turkey, Russia, India, Uzbekistan, Iran and China
  • Rosa Centifolia: The cabbage rose, which is more commonly grown in Morocco, France and Egypt.

Brief History
Historically, rose has been associated with a number of cultures. The Greeks associated the rose with

Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, arts and creativity. In Christian tradition, the scent of rose was associated with the presence of angels.
 

Other Historical Facts

  • Rose were probably cultivated in Northern Persia, on the Caspian, or Faristan on the Gulf of Persia
  • Historically, the oldest Rose fossils have been found in Colorado, dating back to more than 35 million years ago
  • Confucius, 551 BC to 479 BC, reported that the Imperial Chinese library had many books on Roses
  • Ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia (in the Tigris-Euphrates River Valley) mentioned Roses in a cuneiform tablet (a system of writing) written in approximately 2860 BC
 

Rose Oil
A highly valued essential oil, rose oil is a volatile fragrant oil obtained from fresh roses by the process of steam distillation, solvent extraction or supercritical carbon dioxide extraction. This highly valued oil is credited with soothing, antiseptic properties, and moisture retention abilities. Due to its pleasing odor, this aromatic oil is the costliest oil used in high grade perfumes and cosmetics. Rose is seen as the supreme oil of the 'heart chakra' the center of love.

Medicinal Properties
Rose oil contains extraordinary therapeutic properties and is found helpful in cases of skin redness or inflammation and where moisturisation and regeneration are needed. A drop of pure rose oil not only soothes the mind but also relaxes the soul. This essential oil possesses cooling, relaxing and toning properties. It can be used in the treatment of a wide range of stress related conditions and can also be used for hyperactivity in children. Besides these, rose oil is also great for hangovers, easing menstrual discomfort, depression, and symptoms of menopause. When applied on the skin, this sweet oil makes it glowing and charming, besides softening it.

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