Rose Water Benefits, History, and Uses

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on

Two roses laying next to a bottle of rose water which possesses many benefits for the skin. Centuries ago, a rose treasured for its decorative beauty was found to have healing properties and has played an important role in society ever since. Rosa Damascena Mill, also known as Damask Rose, is best known as the flower that we just call a rose. It is cultivated all across the world and used for religious ceremonies, fragrance, flavor, and even medicine. Rose water, or the “hydrosol” of the rose, is made by crushing and distilling Damask rose petals to produce essential oil.

History of Rose Water

History credits the discovery and refinement of rose water to a 10th Century Persian scientist by the name of Avicenna. The Crusades brought rose water to Europe’s attention and made it a profitable source of trade for the Persians. In the Middle Ages, rose water was used to clean one’s hands before eating, and physicians prescribed it to prevent fainting, strengthen organs, and protect the heart.

Traditional Uses of Rosa Damascena

Rose water has traditionally been used to relieve occasional indigestion and constipation, ease menstrual bleeding, and reduce redness and swelling. Rose water also fights harmful organisms and can help ease coughing and throat irritation. [1]

In aromatherapy, rose water helps to soothe headaches and calm the nerves. In one study, researchers found that rose oil (rose water usually contains 10-50% distilled rose oil) encouraged normal blood pressure and promoted relaxed breathing. The participants who received the rose oil described the effect as calming and relaxing. [2]

Many food recipes from China, India, and the Middle East use rose water. It adds a pleasant flavor to syrups and jellies and can even be sprinkled over rice, puddings, and cakes. [3]

Other types of rose are under evaluation to determine if they offer similar benefits. Polish scientists found that oil from Rosa rugosa helps reduce skin and eye irritation. [4]

Benefits of Rose Water For Your Skin

Rose water is great for toning and hydrating the skin. It is safe and effective for all skin types and helps balance natural oil production. Rose water encourages circulation and encourages a clear, bright complexion.

Organic rose water, made from organic rose petals of Rosa damascene from India, is actually part of the formula for AquaSpirit®, Global Healing Center’s refreshing body and face mist. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from people who’ve had amazing results with this product.

What’s your favorite use for rose water? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.

References (4)
  1. Boskabady MH, Shafei MN, Saberi Z, Amini S. Pharmacological Effects of Rosa Damascena. Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences. 2011;14(4):295-307.
  2. Hongratanaworakit T. Relaxing effect of rose oil on humans. Nat Prod Commun. 2009 Feb;4(2):291-6.
  3. BBC. Rosewater recipes. Last accessed 02-26-2016.
  4. Maciag-Krajewska A, Kalemba D. Composition of rugosa rose (Rosa rugosa thunb.) hydrolate according to the time of distillation. Phytochemistry Letters (Impact Factor: 1.45). 11/2014; 11. DOI: 10.1016/j.phytol.2014.10.024.

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