In Ayurveda, the rose embodies the philosophy of beauty inside out with its pretty appearance, pleasing scent and innumerable therapeutic properties.
Oxford dictionary defines the term, ‘stop and smell roses’ as a verb that means ‘to relax and take time out of one’s busy schedule to appreciate the beauty of life around us. And this is more than just a literary idiom. Whenever the world is swirling in a hectic place around me, I just take out that tiny vial of rose attar (pure rose essential oil) from my purse and take a deep breath. It instantly aligns my mind with my heart, which in simple terms means that it helps me live in the moment.
Rose has been used since time immemorial by royalty (because it was and remains an expensive ingredient) in their beauty potions and gourmet choices. It is believed that before the Romans saw her, they had a whiff of Cleopatra. She announced her arrival to Rome, a place alien to her, by perfuming her boat with roses and having all its streets adorned by its petals! Closer home, Mughal Queen Noor Jehan is credited with the discovery of rose oil. It is believed that she collected droplets of rose oil from the canals in royal gardens that used to be glutted with rose petals.
Growing up, I vividly remember sneaking into my grandma’s room to have a second round of gulkand, a preserve of rose petals and palm sugar. I remember it as mildly sweet and wildly fragrant! My first memory of the rose is plucking the freshest of desi Gulab (Indian rose) from the garden, and observing how my grandma mixed the delicate petals with sugar in glass jars. Little did I know that this delicious ‘jam’ was also a natural blood purifier that kept various skin problems such as acne, boils and inflammations away!
Benefits of Rose in Ayurveda
The Indian rose or Rosa Centifolia is referred to as Shatpatri in Ayurveda. “Because of its sweet, bitter, astringent, emollient, cooling and aromatic attributes, it is used in many Ayurvedic formulations. Due to these attributes, it has the following properties: Varnya (complexion promoting), Shrothhar (anti-inflammatory), Varnropan (wound healing), Durgandh Nashik (deodorant) and intellect-promoting, amongst many others,” explains Neena Chopra, Co-founder & Director (Beauty & Technical), Just Herbs. There is a reason why a rose is associated with love, romance and forgiveness. It is not just a marketing gimmick. “Rose helps to balance Sadhak Pitta, the sub dosha of Pitta that governs the emotions and their effect on the heart. It also helps to stabilize the mind by its positive effect on coordination between Sadhak pitta and Prana Vata that directs the brain and sensory perception,” adds Chopra.
It’s interesting to note that though the rose has cooling properties, it enhances Agni, the digestive fire. This is a unique quality that makes it balancing for all three doshas. That’s why rose, in all its form, petals, oils or water is used for creating an overall feeling of well-being.
Benefits of Rose in Aromatherapy
The scent of a rose is revered in aromatherapy as it soothes and calms the mind. Rose petals make a great nerve tonic and have been considered an aphrodisiac. Rose essential oil, like that of lavender, can help treat anxiety and depression. Its uplifting properties can even relieve physical fatigue. Pour a few drops of rose essential oil into a bucket of hot water and feel the day’s stress melt away. Or you could inhale its vapours to energize yourself. You could even brew a cup of rose tea to lift your sagging spirits. That’s why while choosing beauty products it’s a good idea to choose the ones enriched by rose essential oils as they have a relaxing effect on the skin as well.
Benefits of Rose in Skincare
Beyond its mood-uplifting scent, the rose has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antiviral properties. In beautiholic’s language, it means that rose extracts help to tone and cleanse complexion, clear blemishes, soothe acne, and nourish the skin. Extracts of this delicate flower may be used on all skin types but are often included in products for dry, sensitive, and mature skin as a rose is also a rich source of antioxidants. It hydrates and tightens the skin, working its way to reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. While rose essential oil treats insomnia and high blood pressure, the fresh leaf paste improves complexion by healing all skin damage. Body scrubs made of dry rose petals control excessive sweating and treat body odour.
Benefits of Rose Water
While rose essential oil is used in formulations, rose water is a beauty elixir as well. Rosewater helps maintain the skin’s pH balance, and also controls excess oil. Rose water benefits for skin because it has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the redness of the irritated skin, and get rid of acne, dermatitis and eczema. Try rose water as a cooling spritz for the face and neck anytime that you feel too hot (I always keep one handy in the refrigerator). Add rose water and some dried or fresh rose petals to your bath for a fragrant and rejuvenating experience that lingers on the skin for hours. Rose water also works as mild micellar water as it cleans pores and tones the skin. Due to the astringent like properties it possesses, pure and sterile rose water makes for some great eyewash for tired and swollen eyes. To brighten tired and dark eyes, soak two cotton balls in rose water and place them on your eyes for 10 minutes. Do this every night for a month before going to bed. You can also use rose powder dry, for an instant glow on your face. Rose powder benefits for skin in numerous ways by adding a natural blush or pink tone to your skin.
Here’s a selection of Just Herbs rose-based beauty products to indulge your skin with:
Roses are steam distilled in the traditional way to make this 100 per cent natural, pristine rose water that refreshes and hydrates your skin. With anti-bacterial properties, there are unique uses of rose water for skin because it aids in healing scars, cuts, and wounds. It is a natural astringent and strengthens skin cells. Rose water good for skin since it helps the ageing skin by keeping fine lines and wrinkles at bay.
Delicately scented with the aroma of pure rose oil and enriched with Aloe Vera, it deep cleanses while retaining the natural pH and moisture of the skin, working as a great make-up remover. Rose oil provides protection from sunburn and is a wonderful rejuvenating tonic, anti-inflammatory and skin softener, which acts as a rose skin benefit.
This mild and gentle formula, free of sulphates and parabens could transform your daily bath into an indulgent rejuvenating ritual. One can literally smell the roses in this with light notes of honey.
A chemical-free alternative to conventional soaps, this bathing bar is endowed with a plethora of skin rejuvenating, calming and soothing properties of rose. It also contains saponified coconut oil and oatmeal as its base, imparting a well hydrated and exfoliated feel to the skin.
This face pack tones and rejuvenates the sun-affected skin by maintaining its elasticity. Enriched with anti-inflammatory and anti-photo ageing properties of rose, Holy Basil, honey and liquorice, it inhibits excessive melanin production, reduces skin darkening, and protects from sunburn and other sun-induced skin damage.