Sunday, May 23, 2010

Natural Medicines using Rose Flowers

The queen of flowers, the rose is an enduring symbol of love and romance. But for centuries it has also been valued for its medicinal, therapeutic and cosmetic properties.

The Ancient Greeks and Romans used rose ointments to treat anxiety, depression and skin irritations, while the centuries old Indian medical system of Ayurveda uses rose cordial to aid digestion and maintain a healthy metabolism. Today, the rose is undergoing a renaissance as a beauty-booster. Roses are packed with soothing and complexion-perfecting properties, from collagen-boosting vitamin C to wrinkle preventing polyphenols, which are being pumped into an array of moisturisers, serums, body oils and cosmetics.

Rose water and rose essential oil are extracted, through a steam distillation process, from petals for use in moisturising creams and shower gels. The more concentrated and fragrant rose absolute oil, which is used in serums, body oils and perfumes, is obtained through a solvent process. Both oils are rich in skin-protecting vitamins and freeradical fighting flavonoids. Rose hip seed oil is the most potent and is acquired using a cold pressed method.

One reason for the rose's longevity in the beauty world is its versatility it suits all skin types and can treat numerous complexion issues. Rose oil increases elasticity so is ideal for fending off wrinkles. Those with sensitive or acne-prone complexions can benefit from its healing, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It adds deep nourishment to dry skin, leaving the complexion hydrated and radiant.

Geraldine has incorporated rose essential oil into the Aromatherapy Associates Anti-Age and Renew skincare collections, which are used in spas all over the world. The oil delivers health, nourishment and radiance to the skin that is hard to achieve with other ingredients, plus its aroma is incredibly uplifting. The seeds of the hip, especially that of the rosa canina species, are high in vitamin C, four times as much as blackcurrants and eight times as much as oranges.

It is also a rich source of natural vitamin A, which works like retinol to boost collagen production, soothing vitamin E and the essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic (omega 3) and linoleic (omega 6), which lighten sun spots and hydrate the skin. The soothing and anti-inflammatory properties of rose oil are being appreciated in cosmetics, too.