There is a reason why the symbol of love is a flower, more specifically the rose. It’s a beautiful flower that provides us with Healing, Skin Care, and Food.
History of the Damascus Rose
Damascus Rose (Rosa damascena) has been considered a symbol of beauty and love. The fragrance of the rose has been captured and preserved in the form of rose water by an ancient method. This can be traced back to biblical times in the Middle East, and later to the Indian subcontinent.
Today there are four main centres around the world where roses are grown for the production of Rose Oil and Rosewater. They are Kazanluk, known as The Valley of Roses, in Bulgaria, Isparta in Turkey, Shiraz in Iran, and Grasse in the South of France.
It is the Damask Rose that is most widely grown.
What is Rose Water?
It’s basically a by-product of rose oil through distillation of pure fresh rose petals infused in water. Thousand of petals are needed to make just a small amount of the oil that rose water is created from.
Down the centuries one of the most highly valued properties of rose, whether as a plant or as rose oil or rosewater, has been its outstanding fragrance. In the case of rose plants this clearly has high aesthetic value. It also has a narcotic and aphrodisiac effect. It is said to stimulate the brain with the same chemical as when we are in love.
Hence, perhaps, its popularity as a symbol of love.
Uses of Rose Water
With rosewater and rose oil too there is a distinct cephalic effect. It lifts the spirits, can alleviate depression and help people cope with difficult life situations involving emotions such as loss, grief or fear.
This cephalic effect can be achieved either from:
- a bath to which drops of rose oil have been added,
- a burning candle which the addition of some rose oil,
- a vaporizer fed with rosewater,
- simply wearing a rose oil perfume.
The healing powers of rose can be applied to the body in a number of ways, for example:
- through bathing,
- applying compresses or poultices,
- by massage,
- swallowing, gargling and inhaling,
- as well as via lotions, creams and gels.
Skin Care – The uses of the dried Damascus rose in beauty products are numerous. Soaking Damascus rosebuds in water for 3 or 4 days releases a rose essence which can be added to bathwater. As the gentlest of all astringents, rose water is often used as toner for fair and dry skin or as an anti-aging product. It reduces skin redness. It nourishes, hydrates, and rejuvenates the skin.
Culinary Uses – Damascus roses are used in cooking as a flavoring ingredient or spice. It appears as one of the ingredients in the Moroccan spice mixture known as Ras el Hanout. Rose water and powdered roses are used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking. Rose water is often sprinkled on many dishes, while rose powder is added to sauces, yogurts and other desserts. A simple delicious drink can be made by mixing Rose water syrup to your favourite juice.There are lot’s of great tea companies producing rose petal teas nowadays.