Almost all peoples know the rose as the queen of flowers and a symbol of love. Only the Eskimos have no name for it. In the form of tea or rinses, the rose has an anti-inflammatory effect and makes inflamed skin heal quicker by "sealing" it. The rose also plays an important role in aromatherapy.
Numerous legends surround the origin of the rose. One claims it emerged from the sea foam together with the goddess of love, Aphrodite, which is why the rose is the epitome of love. The Persians cultivated it in magnificent rose gardens. Until the 17th century, they had a monopoly on the trade in rose water and rose oil.
France, the country which invented European aromatherapy, only discovered it was possible to extract rose oil in the 19th century. Of all rose varieties, the Damask rose plays the most important role in aromatherapy. The "royal scent," it is said to possess symbolises perfect charm.
The rose petals have astringent properties leading to the contraction of the mucous membranes and skin, thus easing inflammation. Rose water also heals inflammation: through gargling in the mouth and throat and when applied externally to facial skin. Hip baths with a rose petal infusion have proven highly effective against inflamed vaginal mucosa. Energetic aromatherapists recommend inhaling Damask rose oil to overcome injuries and regain confidence and trust. When included in cosmetic preparations, it increases self-love and allows personal beauty to shine through.
The petals for therapeutic use are obtained from the "Rosa x centifolia". The "x" stands for hybrid; this rose is a cross between Rosa gallica (which in turn is a cultivated form of Rosa canina and Rosa alba) and Rosa damascena (which is a cultivated form of Rosa gallica with phoenicia or moschata).
The "Centifolia" is a rose bush which can grow up to two metres tall. The older branches have lots of thorns on them and are reflexed, which results in a loose appearance. The ample individual flowers are made up of countless petals and can be all shades of colour ranging from pure white to dark red. The bottom of the leaves is equipped with fragrant glands, which is why the bush has a rose scent even without any flowers.
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