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Rose Essential Oil

Rose oil is an oil derived from roses (plant genus Rosa) used in aromatherapy and romance. The essential oil appears to be rich in Citronellol, and preliminary evidence suggests sedative, stress relieving, and anti-depressive effects from the aroma.

Our evidence-based analysis on rose essential oil features 37 unique references to scientific papers.

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Summary of Rose Essential Oil

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

Rose Essential Oil is the aromatic oil component of plants in the Rosa family (commonly referred to as 'Roses') and is usually from the Damask Rose (Rosa damascena), which is seen as having the most highly prized rose aroma. Rose is one of the more popular oils used in Aromatherapy for the purpose of relaxation.

Like most other compounds used in Aromatherapy, scientific support is somewhat lacking. There appears to be a variety of rodent models using the aroma of Rose indicating that it possesses sedative (not too potent) and anxiolytic (surprisingly potent for an aroma) properties, and limited human studies also suggest that this overall 'relaxing' effect applies to both the aroma as well as topical administration of the rose oil. There are some anti-stress effects (at least one human study to support this) and although there are two studies noting that Rose aroma had pain reducing propertes one was confounded with other aromatics (Lavender and Clary Sage) while the other used rose essential oil as adjuvant alongside anti-inflammatory medication Diclofenac. Although there is indeed evidence for pain reducing properties, it does not appear to be the best evidence.

Due to both topical administration and the aroma being effective, Rose is apparently a common oil to use in massage oils for the purpose of relaxation. The bioactives in rose appeared to be most Rose oxide and Citronellol, which contribute highly to the aroma of rose.

Overall, there is sufficient (preliminary) evidence to suspect rose has biologically relevant relaxing properties when used as an aromatic, although larger trials to validate its aromatherapeutic potential would be needed to support its usage as monotherapy.

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How to Take

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

(There is overall a lack of highly quantifiable information regarding the dosing of Rose essential oil)

For the purposes of Aromatherapy, rose essential oil should be applied (or rose aromatics lit) to a degree where the aroma is detectable but not adverse. The room should be poorly to moderately ventilated.

Topical adminsitration of rose essential oil for large body surfaces (massage) should be diluted (up to 1%) in a cream or lather prior to administration, while pure essential oil may suffice for small body surface areas for the purposes of aromatherapy (if a wafting aroma from the body is desired over having the rose placed somewhere in the room).

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Human Effect Matrix

Unlocked for Examine members

The Human Effect Matrix summarizes human studies to tell you what effects Rose Essential Oil has on your body, how much evidence there is, and how strong these effects are.

Full details are available to Examine members.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-c Minor - See study
A small reduction in blood pressure was noted, possibly secondary to reductions in CNS activity
grade-c Minor - See study
A decrease in breathing rate has been noted to be secondary to relaxing effects of rose oil topical application
grade-c Minor - See study
A decrease in CNS activity has been noted following topical application of rose oil (in which aroma was controlled with gas masks)
grade-c Minor - See study
Self-reported ratings of calmness increase following application of rose oil topically
grade-c Minor - See study
A decrease in cortisol appears to result from the anti-stress response of rose oil inhalation
grade-c Minor - See study
Inhalation of rose may confer pain relieving properties in emergency situations, although potency relative to other agents is not assessed
grade-c Minor - See study
Self-reported ratings of stress are reduced with rose oil inhalation

Studies Excluded from Consideration

  • Excluded due to being confounded with Clary Sage and Lavender[1]

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Things to Note

Primary Function:

Also Known As

Rose, Rosa damascena, Rosa alba, Rosa gallica, Rosa centifolia, Rose Oil

Do Not Confuse With

Roselle (Hibiscus Sabdariffa), Rhodiola Rosea, Rosmarinic Acid

  • Rose essential oil can be biologically relevant following oral administration, topical administration (massage oil), or via aromatherapy. Studies using one of the above methods of administration may or may not apply to other methods of administration, there isn't enough evidence to support nor refute that possibility

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Click here to see all 37 references.