Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mama Lovin' Health: Rose essential oil

A couple of months ago, I started a blog post about two that I never finished due to life's distractions and information overload! I started out looking for the answer to a question about today's topic, and it blossomed into a massive amount of research.An old friend emailed me yesterday asking about essential oils for birth and it reminded me that I still hadn't published my conglomeration of information. This also marks a new blog feature: Mama Lovin' Health, information, tips, and tricks on health before, during, and after pregnancy.

Before I go forward, I feel obligated to remind the reader that I am not an Aromatherapist.  I am years of study shy of that title, and everything below--unless I decide to editorialize--is garnered from published books, (reasonably?) reliable websites, and lecture notes.  I've cited as specifically as I can.  Essential oils are very potent concentrates and should be only be used with knowledge, wisdom, and respect.  If you're in serious doubt, find and consult with an expert.  Now that you surely feel as safe and secure in my ability to convey accurate information as is humanly possible, let's get on with it!


Rose Essential Oil - Rosa damascena
One of the most expensive and ancient essential oils in the world, Rose is perhaps the best tonics for feminine issues, and a precious companion for fertility, pregnancy and birth.

  • Two types: rose otto (steam distilled) and rose absolute (solvent extracted, a little less expensive, thick with natural oils, better for perfumery) 
  • Very non-toxic, water-soluble
  • Appropriate for all skin types, including sun-damaged
  • Treats asthma, nausea, women's issues, esp. irregular menses due to congested circulation.
  • Some studies suggest it count boost sperm count in men
  • Strongly antiseptic, fights infection
  • "Opens" the heart, alleviates depression and lack of confidence, inspires love, comforts, supports during crisis1a
  • Uterine relaxant
  • Softens ligaments to allow pelvis to expand and regain shape after birth
  • Mild analgesic2
  • Combines with oils of nutmeg, bois de rose, frankincense, and lemon to provide a postnatal lift, applied topically or diffused2a
  • Combines with clary sage and bergamot to alleviate PMS2b
  • Add a few drops to a tepid or mildly warm bath for a pleasant relaxing experience3
  • All around excellent pre-, peri-, and postnatally, for massage or diffusion2c, 3
  • Side note: When I first started researching rose oil, I was seeking clarification on something I'd heard from two other Young Living reps: that rose oil is dangerous before 38 weeks because its "opening" energy can encourage the cervix to ripen early.  I couldn't find any reference to such a problem in any of the books I currently own, nor in any online literature, even from Young Living.  I will try to track down a reference on the matter, but given the otherwise overwhelming support for its safety in pregnancy, I'm inclined to say that it wouldn't be a problem.  However, as I mentioned above, use any essential oils with wisdom and respect.  Pay close attention to your body's reaction to the aroma and energy and if you feel it wouldn't be good for you, don't use it.
    This list will be added to in the future as I expand my knowledge and library.

    Due to the expense of rose oil, you may be tempted to settle for a cheaper brand.  Don't do it.  The loss in quality isn't worth the savings, and you can't know what's really in it and what it's cut with.  True rose oil will usually come in amounts like 1, 2, or 5ml and cost enough to make you wonder if it's made of gold.  The two companies I would personally trust (I'm certain there are many other fine distillers and distributers, these are the two I know very well) are Young Living (5ml) in Utah, and Simplers (1ml, though I can buy 2ml and 5ml with my wholesale account) here in Sebastopol.

    If the straight oil is (understandably) cost prohibitive, I have 6% diluted rose oil in jojoba oil available in small 1/8th ounce vials for $10.  This can be used to add to larger amounts of carrier oil for massage or perfume, or in a room diffuser.

    Rose is a marvelous companion for women of all ages, for health and for beauty.  It works and plays well with many other oils, and its benefits during pregnancy and labor as a beautiful and safe tool for wellness can be make it worth the expense.

    Jena Vincent of Abundance Massage


    1. Keville, Kathi and Green, Mindy.  Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art 2008. Berkeley: The Crossing Press.  206-207

    2. Worwood, Valerie Ann. The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy 1991. Novato, CA: New World Library. 219
           Note: In the Amazon reviews of this book, there are some claims with regards to safety in the animal care section, specifically to do with cats.  If you look this book up, maybe don't use that section. -J
       2a: 223
       2b: 231
       2c: 221

    3. Tisserand, Maggie.  Aromatherapy for Women: A Practical Guide to Essential Oils for Health and Beauty  1996.  Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press. 103

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