The Benefits of Rose Essential Oil

What Should I Know About It?

Rose essential oil is a type of essential oil commonly used in aromatherapy. Sourced from the Rosa damascena plant, it contains the flower's aromatic compounds. Because those compounds are thought to possess healing properties, rose essential oil is used for a number of health-related purposes.

How Does Rose Essential Oil Work?

According to aromatherapy practitioners, inhaling essential oil molecules, or absorbing essential oils through the skin, transmits messages to the limbic system — a brain region responsible for controlling emotions and influencing the nervous system.

These messages are believed to affect biological factors such as heart rate, stress levels, blood pressure, breathing, and immune function.

Uses for Rose Essential Oil

In alternative medicine, rose essential oil is typically touted as an aromatherapy remedy for the following health problems:

  • anxiety
  • coughs
  • depression
  • headache
  • menopausal symptoms
  • menstrual cramps
  • migraine

In addition, rose essential oil is said to enhance libido, reduce stress, stimulate circulation, sharpen memory, and boost mood.

When applied directly to skin, beauty products containing rose essential oil are purported to reduce wrinkles, improve moisture, and reverse signs of aging.

Health Benefits of Rose Essential Oil:

So far, scientific support for the benefits of rose essential oil is fairly limited. Here's a look at some key findings from scientific research on the health benefits of rose essential oil:

1) Stress

Rose essential oil may help relieve stress, according to a 2009 study published in Natural Product Communications.

For the study, 40 healthy volunteers absorbed either rose essential oil or a placebo through their skin. Results revealed that those who received rose essential oil experienced a greater increase in feelings of calm and relaxation, as well as greater decrease in breathing rate and blood pressure, compared to those who received the placebo.

2) Anxiety

Several preliminary studies suggest that rose essential oil may help alleviate anxiety. For example, a study published in Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior in 2004 found that inhaling the aroma of rose essential oil had an anxiety-reducing effect in rats.

3) Depression

Preliminary research indicates that rose essential oil may aid in the treatment of depression. In a study published in the Journal of Natural Medicines, for instance, scientists found that treating rats with rose essential oil vapor appeared to shield the animals' brains from depression-related oxidative stress.

4) Menopausal Symptoms

Rose essential oil may be of benefit to women undergoing menopause, suggests a 2008 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. For the study, researchers assigned 25 menopausal women to weekly massages with several essential oils, including lavender and jasmine essential oils, in addition to rose and rose geranium essential oils. After eight weeks, the study members who received massages reported a significantly greater improvement in menopausal symptoms (such as hot flashes) compared to the 27 study participants who weren't massaged.

But the study authors were unable to attribute the positive effects to aromatherapy, massage, or the combination of the two therapies.

5) Menstrual Cramps

When combined with lavender and clary sage essential oils and applied to the skin, rose essential oil may be effective in decreasing the severity of menstrual cramps. In a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2006, researchers found that an aromatherapy blend containing one drop of rose essential oil, two drops of lavender essential oil, one drop of clary sage essential oil, and 5 cc of almond oil helped alleviate cramps when applied in form of an abdominal massage. The study involved in 67 female college students.

Tips on Use

When combined with a carrier oil (such as jojoba, sweet almond, or avocado), rose essential oil can be applied directly to the skin or added to baths.

Rose essential oil also can be inhaled after sprinkling a few drops of the oil onto a cloth or tissue, or by using an aromatherapy diffuser or vaporizer.


Rose essential oil should not be taken internally without the supervision of a health professional. Internal use of rose essential oil may have toxic effects.

It's also important to note that self-treating a chronic condition (such as depression) with rose essential oil, and avoiding or delaying standard care, may have serious consequences.

Before topical use, essential oils should be diluted in a carrier oil. With any essential oil, there is the risk of contact sensitivity. A skin patch test is recommended prior to using any new essential oil.

Pregnant and nursing women and children should consult their primary health care providers before using essential oils.

Learn more about how to use essential oils safely.

Where To Find It

Here are some tips on purchasing essential oils.

Widely available for purchase online, rose essential oil is sold in many natural-foods stores and in stores specializing in self-care products.


de Almeida RN, Motta SC, de Brito Faturi C, Catallani B, Leite JR. "Anxiolytic-like effects of rose oil inhalation on the elevated plus-maze test in rats." Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 77(2):361-4.

Han SH, Hur MH, Buckle J, Choi J, Lee MS. "Effect of aromatherapy on symptoms of dysmenorrhea in college students: A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial." J Altern Complement Med. 2006 12(6):535-41.

Hongratanaworakit T. "Relaxing effect of rose oil on humans." Nat Prod Commun. 2009 4(2):291-6.

Hur MH, Yang YS, Lee MS. "Aromatherapy massage affects menopausal symptoms in korean climacteric women: a pilot-controlled clinical trial." Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2008 5(3):325-8.

Nazıroğlu M, Kozlu S, Yorgancıgil E, Uğuz AC, Karakuş K. "Rose oil (from Rosa × damascena Mill.) vapor attenuates depression-induced oxidative toxicity in rat brain." J Nat Med. 2013 Jan;67(1):152-8. doi: 10.1007/s11418-012-0666-7.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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