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Rose water improves eye health, erectile dysfunction, skin health

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By Prof Raphael Nyarkotey Obu

Rose water is known for its use in skincare. For instance, one study by Nayebi et al.(2017) found that rose water uses include cleansing, hydrating, and healing dry, inflamed, acne-prone, red, or damaged skin.  You can also add it to the laundry detergent, as well as a natural room, laundry, and body spray.

Due to this, it has also been used in beauty products, perfumes, household cleansers, and even in cooking. It has natural antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory abilities.

It is made by distilling rose petals with steam. Rose water is fragrant, and it’s sometimes used as a mild natural fragrance as an alternative to chemical-filled perfumes. It has been reported that it comes from Iran.  It’s regarded as a byproduct of the manufacturing process of rose essential oil.

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Though, it is not as concentrated as rose oil, rose water is a solution that contains beneficial compounds found in rose petals. It even has a small amount of rose oil.

It is made from damask rose plants (Rosa damascena), but it can also be made using cabbage rose plant petals (Rosa centifolia). The International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients’ formal name for distilled rose water is Rosa damascena flower distillate.

Rosa damascena belongs to the Rosaceae family, which has around 200 different types of rose species. Rose plants are naturally rich in antioxidants, including flavonoids, plus several vitamins. This is why rose water is considered a gentle astringent, cleanser, skin soother, and moisturizer, both for your skin and hair.

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The rose plant is considered to be a “holy ancient herb.” Some records show it has a very long history of use, dating back to the Ancient Romans.

Before the advent of commercial perfumes and cleansers, rose water was used for its sweet floral scent and anti-inflammatory effects. It’s even believed that Cleopatra herself used rose oil and water to help preserve the appearance of her skin and for its aphrodisiac properties. In this article, I herein examine the scientific benefits.

Rose water and skin pH

Proksch E(2018) study found that the skin has a pH of 4.1 to 5.8. Rose water’s pH is typically 4.0 to 4.5.

Another study by Blaak J and  Staib P(2018) found that using skin care products with a pH level of 4.0 to 5.0,  can “minimize skin irritation and intolerance.”

Decrease anxiety

Besides smelling heavenly, rose water mist has some powerful relaxing effects on our bodies. One study found that inhaling rose water reduced anxiety in patients undergoing medical procedures. This is likely due to the olfactory sensation (or a good old sniff) sending calming signals to the brain.

Improves sexual health

One study by Mahboubi M(2015) found that Rose water improved:

sperm count

ED conditions

depression in men

Another study by Farnia et al.(2015) also found that Rose water surpasses placebo when used on males with low libido due to depression.  For women, rose calms nerves and anxiety, which helps inhibition. If you want to benefit from rose water, spritz the bed before you and your partner start the action. Or whip up two Champagne with Rose Water Kiss drinks. Better still, take 2 to 4 drops of rose water and add some Champagne or sparkling wine and there you go.

Skin irritation

Thring et al.(2011) study found that rose water has strong anti-inflammatory properties and can help deal with many ailments, both internal and external. It may even help soothe the irritation of eczema or rosacea.

Soothes sore throats

Though Medics prescribe antibiotics for sore throats, try rose water as well. For instance, one study by Boskabady et al.(2011) found that rose water is used to treat sore throats.  While research is needed to prove its effectiveness, there’s strong anecdotal evidence to support it and very little risk in trying it.

Decreases skin redness

Boskabady et al.(2011) study found that rose water has been used as a beauty product for thousands of years,  and it can improve our complexion and reduce skin redness. The antibacterial properties may help reduce acne. The anti-inflammatory properties can reduce skin redness and puffiness.

Prevent and treat infections

Rose water has powerful antiseptic properties, which can prevent and treat infections.  Abdul et al.(2010) study found that when rose water was used in eye drops to treat conjunctivitis cases, its antiseptic and analgesic properties helped in treating the ocular disease.

Antioxidants

Rose petals and rose oil contain several powerful antioxidants, which can help protect cells from damage. Boskabady et al.(2011) study found that these antioxidants had potential lipid peroxidation inhibitory effects. This provides powerful cell protection as a result.

Heals cuts, scars, and burns

Boskabady et al.(2011) study further revealed that rose water has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that can help wounds heal faster. These properties can help clean and fight off infection of cuts and burns. They can also help cuts, burns, and even scars heal faster.

Enhances mood

Boskabady et al.(2011) study found that Rose water can have strong antidepressant and antianxiety properties.  The study found that the extract of rose petals can relax the central nervous system in mice. This resulted in antidepressant and antianxiety effects.

Relieves headaches

Rose water and rose essential oil are commonly used in aromatherapy to help relieve headaches. Boskabady et al.(2011) study found that the vapor of rose water can soothe headaches. Another option is to apply a compress soaked in rose water to the head for 45 minutes for positive results.

Anti-aging properties

Rose water is often found in beauty products aimed to reduce wrinkles. That’s because it may have anti-aging effects. In addition to soothing irritated skin, it may reduce the appearance of wrinkles when applied topically.

Soothes digestion problems

In folk medicine, rose water has been used to aid in digestion and reduce digestive upset.  The Government of Pakistan(2008) report found evidence that rose water can positively influence digestion and relieve digestive upset. It may also improve bile secretion, which can further aid digestion.

Improves respiratory health

Boskabady et al.(2011) study found that rose water is as effective in reducing respiratory congestion as some pharmaceutical drugs. The essential oil relaxes trachea muscles, helping you breathe easier and reduce coughs.  You can do this by spraying rosewater on your face and chest while breathing deeply.

Forms and doses

You can buy or make rose water relatively easily. You can apply it to the skin topically on its own, or mix it with moisturizers or natural oils like coconut oil.

You can also use rose water to make rose water tea or rose petal tea. These improve hydration, provide skin benefits, treat digestive distress, and soothe a sore throat.

Because many popular brands contain chemicals in the form of preservatives or additives, there are a few things to look for when buying rose water:

·           Ideally, an organic certification

·           A product made by steam distillation

·           Rose water is listed first or high on the ingredient list, not lower on the list (Look for the name Rosa damascena flower distillate. If you see rose hydrolat on the ingredient list, this also indicates that this should be distilled rose water.)

·           An appearance that is transparent

·           A faint smell of roses rather than a very strong smell

·           An opaque bottle or glass to avoid degradation

You may want to seek out rose water made in Bulgaria’s Kazanlak Valley (also known as the Valley of the Roses), which historically has been one of the world’s most prolific regions for the production of rose oil and rose water. Other places where quality rose products tend to be made today include Turkey, Morocco, India, and France.

Pure rose water and rose essential oil can be a bit expensive, which makes sense considering it takes around 10,000 pounds of rose petals to distill just one pound of rose essential oil and a large volume to create concentrated rose water. The best products are 100 percent pure, certified organic, and therapeutic grade.

Warning

Rose water is considered to be safe. There are no known risks for the general population to use it either topically or by ingesting it. The only exception is if you are allergic to the substance.

How to use it

You can purchase rose water, or you can make it yourself. Once you have it, there are several different ways you can use it, including the following:

·           Use it as a facial cleanser or toner. Just rinse your face with rose water after washing it with your normal cleanser.

·           Use it in recipes, such as hibiscus iced tea with rose water.

·           Create a rose water mist by adding it to a spray bottle. This can relieve stress. You can mist the rose water on your wrists, face, or even onto your pillow.

·           Soothe tired eyes and reduce swelling

·           Soak two cotton pads in chilled rose water and place them gently on your eyelids. Leave them on for 5 minutes to soothe tired, puffy eyes.

·           If you have dry skin, after showering, spritz rose water from a spray bottle all over your body, and then apply your favorite body lotion.

·           Mix up a fragrant rose water spray that you can apply to your skin by combining it with essential oils like lemon or lemongrass oil, orange oil, grapefruit oil, or lavender oil.

·           Add several drops of pure rose water to your bath to help hydrate and soothe your skin (plus make it smell good).

·           For sexual health, spray on the bed or in the room before the action.

NB:

Prof. Nyarkotey has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations to justify his write-ups. My articles are for educational purposes and do not serve as medical advice for treatment. I aim to educate the public about evidence-based scientific naturopathic therapies.

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