One of the best known plant products that has been in usage since the ancient times is the rose. It has been prized for its beauty and fragrance, as well as for its many beneficial properties. The records of past civilizations show that rose oil, petals and extracts were used in baths, perfumes, skin lotions and medicines. Many myths and legends surround it. It is said that it was the Empress Nurjehan who discovered the oil of rose. Rose extracts, however, had been in use long before that, in ‘the form of infusions, decoctions and tinctures.
Herbalists have used rose for a variety of ailments, from ear, throat, gum and digestive disorders, to menstrual problems and psychological complaints. The fragrance of rose is said to have a soothing effect on the nerves and helps to induce relaxation.
One of the most important properties of rose is its action on the skin. It not only promotes circulation to the skin surface, but also tones the capillaries. It also has an astringent action.
These are the reasons why rose water is one of the best known skin fresheners. Rose extracts and rose oil have been formulated into tonics and lotions, not only for routine skin-care, but also for the treatment of many problems.
The properties of rose are such, that it can be used for all skin-types, including sensitive skins, skin inflammations and conditions like acne. It is the least toxic of all the natural extracts. Rose-based skin tonics have been found to be excellent for improving skin texture and for reducing skin congestion. They are excellent as cleansers of acne infected skin. They also help to soothe the condition and check it from spreading.
Due to its cooling effect, a rose-based skin tonic can be ideal for the indian summers as a skin freshener. It can be used several times during the day to remove the surface film of dirt, oil and stale sweat. It has such a gentle action that it can be used to rejuvenate the area around the eyes and to relieve fatique. Cotton wool pads, soaked in a rose-based skin tonic, can be used over the eyes, to induce relaxation and brighten tired eyes. It also helps to reduce puffiness. Indeed, natural extracts like rose are of great relevance to modem needs.