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In the name ofthe rose; Add petal power to your life with an oil that's heaven scent.

Byline: RACHEL MURPHY

EVER been accused of seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses? Lucky you.

But the delicate flowers can be much more than just a token of love - they can actually help to improve your skin, your mood, heighten your sexuality and aid your general well-being.

Health and beauty products containing extracts of roses have been used for centuries. During the Middle Ages, the rosa gallica, a red rose, was used in healing balms for asthma and lung diseases.

And today we are discovering more and more uses for this powerful flower.

Experts believe that the rose was probably the first flower from which an essential oil was ever distilled.

The essence is the most expensive essential oil on the market because of the huge quantity of petals needed to extract a tiny amount of oil. Weight for weight, it is as expensive as gold.

Culpeper is one of the country's few stockists of pure rose oil. It uses 600 distilled rosehips to produce one drop of oil. As a result, a 5ml bottle costs pounds 47.50. However, the oil is very concentrated and you only need to use a tiny amount to get results.

Two roses are commonly used to produce rose oil - the rosa centifolia (cabbage rose) grown in Grasse, France, and the rosa damascena (damask rose) produced in Bulgaria.

The two oils have different properties said to make the French type more aphrodisiac and anti- bacterial than the Bulgarian one.

WHAT WOMEN WANT

ROSE is regarded as the most feminine of all essential oils, and not only because of its wonderfully sweet, floral aroma.

Aromatherapists call it a "womb tonic" and swear by it for treating the female reproduction system.

Patricia Davis, author of the Aromatherapy A-Z (C.W. Daniel Company Ltd pounds 12.99), believes rose oil is a wonderful treatment.

She said: "Many essential oils have a therapeutic affinity with a particular organ of the body, and it is not surprising that rose, with its feminine qualities, has a powerful effect on the uterus.

"It is a cleansing and regulating tonic and it is valuable where there is a loss of uterine muscle tone."

Women who have a slight prolapse are often prescribed it along with yoga-based exercise. It can also help strengthen the uterus of women prone to miscarriage. However, pregnant women should steer clear because it promotes menstrual flow.

Sufferers of PMS and irregular periods rave about rose oil and is even believed to aid conception by regulating the menstrual cycle and making it easier for a women to predict ovulation.

On top of all that, it can also relieve nausea, vomiting and constipation. What more can a girl ask for?

Despite its feminine overtones, however, there is also some evidence to suggest rose oil can increase the production of semen and cure impotence by relieving stress and releasing the "happy" hormone dopamine.

MIND GAMES

THE effect of rose oil on the mind can be very powerful.

Wanda Sellar, author of The Directory of Essential Oils (The C.W.Daniel Company Ltd, pounds 8.95), describes it as an "ultra feminine oil" that gives a woman positive feeling about herself. She said: "It has a soothing effect on the emotions, particularly depression, grief, jealousy and resentment."

Patricia Davis believes it is particularly effective when an emotional disturbance is linked to a woman's sexuality or fertility.

She said: "It is valuable in helping women suffering from post-natal depression, or depression following a relationship split."

It can also boost confidence if a woman is going through a phase of feeling sexually inadequate.

SKIN DEEP

ROSE oil is most effective on dry, hard, sensitive or ageing skins.

Its soothing effect on circulation can help reduce enlarged capillaries that show up as broken thread veins. However, it is important to read the label of any products you buy. Some companies use synthetic mixes rather than pure oils.

You can get around this by investing in a blended essential oil and adding it to your own creams. For instance, adding a few drops of oil to a bath with a couple of tablespoons of whole milk will give you a luxurious skin-softening soak.

The benefits of adding a little petal power to your routine are virtually endless.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 14, 2001
Words:711
Previous Article:Where to find floral treats on the high street.
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