Through rose-tinted glasses

June is the prime time of the year to admire blooming roses. In London, Queen’s Mary rose garden, in Regent’s Park is the largest with 12,000 flowers planted within the gardens. Also, the rose garden in Hyde Park and Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew are worth paying a visit. And most of the home gardens and local parks has some beautiful roses on display.

Rose scent has uplifting and relaxing properties, known not only as an aphrodisiac but also anti-depressant. Its fragrance brings good mood and happy feelings. Rose is widely used in perfumery, aromatherapy and beauty treatments. It is one of the oldest, most precious and expensive essential oils. Rose essential oil has rejuvenating and healing effects on skin, is very beneficial for mature or prone to broken capillaries skin. It soothes and calms any stress related problems. Can be use to treat digestive disorders, infertility, menopause problems. According to Susan Curtis in her “Essential oils” book, using rose helps us understand the human nature, become more tolerant and open to love.

Using rose essential oil has a long tradition and it still remains one of the most expensive oils to produce. There are two main species of roses grown for the rose oil production: the damask rose grown in Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria, Iran and the cabbage rose grown in France, Morocco, Egypt. The Rose Valley near Kazanlak, in Bulgaria is one of the centres growing roses for the rose oil essential production in Europe. Every June, they celebrate the beauty of roses during The Rose Festival which is filled with folklore customs and rose picking rituals. Must be fun!

IMG_4199

IMG_4425

IMG_4431

IMG_4435

IMG_4503

IMG_4511

IMG_4513

IMG_4514

IMG_4515

IMG_4521

IMG_4524

IMG_4688

IMG_4691

IMG_4697

IMG_5518

IMG_7734

IMG_4612I have made an attempt to make rose petals macerated oil by filling the jar with petals and covering them with an almond oil. I have kept it on the windowsill but later read that petals should be changed every few days which I haven’t been doing at all. I might just leave it as it is and see how it turns out in about 2 weeks time. Will definitely add few drops of rose essential oil.

Do you remember to stop and smell the roses?

Aromatherapy with clove essential oil

I have been using a lot of clove essential oil recently, especially for my teeth as a natural pain relief. It is excellent! I have undergone two courses of the root canal treatment and clove essential oil helped me enormously with any pain and discomfort during the treatment. It is all down to a substance called eugenol and clove oil has it about 80-90%. Eugenol is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, hence clove essential oil is a popular ingredient in some dentist products. Also nutmeg, basil and cinnamon essential oils contain eugenol, as well as marjoram and oregano, but in smaller proportion. Cloves have the highest amount of eugenol and the oil can be highly irritant so always dilute it before applying. I usually make a small cotton pad, moist it with water, add a drop of clove essential oil mixed with an almond oil and the wrap it around my sore tooth. It works like a local anaesthetic. It is a pain relief wonder.

Clove trees originated in Asia, today are grown in India, Indonesia, Zanzibar, Madagascar, Sri Lanka. Cloves  are aromatic flower buds and ave been used as spice for at least 2000 years. They are popular not only in cooking but also used medicinally to treat skin infections, digestive problems, toothaches and also as an excellent insect repellent.

Syzygium_aromatcum from Wikipedia
Beautiful botanical illustration from Wikipedia

Clove essential oil is water distilled from the clove buds. It is warming and stimulating oil. The smell is spicy and woody.  I always liked them as spice but it took me a while to like clove essential oil because it is so strong. Its warming properties are useful when treating cold and chill. Well diluted can be massaged over your stomach to relief digestive problems from a cold. Also great to use in a room spray, especially when combined with other antiseptic oils like eucalyptus, thyme or lemon.  Clove pain-relieving properties are also beneficial in treating rheumatism, arthritis and muscle sprains, just use it in a rubbing oil.

IMG_5036

Finally, few words about psychological profile of the clove oil. As Susan Curtis writes in her book “Essential oils” clove is good for a generally optimistic and happy person who has been feeling down because of an illness, trauma or pain. Someone who has been suffering for quite a while and felt discouraged and fed up. I just felt I was reading about myself! Using clove essential oil is helping to restore cheerfulness and enjoyment of life. Now, I always make sure I never run out of clove essential oil.