Different Types of Rose Extractions

Posted on: May 22nd, 2017 by
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Extractions of Rose: Photo Copyright Sharon Falsetto, All Rights ReservedContinuing my series of blog posts on rose, this week I am looking at the myriad of options available for using rose as an extraction – as an oil, absolute, hydrosol, and other type of extract. Each different medium produced, in addition to the method of extraction, region the plant is grown in, and other environmental factors, will affect the final aroma of your product. Rose is not the only plant affected this way, but it is an interesting plant to study because of the complexity of its chemical make-up. Here’s a brief introduction to different types of rose extractions!

Rose as an Essential Oil

Given the amount of plant material required to extract rose as an essential oil, the resulting oil is expensive, but pure. In addition, the essential oil will vary in its aroma depending upon which species of rose it is extracted from. Two of the most common species of rose extracted for essential oil include:

  • rose otto (Rosa x damascena)
  • cabbage rose or Rose de Mai (Rosa x centifolia).

Rose essential oil is extracted by steam or water distillation of the fragile rose petals.

Rose as Absolute

Rose can also be extracted by solvent extraction, resulting in an absolute. The same species of rose are used for solvent extraction as for essential oil distillation, but the differing method will result in a different aroma. Perfumers may seek these subtle differences in the rose aroma, but an aromatherapist may wish to use only rose essential oil in their practice; solvent extracted rose retains chemicals used in the extraction process, thus affecting potential therapeutic properties, although it doesn’t adversely affect aroma.

Rose as a Hydrosol

Rose can also be distilled to produce a hydrosol. A hydrosol is a “water-based” product that is steam or water distilled in much the same way as the essential oil – except that the water, and not the oil, is drawn off and used. Rose hydrosol will retain a “less heavy” aroma than the essential oil and also contains therapeutic properties for use in aromatherapy; these include uses in skincare, for many “women’s problems,” and for use with babies and children, as a “gentler” alternative to rose essential oil.

Rose as an Infused Oil

You can also infuse rose petals in a vegetable oil, such as sunflower or grapeseed, and use the resulting oil therapeutically – or in an oil-base perfume. This is a slow, but traditional, method for extracting rose’s scent and therapeutic properties. The infused oil will not act in exactly the same way as the essential oil, but it is a less costly alternative.

Learn how to infuse an oil in this post.

Other Types of Rose Extracts: Concrètes, Organic Extracts, and CO2 Extraction

You may also have heard of a rose extraction called concrète. Concrète is created from immersing rose petals in a solvent. Once the solvent evaporates, the solid, waxy residue, the concrète, can be used in perfumery applications. The concrète is the starting point from which the absolute is made.

An organic extract, similar to an absolute, can also be made from rose petals, in much the same way as the absolute is made, but using an organic solvent, therefore rendering it an organic extract vs. an absolute.

A relative newcomer to the market is the CO2 extract. CO2 extraction uses carbon dioxide, utilizing different pressure and temperature, to create a more “clean” oil which more closely resembles the chemical make-up of the plant.

The aroma of each of these types of extracts will vary.

Learn More About Rose with Sedona Aromatherapie

Rose is a complex aromatic with hundreds of different components which go into its creation; some of these components still remain elusive and have yet to be identified. Start your studies of this fascinating aromatic with the Sedona Aromatherapie Linguistics of Aromatics(TM) Program!

References:

  • Author’s own research.
  • Author is a 20 year veteran in the health care and aromatherapy industry, a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, a consultant, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.
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Rose Hip Carrier Oil for Aromatherapy Blends

Posted on: May 15th, 2017 by
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Rosehip is used as a carrier oil in aromatherapy

Rosehip is used as a carrier oil in aromatherapy

Rose hip oil, also known as rose hip seed oil, is extracted from the seeds of a wild rose bush of the Rosa species. It should not be confused with other types of “rose oil,” including rose essential oil, rose absolute, and rose-infused oil. It is used in aromatherapy practice as a healing carrier oil and you will find it in many skincare blends, too. Here’s a closer look at rose hip oil!

Rose Hip as a Plant

Rose hip is a member of the Rosaceae plant family. It is native to the Andes region of South America, particularly in Peru and Chile, and it has historically been used by South American native people for its therapeutic properties.

The rose hip is a species of wild rose bush which grows to a height of eight feet. The bush has white and pink flowers with fruits of red berry – called rose hips. The presence of carotenoids give the rose hips their bright red color. This particular rose bush goes by several botanical names including Rosa canina, Rosa rubiginosa, Rosa acularis, and Rosa rugosa, in reference to its various characteristics.1 Close species of the plant grow within a short distance of each other, resulting in extractions from various plant species.

Traditional Extraction of Rose Hip Oil

Rose hip oil is extracted from the rose hips traditionally through cold expression; cold pressed oils retain many of the properties which the plant possesses. Rose hip oil is golden red in color, due to the carotenoids present in the original rose hips.

More recently, CO2 extraction has made rosehip seed oil available in a different format. CO2 extracted rose hip oil is closer in comparison to the actual plant and retains a longer shelf life than the cold pressed carrier oil.2

Healing Properties of Rose Hip Oil

Rose hip seed oil has healing properties because of the presence of trans-retinoic acid in rose hip oil. In addition, it has a higher content of vitamin C than oranges. Rose hip oil is anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and it is possibly diuretic (although there are conflicting studies on this). Rose hip oil is particularly useful in skin care; rose hip oil can be used to:

  • heal burns

  • ease eczema

  • heal wounds

  • heal scars

  • reduce wrinkles (which is why it is popular in skin care creams and lotions)

  • treat sun damaged skin

  • hydrate and nourish skin.

Rose hip seed oil is recommended for use in skincare for mature or dry skin. It is easily absorbed into the skin. It is not traditionally recommended for use with oily skin.3

Other Uses of Rose Hip

Historically, rose hips have had several culinary uses; rose hip fruits have been used in herbal teas, syrups and jams. In addition, rose hips were considered a “sweetmeat” in Medieval times.

Learn More About Aromatherapy with Sedona Aromatherapie

Consider the Sedona Aromatherapie Linguistics of AromaticsTM program to learn more how rosehip carrier oil is used in aromatic practice!

References:

  1. Price, Len 1999 Carrier Oils For Aromatherapy and Massage UK: Riverhead

  2. Eden Botanicals website, OrganicRose Hip CO2, accessed May 15, 2017

  3. Mountain Rose Herbs website, Rosehip Seed Oil, accessed May 15, 2017

  • Author is a 20 year veteran in the health care and aromatherapy industry, a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, a consultant, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

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An Introduction to Rose

Posted on: May 8th, 2017 by
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Rose in the Garden: Photo Copyright Sharon Falsetto, All Rights Reserved

Rose in the Garden: Photo Copyright Sharon Falsetto, All Rights Reserved

Rose. A small, yet powerful, word, and plant. Rose has been adored by Kings and Queens, given in love by endless suitors, and examined by perfumers for years in an attempt to distinguish every single note that goes into making up its elusive aroma. Yet rose is not one flower – or one fragrance. It has many facets to its make-up – botanically, chemically, and aromatically.

Over the next six weeks, I will be looking at rose in not one, but two, trilogies. I will be looking at rose from a botanical aspect, an aromatherapist’s aspect, a perfumer’s aspect, and from a sacred, and spiritual, aspect, culminating in some great rose blends just prior to midsummer’s eve.

Join me on this beautiful journey to discover more about one of the planet’s greatest creations!

Introducing Rose as a Plant

The rose belongs to the Rosaceae plant family. The majority of roses have five petals; the exception to this rule is the Rosa sericea, a species of rose found predominately in China, Bhutan and India, which only has four petals. Beneath the petals are the same number of sepals. Cultivated roses usually have “clusters” of petals as oppose to wild roses which have single petals. Similarly, roses with aroma are usually single-headed roses, rather than double-headed roses, which have often been bred for their color vs. aroma.

Roses have pinnate leaves and prickles; the prickles of a rose are commonly referred to as thorns. The prickles of a rose are designed to allow the rose to attach itself to other vegetation, although some rose species have prickles which are designed to protect them from being eaten by animals.

Roses come in a variety of colors including red, pink, white, yellow and orange, although hybridization of roses has resulted in some unusual shades of rose colors. Contrary to popular belief, not all rose species are fragrant (see my note above on which types of roses are usually fragrant). Roses range in size from half an inch in flower diameter to seven inches in flower diameter.

The Fruit of a Rose: The Rose Hip

The fruit of a rose is referred to as a rose hip. A rose hip is shaped like a berry and it is produced by open-faced rose species which are pollinated by insects. However, many modern rose hybrids do not provide the facility for pollination due to their “closed” flowers.

Rose hips are, in general, red in color although some rose hips may be black or dark purple. Rose hips have many medicinal and culinary uses including as a source of vitamin C, use in aromatherapy, use in wine, use in jams, and as a herbal tea.

Types of Roses

There are approximately 100 species of roses, which are generally classified into several major categories (with thousands of varieties within the classes). In addition to wild roses, garden roses are usually classified as follows:

  • old garden roses – includes china, tea, R.alba, R.centifolia, R.damascena, R.gallica, moss, bourbon and noisette roses

  • modern garden roses – includes hybrid tea, R.grandiflora, R.floribunda, polyantha, miniature and pernetiana roses

  • climbing roses

  • landscape roses.

The Extraction of Rose

Rose essential oil, for therapeutic and perfumery purposes, is traditionally produced by two major species of roses – R.centifolia and R.damascena. However, today, you may find extracts of rose produced from other scented varieties of rose. Rose is an expensive essential oil to produce as thousands of rose petals are needed to extract a minute quantity of pure rose essential oil; therefore, it might be frequently adulterated by suppliers. Rose essential oil is used in aromatherapy to aid depression, stress, insomnia, female reproductive problems, and in skin care.

Rose is also extracted via solvent and used as an absolute. In addition, it might be extracted to produce a hydrosol.

Learn More About Aromatherapy with Sedona Aromatherapie

Consider the Sedona Aromatherapie Linguistics of AromaticsTM program to learn more how rose is used in aromatic practice!

References:

  • Encyclopedia Britannica web site, Rose, accessed May 8, 2017

  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Julia Lawless, UK: 1995

  • University of Illinois Extension Our Rose Garden web site, accessed May 8, 2017

  • Author is a 20 year veteran in the health care and aromatherapy industry, a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, a consultant, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

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Three Aromatic Blends for Spring

Posted on: May 1st, 2017 by
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Aromatic Blends for Spring: Photo Copyright Sharon Falsetto All Rights Reserved

Aromatic Blends for Spring: Photo Copyright Sharon Falsetto All Rights Reserved

In the conclusion of my trilogy of the Seeds of Spring, my final post is three simple aromatic blends for spring, based on a combination of my previous posts on dill and fennel, and seed carrier oils. Spring is a time of rejuvenation, spring cleaning, and connecting with the earth through new growth. These three simple spring aromatherapy blends attempt to incorporate these ideals.

Spring Cleaning Blend for the Soul and Home

Spring is traditionally the time to “clean house,” in an attempt to clear out the stagnant aromas of winter, closed up spaces, and dusty corners. The following blend is not a traditional spring cleaning blend for cleaning house, but a blend to clean out stagnant energies in the home, and also the body and soul.

You will need:

  • 0.5 oz rose hydrosol

  • 0.5 oz fennel hydrosol

  • 0.5 oz peppermint hydrosol

  • 0.5 oz melissa hydrosol

Instructions for Use: Simply combine all of the hydrosols in a 2 oz spray bottle. Spray liberally around the home, “cleaning” each room as you go. Open windows while you are doing this. Make sure that all pets, children, and vulnerable adults are removed before you do so. You can also spray this blend over and around yourself, closing your eyes while doing so.

Cautions: Do not use if use is contra-indicated as per aromatherapy guidelines for each hydrosol. Peppermint hydrosol should not be used on or around babies and children under three years of age. Fennel is contra-indicated for pregnancy and in epilepsy.

Moody Afternoon Diffuser Blend

Spring often brings much needed rain for the seeds in the garden to flourish and grow. A rainy day may mean an afternoon indoors, and the following diffuser blend may help to lift spirits and connect with the season.

You will need:

  • 30 drops vetiver essential oil

  • 25 drops lemon essential oil

  • 15 drops clary sage essential oil

  • 25 drops coriander (seed) essential oil

Instructions for Use: This blend makes approximately 4 ml of essential oil blend. Mix and pour the blend into an appropriate bottle with an orifice reducer. Add approximately 5 drops of the blend to an aromatherapy diffuser. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for use.

Cautions: Avoid use in pregnancy.

Spring Rejuvenation Blend for the Skin

Skin is ready to come out and play again as spring arrives! However, you may not be quite ready to put your best foot forward if your skin has been hidden under winter layers for several months. Soothe winter skin with this moisturizing whipped butter and you will soon be spring ready!

You will need:

  • 4 oz whipped body butter base*

  • 20 drops fennel essential oil

  • 13 drops geranium essential oil

  • 15 drops sandalwood essential oil

*whipped body butter base: You can purchase a cosmetic base from a cosmetic body base supplier or make your-own as detailed in the Sedona Aromatherapie Certificate in Professional Aromatherapy course.

Instructions for Use: Blend all of the ingredients together and store in a 4 oz dispensing bottle. Apply liberally to the skin after bathing.

Cautions: Avoid use in pregnancy and with epilepsy.

Tip: If you are making your own base, consider adding borage carrier oil.

Learn More About Aromatherapy with Sedona Aromatherapie

Consider the Sedona Aromatherapie Linguistics of AromaticsTM program to learn more about aromatherapy and aromatic practice!

References:

  • Author is a 20 year veteran in the health care and aromatherapy industry, a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, a consultant, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

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Seed Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 by
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Beautiful Blue Borage: Photo Copyright Sharon Falsetto All Rights Reserved

Beautiful Blue Borage: Photo Copyright Sharon Falsetto All Rights Reserved

Seeds are the beginnings of many aromatic plants which are later used in aromatherapy as an essential oil or hydrosol. However, some plant seeds are cold-pressed to produce a carrier oil. Sunflower, grapeseed, and pumpkin seed are some of the more popular carrier oils produced but, in this post, we are taking a quick look at some other carrier oils, including borage seed, sesame seed, and hemp seed oil.

This is the second post in the Seeds of Spring trilogy which began last week!

Borage as a Carrier Oil

Borage (Borago officinalis) is a member of the Boraginaceae plant family. It is hairy, tough plant with star-shaped flowers that turn from pink to blue on maturity. It can grow quite tall, if left unchecked, and under the right conditions, but generally it is an annual or biennal herb of up to two feet in height. It has large, gray-green leaves.

The oil is cold-pressed from the seeds of borage, producing an oil which is high in linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. Use in aromatherapy for dry and mature skin, eczema, and psoriasis.

Sesame Seed as a Carrier Oil

Sesame (Sesamum indicum) is a member of the Pedaliaceae plant family. Sesame is an ancient plant which was used as food crop for thousands of years. It is a medium-sized, annual plant with tubular flowers of various colors. The small seeds are either smooth or ribbed and can appear in several varieties. They are cold-pressed to produce sesame seed oil.

Sesame seed oil is high in linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic aid, and stearic acid. It can be used in aromatherapy massage, combined with other carrier oils, for skin care, rheumatism, eczema, and psorasis.

Hemp Seed as a Carrier Oil

Hemp (Cannabis sativa) is a member of the Moraceae plant family. Hemp has gained its popularity in its use as cannabis. However, it is worth noting that in this particular instance we are talking about using hemp as a carrier oil in aromatherapy and hemp seed oil does not contain the psychoactive ingredients that are found in the plant.1

Hemp is annual herb, traditionally found in Asia, but now grown elsewhere. The plant grows between three and five feet in height. The difference between male and female plants – which are both used for their fibers – is that the male plant flowers die almost immediately after pollination and the female plant flowers die after maturity of the seed.

Hemp seed oil is extracted from the cold pressing of the seeds and contains linoleic acid in high quantities, in addition to lesser amounts of palmitic acid, oleic acid, and stearic acid. A relative newcomer to the carrier oil market, hemp seed oil is still undergoing clinical trials and studies as to its beneficial properties but, given its components, it might be assumed that this oil can be used for similar purposes to those other carrier oils discussed in this article.

Learn More About Carrier Oils with Sedona Aromatherapie

Consider the Sedona Aromatherapie Linguistics of AromaticsTM program to learn more about carrier oils and they are used in aromatic practice!

References:

  1. Price, Len, 1999, Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage, UK: Riverhead Publishing

  • Author is a 20 year veteran in the health care and aromatherapy industry, a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, a consultant, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

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Aromatics: The Difference Between Dill and Fennel

Posted on: April 17th, 2017 by
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Fennel: Photo Credit Ernst W Breisacher ISP

Fennel: Photo Credit Ernst W Breisacher ISP

As a plant, and as an essential oil, dill and fennel can be easily confused. They both belong to the Apiaceae plant family but, although similar in appearance, have slightly (yet some similar) uses as an essential oil in aromatherapy practice. Here’s a closer look at these two plants and how they are both used aromatically.

Dill as a Plant

Dill (Anethum graveolens) is a small annual or biennial herb with the common characteristics of plants of the Apiaceae plant family. It has feathery leaves, umbels of yellow flowers, and produces small flat seeds. Although the leaves of dill are very similar to those of fennel, dill leaves are slightly wider.

Fennel as a Plant

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a biennial or perennial herb with umbels of golden-yellow flowers, feathery leaves, and grooved seeds. Sweet fennel is the more common variety which is used for aromatic purposes and should not be confused with bitter fennel which usually grows wild.

Dill as an Essential Oil

Dill essential oil is extracted by steam distillation and produces either dill seed or dill weed essential oil, depending on the plant parts that are distilled. Dill seed essential oil has a light, spicy, warm aroma whereas dill weed essential oil is heavier, and sweet and spicy.

Dill seed essential oil is heavily composed of ketones (specifically carvone) and monoterpenes (limonene, phellandrene).1 Dill weed essential oil has similar chemical components but contains less carvone.2 Finally, there are several chemotypes of dill essential oil to consider.

Fennel as an Essential Oil

Sweet fennel essential oil is extracted via steam distillation of the seeds. It has a sweet, anise-like aroma, with hints of earthy pepper.

Sweet fennel essential oil is heavily composed of phenols (such as anethole) and monoterpenes (pinene, limonene, myrcene).1

Use of Dill and Fennel Essential Oils in Aromatherapy Practice

Dill essential oil is used for digestive issues, endocrine, and respiratory issues; these include indigestion, flatulence, amenorrhea, stimulation of milk production in nursing mothers, and as a stimulant in child birth. Due to this last action, it is advisable not to use dill essential oil in pregnancy.

Fennel essential oil is used for digestive issues, skin care, respiratory issues, and endocrine issues; these include indigestion, flatulence, constipation, amenorrhea, edema, mature skin issues, oily skin, rheumatism, bronchitis, asthma, menopausal problems, stimulation of milk production in nursing mothers, and as a stimulant in child birth. Again, fennel essential oil should be avoided in pregnancy. It should also not be used with babies and young children due to its reactive chemical content. Avoid in epilespy, too.

Dill and fennel essential oil have some similar uses in aromatherapy, as members of the same botanical family, but note the difference in chemical components, and use accordingly. In addition, the particular chemotype of dill essential oil used will dictate its primary use.

Learn More About Essential Oils with Sedona Aromatherapie

Consider the Sedona Aromatherapie Linguistics of AromaticsTM program to learn more about essential oils and they are used in aromatic practice!

References:

  1. Caddy, Rosemary, 1997, Essential Oils in Colour, UK: Amberwood Publishing Ltd.

  2. Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorsons

  • Author is a 20 year veteran in the health care and aromatherapy industry, a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, a consultant, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

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