Roses are known for their subtle but appealing fragrance. For this reason, roses are an expensive, popular flower. But the value of roses isn't only aesthetic -- the oil produced by roses has several applications in alternative medicine. Rose oil is used to improve your body's circulation and boost the immune system. In aromatherapy, it is used as a natural sedative and to help ease depression. It's also used in massage therapy, as it can help soothe muscles and smooth skin, while it's sweet scent aids in relaxation. If rose oil interests you either for aromatherapy or as a treatment, there are several ways you can make good use of it.
Rose oil is very potent and disperses easily in water and air. Because of this, it can be used in low quantities in baths and massages. The oil is rubbed onto the skin in a massage as a method of stimulating the organs, muscles, skin and nerves. According to HealthMad.com, rose oil may be able to balance female hormones, regulate the period and improve fertility. It can also be an effective form of aromatherapy in baths, as the aroma will disperse throughout the bath water and into the air, creating a soothing effect that can relax the individual. Rose oil used for a massage should be mixed with almond oil at a ratio of one part rose oil to 10 parts almond oil. Add one or two drops of rose oil to a bath to enjoy the aroma.
Rose oil has been used for centuries to treat asthma, coughs, congestion and fever. The best way to do this is by filling a large bowl with near-boiling water, then placing 3 to 5 drops of rose oil into the bowl. As the rose oil heats in the water, it will release vapors that can be inhaled to treat your lungs and throat.
Roses are known for their ability to soothe skin irritations. You can purchase topical creams and lotions containing rose oil, but you can also add a drop or two of it into your own facial cream prior to application. Rose oil can also help reduce inflammation on the skin while helping to treat herpes and eczema, according to HealthMad.com.
Using rose oil in a hot or cold compress can help treat pain associated with swelling, sprains and cramps. Regardless of whether you are using hot or cold water as a compress, add four to six drops of rose oil to the fluid before dipping a cloth or other material into the water. Wring out the excess water and apply this compress directly to your skin.
Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.