One of the oldest European roses, the Damask rose is now being studied as a potent anti-aging remedy

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Image: One of the oldest European roses, the Damask rose is now being studied as a potent anti-aging remedy

(Natural News) Roses are red, violets are blue — and one special rose can make your skin brand-new. That’s what the team from Woosuk University and Dankook University, South Korea suggests in their study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology.

In their study, they indicated that a compound in the Damask rose (Rosa × damascena) has anti-aging properties and even treat certain diseases that come with it.

The Damask rose is one of the oldest flowers in history, spanning thousands of years, multiple continents, and even has found a place in Shakespeare’s poems. The flowers, which were first cultivated in Syria, have been exported to Europe, where their heady, rich and smooth scent is a popular choice in perfumes and cosmetics. In France, especially, perfumers distilled the dried rose petals to get its essential oil. This extraction method may seem simple; however, the amount of essential oil you can get from the petals is what makes the Damask rose more valuable — it requires at least four tons of rose petals to produce just a kilogram of essential oil. In addition, the petals must be distilled within 24 hours after harvest, making it one of the more expensive oils in the market. These days, it’s grown in more areas, including Morocco, Iran, and Turkey.

The rose isn’t just valuable for its scent: Many people swear by its therapeutic properties, which include its ability to fight infection and be used as a relaxant. The latter, in particular, is what makes Damask rose oil a part of many massage oils. Studies have also found that Damask rose can improve mental balance, especially during bouts of depression, severe anxiety, insomnia, and palpitation.


In their study, researchers focused on the plant’s anti-aging properties by investigating damaurone D, which is a compound in Damask rose. They also tested whether the compound can improve longevity using the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans as animal model. To determine the efficacy of damaurone D, the team looked at various biomarkers for stress and antioxidant capacity.

The results indicated that worms treated with damaurone D had exhibited a 16.7 percent increase in their lifespan, as well as improved their endurance under different types of stress conditions. The researchers believe that the antioxidant capacity of the compound and its effect on stress-response proteins are the main reasons behind its anti-aging effect. In addition, the treated worms also showed improved food intake, body length increase, and resistance against age-related motor decline. These benefits, the researchers added, could be useful if damaurone D is further explored and developed, in particular as a nutraceutical designed to target aging and its related diseases. (Related: Chocolate and roses have health benefits: Not just for Valentines’ Day – find out how to get the best chocolate and roses for your health.)

Getting the most out of rose essential oil

The Damask rose isn’t just beautiful and fragrant, it’s also packed with health benefits that make its essential oil a great addition in anyone’s personal care routine.

Use it for your skin

Rose oil is really great for the skin, thanks to its regenerative properties. Aside from its anti-aging effect, it can also provide relief for dry, inflamed, or sensitive skin. In addition, a drop of rose essential oil can go a long way: Add it to the water you’ll use for face steaming, or blend it with other oils to a create a uniquely fragrant soap. You can also use rose water — if you’re looking for a reasonably priced alternative.

Nourishing Gel Mask

Here’s a natural way to use rose essential oil to rejuvenate your skin.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 ounces, aloe vera
  • ½ tablespoon, rosehip seed oil
  • ½ tablespoon, tamanu oil
  • ½ teaspoon, blackcurrant seed oil
  • 1 drop, rose essential oil
  • 1 drop, immortelle oil

How to do it:

  • Mix the ingredients well, then spread a thin layer of the mask on your face.
  • Leave on for 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
  • Finish by spritzing with rose floral water.
  • If you have leftovers, store it in the fridge.

Great for hair care

Adding rose essential oil to your hair care routine won’t just make your hair smell great: It will also repair fragile, damaged, and thinning hair.

Pure rose essential oil, especially that from the Damask rose, is rare and can command a steep price. If you’re planning on purchasing one, however, make sure it’s from a reputable seller. To be on the safe side, request for the gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) results to see what the oils are made of.

Rose essential oil can also blend well with other floral oils, including jasmine, lavender, and germanium. It’s even great with lemon and herbs such as clary sage.

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