Prized as a decorative tree and used to make furniture, chopsticks, and show pieces, rosewood is a versatile and durable tree that grows abundantly in Brazil. But rosewood is more than just a raw material used in manufacturing. The popular fragrant oil of the same name is extracted from its wood. Keep on reading to learn more about rosewood essential oil.
What is Rosewood Essential Oil?
Rosewood essential oil is extracted from Aniba rosaeodora, an evergreen tree that’s indigenous to Peru and Brazil. Rosewood, also called “bois-de-rose,” is a member of the Laurel (Lauraceae) plant family along with camphor, cinnamon, bay, and cassia. This aromatic tree can grow up to 40 meters high and is distinguishable by its reddish bark and yellow flowers. Many rosewood rainforests have been cut down to accommodate the high demand for this sturdy lumber, although legislation now requires planting a new rosewood in place of every tree that’s been cut down.
When it arrives at the distillery, the wood is chipped, and then steam distilled. Each tree yields about 1% oil by weight of wood. After a history of massive over-harvesting, and species depletion, efforts are underway to cultivate Aniba rosaeodora, and to develop techniques for extracting the essential oil from leaves.
Because many unrelated woods are called “Rosewood”, some confusion has arisen about the origin of “Rosewood oil”. Members of the genus Dalbergia (e.g. “Brazilian Rosewood”-Dalbergia nigra, and “Indian Rosewood”- Dalbergia latifolia) have never been a source of “Rosewood oil”.
Rosewood essential oil has a characteristic aroma that’s warm, spicy, woody, fruity, floral, and enlivening. This characteristic aroma makes it an established ingredient in high-class perfumery and soap-making, especially during the early 1900s, which caused deforestation of the tree.
Due to rosewood essential oil’s high price, however, manufacturers turned to cheaper alternatives, such as Chinese Ho oils from Cinnamomum camphora, as well as synthetic linalool. This allowed rosewood forests to thrive once again.
This wood, which was widely wasted for unimportant applications, could have been used to produce tons of rosewood essential oil and put to better use to keep mankind healthier.
So that the harvesting of rosewood trees does not lead to their extinction, new legislation requires companies to plant a new tree for each tree cut down.
One group of harvesters in the middle of the Amazon River began an effort to harvest rosewood on a more sustainable basis. Rather than cut down trees and haul away their trunks, the group decided to prune branches and leaves every five years or so, extending the usefulness of individual rosewood trees for decades. Today the project’s members have planted more than 3,000 rosewood saplings in the heart of the jungle.
Health Benefits of Rosewood Essential Oil
This essential oil can take away your depression and leave you smiling within minutes. The mild, sweet, spicy and floral aroma of this oil does the trick and is thus favored by aromatherapy specialists. It drives away sadness and disappointment and prepares you to take on life with a new and positive perspective. It can be very good for those who recently failed or are feeling down, whether it is in terms of academics, professional situations, or relationships.
Although not strong, this oil serves as a mild analgesic and can give you relief from slight headaches, toothaches and pain in the muscles and joints, particularly those resulting from infections that lead to colds, influenza, mumps, and measles.
Before you rush to a doctor following a minor cut, abrasion, or insect bite, you can do one thing. Soak a piece of cotton in rosewood essential oil and apply it on the affected place. This will not only protect it from infections, but will also help to heal the wound.
The mild spicy, floral and sweet smell of this oil can serve as an ideal natural deodorant, driving away the bad odor, making you feel refreshed, and keeping you safe from bacterial infections.
Now this is something that poets and lovers will find very useful. The essential oil that is derived from this hard wood (although it is actually a bit softer than some other woods like teak) can really arouse soft and tender feelings for your partner and can result in a very good time in the bedroom. This can be very beneficial for those people who are losing interest in sex due to tremendous workload, professional stress, worries and even effects of pollution. The loss of libido or frigidity is an alarmingly growing problem in metropolitan lives. Luckily, this oil can be a real help.
This oil can keep your brain cool, active, sharp and alert and can take away headaches as well. This will also improve your memory and help protect you from neurotic disorders.
This oil has insecticidal properties and can kill small insects like mosquitoes, lice, bed bugs, fleas and ants. You can also use it in vaporizers, sprays, room fresheners, and floor washes. If rubbed on the skin, it keeps away mosquitoes as well.
- Spiritual and meditation
Rosewood essential oil is often used in aromatherapy and is believed to have many emotional benefits. According to “The Aromatherapy Bible,” by Gill Farrer-Halls, rosewood essential oil is one of the best essential oils for spiritual and meditative uses. It is also believed to be a very uplifting oil and is sometimes used to relieve the fatigued and lethargic feelings experienced by many who suffer from depression. Rosewood essential oil is also believed to be useful in relieving stress, anxiety and nervousness.
This essential oil stimulates the body and various organ systems and metabolic functions. It stimulates feelings, the secretion of hormones, enzymes, acids and bile, circulation, digestion and other essential functions.
Uses of Rosewood Essential Oil
Rosewood essential oil’s alluring fragrance has been widely lauded in the perfume industry, but its therapeutic properties are less well known. Aromatherapists use it to help treat depression, as it is said to impart feelings of happiness and strength. Rosewood essential oil also calms the mind and prompts hormone secretion. It also works as an aphrodisiac as it stimulates your body and libido allowing you to relax and let go of stress and mental clutter.
Another popular use of rosewood essential oil is for skin care. It has tissue-regenerating properties that help prevent wrinkles and premature aging, and also works well for preventing a variety of skin conditions. You can use it to reduce the onset of pimples, acne, and blackheads while controlling the amount of sebum secreted by your oil glands. Rosewood essential oil also has wound-healing actions, making it an ideal first-aid remedy for cuts and insect bites.
According to “A Complete Guide to Understanding and Using Aromatherapy for Vibrant Health and Beauty,” by Roberta Wilson, rosewood essential oil can be used to reduce the appearance of acne. It is also believed to be an excellent choice for use in soothing irritated and sensitive skin and is appropriate for individuals with oily skin as well as those with dry skin. For those who are looking for an essential oil to reduce the signs of aging, rosewood essential oil may be an excellent choice for reducing fine lines and wrinkles as well as promoting the growth of new skin cells. Rosewood essential oil may also be used to fade scars. Rosewood essential oil is used in skin products such as creams, soaps, cosmetics, massage oils and perfumes.
One health benefit this oil has is the tranquility that is felt while using it. Feeling good helps the facial expressions be more relaxed aiding in the desired anti aging process. Aging is more gradual when the mind is calm and at peace. Tranquility shows through the countenance thus relaxing the tension that may create fine lines and wrinkles.
Because it has the ability to diminish scarring, even stretch marks on breasts may be reduced and it also aids in the prevention of new ones. But, in order to not aggravate the stretch marks and make them larger, there is a process of application of this oil. Massage techniques along with the quality of this oil helps to fade stretch marks and heal them. Stretch marks on thighs can fade and smooth out using the same massage techniques.
To get rosewood essential oil’s therapeutic effects, you can:
- Bath Time
Fill your tub with warm water. Add 10 drops of essential oil and stir for a refreshing soak. It is an excellent oil to use in baths since it rejuvenates dull, dry and oily skin.
- Body Wrap
Eliminate body toxins with rosewood plant oil. Spray a towel with a mixture of rosewood essential oil and hot water. Wrap the towel around your body and cover with a blanket.
- Burners and vaporizers
Vapor therapy with rosewood plant oil provides a wide range of benefits. Adding a few drops of oil to a vaporizer can help with colds, coughs, infections, headaches, nausea and stress-related problems, while lifting depression and helping to counter any sexual problems.
- Massage Oil
Add 15 drops of rosewood essential oil to one ounce of carrier oil, such as jojoba oil of sweet almond oil, and shake to blend.
- Body Lotion
Add 50 drops of essential oil to 16 ounces of unscented body lotion. Stir to blend the essential oil into the lotion until smooth. As part of a lotion or cream, rosewood essential oil is most effective to stimulate cells and regenerate tissue, aiding rejuvenation of the skin and making it particularly attractive for those with more mature and wrinkled skin.
- Liniment Rub
Add 25 drops of rosewood essential oil to one ounce of as jojoba oil. Shake well to blend. Rub on sore areas, or use as a massage oil.
- Sweet Smelling Liquid Soap
Add about 45 drops of essential oil to 8 ounces of unscented liquid hand soap or unscented body wash. Shake vigorously.
- Drawer Sachets
Add a few drops of rosewood essential oil to a cotton ball and place in drawers and linen closets.
Add 15 drops of essential oil to one ounce of unscented or mild shampoo and conditioner. Shake well to blend.
Composition of Rosewood Essential Oil
Rosewood essential oil’s high linalool content (86 percent) makes it highly useful for industrial applications. Linalool is modified into many derivatives that are essential to the food flavoring and fragrance industries.
Meanwhile, other components of rosewood essential oil like a-pinene, a-terpineol, camphene, neral, myrcene, geranial, 1,8-cineole, benzaldehyde, linalool oxides, and limonene are responsible for its health-promoting effects. This oil works as a stimulant, antidepressant, analgesic, antibacterial, and antiseptic.
How to Make Rosewood Essential Oil
Rosewood essential oil is extracted from the wood chippings or shavings of the rosewood trunk. This oil is produced via steam distillation, which works by vaporizing the oil and the active ingredients in it so they can be extracted and condensed. This extraction method helps assure that you are getting a pure and high-quality rosewood essential oil.
I advise you to be very stringent when buying rosewood essential oil, as some brands may be adulterated or have been infused with other carrier oils, which will lower the potency. Choosing a rosewood oil that’s produced by a reputable manufacturer is crucial.
How does Rosewood Essential Oil Work
Rosewood essential oil’s high alpha-pinene content is responsible for its impressive antibacterial properties, while the chemical components geraniol, nerol, 8-cineole, linalool, and limonene are useful for tissue regeneration. Studies have also shown that the topical use of rosewood oil can help destroy pre-cancerous and cancerous cells without adversely affecting healthy skin cells.
To take full advantage of its therapeutic benefits, Rosewood essential oil can be applied topically, inhaled, or vaporized. It is rarely taken orally. As with other herbal oils, I do not recommend ingesting or applying this oil without the supervision of a qualified health practitioner.
Is Rosewood Essential Oil Safe?
Rosewood essential oil is may be highly beneficial, as long as it’s used in moderation and properly diluted. It blends well with citrus oils like orange, neroli, bergamot, lime, lemon, and grapefruit, as well as floral oils like lavender, jasmine, and rose.
Rosewood essential oil is non-toxic, non-irritant, and non-sensitizing. However, I still advise doing a skin patch test before using this herbal oil.
Side Effects of Rosewood Essential Oil
Rosewood essential oil has no known side effects. But despite its safe profile, children, pregnant women or nursing moms should not use this oil without the advice of their physician. Rosewood essential oil, especially at full strength, is not recommended for very young children as well.
People with sensitive skin should also be careful when using rosewood oil. If you see any signs of irritation after using this oil, stop using it immediately and contact your health care provider.
INFOGRAPHIC Summary of the uses and benefit of Rosewood Essential Oil