In these uncertain times, we are seeing a vast increase in the number of people who constantly feel depressed, anxious and out of balance. Major depressive disorder affects more than 16 million Americans and 40 million adults (1 in 5 people) regularly suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, with irregular heartbeat, shallow breathing, heart attack symptoms, mental and physical paralysis and a sense of dread. While stress is a normal reaction to life, anxiety is an extreme and health-damaging reaction to imagined or feared situations. While only 36 percent of Americans seek help for depression and anxiety, these disorders can be managed well through the use of a variety of aromatic substances, the most important of which is rose absolute. 

Rose absolute is different from steam-distilled rose oil (known as ‘rose otto’) because it is obtained through solvent or CO2 extraction, yielding a thick, golden-reddish liquid that is highly aromatic and smells like a walk through a rose garden in bloom. Rose absolute contains over 2,000 individual phytochemical components, including vitamins, nutrients and valuable organic bioactive compounds, all working in synergy to provide therapeutic benefits for a wide range of conditions. 

It may surprise you to learn that the vast majority of ‘rose’ products available commercially (oils, sprays, lotions, creams, etc.) contain no rose oil or rose absolute at all. Instead, synthetic chemical copies of some of rose’s recognizable components are blended into various scents, which are marketed in products as ‘rose.’ Over 26,000 cosmetic chemicals are now available to manufacturers and formulators, many of which are untested, harmful or even toxic. Many people who believe that they are allergic to rose itself are actually reacting to any number of chemicals in a product, including the ‘aroma-chemicals’ making up the synthetic rose scent. While genuine rose absolute can still be found in health stores, it is typically diluted 90 percent or more with odorless jojoba oil, due to the high cost of true rose absolute. It is well worth seeking out true rose absolute with no additives. Just one or two drops in an ultrasonic diffuser provide immediate improvement of all anxiety and depression-related conditions, and instill a sense of comfort, joy and love of life.

While rose absolute is the ‘queen of flowers,’ there are many essential oils that can be alternated or combined with rose absolute to calm, relax and ground anyone suffering from depression and anxiety disorders. Rose geranium, lavender, ylang-ylang, sweet marjoram, Roman chamomile, vetiver and frankincense would be the frontline choices of classically-trained aromatherapists. Citrus oils – sweet orange, blood orange, mandarin, grapefruit and bergamot – are inexpensive and immediately effective. Citrus oils owe their anti-depressive qualities to the presence of high amounts of the terpene, limonene, which is showing great potential in the treatment of many challenging health conditions. Choose not to suffer from anxiety and depression any longer, and include aromatherapy in your journey to healing.

Julia Meadows has spent 35 years in the essential oil industry and is the founder of Aromax Health and Sub Rosa Apothecary in La Quinta. She can be reached at (760) 831.8333 or [email protected] 

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