ROSE: Gift of Angles
Ayurvedic Name: Sanskrit-Satapatri; Hindi- Gulab-ka-phool. (one hundred petals)
5000 years ago in India at the time of Lord Krishna, Rose attar had been made through a very expensive and special process described below:
In a big size tub, fresh rose flowers were mixed with water and crushed. After that left overnight or longer until a thin film of rose oil has been appeared on the surface of the water in the tub. This oil has been carefully taken from the surface of the water. This is called Rose absolute. It is three of the most expensive among perfumes. It yields one ounce from a quarter million fresh rose flowers. Imagine how much manual labor has been used to grow these flowers. How much land, water, fertilizer and means of transportation has been used for cultivation. Now a days this method is too expensive to use.
When we praise beauty of a woman, we talk about her Rosy cheeks. Rose has been source of inspiration for artists. When we think of heaven we never forget to mention Rose gardens in which angels are enjoying celestial fragrance of the Rose. Cleopetra was bathing in Rose water and used absolute Rose to seduce her lover Antony.
Lord Krishna's favorite was Rose. Hindus wash and clean their alter of Gods with Rose water.
Roman banquets were decorated with Roses. When Alexander the Great came to India, He fell in love with beautiful gardens of India, nicely decorated with various kind of fragrant Roses.
Rose is the king of flowers. It has been made, the national flower of several countries.
Sources and methods for getting oil and other products-Rose absolute- It is made from the distillation of the Rose Petals through condensation process. In India through traditional methods, 3 ounce of Rose oil has been distilled from 100 kg Rose flowers. It is known as rose absolute. It took weeks to make it because a certain temperature, special kinds of equipments and skilled people are needed. It is one of the most expensive perfume in the world.
The rose is a deeply respected flower in ayurveda, the ancient medical system of India, because of its ability to balance disorders of the heart, both physically and emotional, and heal the digestive system. According to ayurveda, rose has three main medicinal properties: It is soothing, cooling, and moisturizing. There are a variety of ways to use roses as part of your natural medicine routine.
Ayurvedic texts explain that the adoring qualities of Rose and the essential oil extracted from it is due to the strong reasons that it balances Sadhaka pitta that controls feelings and its effects on the heart and Prana vata that governs the mind, sensory perception, head, chest and respiration.
I personally love Rose Oil, I use an Italian Rose oil I bought from Whole Foods quite a long time ago, use it after my shower. Keeps its strong smell all day, really refreshes my body and mind. I also found great rose essentials from L'Occitane in the past, but now I buy it from different sources. I mix Rose, Lavendar and Peppermint with water. I use it for my legs to energize with peppermint, and also for my yoga mat.
Rose oil is used in aromatherapy for many reasons. Inhaled from a diffuser, rose oil can be used to soothe allergies or asthma, calm anger, alleviate depression, help with headaches, and lighten feelings of resentment, jealousy, and grief. You only need 3 drops of pure rose essential oil in a diffuser and the healing aromas will be infused in your room. Use it in a diffuser at night, and enjoy a deep, restful sleep as you gently inhale the healing essences of rose oil. You can also place 8-10 drops into a nice hot bath.
Rose Water: We use rose water in Turkish for cooking and also as cologne (along with lemon water) to serve to guests when they come in to our houses.
Rose Water also used in desserts, and rice making as well. It is considered rather holly, and cooked with prayers. They put in milky desserts, and ice cream a lot.
Rose Jam which I crave once in a while, is also very common breakfast item in Turkey. Rose farms work with essential oil and cosmetic makers as well. Turkish rose is quite famous :)
Uses in Ayurveda:
• Rose essence is one of the safest substances for healing. It has been primarily used for Anti-stress therapy. If some one is depressed having anxiety or feeling mentally exhausted, smelling Rose essence helps immediately, mind get freshness. Nerves system gets relief and a calm soothing stage of mind is attained.
•It is helpful in women’s Gynecological disorders, menopausal symptoms. It reduces excessive heat of the body.
•It has cleaning effect on liver, kidneys and spleen. In case of skin diseases it decrease ageing. It increase smoothness, reduce wrinkles on the face and helps the skin of the body glowing and charming. It is also good for respiratory disorders.
•It has been used to mask the taste of many obnoxious food dishes as well as to make them tastier to eat due to its rich and smooth flavor.
•It is useful in reducing extra fat from the body and make body slim. From the time of Queen Cleopetra most of the Persian, European and Indian Queens loved Rose for it’s wonderful healing qualities due to its soothing and cooling effects. If used before menstrual cycle, it reduces P.M.S. problems.
•After a whole day's hard work, in the early evening, Ayurvedic Doctors recommends Rose drink for refreshens and a romantic evening. This drink is called “Gulab Lassi”.
Ayurveda regards food and its role in daily life in a unique and integrated way. Understanding some basic principles will help one to recognize foods that help keep the doshas in balance. Each dosha has certain attributes or qualities, such as dry, hot or heavy. In the same way as the doshas, each kind of food is made up of certain qualities.
Since I have started my Ayurveda studies, I wanted to apply Ayurveda to my lifestyle, especially I found out, and already knew that my dosha was imbalanced.
My vikruti is Pitta and compare to my childhood, my Pitta is increased, my secondary dosha is Vata.
As to correct my imbalance, I have been reading and studying about different herbs, legumes, spices, food combinations, fruits, dairy and more.
I have started adding more beans and lentils into my diet. My breakfast has been always pretty nutritious but I took out certain spices like cinnamon and cayenne. I added more turmeric, cardamom, cumin in to my diet. My lunch now is more combined with cooked and raw food. I still eat my fruits in between meals. I started cooking with mung beans, green and red lentils as these are good for Pitta. Also I am learning more about spices and if I can cook with them. I know certain spices should not be cooked.
I also added a small amount of milk at night time, warming my milk (raw or goats milk) with turmeric, cumin, cardamom, fennel. I started enjoying this process.
I realize that nutrition is very important and also essential element of our balanced dosha, and at the same time wrong nutrition would cause imbalance in our bodies.
I enjoy my madhura as dates, honey, rice. Sweet taste enchances the vital essence of life (ojas). Sweet taste relieves thirst and burning sensations, enchances blood sugar, nutritive to body tissues. Sweet can bring stability and gives energy, vigor and vitality. I was never a person eat excessive amount of sweet, and also knew what sweets are better for body. Applying Ayurveda is not going to come difficult for me. I am looking forward to learning challenge and improve myself as an efficient person to others.
I cut down salt, pungent and sour, growing up in Turkey with eating pickles and still loving sauerkraut, pickles is not the easy to stop, but once in a while I am enjoying a little.
Mango chutney we had yesterday at the workshop, made by Atul, was so delicious and right amount of sweet. This kind of combination in food does not really look for sour.
Bitter (tikta) and astringent (kashaya) something that I am adding to my cooking and my pantry. These air and ether/air and earth what I need to balance my Pitta. I believe it will also help with any inflammatory issues I come across thru my yoga, dance, exerices. Bitter is laxative, and cleansing to the liver. Small dose can help to relieve intestinal gas which I also need in my nutrition. So I am using now more turmeric. I probably need to do some research on neem juice as most yogis use this for celibacy and austerity. But too much bitter also affect negatively. I am adding more pomegranate, green beans, okra because these are astringent, and air and earth is cooling, drying and heavy in nature which I need in my nutrition to balance. Too much astringent though, can create negative affects like insomnia, fear, mind scatterness.
Each of these taste in the appropriate dose will bring balance, yield happiness, good health. I am also looking forward learning more of stages of digestion, anatomy of digestion in more details, how certain foods affect agni, and how this agni affects digestion, and absorption and how one’s health can be affected with this agni.
Textbook of Ayurveda, Dr Vasant Lad