Why the Rose Balances the Heart
According to the ayurvedic texts, it is not a coincidence that the rose is associated with romance, because it balances Sadhaka Pitta, the subdosha of Pitta that governs the emotions and their effect on the heart. Sadhaka Pitta can go out of balance more easily in summer, when the hot, humid weather increases all aspects of Pitta dosha, the mind-body operator that governs heat, digestion, and metabolism in the body.
So there's a physiological reason that roses have been the ideal gift to express love and forgiveness for thousands of years. They literally soothe the heart and emotions. What may surprise you is that the rose also balances the mind. It enhances the coordination between Sadhaka Pitta and Prana Vata (the subdosha of Vata that governs the brain, head, chest, respiration, sensory perception, and the mind). Other properties are equally surprising.
The rose is cooling, yet it enhances agni, the digestive fire. This is a unique quality which makes it balancing for all three doshas. These medicinal properties are not lost on modern researchers, who are investigating the effect of the rose in balancing hormones and creating overall well-being. Essential rose oils used in aroma therapy are also being investigated for their antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hemorrhagic properties.
Traditional Uses of the Rose
Even though there are hundreds of varieties of wild and cultivated roses, it is only the Rosa Centifolia that is used in Maharishi Ayurveda. The ayurvedic name for this particular rose is shatapatri, meaning "a hundred petals," and the Latin name is Rosa Centifolia, which also means "a hundred petals." In Maharishi Ayurveda, the rose is used in many rasayanas, the herbal formulas that promote overall health and longevity. It is also used in Organic Rose Water.
The essence of rose appears in aroma therapy, and tonics are made from mixing rose paste, water, and spices. Cold poultices with rose and sandalwood paste are sometimes prescribed to cool any burning. The rose enhances beauty in many ways. Local applications (such as in creams and poultices) cool, moisturize, and tone the skin. Massaging the body with rose and sandalwood sachets enhances beauty. The essence of rose augments the glow and complexion of the skin.
The rose enlivens inner beauty, helps the skin to radiate inner glow out to others, and enhances all seven dhatus (body tissues). When used over time, the essence of rose pacifies the heat in the blood, and thus keeps imbalances in the skin from erupting. There are some specific ailments that are helped by the rose. These include amenorrhea (absence of menstrual flow), inflamed eyes, dizziness, headache due to Pitta aggravation, sore throat, enlarged tonsils, nervousness, grief, dullness of the skin and acne caused by Pitta imbalances. For these conditions, it's best to rely on a physician trained in Maharishi Ayurveda to prescribe treatments.
Love in a Jar
One traditional preparation of the rose is found in Organic Rose Petal Spread. Organic Rose Petal Spread contains dozens and dozens of dried rose petals, making it a concentrated, potent means for balancing the emotions. The recipe for this delightful confection can be traced back to a time when royalty gave jars of rose petal spread to their beloved if they wanted to inspire unconditional love. Later, the tradition evolved into our present-day habit of giving roses on Valentine's Day or just to say "I love you." Organic Rose Petal Spread actually acts as a powerful tonic for the heart. By balancing Sadhaka Pitta, it enhances positive emotions, and intensifies the experience of happiness and bliss.
We call it "Love in a Jar," because even if you are angry at someone, you can take a teaspoon of Organic Rose Petal Spread, and it will help you to start thinking more loving thoughts. An ayurvedic expert from The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians notices this in his interaction with persons on adopting Maharishi Ayurveda diet and lifestyle recommendations for better health and well-being. "When I come across a person who is feeling emotionally insecure, a little suspicious or sad for no reason, I recommend that the person take 1-2 teaspoons of Organic Rose Petal Spread before thinking more about the problem. This immediately pacifies Sadhaka Pitta and right away the person starts to think more positively."
If you have a mild Sadhaka Pitta imbalance, or just to cool your body in summer, you can carry rose oil or a blend such as Pitta Aroma Oil in an aroma locket. Or you could use Blissful Heart Aroma Oil as aroma therapy while sleeping. Organic Pitta Tea also contains roses, and it helps balance Sadhaka Pitta, cool the body, soothe the mind, and settle the emotions. Organic Rose Petal Spread can also be added to milk or can be added to sweet lassi to make a delicious summertime drink. Try these recipes:
Roses for the Skin
Maharishi Ayurveda incorporates the rose in other traditional ayurvedic formulations for the skin. The properties of the rose — cooling, moisturizing, and soothing — are concentrated in the Rose Herbal Soap, creating a nourishing effect on the skin. Pure Organic Rose Water is ideal for facial toning, especially in summer. You can spritz your face before or after your facial. It also helps moisturize the skin at bedtime, or before and after exposure to the sun.
With its pleasant aroma, Organic Rose Water spray enhances mood and is cooling and toning. It pacifies Ranjaka Pitta (the subdosha of Pitta that governs liver function and the color of the blood). All of these factors together enhance the glow and appearance of the skin. So the next time you feel the overheated effects of summer — whether it's a slight feeling of irritability, insatiable thirst, or just a lack of satisfaction — reach for the nearest rose. You'll not only feel cooled, soothed, and nourished, but you might find yourself dreaming sweet dreams of the heart as well.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.