ROSE GERANIUM (Perlargonium graveolens)
Botany: The Rose Geranium is a name given to a species of Pelargonium, and is confusingly not part of the Geranium genus. Pelargonium graveolens is a perennial erect shrubby, hairy, and glandular plant that grows up to 1 m high, becoming woody with age, with fragrant and deeply incised leaves. Flowers are pinkish in umbel-like inflorescence. It is native to South Africa, widely cultivated in Africa (Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, etc.) and Europe (Spain, Italy France, etc). The most widely commercially cultivated is the P. graveolens species, but other varieties and hybrids of Pelargonium are also cultivated to produce so-called geranium oils (P. graveolens, P. capitatum, P. radula, P. roseum, and P. odoratissimum).
History and/or Folklore: Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) essential oil has been used as far back in history as ancient Egypt; the Egyptians used Geranium oil as a fragrance in perfumery and in medicine against cancerous tumours. Geranium was brought to Europe in the late 17th century and became popular during the Victorian era; fresh leaves of geranium were placed at formal dining tables and used as finger bowls. In the Victorian parlour, the potted Rose Geranium plant was placed on tables, where a fresh sprig could be obtained.
Commercial products: Geranium essential oil is obtained by steam distillation from fresh leaves and stems.
The geranium essential oil has a sweet and rosy smell with a mint overtone and is mostly colourless, but can have a slight light green colour to it. Other common names of the geranium oil are rose geranium oil, Bourbon geranium oil, or Moroccan geranium oil. The three major types of geranium oil (Bourbon, Algerian and Moroccan) contain large amounts of alcohols – 60-70% (L-citronellol, geraniol, linalool, and menthol), esters 20 30% (geranyl formate and acetate, citronellyl formate and acetate), aldehydes and ketones (L-isomenthone), sesquiterpene hydrocarbons (bourbonene, humulene) and alcohols, and acids (formic, acetic, propionic, etc.).
The therapeutic properties of geranium oil are antidepressant, antiseptic, astringent, cicatrisant, cytophylactic, diuretic, deodorant, haemostatic, styptic, tonic, vermifuge and vulnerary.
On the skin, rose geranium oil helps to balance the secretion of sebum and clears sluggish and oily skins, while the antiseptic and cicatrisant properties make this oil an effective aid to help with burns, wounds, ulcers and other skin problems. Rose geranium oil can also be diluted in shampoo to help with head lice.
The oil is very common in massage oils, bath oils, vaporizers, because it has a balancing effect on the nervous system (adrenal cortex); helps to relieve depression and anxiety, while lifting the spirits.
Rose geranium oil is also widely used as a fragrance component in all kind of cosmetic products (creams, lotions, soaps, detergents, and perfumes). Rose geranium oils have antibacterial and antifungal (especially from P. roseum) attributes. Recently, antioxidant free radical scavenging activity of geranium oil has been reported.
Geranium oil, used topically, is not indicated to cause any side effects, since it is non-toxic, non-irritant and generally non-sensitising, yet cases of contact dermatitis in hypersensitive individuals due to geraniol have been documented.
Cross-reaction of geraniol with citronella has been reported (but not with lemon oil).
It is not advised to use essential geranium oil in pregnancy. It is also inadvisable to use the oil for babies and young children.
ROYAL JELLY (Pharyngeal glands of the worker bee)
Names: Queen bee jelly, apilak, Weiselfuttersaft, Gelee royale, feng
Zoology: It is a milky white viscous substance secreted by the pharyngeal glands of the worker bee. It is the food of all bee larvae for the first three days of life. It is reserved as food for queen bees for the rest of their lives, hence the name ‘royal jelly’. It is produced in tiny quantities by worker bees to feed the queen.
Biochemistry: Chemical constituents reported to be present: hydroxyl fatty acids, including 10-hydroxy-trans-2-decenoic acid (royal jelly acid; 10-HDA), 10-hydroxidecanoic acid, and others (sterols, acetylcholine, free amino acids, peptides, glycol-proteins, etc.). The peptides, jelleine I-III have recently been shown to be active against gram-positive and gram negative bacteria and yeast.
Products: Royal jelly (in liquid, powder, or extract form).
Antimicrobial, antioxidant, alleged anti-wrinkle, skin-nourishing and whitening properties.
Royal jelly is used in various types of skin care product (creams, lotions, soap, etc.). It is also used in hair care and oral products (e.g. toothpaste).
Although rare, royal jelly can cause allergic reactions in some individuals, ranging from asthma to anaphylaxis.
RAPESEED (RAPESEED OIL) (Brasicca spp.; Brassica rapa L. (syn. Brassica campestris L.), Brassica napus L.)
Botany: Rapeseed is a bright yellow flowering member of the family Brassicaceae (mustard or cabbage family). Rapeseed is derived from two Brassica species, B. napus L. and B. rapa L. To distinguish between them, B. rapa is often called turnip rape and B. napus is called Swede rape. Spring and winter types exist of both species. The rapeseed oil of world commerce comes from these two species and to a minor extent also from the mustards, especially B. juncea Coss. (brown mustard) and Sinapis alba. L. (yellow mustard). The largest producers are countries in the European Union, Canada, USA, Australia, China and India.
History and/or folklore: Brassica crops may be among the oldest cultivated plants known to man. In India, B. rapa is mentioned in ancient Sanskrit literature from ca. 1500 BC and seed of B. juncea have been found in archaeological sites dating back to ca. 2300 BC (Prakash 1980). Rapeseed production has a long history in China. The Chinese word for rapeseed was first recorded ca. 2500 years ago, and the oldest archaeological discoveries may date back as far as to ca. 5000 BC (Yan 1990).
Historically, B. rapa seems to have the widest distribution of Brassica oilseeds. At least 2000 years ago, it was distributed from northern Europe to China and Korea, with a primary centre of diversity in the Himalayan region (Hedge 1976).
Brassica napus has probably developed in the area where the wild forms of its ancestral species are sympatric, in the Mediterranean area. Wild forms of B. napus are unknown, so it is possible it originated in cultivation. Production of oilseed B. napus probably started in Europe during the middle-ages; B. napus was introduced to Asia during the 19th century. The present Chinese and Japanese germplasm was developed crossing European B. napus with different indigenous B. rapa cultivars (Shiga 1970).
Rapeseed oil or canola oil is extracted from the seeds of the rapeseed plant. The oil is a good source of unsaturated fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, including α linolenic acid (ALA), which are essential for good health.
Skin-Conditioning Agent - Occlusive
Rapeseed oil is used in cosmetic and skin care products because it is a non-fragrant oil that has emollient and potential antioxidant properties for skin. However, it is reported as used in fragrance compounds in 2008 (IFRA Fragrance Ingredient List).
Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful.
Uncertain environmental toxin and uncertain persistent or bioaccumulative (not suspected to be bioaccumulative).
ROSE (Rosa alba/Rosa centifolia, Rosadamascena, Rosa gallica)
Botany: Small prickly shrubs up to about 1.2-2.4 m high. It is native to Europe and western Asia, and is widely cultivated. Parts used are the fresh flowers, from which rose oil is obtained.
Rosa damascena, which is more commonly known as the Damask rose or simply as “Damask”, or the Damascus rose, or sometimes as Rose of Castile, is a rose hybrid derived from R. Gallica and R. Moschata.
History and/or folklore: Legend says that the rose was borne from a drop of sweat that fell from the brow of Mohammed. It gave its name to the town of Damascus several thousand years ago, and to the silk made there in the colour of the flower.
For centuries, the Damascus rose (Rosa damascena) has been considered a symbol of beauty and love. The fragrance of the rose has been captured and preserved in the form of rose water by an ancient method that can be traced back to biblical times in the Middle East, and later to the Indian subcontinent. An Iranian doctor, Avicenna, is credited with the invention of the process for extracting rose water from rose petals in the early 11th century.
Rose oil – contains usually as its major components geraniol, citronellol, nerol, β-phenethyl alcohol, geranic acid and eugenol, which together make up 55-75% of the oil(with citronellol up to 60%). Other components present include terpene hydrocarbons, and esters.
Rose absolute – contains mainly phenethyl alcohol, with lesser amounts of citronellol, geraniol, and nerol. Other compounds present include eugenol esters.
Rosa damascena botanical extract (Rosa damascena flower water) - The Damask rose is commonly used to make rose water by distillation from flower petals.
Rose oil and rose absolute are extensively used as fragrance ingredients in perfumes, creams, lotions, soaps, and sometimes detergents. Maximum use level is 0.2 % reported for French rose absolute and Moroccan, Bulgarian, and Turkish rose oil in perfumes.
Rose extract and rose oil have a host of beneficial effects on the skin and are good for promoting a youthful complexion with good tone, elasticity and an even-coloured complexion.
Traditional use: rose water is a valuable astringent and relieves tired eyes. Rose water, itself a by-product of the production of rose oil for use in perfume, is used as a component in some cosmetic preparations.
Available data from one source indicate rose oil (Moroccan, Bulgarian, and Turkish) to be non-irritating, non-phytotoxic to human skin, but slightly to moderately irritating to rabbit skin when applied undiluted.
Rose absolute (French) was non-irritating and non-phototoxic, but it produced one sensitization reaction in 25 subjects tested.
ROSEHIP (Rosa canina, Rosa rubiginosa)
The rose hip is the fruit of the rose plants Rosa canina or Rosa rubiginosa. Alternate names are: rose haw, brier hip, dogberry, eglantine gall, hip fruit, hip berries, hop fruit, hogseed. The rose plants are also known by many names: dog rose, hep tree, hip rose, hip tree, brier rose, sweet brier, Eglantine rose, wild brier, and witches` brier.
Botany: Dog or brier roses are prickly bushes or shrubs. They are native to Europe and Asia, and are extensively cultivated. In Chile and Argentina, Rosa rubiginosa is also known as "Rosa Mosqueta". The part used is the ripe fruit (ellipsoid, globose or ovoid fruit), known as the hip.
Products: Rose hips contain high concentrations of vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Other constituents present in rose hips include carotenoids, flavonoids, pectic substances, riboflavin, sugars, and plants acids.
Rosa canina fixed oil
It is rich in vitamin F.
Rosa canina botanical extract
It is an extract from the fruit of the rosehip, Rosa canina.
Rosa rubiginosa seed fixed oil
This oil contains palmitic, palmitoleic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, α-linolenic, γ-linolenic, arachidic and eicosanic acids, epicatechin, flavonoids, gallocatechin, isoquercitrin, kaemferol-3-glucoside, leucoanthocyanins, lycopene, magnesium rubidium, rubixanthin, alpha-tocopherol, xanthophylls, tretinoin and zeaxanthin.
Antioxidant activity has been displayed by the different constituents of rose hip extracts, such as glycophenolics, and vitamin C. Anti-inflammatory activity has been displayed by a galactolipid isolated from R. Canina.
Rosa canina fixed oil
Traditional use: Tissue regeneration: it has an effect on skin cell membranes, defence mechanisms, and growth and other physiologic and biochemical processes related to tissue regeneration, which explain its good tissue-regenerating properties (maintaining tissue texture and skin freshness and attenuation of scars, skin burns, and early aging etc.).
Rosa canina botanical extract
Traditional use: Anti-wrinkle agent: it is used in body lotions to smooth skin. It is also used as a moisturizer, in the treatment of burns and scars, and in hair preparations, especially for dry and damaged hair.
Rosa rubiginosa seed fixed oil
Traditional use: Also known as rose of Mosqueta oil, which was once described as the “Fountain of Youth”. This oil is remarkable for its benefits to damaged and distressed skin.
Rosa canina botanical extract can be applied directly on the skin.
ROSEMARY (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Botany: A small evergreen shrub with thick aromatic, linear leaves. It grows up to 2 m high. It is native to Mediterranean region, and is cultivated worldwide. The part used is the leaf (fresh or dried), which is used as a herb.
Products: Rosemary contains about 0.5% volatile oil, flavonoids (diosmetin, diosmin, genwanin, luteolin, hispidulin, apigenin, etc.), phenolic acids (rosmarinic, labiatic, chlorogenic, neochlorogenic, and caffeic acids), carnosic acid, rosmaricine, isorosmaricine, triterpenic acids (mainly ursolic, oleanolic, and betulinic acids, the diterpene rosmanol, and others.
Rosmarinic acid – is a natural polyphenol antioxidant carboxylic acid. It has significant antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. It has been used as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Rosmarinic acid has good percutaneous absorption, tissue distribution, and bioavailability that make it an ingredient suitable for transdermal administration.
Ursolic acid – is used as an emulsifying agent in cosmetic and other preparations. Its anti-inflammatory (oral and topical), antitumor (skin cancer), and antimicrobial properties make it useful in cosmetic applications. There is also evidence to show that ursolic acid may be of relevance in hair tonics to encourage hair growth.
Rosmarinus officinalis botanical extract - Rosemary is considered to be one of the most important of the natural antioxidant extracts.
Rosmarinus officinalis essential oil is prepared by steam distillation of the fresh flowering tops. It contains mainly monoterpene hydrocarbons (α- and β-pinenes, camphene, limonene, etc.), cineole (eucalyptol), and borneol, with camphor, linalool, verbenone, terpineol, 3-octanone, and isobornyl acetate.
History and/or folklore: Rosemary and distilled water were the constituents of ‘Hungary water’, a rejuvenating lotion named after Queen Elizabeth of Hungary, whose use of it kept her skin free from wrinkles.
Rosemary extracts have anti-oxidative properties. Rosemary oil and extracts have antimicrobial activities (bacteria and fungi).
Rosmarinus officinalis botanical extract
Traditional use: It is tonic and astringent used mainly for its action on hair and prevention of premature baldness. It is often combined with borax to prevent scurf and dandruff. Stimulating for the skin. When added to the bath, it stimulates sluggish circulation.
Rosmarinus officinalis essential oil
The typical fragrance is sweetly herbal and slightly medicinal with a hint of camphor. It may be beneficial for problem skin conditions and dandruff. It is anti-catarrhal, anti-infectious, and anti-spasmodic and is a useful component in decongestant baths. The German Commission E has approved the external use as supportive therapy for rheumatic diseases and circulatory problems.
Rosemary oil is extensively used in cosmetics as a fragrance component and/or masking agent. Products in which it is used include soaps, detergents, creams, lotions, and perfumes (especially colognes and toilet waters).
Rosemary oil has been reported to be non-irritating and non-sensitising to human skin but moderately irritating to rabbit skin when applied undiluted.