What Do You Know About Rose Water?

Rose water is a liquid made from water and rose petals. It is used as a perfume due to its sweet scent, but it has medicinal and culinary values, as well.

There is a long tradition of rose water being used in medicine, including in Iran and other parts of the Middle East, as far back as the 7th century.

There is also evidence of North American Indian tribes using it to treat ailments.

Fast facts on rose water:

  • Rose water can usually be used without any side effects.
  • Rose water contains numerous, powerful antioxidants.
  • Recent research has found that it can help relax the central nervous system.

What are the benefits?

Below, we look at some of the benefits of rose water and their uses in medicine.

Skin

Rose water in small glass bottle, next to rose flower.

Rose water is often used as a perfume, though it also has many medicinal benefits.

The skin is the largest organ in the body and acts as a barrier against UV radiation, chemicals, and other physical pollutants.

The antioxidants in rose water protect the cells in the skin against damage.

Rose water also has anti-inflammatory properties, which means it can be put on the skin to soothe the irritation caused by conditions, such as eczema and rosacea.

Rose water acts as an inhibitor against elastase and collagenase, which are both harmful to the skin.

This, in turn, can help soothe the skin and reduce redness, as well as act as an anti-aging product by reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Respiratory

Due to its soothing and anti-inflammatory effect, rose water can be taken to treat a sore throat. Furthermore, a study has shown that it can act as a relaxant on the muscles in the throat.

Eyes

In its liquid form rose water can be used as part of an eye drop and has been shown to have excellent benefits for people with eye problems.

Conditions it can help treat include:

  • conjunctivitis
  • conjunctival xerosis or dry eye
  • acute dacryocystitis
  • degenerative conditions, such as pterygium or pinguecula
  • cataracts

Wounds

Rose water has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which mean it can help wounds heal faster, by keeping them clean and fighting injections.

The types of wounds rose water can be used on include:

  • burns
  • cuts
  • scars

Infections

Due to its antiseptic properties and the fact rose water can prompt the creation of histamines by the immune system, it has been shown to be useful for preventing and treating infections.

Brain

Rose water in a bowl with rose petals, for vapor therapy.

Rose water vapor therapy can improve mood and aid relaxation.

The inhalation of rose water vapors has been traditionally used as a way to improve a person’s mood. The liquid can also be taken orally.

Research has shown that rose water has antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties. It is believed to induce sleep and to have a hypnotic effect similar to that of the pharmaceutical drug diazepam.

It has been used to treat a number of mental health conditions, including:

  • depression
  • grief
  • stress
  • tension

In other medical cases, rose water is known to be beneficial in the treatment of conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

A specific protein fragment called an amyloid, which is created by the body, has been shown to be present in these conditions and to affect the brain function, kill cells, and hinder memory. Encouragingly, properties found in rose water are an inhibitor of this amyloid.

Headaches

Just as the fumes of rose water are inhaled to help improve mood, it is believed that the de-stressing effects can also help treat headaches and migraines.

Rose water has been used in aromatherapy for some time and can also be applied to a cloth and laid on the forehead for similar effects.

Digestion

The ingestion of rose water has also been shown to have beneficial effects on the digestive system. It works by increasing bile flow, which helps symptoms of common complaints, including bloating and upset stomach.

The consumption of rose water can also work as a laxative. It can increase both the amount of water in the feces and the frequency of going to the toilet, making it a good treatment for constipation.

What forms and types are there?

Rose water in spray diffuser bottle.

Rose water contains rose oil and tends to be more affordable than pure rose oil.

Rose water contains between 10 and 50 percent rose oil. It is often used in religious ceremonies, as well as in the food industry. However, the same product can come in different forms.

Rose oil

This is created by distilling the rose flower. The oil can be mass-produced in factories and is a pale, yellow color and semisolid.

Due to its high concentration, rose oil is known to be a fairly expensive product.

Dried flowers

Both the buds and the petals of the rose can be dried and are used for different reasons.

Often the petals are eaten, with yogurt, for example, and are used for the previously mentioned digestive benefits.

Other products

Other forms that rose products may come in can include:

  • Rose hips: The seedpods of the roses, which are used either fresh or dried, and as they are or processed in factories.
  • Hydrosol and absolute extract: This can be taken from the flower, petals, or hips and can be a cheaper alternative to rose oil.
  • Ethanolic, aqueous, and chloroform extracts: These can be taken from the flower, petals, or hips and are used for research purposes.

Side effects

A person can apply rose products topically by putting a small amount — about the size of a dime — on their arm as an initial test. If there is no adverse or allergic reaction within 24 hours it can be safely applied elsewhere.

In some cases, a person can have a reaction to rose water due to a particular and often unknown sensitivity to the product.

This can include:

  • burning
  • stinging
  • redness
  • irritation

If someone experiences any of these effects after the use of rose water, they should tell a doctor immediately, as it may be a sign of an infection or allergic reaction.

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12 Potential Health Benefits Of Eleuthero

Eleuthero is a plant that has been traditionally used as an immune system booster and a general stimulant.

Sometimes known as Siberian ginseng, eleuthero is native to Japan, northern China, southeastern Russia, South Korea, and North Korea.

What is Eleuthero?

There is evidence that eleuthero was first used as an herbal remedy in China some 2,000 years ago.

The plant is mostly used in traditional medicines as an adaptogen, a compound that helps the body better handle and adapt to stress. Eleuthero also acts as a stimulant, increasing nervous system function.

Although they have similar benefits and usages, eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus and Acanthopanax senticosus) is not related to American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) or true ginseng (Panax ginseng.)

12 potential health benefits

Eleuthero fruit RESIZE
Eleuthero bears fruit that can be eaten raw.

In traditional and herbal medicines, eleuthero is used to treat dozens of different health conditions.

However, the number of advantages tested and proven in animals and humans is far less. Most of the more established benefits of eleuthero still have unclear or conflicting evidence.

Potential health benefits of eleuthero include:

1. Increasing energy and reducing fatigue

As a stimulant, eleuthero boosts energy levels and contains compounds known to help overcome exhaustion and prevent its side effects.

One study found that eleuthero consumption significantly increased the exhaustion point of swimming mice by lessening the build up of lactic acid and blood urea nitrogen, in addition to increasing fat utilization.

2. Improving cognitive function

By increasing circulation, eleuthero may increase blood flow to the brain, improving mental functions such as memory and concentration.

3. Managing cancer

Panax ginseng has been shown to have anti-cancer or anti-tumor properties.

Research suggests eleuthero may have similar properties, especially in cases of lung cancer, but this claim requires more research.

4. Enhancing exercise

As a stimulant, eleuthero may increase the ability of muscles to do work, especially during periods of intense physical activity.

One study found that consuming 800 milligrams (mg) of eleuthero a day for 8 weeks increased a male subject’s endurance time by 23 percent, peak oxygen saturation by 12 percent, and highest heart rate by 3 percent.

5. Healing wounds and preventing ulcers

By boosting the immune system, eleuthero may improve or speed up the healing process.

Compounds in eleuthero have also been shown to prevent the formation of ulcers, including diabetic foot ulcers.

6. Increasing low blood pressure

As a stimulant, eleuthero increases circulation and heart rate and may raise blood pressure over time.

This may be beneficial for people with low blood pressure but can cause risks for people with hypertension.

7. Reducing osteoporosis

In several traditional medicines, eleuthero is used to increase muscle and bone strength.

In a 2013 study, rats given 100 mg of eleuthero daily for 8 weeks saw a 16.7 percent increase in femur bone density.

8. Managing menopause

Extracts of eleuthero and eleutherosides are known to bind to estrogen receptor sites.

Eleuthero may, therefore, lessen the effects of estrogen withdrawal in women who are experiencing menopause. For this reason, women with estrogen-driven cancer may need to consult their doctor before consuming eleuthero.

9. Reducing or limiting respiratory tract infections

As an immune stimulant, eleuthero may shorten the length and severity of lung infections, such as influenza and pneumonia.

10. Improving lymphatic function

Eleutherosides have been shown to improve the lymphatic function of the lymph node network, meaning they may reduce edema. Edema is swelling caused by a build up of fluid.

2016 study found eleuthero powder significantly reduced edema within 2 and 4 hours after consumption in 50 healthy volunteers.

11. Preventing and repairing nerve damage

Several studies have shown that eleutherosides may help prevent and repair nerve damage.

Eleuthero has been explored, as a potential preventative or management medication for progressive neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

One study found that eleuthero improved nerve regeneration and synapse reformation in rats with nerve damage.

12. Lowering or stabilizing blood sugar levels

Eleutherosides have been shown to reduce insulin resistance and are being considered for the management of type 2 diabetes.

A 2013 study found that 480 mg per day of eleuthero significantly lowered fasting and post-meal blood sugar levels in subjects with type 2 diabetes.

Buying Considerations

Eleuthero extracts are made using the plant’s bark, stems, leaves, or roots.

Eleuthero powder
Eleuthero is available as a powder.

The herb is sold in the form of capsules, tablets, a liquid or tincture, and as a powder.

It can also be used whole, and the herb’s dried leaves and stems can be boiled to make a tea. The plant’s fresh fruit may also be eaten raw.

Although it can be sold alone, eleuthero is also commonly found in multivitamins and tonics aimed at boosting immune function, increasing energy levels, and promoting vitality.

As with most herbal supplements, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate the production, marketing, or sale of eleuthero. Therefore, a person should check the ingredients in products labeled as ginseng before buying or using them.

Eleutherosides, in particular, eleutheroside B, is usually the main bioactive ingredient, and a pharmacist should be able to recommend appropriate products that contain this.

How to use eleuthero

There is no standard recommended dosage for eleuthero. How the herb is used depends on the formula, form, and the benefit being sought.

The herb is not considered safe for use in children. For people over the age of 18, typical dosage and other recommendations include:

  • take between 300- and 1,200-mg daily, not exceeding 3- to 6-grams
  • take in the morning to avoid disrupting the sleep cycle
  • take doses between meals
  • take the supplement for no more than 6 weeks continuously followed by at least a 2-3 week break

It is important to talk with a doctor before taking herbal supplements. It can be helpful to take the bottle or product packaging for reference.

Health complications and risks

Herbal products can react with certain medications, causing a negative reaction or decreasing the effect of the medication. Also, herbal products may not be safe for people with certain health conditions.

Potential side effects of eleuthero usage include:

  • increased risk of sudden bleeding and hemorrhage
  • raised or lowered blood pressure
  • increased or reduced blood sugar levels
  • hormone changes, especially of cortisol
  • hives and contact dermatitis or skin rashes
  • gastrointestinal problems, including diarrhea, nausea, and cramping
  • muscle spasms
  • nerve pain
  • cold extremities
  • nervousness or aggressiveness
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • confusion

Medications, health conditions, and consumables that increase the risk of side effects with eleuthero or require medical monitoring include:

  • bleeding disorders or conditions
  • medications that affect bleeding, such as heparin, warfarin (Coumadin®), and over-the-counter pain medications, including aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen
  • liver medications
  • heart failure medications, such as digoxin
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Hormone-regulating medications
  • anti-allergy medications
  • psychiatric or mental conditions
  • antidepressants
  • alcohol
  • radiotherapy
  • sedatives
  • anti-seizure medications
  • steroids
  • pregnancy
  • diabetes and insulin use
  • antibiotics or antivirals
  • vasodilators
  • ginkgo biloba
  • saw palmetto
  • garlic

Lung Cleansing and Respiratory Support ~ The 9 Best Herbs

Your respiratory system is constantly working. All day, every day, it is the vehicle for oxygen to enter your body. Unfortunately, it can also be an entry point for pollutants, irritants, dust, mold, fungus, harmful organisms, and other toxins. Unless you’re living in a bubble, the constant assault from impurities can take its toll. Fortunately, whether you’re experiencing the negative effects of inhaling toxins, or simply want to ensure your lungs are always at peak performance, nature has provided a number of herbs and botanicals that provide deep nutrition for the respiratory system.

How are Herbs Beneficial for the Respiratory System?

Herbs that support lung health typically do so by offering one or more of the following benefits:

  • They may be an expectorant — which helps break up and expel chest congestion.
  • Soothe irritated nasal passages and airways.
  • Relax the muscles near the upper respiratory system to quell a cough.
  • Calm the release of histamines.
  • Fight the harmful organisms that can produce upper respiratory problems.
  • They may be a source of antioxidants and reduce oxidative damage and redness.

Let’s take a look at the nine best herbs for respiratory health.

1. Eucalyptus

Native to Australia, eucalyptus isn’t just for Koala bears! Aborigines, Germans, and Americans have all used the refreshing aroma of eucalyptus to promote respiratory health and soothe throat irritation. Eucalyptus is a common ingredient in cough lozenges and syrups and its effectiveness is due to a compound called cineole. Cineole has numerous benefits — it’s an expectorant, can ease a cough, fights congestion, and soothes irritated sinus passages. As an added bonus, because eucalyptus contains antioxidants, it supports the immune system during a cold or other illness.

2. Lungwort

Lungwort is a flowering rhizomatous that actually resembles lung tissue in appearance. However, this natural remedy doesn’t just look the part. As early as the 1600’s, lungwort has been used to promote lung and respiratory health and clear congestion. Lungwort also contains compounds that are powerfully effective against harmful organisms that affect respiratory health.

3. Oregano

Although oregano contains the vitamins and nutrients required by the immune system, its primary benefits are owed to its carvacrol and rosmarinic acid content. Both compounds are natural decongestants and histamine reducers that have direct, positive benefits on the respiratory tract and nasal passage airflow. Oregano has so many health benefits that a bottle of organic oregano oil should be in everyone’s medicine cabinet.

4. Plantain Leaf

The plantain leaf has been used for hundreds of years to ease a cough and soothe irritated mucous membranes. Clinical trials have found it favorable against a cough, cold, and lung irritation. Plantain leaf has an added bonus in that it may help relieve a dry cough by spawning mucus production in the lungs. Good stuff!

5. Elecampane

The Greeks, Romans, Chinese and even Indian Ayurvedic medicine have cited elecampane for respiratory support and, since the 1800’s, lozenges and cough drops have been produced from elecampane root. The reason? Elecampane has a relaxing effect on smooth tracheal muscles. There are two active compounds in elecampane root that provide the beneficial effect — inulin, which soothes bronchial passage, and alantolactone, an expectorant with antitussive action.

6. Lobelia

Did you know that horses given lobelia are able to breath more deeply? Its benefits are not limited to equestrians. Lobelia, by some accounts, is thought to be one of the most valuable herbal remedies in existence. Lobelia contains an alkaloid known as lobeline, which thins mucus, breaks up congestion. Additionally, lobelia stimulates the adrenal glands to release epinephrine, in effect, this relaxes the airways and allows for easier breathing. Also, because lobelia helps to relax smooth muscles, it is included in a many cough and cold remedies. Lobelia should be part of everyone’s respiratory support protocol!

7. Chaparral

Chaparral, a plant native to the southwest, has been appreciated by the Native Americans for lung detoxification and respiratory support. Chaparral contains powerful antioxidants that resist irritation and NDGA which is known to fight histamine response. Chaparral is also a herb that fights harmful organisms. The benefits of chaparral are most available in a tincture extraction but chaparral tea may support respiratory problems by encouraging an expectorant action to clear airways of mucus.

8. Peppermint

Peppermint and peppermint oil contain menthol — a soothing ingredient known to relax the smooth muscles of the respiratory tract and promote free breathing. Paired with the antihistamine effect of peppermint, menthol is a fantastic decongestant. Many people use therapeutic chest balms and other inhalants that contain menthol to help break up congestion. Additionally, peppermint is an antioxidant and fights harmful organisms.

9. Osha Root

Osha is a herb native to the Rocky Mountain area and has historically been used by the Native Americans for respiratory support. The roots of the plant contain camphor and other compounds which make it one of the best lung-support herbs in America. One of the main benefits of Osha root is that it helps increase circulation to the lungs, which makes it easier to take deep breaths. Also… when seasonal sensitivities flare up your sinuses, Osha root, which is not an actual antihistamine, does produce a similar effect and may help calm respiratory irritation.

Supplementing with Lung Support Herbs

All of the above herbs are available, in various forms, as nutritional supplements, and in tea blends. Additionally, many people grow herbs in their garden and simply consume them as food. That’s not a bad idea! If you grow them yourself, you can rest easy knowing the source is a good one. If not, it can be difficult to know if nutritional supplements use herbs that are organic, contain pesticides, ethically harvested, given clean water, etc. These are not factors for which you can or simply should assume the best – ask questions and verify that you’re getting the best product possible. To make it easy, I recommend Allertrex®, which contains all the herbs listed above except for oregano and Osha root – organic and wildcrafted – as well as lovage, bee balm, orange peel, menthol crystals, and nascent iodine.