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Rosa damascena is commonly known as the Damask rose. A rose is a perennial plant of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae. There are over 100 species. The Damask rose is a deciduous shrub growing to 2.2 meters tall, the stems densely armed with stout, curved prickles and stiff bristles. The leaves are pinnate, with five leaflets. The roses are a light to moderate pink to light red. The relatively small flowers grow in groups. It is considered an important type of old Rose.

Listing Details

Botanical Names
Rosa damascena
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Shatapatrika, Lakshapushpa Hindi : Gulab Marathi : Gulab Bengali : Golap Telugu : Pannir roja, Gulabi poowu Tamil : Pannirpu Kannada : Gulabihuvu
Chemical Constituents
Rose flower possesses different chemical constituents it includes vitamins, proteins, amino acids, and other bioactive components such as phenols, anthocyanins etc. Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, nicotinic acid, and folic acid. Proteins are also present in roses at about 35 percent, with a variety of high-protein substance (1). It also includes 21 kinds of amino acids, including the eight essential amino acids. It includes elements as potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, iodine, chromium, nickel, etc (2). A rose also contains bioactive components as phenols, tannins, flavonoids, and natural antibiotics. Phenolics present in roses include tannins, flavonols, anthocyanins, ellagitannins, quercetin, gallic acid, cynidin. All these phenols possess good antioxidant activity and exhibited strong radical scavenging effect (3). Rose damascena oil contains geraniol, citronellol, nerol, β-phenethyl alcohol, geranic acid, and eugenol, which together make up 55–75% of the oil, with citronellol up to 60%. These components are found in free and bound forms in ratios specific to individual species or cultivars. Other components present include terpene hydrocarbons, esters, C14 to C23 n-paraffins making up the stearoptenes, and nerol oxide. Where as rose hips or rose fruits are good source of phenolics and carotenoids (4).
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs, it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeia perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the active ingredient or marker substances. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract, irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herbs are to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E. coli which are causative agent for various gastrointestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersensitivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
Rose damascena possess antibacterial, tonic, antioxidant, antidiabetic and antidepressant activities (5). Rose damascena extract possesses antibacterial activity against fifteen species of harmful and pathogenic bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli etc (6). Rose damascena extracts can be used to treat many health problems. It enhances circulation, helps in treating heart problems such as arrhythmia, high blood pressure, and heart palpitations. Flavonoidds from the buds of Rosa damascena inhibit the activity of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme a reductase and angiotensin I-converting enzyme. Angiotensin, is a peptide, causes blood vessels to constrict, and drives blood pressure up. Thus rosa demascena and its flavovonoids are may be effective to improve cardiovascular system (7). It boosts the respiratory system by treating asthma, hay fever, fever, and cough. Essential oil from Rosa damascena is reported to have analgesic, hypnotic and antispasmodic effects. Rosa damascene has relaxant effect on tracheal smooth muscle and analgesic effect (8). It also helps in getting rid of nausea, treats liver congestion in the digestive system regulates and balances hormones, leucorrhoea, and other uterine disorders. Rose damascena is also beneficial in the treatment of dementia, a neurodegenerative disease which eventually leads to death. Extract of the Rosa damascena significantly induced the neurite outgrowth activity and inhibited the Aβ(25–35)-induced atrophy and cell death (9). This plant is also used as a gentle laxative.
Health Benefits
Aside from providing an aesthetic appeal, which contributes to the overall pleasure and feeling of well being, roses have a genuine practical use in our regimens of good health. Rose oil and rose water are derived from the flowers and rose hips have many valuable properties. Rosewater has been shown to be very valuable as an antiseptic in eye infections. The rose also offers a soothing property to the nerves and emotional /psychological state of mind. It is regarded as a mild sedative and anti-depressant. It is increasingly used in treatments for conditions of stress, nervous tension, peptic ulcers, and heart disease (10). There is indication that rose essence may also positively influence digestion, bile secretion, womb disorders and circulation. In addition, a tea made with rose petals often soothes a mild sore throat. Rose hips are an excellent source of vitamins A, B3, C, D and E. They also contain bioflavonoid, citric acid, flavonoids, fructose, malic acid, tannins and zinc (11). Taken in the form of tea they are good for infections, particularly bladder infections. Rose hip tea is also used in the treatment of diarrhea. It is an especially good source of vitamin C. Rosa damascena flowers also possess anti diabetic property. It has inhibitory effect on alpha glucosidase activity and postprandial hyperglycemia (12).
Application in Cosmetics
The use of the rose is far and varied. It has a long history of its use in folk remedies, especially in the area of skincare. It is suitable for all skin types, but it is especially valuable for dry, sensitive or aging skins. Rosa damascena is astringent and antibacterial in action thus it is effective for damaged or acne prone skin. It also contains high amount of antioxidants which acts as free radical scavengers. Thus it reduces wrinkles and prevents the skin from harmful free radicals. It has a tonic and astringent effect on the capillaries just below the skin surface, which makes it useful in diminishing the redness caused by enlarged capillaries. Certainly rosewater is very beneficial for skin. It is very soothing to irritated skin. It is also a tonic and antiseptic. It hydrates and moisturizes the skin, stimulates the skin to promote antiseptic action, repairs broken capillaries, boils, eczema, inflammation, redness, and other skin irritations, heals dry and mature skin (13).
Research References
1. Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Activity of the Extract and Essential oil of Rosa damascena from Iran, Population of Guilan Y. N., Masoomi F., Rohani Rankouhi S.E., Hadjiakhoondi A. 2009. 7(3) 2. Sezai E. Chemical composition of fruits in some rose (Rosa spp.) species Food Chemistry 2007. 104(4):1379-1384 3. Ali B., Attila A. Volatile oil composition of Turkish rose (Rosa damascena) Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 1994 64(4):441–448 4. Loghmani-Khouzani H., Sabzi Fini O. and Safari J. Essential Oil Composition of Rosa damascena Mill Cultivated in Central Iran. Scientia Iranica, 2007 14 (4): 316-319 5. Bahareh K. Seyed R.Tabaei-Aghdaei2, Mohammad M. Amir M. Aliashraf J.and Leila M. Seasonal changes in leaf and twig antioxidant systems in Damask rose (Rosa damascena Mill Journal of Medicinal Plants Research 2010. 4(23) : 2574-2583. 6. Seyhan U., Gülgün B. T. and Hale S. C. Tocopherol, Carotene, Phenolic Contents and Antibacterial Properties of Rose Essential Oil, Hydrosol and Absolute. Current Microbiology 59(5): 554-558 7. Kwon E. K., Lee D.Y., Lee H., Kim D.O., Baek N.I., Kim Y.E., and Kim H.Y. Flavonoids from the buds of Rosa damascena inhibit the activity of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme a reductase and angiotensin I-converting enzyme. J Agric Food Chem. 2010. 58(2): 882-886. 8. Boskabady M. H., Kiani S. and Rakhshandah H. Relaxant effects of Rosa damascena on guinea pig tracheal chains and its possible mechanism(s) Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2006 106 (3) :377-382 8. Gholamhoseinian A., Fallah H., Sharifi far F. Inhibitory effect of methanol extract of Rosa damascena Mill. flowers on alpha-glucosidase activity and postprandial hyperglycemia in normal and diabetic rats.. Phytomedicine. 2009. (10): 935-41. 9. Jafari M., Zarban A., Pham S., Wang T. Rosa damascena decreased mortality in adult Drosophila. J Med Food. 2008 11(1): 9-13. 11. Suresh A., Chihiro T., Yasuhiro T., Makoto M., and Shigetoshi K. Protective Effects of Rosa damascena and its Active Constituent on Ab (25–35)-induced Neuritic Atrophy eCAM 2009. 12. Basim E. and Basim H. Antibacterial activity of Rosa damascena essential oil Fitoterapia 2003 74(4): 394-396 13. Mohammad N.S., Hassan R. and Mohammad H.B. Antitussive Affect of Rosa damascena in Guinea pigs Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (2003) 2: 231-234