Rosa × damascena Herrm

Last updated: 18 Aug 2016

Scientific Name

Rosa × damascena Herrm.  [1]


No documentation.

Vernacular Name

English Damask rose, Persian rose, summer Damask rose [2]
India Arakkuroja, arq gulab, ativitakikam, bussorah, civappuccirramarai, fasli gulab, golappu, gul, gulap phul, gulisurkh, gulqand gulab, irosa, kulapi, panniruppa, rajappu, roja mottu, ruh gulab, satapatri, sumana, suoritta, tarana, tarani [2]
Nepal Kadaorip (Lepcha) [2]
Arab Ward, ward djouri, zirr el-ward [2].

Geographical Distributions

Rosa x damascena grows from one to two metres tall. While it is cultivated throughout the world, its origins are thought to be in the Middle East. It was introduced to Europe from Asia around the 12th century and has been highly valued for its fragrance throughout history. These deciduous shrubs grow best in light, well-drained, fertile soil. The R. x damascena plant is revered as the "Flower of Prophet Mohammad" in Iran. [3]

Botanical Description

R. × damascene is a member of the Rosaceae family. [1]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

R. × damascena has been reported to contain terpenic alcohols (e.g. geraniol, citronellol, nerol), aromatic alcohols (e.g. phenyl-ethyl), sesquiterpenic alcohols (e.g. farnesol), terpenic esters, phenols, oxides, nitrogenized components, hydro carbide [4][5], β-Damascenone, β-ionone and β-damascone [6].

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

The essential oil of R. x damascena is used in the food and beverage industry to flavour baked goods, gelatin, candy and beverages. The high cost of producing the essential oil (2000 rose petals per drop of oil) limits its use in the fragrance industry to high end perfumes, where it is used regularly to alter or enhance the scent of a blend. Rose absolutes are more economical to produce and are used in high and medium priced fragrances. In therapeutic aromatherapy it is used both as single oil and in formulations, but its use is limited due to the expense. [7]

Preclinical Data


Antiseizure activity

An animal study illustrated that when injected with rose essential oil, amygdala electrical kindling-induced seizures were greatly hindered. This process was thought to occur via GABAA receptors in the rats. [8]

Antimicrobial activity

R. x damascene  oil demonstrated antimicrobial activity against Xanthomonas axonopodis spp. Vesicatoria [9] and against Staphylococcus aureus [10]. A separate study found that this oil demonstrated antibacterial activity against 15 strains of bacteria in a laboratory setting [11]. These findings have been supported in additional laboratory settings [12].

Antioxidant activity

Laboratory analysis has determined that the essential oil of R. x damascene has antioxidant activity and that the oil extracted from fresh flowers demonstrates stronger antioxidant activity than the oil extracted from spent flowers. [12]

Antianxiety and relaxant activity

R. x damascena showed antianxiety for prolong rose odour inhalation in two animal models and relaxant effects on guinea pig tracheal chains. [13][14]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

Anxiolytic or relaxant activity

Relaxant effects of rose essential oil were tested in a human placebo study against autonomic and emotional measures in forty healthy individuals. Blood pressure, breathing, and pulse rate among other parameters were assessed and recorded. After placebo or rose oil was applied transdermally, with olfactory stimulation blocked, arousal measures decreased and relaxation measures increased in the rose group as compared with the placebo group. [15]


No documentation.

Interaction & Depletion

No documentation.


No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Rosa × damascena Herrm. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2011 Oct 18; cited 2016 Aug 18]. Available from:
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume V R-Z. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 72.
  3. Nikbakht A, Kafi M. A study on the relationships between Iranian people and Damask rose (Rosa damascene) and its therapeutic and healing properties. Acta Hortic. 2008;790:251-254.
  4. Almasirad A, Amanzadeh Y, Taheri A, Iranshahi M. Composition of a historical rose oil sample (Rosa damascena Mill., Rosaceae). J Essent Oil Res. 2007;19(2):110-112.
  5. Bayrak A, Akgül A. Volatile oil composition of Turkish rose (Rosa damascena). J Food Sci Tech. 2006;64(4):441-448.
  6. Suzuki M, Matsumoto S, Mizoguchi M, Hirata S, Takagi K, Hashimoto I, Yamano Y, Ito M, Fleischmann P, Winterhalter P, Morita T, Watanabe N. Identification of (3S, 9R)- and (3S, 9S)-megastigma-6,7-dien-3,5,9-triol 9-O-beta-D-glucopyranosides as damascenone progenitors in the flowers of Rosa damascena Mill. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2002;66(12):2692-2697.
  7. Lis-Balchan M. Aromatherapy science: A guide for healthcare professionals. London: Pharmaceutical Press; 2006.
  8. Ramezani R, Moghimi A, Rakhshandeh H, Ejtehadi H, Kheirabadi M. The effect of Rosa damascena essential oil on the amygdala electrical kindling seizures in rat. Pak J Biol Sci. 2008;11(5):746-751.
  9. Basim E, Basim H. Antibacterial activity of Rosa damascena essential oil. Fitoterapia. 2003;74(4):394-396.
  10. Andogan BC, Baydar H, Kaya S, Demirci M, Ozbasar D, Mumcu E. Antimicrobial activity and chemical composition of some essential oils. J Arch Pharm Res. 2002;25(6):860-864.
  11. Ozkan G, Sagdic O, Baydar NG, Baydar H. Note: antioxidant and antibacterial activities of Rosa damascena flower extracts. Food Sci Technol Int. 2004;10(4):277-281.
  12. Lisin G, Safiyev S, Craker LE. Antimicrobial activity of some essential oils. Acta Hortic. 1999;501:283-288.
  13. Bradley BF, Starkeyb NJ, Brown SL, Lea RW. The effects of prolonged rose odor inhalation in two animal models of anxiety. Physiol Behav. 2007;92(5):931-938.
  14. Boskabady MH, Kiani S, Rakhshandah H. Relaxant effects of Rosa damascena on guinea pig tracheal chains and its possible mechanism(s). J Ethnopharmacol. 2006;106(3):377-382.
  15. Hongratanaworakit T. Relaxing effect of rose oil on humans. Nat Prod Commun. 2009;4(2):291-296.