According to legend, the Greek poet Sappho gave rose the name queen of flowers. Achilles Tatios from Alexandria said:
"If Zeus had wanted the flowers to have a queen, only the rose would have been considered worthy of this honor. She adorns the earth, is the pride of the plant kingdom, the crown jewel of the flowers, and the royal purple of wisemen, the mirror of beauty. Full of love she is Aphrodite's servant; with fragrant leaves shining brilliantly she sways above the foliage, bathing in the smiles of Zephyr."
This loving tribute to the rose has been repeated through the ages in poetry and song.
The rose has been a symbol for completeness. Aren't all rose parts formed to perfection? Rose roots are strong, leaves harmoniously arranged, flowers indescribably beautiful and filled with an exquisite fragrance. Even the little devils, thorns, that add challenge, menace, or spice to earthly things, are not missing. In the language of alchemists: the flowers are sulfur, the leaves and stems are mercury, and the roots are sal - all in harmonious relation to each other. This means a plant with an extraordinarily deep and harmonizing effect.
Rose has been assigned to the heart, and its balancing effect on the whole body is accomplished through that route. The essential oil of rose has a deep psychological effect. It balances things out of kilter, particularly problems related to the heart. Rose oil comforts in times of sorrow, dissolves psychological pain, refreshes a sad heart, and opens doors to love, friendship, and empathy.
People unable to come to terms with loos of a loved one may carry sadness in their heart for years. The grieving heart, unable to experience joy, cannot balance the body's energies. When the body (heart or mind) are out of balance, we become more vulnerable to illness. Essential rose oil may help gently dissolve blockages and feelings of disappointment or depression. The result is usually gentle balance, whether rose oil acts as a tonic or a relaxant. Rose works on all levels, beginning its influence with the physical body and penetrating to our innermost being. Indeed, rose may even appear to reveal sacred things.
Rose, on the one hand, has a fragrance of purity and innocence, but on the other, it is an aphrodisiac that stimulates sensuality. Historians report that during Rome's most decadent era huge quantities of rose petals were piled high in festive arenas, on streets, and in bedrooms.
Found in: Complete Aromatherapy Handbook