The medicinal effects of the Damask rose relate to the chemical composition present in the petals, leaves and stems of the plant. These chemicals can be broadly split into the essential oil and the non-essential oil components. The essential oils is highly complex and varies depending on the growing conditions of the plant. It is thought that two of the main active components of the essential oil are citronellol and geraniol, both of which fall into the monoterpene classification of phytochemicals. A number of phenolic compounds are also present in the Damask rose and these include a number of flavonoids. One study found that fresh flower extracts contained quercetin whereas spent flower extracts also contain epicatechin. Leaf extracts were rich in phenolic acids, including caffeic, chlorogenic, p-coumaric, ferulic and gallic acids, and flavonoids including catechin and epicatechin. Petals are given their colour by the presence of anthocyanins, the most abundant of which is cyanidin 3,5-diglucoside.
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