The Damask Rose (Rosa damascena): Chemical Composition

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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Mahboubi, M. 2016. Rosa damascena as holy ancient herb with novel applications. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. 6(1): 10-16
Baydar, N. G. and Baydar, H. 2013. Phenolic compounds, antiradical activity and antioxidant capacity of oil-bearing rose (Rosa damascena Mill.) extracts. Industrial Crops and Products. 41: 375-380
Velioglu, Y., and Mazza, G. 1991. Characterization of flavonoids in petals of Rosa damascena by HPLC and spectral analysis. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 39(3): 463-467

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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