Rose is the recognized queen of flowers all over the world. In Iran, from ancient times people used to treat this beautiful flower with special admiration and respect. Today we will tell you how Iranians produce rose water, how they use it in medecine, and will also share many useful properties that this flower miracle possesses.
Rosewater in Iran: Rosewater production
The production of rosewater in Iran has a long history of more than 2500 years. The ancient cities of Kashan and Qamsar are among the leading centers for the production of rosewater in Iran. In the region of Isfahan, many varieties of rosewood are grown. One of the most valuable varieties is the Damascus Rose, also known as Mohammadi Rose. The consumable part for the production of rosewater is the petals of the plant, and the active ingredients are tannin and various fatty acids.
Rose and Rosewater Festival takes place every year from the second half of May to mid-June in the towns of Kashan and Qamsar. The season for collecting roses and producing rosewater starts from early May to mid-June. In early May, the air is literally filled with the fragrance of roses. The ceremony of making rosewater in Kashan attracts many tourists from all over the world. Daily about tens of thousands of people travel to different villages to witness the traditional ceremony of rosewater making.
Rose water is obtained from very fragrant species. It is often used as a perfume. To date, modern mechanized plants have been built in Iran, but still a significant part of rosewater is produced in the traditional way. This is what attracts tourists to Kashan, whilst historical monuments and architecture add extra popularity to the festival.
The technology for producing rosewater and essential oil has remained almost unchanged for 2500 years of existence. All the magic begins with harvesting. The collection ceremony traditionally begins long before sunrise – to preserve the unique aroma of the flower.
Harvested flowers are placed in copper pots with added water and then sent to an oven made of brick and cement or stones and mud. Then a strong fire is kindled, and while water boils, rosewater steam is released with essential oils, which condenses and flows through aluminum pipes into a special container. The entire distillation process takes about 4 hours, and as a result they get 40 liters of rosewater out of 30 kg of flowers.
The Rosewater Festival in Kashan and Qamsar is filled with bright colors, traditional dances and music, fragrant flowers and real hospitality of local residents. Many families have their own manufacture in the form of a small distillation apparatus for producing rosewater. Locals are happy to share their secrets with tourists. Residents of the region are immensely proud of their production: rosewater is not only exported to various parts of the world, but each year is used to wash the holy Kaaba in Mecca which is the most sacred place for every Muslim in the world.
Rosewater in Iran: Rosewater Use in Medicine
In Iran, rosewater is considered to be a miracle of nature. Rosewater has several advantages for the treatment and prevention of many diseases. It is believed that Prophet Muhammad was very fond of using rosewater. For this reason, the rose is also known as the “flower of Muhammad.” In the Iranian traditional medicine since ancient times people have known about the healing properties of rosewater and oil. Rosewater is an excellent anti-stress drug; it can strengthen the nervous system and help in the fight against insomnia. Rose has anti-inflammatory properties. It is effective in the treatment of gastrointestinal tract diseases, as well as bleeding and inflammation of the oral cavity.
Rose water is widely used not only in medicine, but also in cosmetology. Since ancient times, Persian beauties used rose oil and essence for softening and moisturizing dry skin. Rosewater is capable of giving the skin freshness and silky smoothness.
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