Alleviate Pain and Improve Mood With Rosewood Essential Oil

You may have never heard of rosewood essential oil, but you should be using it if you have headaches, insomnia, combination skin or an insect bite.
Alleviate Pain and Improve Mood With Rosewood Essential Oil

Rosewood essential oil is a lesser known oil that offers a host of health benefits and features a delightful spicy, yet floral scent. This essential oil offers healthy benefits for your mind, body and soul. It can help alleviate mild headaches, boost memory recall and potentially prevent cancer.

Rosewood essential oil contains analgesic, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. The oil is extracted from Brazilian trees and used extensively in Ayurveda. Rosewood oil is used as a pain reliever, an all-natural insect repellent and sweet smelling deodorant without the negative side effects of harsh chemicals and prescription medications.

What Is Rosewood Essential Oil?

Rosewood essential oil is extracted from the wood of the rosewood tree, known scientifically as Aniba rosaeodora. This tree is often confused with true rosewood trees, which are part of the Dalbergia genus and are commonly used to make furniture and chopsticks. Rosewood oil is derived only from the rosaeodora variety. This tree is on the endangered species list, meaning production occurs only in small quantities, making this a prized oil that is also higher in price.

This evergreen tree produces essential oils that can improve mental acuity and fight off bacteria. Rosewood trees are commonly called ‘bois de rose’. They are distinguished by large purple fruits and can grow up to 30 meters in height. This versatile tree is native to Brazil and Peru and is part of the Lauraceae plant family, which includes other woodsy scents such as cinnamon and cassia.


Rosewood essential oil is derived using an extraction method known as steam distillation. Brazil is the leading country when it comes to production. The vast majority of rosewood essential oils on the market coming straight from this nation. The trees are chopped down and cut into 1-meter long logs. The logs are then stacked and stored along Amazonian rivers before they are transported to the factory. Logs are floated downstream to a distillery where the logs are chipped and steam distilled to extract the oils.


Rosewood oil emits an aroma that is both spicy and woody as well as sweet, fruity and floral. This oil features a middle fragrance note that is finished with a moderately powerful peppery aroma. The chemicals camphene and alpha-pinene result in rosewood oil’s strong scent. The floral aroma and the chemical compounds in this oil help to boost memory, stimulate biological processes throughout the body and heal cuts and scrapes.


Rosewood essential oil can be used on all skin types including dry and oily skin without any negative side effects. Other popular uses include aromatherapy where a few drops are added to a diffuser to initiate feelings of calm and relaxation. The main chemical components responsible for rosewood essential oil’s health benefits and fragrance are linalool oxide and alpha-terpineol.

Rosewood oil is a thin liquid that is light yellow in color and blends well with a variety of other essential oils. Rosewood essential oil pairs well with rosemary, ylang ylang, patchouli, bergamot and orange essential oils. Read on to learn about the beneficial health properties of this oil and how to use it properly.

Health Benefits of Rosewood Essential Oil

1. Alleviates Pain

Rosewood oil contains mild analgesic properties that can help to reduce pain symptoms caused by headaches, toothaches and achy muscles. This oil also contains anti-inflammatory properties that help to alleviate swelling that can cause pain and discomfort.

How to Use: Bath Oil and Hot Massage Oil

For pain caused by achy muscles, add 5 drops of rosewood essential oil to a warm bath. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can use rosewood oil in combination with massage oil and apply directly to sore muscles. Gently heat the oils and massage gently in a circular motion for best results.

2. Promotes Better Looking Skin

Rosewood essential oil contains antibacterial compounds such as alpha pinene that are great for use in skin care. Alpha pinene eliminates bacteria that can build up in pores leading to breakouts and acne. This oil also contains natural antioxidants that help to eliminate free radicals caused by diet, pollution and smoking. Scientists have connected free radicals to premature aging.

Rosewood oil also contains chemical components that feature tissue-regenerating properties. Chemical compounds including linalool, geraniol and limonene stimulate the production of new cells. These new cells regenerate skin tissue and result in more youthful looking skin. Dull and dry skin become a thing of the past as rosewood essential oil increases skin elasticity, moderates sebum production and reduces the look of wrinkles.

How to Use: Moisturizer

To reap these healthy skin effects, apply 1 to 2 drops of rosewood oil and carrier oil to your face and neck in the evening before bed. For dull or dry skin, add 5 drops of rosewood essential oil to a body moisturizer and apply liberally.

3. Soothes and Prevents Insect Bites

Rosewood essential oil contains antibacterial properties and antiseptic qualities that help to prevent bug bites and treat existing ones. The camphorous scent of this oil wards off a variety of insects including mosquitoes and ticks. Use rosewood oil to make your own insect repellent without harsh and potentially dangerous chemicals such as DEET.

Rosewood essential oil can alleviate itching if you do happen to get bit by a mosquito or another insect. It can also soothe pain at the bit mark while promoting faster healing.

How to Use: Insect Repellent and Itch Reliever

For insect repellant, simply combine a few potent essential oils together in a spray bottle. We recommend using a combination of geranium oil, rosewood oil, eucalyptus oil and lemongrass oil for insect repellent. Aim for 20 to 30 drops total of the essential oils for each 8 ounce spray bottle. Fill with distilled water and shake well before each use.

To relieve itching, simply add a few drops of rosewood essential oil and carrier oil to a cotton ball. Apply directly to the insect bite. Let sit for a few minutes or until the itching subsides.

4. Boosts Mental Acuity and Emotional Well-Being

Rosewood essential oil contains naturally calming properties that help to induce relaxation and reset emotions. These therapeutic properties make this essential oil particularly useful for aromatherapy and meditation. Rosewood essential oil contains the terpenoid known as eucalyptol or 1,8-cineole, which studies have shown increases cognitive performance. Both speed and accuracy of recollection are improved by eucalyptol. Rosewood essential oil is a good choice for test taking and improving mental acuity.

Rosewood essential oil is used in Ayurveda to treat symptoms of depression and uplift mood. Incorporating rosewood essential oil to your daily aromatherapy can help improve your mental state. In Ayurveda, rosewood essential oil is applied directly to chakra points such as temples.

How to Use: Aromatherapy and Topical Application

To boost mental acuity, place 1 to 2 drops of rosewood and carrier oil on skin beneath the nose or behind the ears. For best test taking results, apply to skin or inhale rosewood oil for 5 minutes just prior to the test or during the exam.

For better sleep or lifting your spirits, add a few drops of rosewood essential oil to a burner, diffuser or vaporizer before going to bed or doing meditation. Make sure to center your thoughts and breathe in the aromatic scent deeply to get the most out of this oil’s mood boosting properties.

5. Can Improve Sleep

While more research is needed, there is evidence that rosewood oil could potentially help people with sleep disorders get to bed faster and achieve a more restful night’s sleep. Rosewood oils feature naturally calming compounds that help to induce sleep faster.

An animal study published in the Journal of Enthnopharmacology examined the effects of rosewood essential oil on sleep quality. Rats fell asleep faster and spent more time in restful sleep stages when given 200 to 300 milligrams of rosewood essential oil. Scientists believe the linalool present in rosewood oil is responsible for these mild sedative effects.

How to Use: Aromatherapy

For these health benefits, add rosewood oil to your diffuser before bedtime.

6. May Prevent Cancer

While research is ongoing, rosewood essential oil may be able to prevent the growth of cancer cells. It may also be able to induce apoptosis, a cellular process that kills and eliminates cancer cells.

A study published in Mutation Research examined the effect of rosewood oil on skin cancer cells in the laboratory. Researchers found that rosewood oil caused the death of cancerous cells known as A431 and HaCaT that are present during the early stages of skin cancer. This potential cancer fighting activity may be beneficial in treating the early stages of skin cancer and melanoma.

7. Eliminates Odor

The antibacterial properties of rosewood essential oil make it particularly useful for eliminating odors. You can eliminate odors in your home and make an all natural room freshener by adding a few drops of rosewood to your diffuser. The antibacterial properties gently cleanse bacteria particles in air that cause offending odors. The sweet fragrant finish of this oil adds a pleasant scent to any room.

Rosewood oil can also be added to deodorant to help eliminate bacteria and keep you smelling fresh all day long. The floral, light fragrance doesn’t overwhelm, but is sure to fight bad odor.

How to Use: Deodorant and Air Freshener

To freshen the air in your home, add 3 to 5 drops of rosewood essential oil to your diffuser. Run the diffuser for at least 10 minutes.

To use rosewood essential oil as a deodorant, simply add 3 to 4 drops to your normal deodorant. Combine 2 drops of rosewood oil with 2 drops patchouli oil before adding to deodorant for a more potent odor-fighting deodorant.

Rosewood Essential Oil: rosewood stump

Side Effects of Rosewood Essential Oil

Rosewood oil is considered generally safe when used properly and in moderate amounts. There are no known side effects associated directly with this oil, but there are a few precautions to keep in mind.

If you have sensitive skin, start by using only small amounts of this oil to determine how your skin will react.  Some hypersensitive skin can develop redness or allergies that can result in skin rash when using rosewood oil. Always apply rosewood oil using carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your healthcare provider before adding essential oils to your daily routine.  Avoid use of rosewood oil on infants or small children, as their sensitive systems can trigger reactions not present in most adults.

Tips for Buying High Quality Oils

You should always purchase rosewood essential oils that indicate the type of plant used in production, the method in which it was extracted and from what region it was derived. Trees known as Indian rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia) and Brazilian rosewood (Dalbergia nigra), are not used to make rosewood oil and have caused confusion in the marketplace. Always look for the scientific name, Aniba rosaeodora when purchasing your rosewood essential oil.

Make sure to buy therapeutic grade essential oils for the best health benefits and especially for use in aromatherapy to avoid respiratory reactions. Any reputable brand will prominently display the quality checks and controls used to test their oils.

The rosewood tree is listed as an endangered species so forests are protected and production is limited. In response, many manufacturers began to include synthetic ingredients including synthetic linalool in place of true rosewood oil, resulting in lower quality essential oils. Always look for 100% pure rosewood essential oil to avoid chemical additives that may induce negative side effects and provide fewer health benefits.

Uplift Your Mood and Treat Minor Ailments With Rosewood Essential Oil

Rosewood oil is here to help whether you’re looking to treat itchy bug bites or boost mood and memory recall. Add to a diffuser to get to sleep faster and improve your mood after a long day at the office. Clear up your skin and put your best face forward by applying rosewood essential oil topically as a cleanser. Combine with complementary floral and citrusy fragrances to maximize the health benefits and enjoy this woodsy scented oil straight from Brazil.

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