Pharmacological Effects of Rosa Damascena

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Physiology, School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Research Centre, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of Horticulture, College of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


Rosa damascena mill L., known as Gole Mohammadi in Iran is one of the most important species of Rosaceae family flowers. R. damascena is an ornamental plant and beside perfuming effect, several pharmacological properties including anti-HIV, antibacterial, antioxidant, antitussive, hypnotic, antidiabetic, and relaxant effect on tracheal chains have been reported for this plant. This article is a comprehensive review on pharmacological effects of R. damascena.
Online literature searches were performed using Medline, Pubmed, Iran medex, Scopus, and Google Scholar websites backed to 1972 to identify researches about R. damascena. Searches also were done by going through the author's files and the bibliographies of all located papers.


1. Kaul VK, Singh V, Singh B. Damask rose and marigold:prospective industrial crops. J Med Aromat Plant Sci 2000; 22: 313-318.
2. Loghmani-Khouzani H, Sabzi-Fini O, Safari J. Essential oil composition of Rosa damascena Mill cultivated in central Iran. Scientia Iranica 2007; 14: 316-319.
3. Cai YZ, Xing J, Sun M, Zhan ZQ, Corke H. Phenolic antioxidants (hydrolyzable tannins, flavonols, and anthocyanins) identified by LC-ESI-MS and MALDI-QIT-TOF MS from Rosa chinensis flowers. J Agric Food Chem 2005; 53:9940-9948.
4. Nikbakht A, Kafi M, Mirmasoudi M, Babalar M. Micropropagation of Damask rose (Rosa damascena Mill.) cvs Azaran and Ghamsar. International J of Agriculture and Biology. 2004. 2005; 7(4):535-538.
5. Gudin S. Rose: genetics and breeding. Plant Breeding Reviews. 2000; 17:159-89. 
6. Jabbarzadeh Z, Khosh-Khui M. Factors affecting tissue culture of Damask rose (Rosa damascena Mill.). Sci Hortic 2005; 105:475-482.
7. Widrlechner MP. History and Utilization of Rosa damascene. Econ Bot 1981; 35:42-58.
8. Nikbakht A, Kafi M .A Study on the Relationships between Iranian People and Damask Rose (Rosa damascena) and its Therapeutic and Healing Properties. Acta Hort (ISHS) ? 2008; 790:251-254
9. Yassa N, Masoomi F, Rohani Rankouhi SE, Hadjiakhoondi A. Correspondence chemical composition and antioxidant activity of the extract and essential oil of Rosa damascena from Iran, Population of Guilan. Daru 2009; 17:175-180.
10. Kurkcuoglu M, Baser KHC. Studies on Turkish Rose Concrete, Absolute and Hydrosol. Chemistry of Natural Compounds 2003; 39:375-379.
11. Baydar H, Baydar NG. The effects of harvest date, fermentation duration and Tween 20 treatment on essential oil content and composition of industrial oil rose (Rosa damascena Mill.). Ind Crop Prod 2005; 21: 251-255.
12. Hongratanaworakit T. Relaxing effect of rose oil on humans. Nat Prod Commun 2009; 4: 291-296.
13. Libster M. Delmar’s Integrative Herb Guide for Nurses. Delmar Thamson Learning, Albany: 2002. p. 360-370.
14. Rechinger K. Flora Iranica. Graz, Austria, 1982.
15. Vetricka, V. Roses. London, England: R&B Press; 1997.
16. Zargari A. Medicinal plants. 5th ed. Tehran: Tehran University Press; 1992.
17. krussman G. The Complete Book of Roses. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press; 1981.
18. Chevallier A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. London UK: Dorling Kindersely; 1996.
19. Guenther E. The Essential Oils. Florida: Krieger Publishing Company Malabar; 1952.Vol.5, pp 506.
20. Rusanov K, Kovacheva N, Vosman B, Zhang L, Rajapakse S, Atanassov A, et al. Microsatellite analysis of Rosa damascena Mill. accessions reveals genetic similarity between genotypes used for rose oil production and old Damask rose varieties. Theor Appl Genet 2005; 111:804-809.
21. Tabaei-Aghdaei SR, Babaei A, Khosh-Khui M, Jaimand K, Rezaee MB ,Assareh MH, et al. Morphological MR oil content variations amongst Damask rose (Rosa damascena Mill.) landraces from different regions of Iran. Sci Hortic 2007; 113:44-48.
22. Wood G, Bache F. The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 4th ed. Philadelphia: Griggand Elliot; 1839.
23. Ave-Sina. Law in Medicine. Interpreter; Sharafkhandy A, Teheran: Ministry of Guidance publication; 1990.p. 129-131.
24. Buckle DR, Arch JRS, Boering NE, Foster KA, Taylor JF, Taylor SG, et al. Relaxation effect of potassium channel activators BRL 38227 and Pinacidil on guinea-pig and human airway smooth muscle, and blockade of their effects by Glibenclamide and BRL 31660. Pulm Pharmacol 1993; 6:77-86.
25. Momeni T, Shahrokhi N. Essential oils and their therapeutic actions. Tehran, Iran: Tehran University. Press; 1991. (in Persian)
26. Moein M, Karami F, Tavallali H, GhasemiY. Composition of the essential oil of rosa damascena Mill. From south of Iran. Iran J Pharmaceut Sci 2010; 6:59-62.
27. Oka N, Ikegami A, Ohki M, Sakata K, Yagi A, Watanabe N. Citronellyl disaccharide glycoside as an aroma precursor from rose flowers. Phytochemistry 1998; 47:1527-1529.
28. Knapp H, Straubinger M, Fornari S, Oka N, Watanabe N. (S)-3,7-Dimethyl-5-octene-1,7-diol and related oxygenated monoterpenoids from petals of Rosa damascena Mill. J Agri Food Chem 1998; 46:1966-1970.
29. Shieber A, Mihalev K, Berardini N, Mollov P, Carle R. Flavonol glycosides from distilled petals of Rosa damascena Mill. Z Naturforsch C 2005; 60:379-384.
30. Kumar N, Singh B, Kaul VK. Flavonoids from Rosa damascena Mill. Nat Prod Commun 2006; 1:623-626.
31. Green M. The Rose. Aromatic thymes; 1999. p. 11-15.
32. Buckle J. Clinical aromatherapy in nursing. Arnold, London; 1997.
33. Mahmood N, Piacente S, Pizza C, Burke A, Khan AL, Hay AJ. The anti-HIV activity and mechanisms of action of pure com-pounds isolated from Rosa damascena. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1996; 229:73-79.
34. Nyeem MAB, Alam MA, Awal MA, Mostofa M, Uddin M, Islam SJN, et al. CNS Depressant Effect of the Crude Ethanolic Extract of the Flowering Tops of Rosa Damascena. Iran J Pharm Res 2006; 5:171-174.
35. Ulusoy S, Bo§gelmez-Tinaz G, Segilmi§-Canbay H.Tocopherol, carotene, phenolic contents and antibacterial properties of rose essential oil, hydrosol and absolute. Curr Microbiol 2009; 59:554-558
36. Aydinli M, Tutas M. Production of rose absolute from rose concrete. Flavour Fragr J 2003; 18:32-35.
37. Leenen R, Roodenburg AJC, Tijburg LBM, Wiseman SA. A single dose of tea with or without milk increases plasma antioxidant activity in humans. Eur J Clin Nutr 2000; 54:87-92.
38. Ng TB, Liu F, Wang ZT. Antioxidative activity of natural products from plants. Life Sci 2000; 66:709-723.
39. Ren W, Qiao Z, Wang H, Zhu L, Zhang L. Flavonoids: promising anticancer agents. Med Res Rev 2003; 23:519-534.
40. Crespo ME, Galvez J, Cruz T, Ocete MA, Zarzuelo A. Anti-inflammatory activity of diosmin and hesperidin rat colitis induced by TNBS. Planta Med 1999; 65:651-653. 
41. Miyazawa M, Okuno Y, Nakamura SI, Kosaka H. Antimutagenic activity of flavonoids from Pogostemon cablin. J Agri Food Chem 2000; 48:642-647.
42. Butterweck V, Jurgenliemk G, Nahrstedt A, Winterhoff H. Flavonoids from Hypericum perforatum show antidepressant activity in the forced swimming test. Planta Med 2000; 66:3-6.
43. Rakhshandah H, Hosseini M, Dolati K. Hypnotic effect of Rosa damascena in Mice. Iran J Pharmac Res 2004; 3:181-185.
44. Rakhshandah H, Hosseini M. Potentiation of pentobarbital hypnosis by Rosa damascena in mice. Indian J Exp Biol 2006; 44:910-912.
45. Rakhshandah H, Shakeri MT and Ghasemzadeh MR. Comparative hypnotic effect of Rosa damascena /Tactions and Diazepam in Mice. Iran J Pharm Res 2007; 6:193-197.
46. Shafei MN, Rakhshandahb H, Boskabady MH. Antitussive effect of Rosa damascena in Guinea pigs. IJPR 2003; 2:231-234.
47. Rakotonirina VS, Bum EN, Rakotonirina A, Bopelet M. Sedative praperties of the decoction of the rhizome of Cyperus articulatus. Fitoterapia 2001; 72: 22-29.
48. Nogueira E, Vassilieff VS. Hypnotic, anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant effect of Rubus brasiliensis. Involvment of GABA (A)-system. J Ethnopharmacol 2000; 70:275-280
49. Rakhshandah H, Vahdati mashhadian N, Dolati K, Hosseini M. Antinoceptive effect of Rosa Damascena in mice. J Biol Sci 2008; 8:176-180.
50. Hajhashemi V, Ghannadi A, Hajiloo M. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of Rosa damascena hydroalcoholic extract and its essential oil in animal models. Iran J Pharm Res 2010; 9:163.
51. O'Neil M J, Smith A, Heckelman PE. The Merck index. Merck and Co. Inc, 13th ed. 2001, pp:1438.
52. Hacimuftuoglu A, Handy CR, Goettl VM, Lin CG, DaneS, Stephens RLJ. Antioxidants attenuate multiple phases of formalin-induced nociceptive response in mice. Behav Brain Res 2006; 173:211-216
53. Schiber A, Mihalev K, Berardini N, Mollov P, Carle R. Flavonol glycosides from distilled petals of Rosa amascene Mill. Z Naturforsch C 2005; 60:379-84
54. Heim KE, Tagliaferro AR, Bibilya DJ. Flavonoid antioxidants: chemistry, metabolism and structure-activity relationships. J Nutr Biochem 2002; 13:572-84
55. Awale1 S, Tohda C, Tezuka Y, Miyazaki M, Kadota S. Protective effects of Rosa damascena and its active constituent on Ab(25-35)-induced Neuritic Atrophy. eCAM 2009; 149:1-8.
56. Pike CJ, Walencewicz-Wasserman AJ, Kosmoski J, Cribbs DH, Glabe CG, Cotman CW. Structure-activity analyses of beta-amyloid peptides: contributions of the beta 25-35 region to aggregation and neurotoxicity. J Neurochem 1995; 64:253-265.
57. Yankner BA, Duffy LK, Kirschner DA. Neurotrophic and neurotoxic effects of amyloid beta protein: reversal by tachykinin neuropeptides. Science 1990; 250:279-282.
58. Tohda C, Matsumoto N, Zou K, Meselhy MR, Komatsu K. Ab (25-35)-induced memory impairment, axonal atrophy, and synaptic loss are ameliorated by M1, a metabolite of protopanaxadiol-type saponins. Neuropsychopharmacology 2004; 29:860-868.
59. Grace EA, Rabiner CA, Busciglio J. Characterization of neuronaldystrophy induced by fibrillar amyloid b: Implications for alzheimer’s disease. Neuroscience 2002; 114:265-73.
60. Tohda C, Tamura T, Komatsu K. Repair of amyloid beta (25-35)-induced memory impairment and synaptic loss by a kampo formula, zokumei-to. Brain Res 2003; 990:141-7.
61. Maurice T, Lockhart BP, Privat A. Amnesia induced in mice by centrally administered beta-amyloid peptides involves cholinergic dysfunction. Brain Res 1996; 706:181-93
62. Kheirabadi M, Moghimi A, Rakhshande H, Rassouli MB. Evaluation of the anticonvulsant activities of Rosa damascena on the PTZ induced seizures in wistar rats. J Biol Sci 2008; 8: 426-430.
63. Ramezani R, Moghimi A, Rakhshandeh H, Ejtehadi H, Kheirabadi M. The effect of Rosa damascena essential oil on the amygdala electrical kindling seizures in rat. Pak J Biol Sci 2008; 11:746-751.
64. Ashrafzadeh F, Rakhshandah H, Mahmoudi E. Rosa damascena oil: an adjunctive therapy for pediatric refractory seizer. Iranian journal of child neurology 2007; 1:13-17.
65. Wie MB,Won MH, Lee KH, shin JH ,Lee JC. Eugenol protects neuronal cells from excitotoxic and oxidative injury in primary cortical cultures. Neurosci Lett 1997; 225:93-98.
66. Boskabady MH, Kiani S, Rakhshandah H. Relaxant effects of Rosa damascena on guinea pig tracheal chains and its possible mechanism(s). J Ethnopharmacol 2006; 106:377-382.
67. Advenier C, Lagente V, Boichot E. The role of tachykinin receptor antagonists in the prevention of bronchial hyperresponsiveness, airway inflammation and cough. Eur Respir J 1997; 10:1892-1906.
68. Martin CAE, Naline E, Bakdach H, Advenier C. Beta3 adrenoceptor agonists, BRL 37344 and SR 58611 A do not induce relaxation of human, sheep and guinea-pig airway smooth muscle in vitro. Eur Respir J 1994; 7:1610-1615. 
69. Popa VT, Somani P, Simon P, Simon V. The effect of inhaled verapamil on resting bronchial tone and airway constriction by histamine and acetylcholine in normal and asthmatic subjects. Am Rev Respir Dis 1984; 130:106-113.
70. Rakhshandah H, Boskabady MH, Mossavi Z, Gholami M, Saberi Z. The Differences in the relaxant effects of different fractions of Rosa damascena on guinea pig tracheal smooth muscle. Iran J Basic Med Sci 2010; 13:126-132.
71. Boskabady MH, Vatanprast A, Parsee H, Ghasemzadeh M. Effect of aqueous-ethanolic extract from Rosa damascena on guinea pig isolated heart. Iran J Basic Med Sci 2011; 14:116-121.
72. Kwon EK, Lee DY, Lee H, Kim DO, Baek NI, Kim YE, et al. Flavonoids from the Buds of Rosa damascena inhibit the Activity of 3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A Reductase and Angiotensin I-Converting Enzyme. J Agric Food Chem 2010; 58:882-886.
73. Gholamhoseinian A, Fallah H, sharifi-far F, Mirtajaddini M. The inhibitory effect of some Iranian plantstracts on the alpha glucosidase. Iran J Basic Med Sci 2008; 11:1-9.
74. Gholamhoseinian A, Fallah H, Sharififar F. Inhibitory effect of methanol extract of Rosa damascena Mill. Flowers on a-glucosidase activity and postprandial hyperglycemia in normal and diabetic rats. Phytomedicine 2009; 16:935-941.
75. Basim E, Basim H. Antibacterial activity of Rosa damascenea essential oil. Fitoterapia 2003; 74: 394-396.
76. ozkan G, Sagdig O, Baydar N G, Baydar H. Antioxidant and antibacterial activities of Rosa Damascena flower extracts. Int J Food Sci Technol 2004; 10:277-281.
77.  Andogan BC, Baydar H, Kaya S, Demirci M, Ozba§ar D, Mumcu E. Antimicrobial activity and chemical composition of some essential oils. Arch Pharm Res 2008; 25:860-864.
78. Adwan G, Mhanna M. Synergistic effects of plant extracts and antibiotics on Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from clinical specimens. Middle East j sci res 2008; 3:134-139.
79. Lisin G, Safiyev S, Craker LE. Antimicrobial activity of some essential oils. Acta Horticulturae(ISHS) 1999; 501:283-288.
80. Gochev V, Wlcek K, Buchbauer G, Stoyanova A, Dobreva A, Schmidt E, et al. Comparative evaluation of antimicrobial activity and composition of rose oils from various geographic origins, in particular Bulgarian rose oil. Nat Prod Commun 2008; 3:1063-1068.
81. Etschmann MMW, Bluemke W, Sell D, Schrader J. Biotechnological production of 2-phenylethanol. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 2002; 59:1-8.
82. Pratt DE, Hudson JE. Natural antioxidants not exploited commercially. In: Hudson BJF. Editor. Food Antioxidants. Amsterdam UK: Elsevier; 1990.p.171-192.
83. Kumar N, Bhandari P, Bikram Singh A, Shamsher S, Bari B. Antioxidant activity and ultra-performance LC- electrospray ionization-quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry for phenolics-based fingerprinting of Rose species: Rosa damascena, Rosa bourboniana and Rosa brunonii. Food Chem Toxicol 2009; 47:361-367.
84. Shahriari S, Yasa N, Mohammadirad A, Khorasani R, Abdollahi M. In vitro antioxidant potential of Rosa damascene extract from guilan, Iran comparable to a-tocopherol. Int J Pharmacol 2007; 3:187-190.
85. Maleev A, Neshtev G, Stoianov S, Sheikov N. The ulcer protective and antiinflamatory effect of Bulgarian rose oil. Eksp Med Morfol 1972; 11:55-60.
86. Tannenbaum SR, Wishnok JS, Leaf CD. Inhibition of nitrosamine formation by ascorbic acid. Am J Clini Nutr 1991; 53:247S-250S.
87. Arezoomandan R, Kazerani HR, Behnam-Rasooli M. The Laxative and prokinetic effects of Rosa damascena mill in rats. Iran J Basic Med Sci 2011; 14:9-16.
88. Sengottuvelu S, Srinivasan D, Ramasamy S. The Effect of polyherbal formulation-PHF on experimentally induced reflux esophagitis in rats. J Pharm Res 2008; 1:11-15.
89. Jafari M, Zarban A, Pham S, Wang T. Rosa damascena decreased mortality in adult Drosophila. J Med Food 2008; 11:9-13.
90. Gholamhoseinian A, Shahouzehi B, Sharififar F. Inhibitory effect of some plant extract on pancreatic lipase. Int J Pharmacol 2010; 6:18-24.
91. Biswas NR, Gupta SK, Das GK, Kumar N, Mongre PK, Haldar D, et al. Evaluation of ophthacare® eye drops - a herbal formulation in the management of various ophthalmic disorders. Phytother Res 2001; 15:618-620.