Rosa indica Linn

Rosa indica Linn.


Botanical Name:    Rosa indica Linn.Rosa indica Linn.

Synonym:               Rosa damascene Miller.

Family:                   Rosaceae

Kingdom:               Plantae

Order:                    Rosales

Genus:                   R osa

Sindhi Name:        Gulab jo gul

Species:                   R. indica

Local Name:          Gulab

English Name:       Rose

Part Used:              Flowers


R. indica is an erect shrub and armed with curved unequal prickles. Leaflets are usually 5 on flowering shoot and simply serrate. Flowers are large, beautiful, and showy with fragrance. Fruits are ovoid and red.1 Flowers are several, arranged in a corymb, and are double. Flowers are red, pink, or white. Fruits are ovoid, bristly, pulply, and bright red.2


R. indica is found in Middle East, Europe, Iran and Turkey.3 In Pakistan, it is cultivated in Sawat, Sindh, and Baluchistan.

Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases:

Acne and Pimples

  • Acne is treated by washing face with rose water twice a day for few weeks.
  • Acne and pimples are cured by application of mixture of wheat flour, few drops of lemon and rose water daily.

Athlete’s foot

  • Athlete’s foot is treated by applying a mixture containing half cup of rose water, one table spoon lemon juice and glycerin. This mixture is applied on affected feet at night and washed with luke warm water for at least a week.


  • Vitiligo is treated by applying the ground rose petals and marjan for at least a week in District Thatta.


R. indica comprises of essential oils, kaemferol, quercetin, and cyanide from the whole plant. Petals contain cyanidin 3, 5-diglucoside.1 Essential oil of rose contain citronell, nerol, geraniol, and phenylethanol. Rose flower contains a bitter principle, tanning material, and organic acids. Hips of flowers contain lycopene, β- and γ-carotene, rubixanthine, xanthophylls, and tetra xanthophyll.4 Main aliphatic hydrocarbons of the essential oil and rose water are heneicosane, nonadecane, tricosane, and pentacosane.7

Chemical Structures: 

Rosa indica Linn. st

Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/Scientific studies:

Flower buds are astringent, tonic, and aperients. Paste of R. indica with equal amount of sugar without adding water is called “Gulqand” is a useful laxative. It is considered as a tonic for removing the cephalic bile and cold.4 Rose flowers due to its aphrodisiac and antipyretic activities. It is used to treat leprosy, burning sensation, and bad odor from the mouth. In Unani medicine, it is described as cardiotonic, expectorant, stomachache, and dermatitis. Rose flowers, leaves the skin smooth, fresh, and full of life.

Floral extract of R. indica possessed potent antifungal activity.5 Ethanolic extract of leaves and petals of rose possessed antibacterial activity against three pathogenic bacterias E. coli, S. aureus, and P. aeruginosa.6


1-Shinwari, Z. K. (2006), “A Pictorial Guide to the Medicinal Plants of Pakistan”, 367, Kohat University of Science and Technology Publishers, Peshawar.

2- ‘Rose d’Inde’ now refers to Tagetes erecta, (1992), The African Marigold, (Huxley et al., iv.134).

3- Dhiman, A. K. (2006), Ayurvedic Drug Plants, p. 378, Daya Publishers, Delhi-110 035, India.

4- S. G. Joshi, (2000), Medicinal Plants, p. 337, Mohan Primlani Oxford & IBH Publishers Co. Pvt. Ltd.66 Janpath, New Delhi 110001, India.


6- Pandey. A.  IJPRD, (2011); Vol 3(12): February-2012 (39 – 47), R&D Division, MRD Life Sciences, Lucknow-226010, India.

7- Adams, R. P. (2007). Identification of Essential Oil Components by  Gas Chromatography/ Mass Spectrometry, Allured Publishers Corp, Carol Stream, Illinois, U. S. A.