Recently I came across a study published by biologists from three universities that disproved the theory that flowers developed their bright and vibrant appearance to attract the insects, birds and mammals needed for cross-pollination.
The study was published only 6 years ago, claiming that the striking red colour we see in nature actually deters herbivores because of the high levels of cyanide.
Cyanide is commonly employed by plants to deter herbivores, leaving the biologists to believe that bird-pollinated flowers have evolved as a response to herbivore attack.
Leading scientist in the study, Dr Mick Hanley, says “It seems that Western Australian plants have not only developed a remarkable defence against would-be flower predators, but that they also clearly advertise the fact.”
So what’s all this got to do with natural skincare?
Well, this study got me thinking about rose water and rose-infused food, particularly tea.
As humans, most of us are drawn to the allure of bright red roses, red lipstick, striking red dresses or red cars that drive faster! Red things must surely mean trouble ahead!
Cyanide poisoning at low doses can cause weakness, loss of consciousness, headaches, vertigo, confusion, and perceived difficulty breathing.
But before you panic, cyanide can also be found in some foods such as almonds, apricot kernel, apple seeds, orange seeds, cassava and bamboo shoots. Chronic levels of exposure over long periods may result in increased blood cyanide levels, which can result in weakness and other symptoms including hypothyroidism, mild kidney and liver damage, but Vitamin B12 may reduce these negative effects. Ergo, Vitamin B12 deficiencies may lead to negative effects following exposure.
In other words, low doses of exposure will likely not harm you unless you’re deficient in other vitamins and minerals. A typically healthy human will not suffer from cyanide poisoning after years of using rosewater toner!
Even if you’re not the epitome of health, I could not find any studies that point to there being any reason to concern yourself with regards to cyanide poisoning in rosewater and other natural skincare ingredients. The number of articles and studies citing the benefits of rosewater and rosehip seed oil outweigh any negative information about a trillion to one.
Cyanide is found in the seed of the rosehip. Rosewater and rose oil are made using rose petals. Cyanide like compounds in seeds of the rose family are destroyed by drying or heating, along with a lot of the high Vitamin C content, unfortunately. Cold-pressed rosehip seed oil retains the nutrient content. Rosehip seed oil has a high content of unsaturated, essential fatty acids. Its high absorbency makes it great for skin care, especially in the reduction of stretch marks, scarring, and hyperpigmentation.
And should there be any new research casting any doubt over the use of rosewater or rosehip oil in natural skincare products, rest assured I’ll be on the case!
As the saying goes, every day’s a school day on a farm! And when your farmer is your manufacturer and your retailer too, you can be assured as the customer that the information we learn as growers, producers and manufacturers has not been lost in translation through the food chain. It has not been covered up by salespeople from large corporations who’d rather keep their jobs and better their commissions than they would tell the truth. Because we look our customers in the eye every single day, and when we learn something new, we rejoice. We don’t bury it and hope that it disappears because that might mean we need to change something. We embrace learning, and we embrace change because we’re forever striving to improve our health by improving our products.
So stay tuned, because the team at Saarinen Organics have a passion for learning, and we want to share it with you. Just as soon as we get ourselves out of the garden and onto the computer!