Rose Oil Matches PPI Efficacy Without the Safety Issues

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Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) afflicts over 20% of Americans, diminishing quality of life with burning pain, nausea and burping [1]. While antacids like omeprazole provide symptom relief, emerging research links this drug class to risks like hypomagnesemia, pneumonia, bone fractures and intestinal infections [4,5]

Seeking safer options beyond acid blockade, scientists recently put Persian folk medicine’s age-old rose oil remedy for digestive complaints to the clinical test against standard omeprazole therapy. In a 2021 head-to-head trial, Rosa damascena (rose) oil matched omeprazole’s effectiveness in alleviating GERD symptoms over 8 weeks - likely without the drug’s growing safety concerns [2].


Omeprazole Not as Benign as Once Believed


Initially approved for short-term use, omeprazole has served as a mainstay GERD therapy for over 20 years due to perceived favorable benefit-risk profile [6]. But evidence now links long-term use of this proton pump inhibitor (PPI) to increased chances of pneumonia, C. difficile infections, hypomagnesemia and bone fractures through over-suppression of gastric acid production [4,5]


While sometimes effective and convenient, omeprazole fails to address underlying drivers of reflux like tissue irritation and poor sphincter function. And inconveniently for athletes and others eying optimized nutrient status, omeprazole impairment vitamin B12, iron, calcium and magnesium absorption presents another strike against sole dependence on acid blockade [5,7].


Soothing Properties of Rose Oil Inside and Out



Beyond promising symptom relief, Rosa damascena oil possesses well documented anti-inflammatory and gastroprotective activities ideal for soothing irritated GI linings without hindering digestion [3]. This versatile plant compound also demonstrates antioxidant, antidepressant and anxiolytic effects in trials, even displaying anti-aging properties when applied topically [8]


Rather than blocking acid secretion through chemically interfering with essential physiological pathways, rose oil’s broad healing capacities stem from direct tissue stabilization and neural mood enhancement [8]. With over 1000 years of traditional Persian use for all digestive ailments and modern clinical evidence now backing safety and efficacy, Rosa damascena oil offers patients an effective natural option to manage reflux without drug-related risks.


For more research on the health benefits of rose oil and its various components, visit our database on that subject here.



Learn more about the dangers of Proton Pump Inhibitors here.



Learn more about natural approaches to Acid Reflux here.




  1. Peery AF, Dellon ES, Lund J, Crockett SD, McGowan CE, Bulsiewicz WJ, Gangarosa LM, Thiny MT, Stizenberg K, Morgan DR, Ringel Y, Kim HP, Dibonaventura MD, Carroll CF, Allen JK, Cook SF, Sandler RS, Kappelman MD, Shaheen NJ. Burden of Gastrointestinal Disease in the United States: 2012 update. Gastroenterology. 2012 Nov;143(5):1179-87.e1-3.
  2. Adel Mehraban MS, Shirzad M, Ahmadian-Attari MM, Shakeri R, Mohamad Taghizadeh Kashani L, Tabarrai M, Shirbeigi L. Effect of rose oil on Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in comparison with omeprazole: A double-blind controlled trial. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2021 May;43:101361.
  3. Bamosa AO. Randomized controlled trial of the effects of Rosa damascena aromatherapy on gastrointestinal complications in colorectal cancer patients. Complement Ther Med. 2020 Oct;53:102480.
  4. Filion KB, Chateau D, Targownik LE, et al. Proton pump inhibitors and the risk of hospitalisation for community-acquired pneumonia: replicated cohort studies with meta-analysis. Gut. 2014;63(4):552-558.
  5. Ito T, Jensen RT. Association of long-term proton pump inhibitor therapy with bone fractures and effects on absorption of calcium, vitamin B12, iron, and magnesium. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2010;12(6):448-457.
  6. Robinson M. Review article: optimizing therapy for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and the role of proton pump inhibitors. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2014;39(10):1153-64.
  7. Insogna KL. The effect of proton pump-inhibiting drugs on mineral metabolism. Am J Gastroenterol. 2009;104 Suppl 2:S2-4.
  8. Mazloomifar H, Saberi-Karimian M, Hosseinzadeh Colagar A. Damask Rose (Rosa damascena Mill.) Essential Oil, More than a Perfume Ingredient. Ijppr.Hum. 2016;6(3):386- 394.
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