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High quality organic rose oil being developed in Valley of the Roses, Bulgaria
by Global Good News staff writer
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13 June 2014
Near the geographical centre of Bulgaria, nestled between two mountain ranges at an elevation of 300 - 700 metres (1,000 - 2,300 feet), lies the famed Valley of the Roses where the climate is ideal for oil-bearing plants, especially roses. Bulgaria's tradition of producing essential oils dates back to the 17th century, and has long been a source of national pride.
Eighty-five per cent of the world's rose oil comes from the region, because of the perfect climatic growing conditions.
A unique Bulgarian technology for rose cultivation, called kesme, in addition to being less labor intensive, produces superior roses while preserving the character and quality of the rose and the oil. The method has been successfully used, almost unchanged, for over three centuries. Today the Bulgarian oil-bearing rose is recognized to have different properties than roses cultivated elsewhere, and its oil is widely considered the finest in the world.
Dr Donka Hodjeva, director of the Transcendental Meditation programme in Bulgaria, and her husband Ivan, an engineer, have 20 hectares of roses in the valley in organic cultivation of Rosa alba, which grows very well there, said Dr Peter Warburton, an International Director of the Global Country of World Peace,* Netherlands, and administrator for several countries including Bulgaria. Alluding to research showing the immediate effect of smells in the brain (a property made use of in aromatherapy, using particular essential oils to support health and well-being), Dr Warburton commented that the scent of Rosa alba produces an extraordinarily soothing effect, along with great refinement and inner calm in the mind and emotions.
Mr Hodjeva is general manager of the farm, and has become an expert in the distillation process. In order to guarantee the purity of the entire process, he designed and has built the distillery they will use to produce rosewater and rose oil.
At just the right time local people are employed to pick the roses. Although there is a window of up to 12 hours, ideally the roses are picked and distilled within about two hours. Rapid processing is essential in order to preserve the balance in the aromatic oils.
This year Mr Hodjeva will distil 20 tonnes of petals in the large vats. Throughout the process he will take care of the numerous detailed procedures to purify and clean the vats, in order to maintain the high government-imposed requirements for the best-standard organic certification and purity.
One of the small towns in the Valley of the Roses is called Turiya. Dr Warburton also commented on this, because in the Vedic literature Turiya is defined as the fourth state of consciousness, transcendental consciousness—a state of complete inner silence and peace in mind and body. He suggested that perhaps it is not by accident the town bears this name, for there is an 'almost perfect overlap' between the ancient language of Bulgaria and the ancient Vedic Sanskrit language.
Near Turiya, where Maharishi Vedaroma rose oil is being developed, are fields where that specific variety of roses are growing that produce the highest quality of rose oil. In Maharishi Ayur-Veda** natural health care, rose oil is known to balance all the energies (Doshas) in the body, thus re-establishing calmness and peace—the qualities of Turiya—within.
* The Global Country of World Peace was founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as a consortium of educational organizations in more than 100 countries working to create a new era of peace, progress, and prosperity in our world family. It is a 'nation without borders', a home for peace-loving people everywhere.
** Ayurveda is the world's oldest, most comprehensive system of natural medicine, which originated in the Vedic civilization of ancient India and is officially recognized by the World Health Organization. Maharishi Ayur-Veda represents the modern restoration by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of the complete and authentic practice of Ayurveda as recorded in the Vedic texts.
See related article: Bulgaria: 'Valley of Roses' a beautiful setting for training Russian-speaking teachers of Transcendental Meditation
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