Roses come in countless varieties. All are edible but the wild varieties are preferred for use in herbal medicine.
The best roses for medicinal use are fragrant & deep red or cabbage roses.
Rose petals & to a greater extent rose hips, are known to be high in vitamin C & also contain vitamins A, B-3, D & E, as well as bioflavonoids, minerals, plus malic & citric acid.
Rose can be used as a medicine to clear toxins & heat from the body & relieve fluid retention or congestion.
Rose creates “movement” in the body, so it can be used to help relieve heavy menstrual periods caused by uterine congestion & as a part of a diuretic or gentle laxative formula.
Rose medicine is also known to support the liver & gall bladder because it promotes bile flow, which contributes to better elimination.
Rich in vitamins, rose medicine stimulates the immune system, helps fight infections, soothes mucous membranes & can help to relieve colds & influenza.
The herb is used to stimulate the liver, increase the appetite & improve the circulation.
Romans used wild rose for treating rabies.
It is a plant used to cool conditions involving heat from any part of the body both internally & externally, whether the heat arises from infection e.g. tuberculosis, vaginal yeast infections, insect bites or an auto-immune inflammation such as arthritis.
It is also astringent & has been used for such things as dysentery & excessive nose bleed.
The Chinese use the flowers as a qi or energy stimulant & blood tonic to relieve stagnant liver energies.
They are also used for digestive irregularities or with motherwort for heavy menstruation.
The scent of roses helps balance hormones & soothes anxiety that may cause frigidity or impotence.
Roman wedding couples were covered with rose petals. They were used for strewing & to decorate wine at feasts & garlands of rose petals were worn by guests to prevent drunkenness.
Rosewater ointment is good for chapped skin & abrasions.
Rose bark & rose petals make an astringent skin care wash that can help cleanse wounds & stop bleeding.
Rosewater can be used on its own as a facial toner & forms the basis for rose cold creams & facial lotions.
Rose water can be used as an eyewash & as a mouthwash.
It can also be used to treat acne & irritated skin.
Rose petal herbal tea is given for mastitis & breast pain, menstrual problems & to soothe a restless fetus.
It strengthens the immune system & can help prevent colds & flu due to a high vitamin C content.
Rose petals are made into tea for the treatment of stress, depression, sinus congestion, digestive ailments, nausea, vomiting, constipation, sore throats, coughs, swollen eyes, puffiness, broken capillaries, insomnia, PMS, menopausal symptoms, reduced libido & eating disorders.
Herbal tea made from petals relieves dry mouth.
A nourishing herbal tea for the heart & circulatory system can be made by blending petals with lemon balm & oatstraw.
Petals & leaves brewed as a tea can bring down a fever.
Petal & leaf tea has a cleansing effect, working as a diuretic to flush toxins from the body.
Drinking rose petal tea can help alleviate skin rashes.
Rose teas can relieve bronchial & chest congestion, provide relief from a sore throat & can help with a runny nose.
Infusion is used on inflammations & for wound poultices.
It can also be used to wash surgical incisions or in compresses.
Infusions of dried rose petals are used for headaches & taken after meals to aid digestion.
Compresses soaked in infusions of the dried flowers make a good anti-inflammatory remedy for the eyes or any other inflamed area of the body & applied cool for headaches.
Gargles made from petal infusions, used alone or combined with sage, are used for sore throats.
Dried petals are infused to treat dizziness & when combined with honey the infusion is used as a blood purifier & nerve & heart tonic.
Rose oil is used externally to help regenerate skin, to promote feelings of well-being & to purify the system.
The scent of rose oil is very soothing for the nervous system.
It is a gentle sedative & can help stop panic attacks.
Rose oil is good when combined with lavender essential oil. Use this combination to rub into the lymph nodes for detoxification & revitalization.
When used in a gentle massage, rose oil can help heal broken capillaries & stimulate circulation.
Infused oil can be used in massage to ease pain, soothe nerves & relieve stress.
A few drops of essential oil can be added to bathwater for depression, grief, or insomnia.
A decoction of rose petals helps to treat mouth sores while a decoction made with wine helps to rejuvenate a tired body, ease uterine cramps & as a mouthwash helps to relieve toothache.
Steam inhalation of a decoction of rose petals, mint & cloves help induce sleep.
Flower decoctions are taken with motherwort for heavy menstruation or combined with Chinese herbs for liver dysfunctions.
A cold compress made from the wine decoction & placed on the forehead will relieve headache & a a few drops of the warmed decoction in the ear will help with earache.
Tinctures from the petals are used for diarrhea or sluggish digestion.
A tincture made from roses is also said to be very helpful for mild depression.
Rose honey is an ancient remedy for sore throat & an old remedy for headache is cloths soaked in rose vinegar & placed on the forehead.
Besides the high vitamin C content, rose hips contain vitamins A, B3, D & E. Hips are a source of bioflavonoids, flavonoids, fructose, citric acid & zinc.
Rose hips also contain pectin.
The dried hips of the wild rose are especially high in vitamin C, having three times that of citrus fruits & have long been used to prevent scurvy.
Harvest rose hips soon after the first frost. The nutrient content is highest at this time.
Hips are used in cooking, where they add flavor as well as nutrition.
The bioflavonoids in rose hips have been shown to provide pain relief for people who have osteoarthritis.
Studies in Denmark indicated a decrease in patients' need for other anti-inflammatory drugs when they took powdered rose hips over a 3-4 month period.
Rose hips make delicious tea with a naturally sweet, citrusy flavor.
Rose hip tincture is an effective astringent for treating diarrhea or in relieving colic.
Rose hip syrup is used as a cough remedy or taken as a source of vitamin C. Rose hip decoction is taken with other herbs to treat chronic diarrhea associated with stomach weaknesses.
When taken in normal amounts, there are no side effects from rose hips.
Roses can be made into jams, jellies & syrups.
Rose honey or syrup can be added to vanilla, ginger & cinnamon to make a very nourishing general tonic that is stimulating, energizing & considered an aphrodisiac.
Rose tea: boil 1 cup of water & pour over 2-4 tsp of rose petals.
Steep for 5 - 10 minutes.
Add honey as a sweetener & drink while still warm.
The tea can be taken as a drink, used as a gargle, or applied as a wash.
Do not use or eat flowers from florists, nurseries, or garden centers. In many cases these flowers have been treated with pesticides not labeled for food crops. The tastiest roses are usually the most fragrant.
This tea an also be used as an eyewash or mouthwash.
Rose Hip Tea :
Use a teaspoon of hips to each cup of boiling hot water, infuse for 10 - 15 minutes.
Strain & serve.
Enjoy 2 - 3 cups daily if you need to increase your Vitamin C levels.
Rose hips have a tart, tangy flavor that can be enjoyed alone or used in blends.
Tastes great iced.
Rose Petal Jam:
1 cup pink or red or white rose petals.
2 cups sugar
4 1/2 cups water
Juice of 2 lemons
The color of the petals will be the color of the jam.
Some rose varieties are tastier than others.
Wash them & then cut off the white bottom of each petal.
Place the rose petals into a bowl & sprinkle the sugar over them to make sure that each petal is coated. Bruise them well with your fingers & cover the bowl with plastic film.
Allow it to remain overnight in a refrigerator.
Get a saucepan & pour in the remaining sugar, water & lemon juice.
Dissolve contents over a low heat.
Stir the rose petals into the mixture & allow to simmer 20 minutes.
Bring to a boil & continue to boil for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens.
Pour it into a clean, warmed jar & cover.
Store it in a cool place.
Rose honey can be made by pounding the fresh petals & boiling them with honey.
Rose honey is good for coughs & sore throats.
Steep the petals in the vinegar for several days, do not boil.
Apply a cloth with the vinegar to the forehead.
Rose vinegar is good for headaches caused by being out in the sun too long.
Gather enough rose petals & some rose leaves if they are scented to half fill a 500 ml glass jar.
Pour in 1 cup of honey & mix well.
Fill the jar to the top with brandy, mix again with a chopstick to remove air bubbles, refill with brandy & seal with a screw top lid.
Leave in a cool, dark place for 4-6 weeks, shaking occasionally.
Dose is 1 tsp every half hour in the first instance.
This preparation can be used in any situation where cooling is needed, from sore throats, lung congestion to a general feeling of over-heatedness with anxiety.
Nettle & Rose Syrup:
500 ml young nettle tops
250-500 ml rose petals
500 g sugar
750 ml water
Place nettles in a plastic or glass bowl & cover with cold water & leave overnight.
Reduce the strained nettle water by one third by boiling, then add sugar.
Add the rose petals.
Bring to the boil, stirring continuously until the sugar is all dissolved.
Simmer for 15 minutes.
Strain & then simmer until the liquid is reduced to a syrup-like consistency.
Pour into hot, sterile bottles.
Use by dissolving 1 tsp of syrup in 1 tbsp of boiling water in a glass.
It can be used as a winter tonic & pick me up.
Rose Petal Syrup:
4 cups rose petals, with the white ends removed
3 cups sugar
1 cup water
juice of 1 lemon
Place lemon juice, sugar & water together in a saucepan.
Bring to the boil, stirring as it heats to dissolve the sugar before it begins to boil. Simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes to make a syrup.
Remove from the heat & cool.
Add the petals to the syrup & leave for at least 5-6 hours or preferably overnight.
Return to the stove & bring quickly to the boil.
Simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat & either strain the liquid through a sieve into warmed sterilized jars or bottles, or leave the petals in the syrup & bottle.
Seal when completely cold & store in the refrigerator.
Tinctures can be created using vodka or grain alcohol, Brandy makes a lovely choice for rose petal tincture.
Gather enough fresh rose petals to fill a 500 ml glass jar.
Fill the jar with the rose petals, but don’t over stuff.
Fill the jar to the very top with alcohol.
Cap with a tight-fitting lid.
Place the jar into a cool cupboard.
Shake at least once a day.
The rose tincture will be ready to use in 4 weeks.
At this point, strain the mixture through a sieve or use cheese cloth & store in dark place.
A tincture can be taken 2 - 3 times per day in a dose of 3 - 4 tsp.
A tincture is used for weak stomach & for hemorrhaging.
Rose Hips & Ginger Tonic:
2 tbsp rose hips
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
Combine herbs with 1 l cold water, bring a slow boil & simmer for 20 minutes. Good hot or cold.
Rose hips are one of the best sources of vitamin C that is readily available to the body.
Ginger adds a nicely hot bite.
Use this tea a a cold immune system, or anytime as a all around healthy tonic.
High cholesterol is directly linked to diet & lifestyle & as such, using herbs as medicinal foods should be a first line defense & treatment.
Tonic herbs help to ward off colds & infections by boosting the immune system.
For longevity can be taken in small amounts over a long period of time & are not meant to "alter" or effect any one symptom of disease.
Infused rose hips produce a tart, slightly acidic-tasting tea or tisane.
Compresses made using rose hip infusion can soothe a throbbing headache & ease the pain of a sore ankle, knee or wrist.
Diluted, rose hip infusion can be used as a gentle eyewash.
Infusion:1 cup boiling water + 1 tbsp rose hips.
Pour boiling water over the rose hips.
Allow to steep for 12-15 minutes.
Rose Hip Ice Tea:
1 part rose hips
1 part hibiscus flowers
1 part lemon balm leaves
¼ part orange peel
Place 3 - 4 tbsp of the above mixture into a tea pot.
Add 1 l freshly boiled water.
Allow to steep 12-15 minutes.
Refrigerate &/or add ice cubes.
1 part rose hips
1 part hibiscus flowers
1 part chamomile flowers
1 part lemon balm leaves
½ part catnip leaves
½ part milky oat tops
½ part spearmint leaves
½ part orange peel
Combine ingredients well.
Store in a cool, dark cupboard.
To make 1 litre of this tea, place 3 - 4 tbsp of the mixture into a tea pot.
Add freshly boiled water.
Allow to steep 12 - 15 minutes.
Suitable for children.
Rose Petal Wine Recipe:
3 l rose petals
1,350 g sugar
Wine yeast & nutrient
1 l water
Pour boiling water over the rose petals,cover & leave for 48 hours.
Strain through a fine sieve.
Add the sugar,dissolve well.
Add the lemon juice & yeast.
Pour into a demijohn,fit an airlock & leave to ferment.
When fermentation has ceased, rack the wine into a clean jar.
Place in a cooler environment & leave for a further few months.
Rack again if necessary & leave until the wine is clear & stable.
Rosewater combined with equal amounts of witch hazel is used as a moisturizing lotion for skin prone to pimples or acne.
Splash it on after cleansing the face for a refreshing toner.
It is good for aging skin.
Petals or essential oil can be added to the bath for a luxurious, relaxing experience.
Mixing petals with sea salt, Epsom salts & lavender makes a soothing foot bath.
1 cup of packed rose petals
2 cups of boiling water
Place rose petals in a large bowl & pour in 2 cups of boiling water.
Cover the bowl & let it sit for at least an hour or until the liquid is cool.
Strain & squeeze the liquid from the petals into a sterilized jar or spray bottle. Refrigerate the rose water & use when it's completely chilled.
This is a great refreshing & cooling spray to use on your face & body during hot summer days.
1 cup of rose water
6 drops of glycerin
3/4 cup of witch hazel
Mix all the ingredients together & pour the toner into a sterilized bottle.
You can use the rose water as a toner but the addition of glycerin & witch hazel in this recipe helps make it astringent & hydrating.
If you have oily skin, use less glycerin & if you have dry skin, use more.
To use, moisten a cotton pad or ball with the rose toner & swipe all over your face after cleansing but before moisturizing.
Facial Steam for Dry to Normal Skin:
3 parts comfrey leaf
2 parts calendula
2 parts chamomile
2 parts roses
1 part lavender
Facial Steam for Normal to Oily Skin:
3 parts comfrey leaf
2 parts calendula
1 part raspberry leaf
1 part sage
1/4 part rosemary
Combine the herbs, adjusting the amounts to suit your skin type.
Store in an airtight glass bottle.
To perform a facial steam, bring 2 - 3 l of water to a boil in a large pot.
Toss in a healthy handful of herbs, cover & let simmer for a couple of minutes. Then remove the pot from the heat & place it on a heatproof surface at a level that will enable you to comfortably sit a& place your face over the pot.
Leaning over the pot, drape a large, thick towel over your head & the pot, capturing the steaming herb water.
Steam for 5 - 8 minutes.
6 parts lemon balm
4 parts chamomile
4 parts roses
3 parts calendula
3 parts comfrey leaf
1 part lemon peel
1 part rosemary
1 part sage
Apple cider- or wine vinegar
Place the herbs in a widemouthed jar.
Fill the jar with enough vinegar that it rises ca 5 cm above the herb mixture. Cover tightly & let it sit in a warm spot for 2 - 3 weeks.
Strain out the herbs.
To each cup of herbal vinegar, add 1 cup of rose water.
This product does not need to be refrigerated & will keep indefinitely.
It is an excellent astringent for the face & a great rinse for dark hair.
Rose Petal Vinegar Bath:
2 cups rose petals
1 l apple cider vinegar
Spread rose petals on paper towels & let dry overnight.
Bring vinegar to boil on medium heat in saucepan.
Place rose petals in wide mouth mason jar.
Pour vinegar over rose petals.
Cap jar with a non metal lid & let sit for 2 weeks.
Strain & place in sterilized mason jar bottle with a plastic lid.
Use 2 cups in a bath.
Soak for 10 - 20 minutes.
Relaxing Eye Compress:
2 organic green tea/chamomile bags OR alternatively 30 ml rose water
125 ml boiled water
Steep tea bags in boiled water.
Allow to cool.
Soak 2 cotton pads in the tea/rose water squeezing out the excess water.
Place the cotton pads over closed eyelids & relax for 10 minutes
Rose Milk Bath:
3/4 cup milk powder
1/8 cup ground oatmeal flakes
1/8 cup of baking soda
1 tbsp dried rose petals
Mix the milk, oatmeal & baking soda together in a bowl.
Place it in a decorative container & then add dried rose petals on top.
Add half the mixture to your bath.
For easy clean up, you may add the mixture to a muslin spice bag, which is available at most natural grocery stores, or an old nylon tied at one end.
Fresh, fragrant roses make an indulgent bath.
Makes enough for two baths.
1 tbsp of dried rose petals
1 cup of white wine vinegar
1/2 cup of rosewater
Mix together the rose petals & vinegar & let the mixture sit for 2 weeks.
Strain & stir in the rosewater.
Pour into a spray bottle & mist your face or spray on a clean cotton ball & swipe over your skin after cleansing.
This is a natural astringent & works beautifully at removing oil & dirt from skin.
The sweet smell & soft petals of rose attract fairies to your garden.
The early Greeks linked the rose to love, beauty, purity & passion.
In Roman mythology, roses can also represent pain, suffering & death.
These less romantic representations reappear in European & Near Eastern folklore as a result of Rome’s expanding empire & influence over its populace. Throughout ancient Christendom, the red rose is often used to symbolize the blood & agony of the crucifixion of Jesus; the five petals, representing his five wounds.
In England, the rosarian prunes red roses carefully; for if the petals fall from a red rose as it is being cut, bad luck will follow.
In Italy, fully open roses are not given as a gift because death will befall a relative of the recipient.
Roses are of special importance on Midsummer's Eve. It is said that any rose picked on Midsummer's Eve, or Midsummer's Day will keep fresh until Christmas.
At midnight on Midsummer's Eve, young girls should scatter rose petals before them & say:
Rose leaves, rose leaves,
Rose leaves I strew.
He that will love me
Come after me now.
Then the next day, Midsummer's Day, their true love will visit them.
Rosewater is a protective agent worn on clothes.
Rose petals can be added to charms against the evil eye.
White roses worn at weddings will bring happiness & security to the couple.
Roses are used traditionally in love spells.
Rose water distilled from the petals is added to love baths.
Rose hips are strung & worn as love attracting beads.
A tea of rosebuds drunk before sleep induces prophetic dreams.
Rose petals & hips are also used in healing spells & mixtures.
Roses are also added to fast-luck mixtures & when carried, act as personal protectants.
Rose petals sprinkled around the house calm personal stress & household upheavals.
Rose planted in the garden attract fairies & are said to grow best when stolen.
In some folklore, the rose hips were aid to be quite useful in calling good spirits & bringing good luck.
In Greece, divination by observing the leaves & petals of roses (phyllorhodomancy) was a popular method of foretelling future events.
A rose petal with a concave form would first be selected, a yes-or-no question asked & then a state of meditation entered into. Afterwards, the diviner would place the rose petal in the palm of his or her right hand & then firmly clap both hands together one time.
If the petal burst, this indicated an affirmative answer.
But if it failed to burst, this was interpreted as a negative reply.
Forecasting the future or gaining answers to questions by interpreting the various sounds produced by the rose petal during the clapping of one’s hands is but one of the many variations of phyllorhodomancy.