A rose is of the Rosa genus within the Rosaceae family. It is a woody plant native to Europe, North America and northwest Africa and has over one hundred species. The flowers can be yellow, white or red in color; they tend to be striking in appearance and large in size. These aromatic flowers have prickly thorns on their stems. China was known to cultivate roses over five thousand years ago.
In the Middle East, these roses were widely grown in the Roman period, and they served multi-purposes. Roses were used extensively as perfume, in celebrations as confetti, and to liven up gardens. Roses even had a place in herbal medicine and continue to be used similarly as ornaments, cosmetics and medicine.
Health Benefits of Rose
The seeds and petals are used to make medicine. Essential rose oil serves a role in improving overall mental health. It has properties that treat depression, fatigue and anxiety. Rose oil also works as an antiseptic and antibacterial, healing wounds and fighting infections. It improves the function of the liver, regulates hormone production, prevents clots, and improves nerve damage caused by age.
Cosmetically, rose water is great for skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce swelling and redness of skin, potentially caused by acne or eczema. Antioxidants and vitamin C keep the skin young and plump, while healing sun damage. Rosewater is also a natural astringent. Used as a toner, it tightens pores and hydrates skin.
How to Use Rose
Not only are roses beautiful flowers, but they are also quite useful as well. Whether you use rose oil, rosehip, or the whole flower, be sure you are using the right one. If you are opting for the actual flower, do not use just any garden variety (many are hybrids) and stick to the following types: R. canina, R. arkansana, R. laevigata, R. damascena, R. rugosa, or R. multiflora. If you opt for an oil, be sure you are using only the highest quality. Now that the specifics are out of the way, let’s explore some of the practical uses for and benefits of roses in their various forms.
- The seeds can be used as a diuretic and can help regulate digestion. You can steep the seeds and drink the tea.
- Dried rose petals can be made into an infusion to address headaches and aid in digestion.
- Inhaling the steam of a pot of water containing rose petals, lavender, and hops can help you fall asleep.
Rose Essential Oil
Rose essential oil should be applied externally. This aromatic oil can be used in therapeutic massages to treat symptoms of depression. At nighttime, you can also add a few drops in a diffuser by your bed. You’ll wake up pleasantly refreshed.
- Rose oil is also excellent for treating dry skin; apply a diluted form to the skin with a cotton swab.
- It makes for an excellent soothing massage oil that will induce relaxation and sleepiness.
- Add a couple of drops to your bath to fight depression, anxiety, and stress.
Rosewater can be splashed externally where as needed. You can also reap in the benefits of rose water by drinking it. Beverages with rose water incorporated are also sold commercially.
- Combined with witch hazel, rosewater makes for an excellent natural astringent and acne-fighting remedy.
- Add some rosewater to your room diffuser for internal benefits.
Make a Rose Tea
Make a tea out of the rose petals using fresh or dried petals (again be sure to only use the ones mentioned above). Use 1-2 teaspoons of dried petals for 1 cup of water and heat to just before boiling; steep for 2-3 minutes, then strain. For fresh rose petals, combine 2 cups of petals (cleaned and trimmed of the white portion) with 3 cups of water; heat the water to a gentle simmer for five minutes, strain, and then drink. You can add some honey for additional health benefits.
- Rose tea can help relieve menopausal symptoms, especially cramps.
- Rose tea is also rich in polyphenols and antioxidants which can help prevent heart disease and even cancer.
As you can see, the rose can be very flexible and used in various ways. In its various forms, rose can address headaches, skin problems, menstrual cramps, stress, sleeplessness, digestion, and more. Rose is also an excellent source of vitamin C, which supports your immune system and protects you from cold and flus. Look for rosewater in your grocery store or rosehip oil or pure rose organic oil in your local health food store.