Sensual, alluring, soft, strong, enticing Rose is linked with love, forgiveness, sex and femininity.
I love Rose but in the past I had discarded it thinking it belonged in stuffy gardens that I couldn’t crawl around in, I preferred the nettles and the mugwort, the dandelions and the plantain. But over the years I have realised that Rose is much more than an ornamental flower crammed into paved pathways to be looked at and never touched. Rose is a deep healer and a wonderful food, her medicine is strong, potent and deeply moving, healing on the physical, emotional, spiritual and energetic levels.
The medicine of Rose was first brought to me by my Granny Mary. I always remember filling my grannies well used magical kitchen with the sweet scent of pink, yellow, rich red, white and peachy rose petals. We would go out and find roses; wild ones and gardened ones and infuse them in water, the petals turning from velvety, crisp, cool, bright petals to soft and fleshy. We would then bottle it drinking in the smell as the cool calm liquid filled its vessel. There was a lovely gentle scent and a soft soothing feeling to the water that I would use as perfume or a hair and face wash.
There are many many different varieties of Rose and every kind holds some deep medicine and therapeutic value. The stronger scented roses usually work best and the Roses you use can be from the rose growing in a garden, an old style rose to the beautiful wild rose making sure that they are grown organically or not near areas where chemical spraying happens. I personally love to use the wilder Roses but I do also use others as I love getting lost in the soft folds of the velvety petals. I feel deeply suspicious of the ones with their thorns bred and wont use them as this to me is changing the personality of the rose and making her more easy and more asleep, I like my roses to be beautiful, wild and fierce teaching those who go near her that beauty and softness can be held alongside fierceness and boundaries.
All of Rose can be used as food and medicine including the leaves, petals, hips, roots, thorns and root bark.
As medicine –
Beautiful heart opening Rose is an awe inspiring beauty who is a tender hearted medicine woman that soothes and calms the nerves and whispers soft and safe feelings in your heart touching your soul with fingers that are cooling and soft. You only have to deeply inhale the scent from the soft velvety folds of the flower to feel its affects on the body.
The rose has not been given as a sign of love and romantic interest for all these years by mistake, Rose works directly on the heart especially at times of anxiety, being soothing, opening and gentle, helping to bring about a sense of ease when times are difficult. It is a cooling nervine (used to calm the nerves) being used for depression, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, broken heartedness and grief.
Rose is a blood mover working directly with the reproductive system and a great mover of stagnant energy that can end up in absent periods/bleeds, water retention, cysts and mood swings. Used as an aphrodisiac for many many years, moving and stirring up both blood and sexual desire as well as opening up the heart, because of this it has been used for centuries to treat impotence and non desire.
When pain in the heart becomes too much of a burden Rose can be a wonderful soothing ally to lift the heart and help with grief. Making an elixir of Rose petals with raw honey or glycerine and alcohol is such an amazing medicine which can be used as a wonderful tool to relieve depression, panic, anxiety, stress, grief and trauma. This elixir can be used in a very similar way to Rescue remedy for child, adult or animal. It is calming but not sedating, heart opening and balancing. Externally Rose works really well on wounds such as burns, taking out the heat and helping pain relief. Rose is an anti-inflammatory, anti bacterial and an astringent, it’s very gentle and safe enough to use on all ages including babies. As a skin tonic Rose works at taking heat out of the skin, tightening, soothing, toning and firming working very well on sunburn. It is a very wonderful ingredient to have in nearly every medicine you may choose to make.
Roses were often used as food and medicine throughout the world from Persia to the hills of Devon going make hundreds and hundreds of years. They are part of the large Rosaceae family which includes raspberries, almonds, strawberries, apples, apricots and more. When eaten Roses are antioxidant, full of vitamin c, an anti-inflammatory, sedative, antiseptic, vulnary, nervine and digestive rich in polyphenols, B vitamins and bioflavanoids with wild Rose containing more antioxidants than green tea. This abundance of nutrition in Rose and especially its hip make it a good blood medicine for those suffering from anxiety, dry skin and hair, fatigue and vertigo. As Rose is a cooling medicine/food it is best to add something warming if the individual is having feelings of cold or is generally a cold person. Warming tonics include cinnamon and blackstrap molasses.
I adore using Rose for many things whether it is adding Rose water to dishes or making the whole dish about the Rose. Things I have made are Rose Petal and Elderflower Panna cotta, Rose petal sugar free and vegan Turkish delight, Rose petal raw cake, Rose Petal and almond cake, Rose hip processed sugar free syrup, rosehip vinegar, rosehip cake and the list goes on. (I plan on sharing some of my recipes in the future) One of Susun Weed’s favourite breakfasts is Rose Petals on wholewheat toast. Making vinegar, honey, an oxymel or oil is another very easy way in which to add Rose to your kitchen or even drying petals to store up and use in teas for future use. You can also make these things with the hips too and even combine them so you have different energies of the same plant in one lovely potion.
To make a honey or a vinegar just fill a jar with Rose petals and then completely cover with honey/vinegar and leave for 4-6 weeks. If making a vinegar make sure the lid you are using is not metal as the vinegar will corrode it. After the allotted time you will have a very lovely honey to add to puddings, toast or teas and/or a vinegar to add to salads, as a daily medicine by the tablespoon, onto greens or as a skin toner.
If time is short and you feel gathering and foraging is too much I would urge you to go out and let the roses meet you, at least put your nose into those rich blooms and breathe in deeply inhaling the relaxing and calming scent, look and gaze into the petals and stuff a few in your bra if you wear one.