Herb of the Month: Rose

Rose Essential Oil

Roses have been a symbol of love and romance for thousands of years in different cultures around the world. In Greek mythology they were believed to come directly from the blood of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. But did you know that roses actually have the medicinal ability to calm and balance the heart and mind?

The rose is a deeply respected flower in ayurveda, the ancient medical system of India, because of its ability to balance disorders of the heart, both physically and emotional, and heal the digestive system. According to ayurveda, rose has three main medicinal properties: It is soothing, cooling, and moisturizing. There are a variety of ways to use roses as part of your natural medicine routine.

Rose Oil
Rose oil is used in aromatherapy for many reasons. Inhaled from a diffuser, rose oil can be used to soothe allergies or asthma, calm anger, alleviate depression, help with headaches, and lighten feelings of resentment, jealousy, and grief.  You only need 3 drops of pure rose essential oil in a diffuser and the healing aromas will be infused in your room. Use it in a diffuser at night, and enjoy a deep, restful sleep as you gently inhale the healing essences of rose oil. You can also place 8-10 drops into a nice hot bath for you and your partner.

Rose Water
Rose water has been used for thousands of years in order to cool the body and mind. Pure rose water sprayed on your face, especially in summer, is refreshing and brings out the natural glow of your skin by reducing excess redness and inflammation. Using rose water as a toner for your face before bed can be a great way to keep your skin naturally young. If you’re feeling yourself start to get irritated, take a sip of rose water and instantly enjoy the cooling effects it has on your temper.

Rose Petals
Rose petals are an important ingredient in a number of ayurvedic preparations. Rose petal preserves are a delicious way to get the medicinal effects of rose petals. This tasty food can help alleviate the symptoms of PMS by reducing irritability and menstrual cramps. Rose petals can also soothe an ailing stomach by reducing nausea, lessening hyperacidity, and healing stomach ulcers. Rose petal preserves can boost the immune system to fight respiratory infections and prevent colds. Perhaps the most legendary benefit of rose petals is its use as an aphrodisiac – just in time for Valentine’s Day! For the full benefits of rose petal preserves, simply eat 1-2 teaspoons a day on toast, in warm milk, or by itself.

Rose Hips
When the rose flower dies, it continues to provide a medical treasure in the form of its fruit, rose hips. Rose hips form after the flower dies. This is the hidden beauty of a rose plant that few people are aware of. Rose hips are one of the highest sources of vitamin C (higher than oranges), and a good source of vitamins A, B, K.  They are also abundant in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and copper.

A New Way to Give Roses on Valentine’s Day!
Here is my suggestion for a healthy and romantic Valentine’s Day package for your special someone that uses roses in a new and exciting way:

  • Make a warm bath with 8 to 10 drops of rose oil and a few rose petals floating on the water.
  • Place a diffuser with rose oil in the room to fill your romantic space with a heavenly scent.
  • Prepare a plate of food with a bottle of rose-petal preserves, a rustic loaf of bread and strawberries.

You can also make a refreshing rose water elixir and serve it in two champagne glasses:

2 cups of water
1/2-1 cup of organic cane sugar (depending on desired sweetness)
3 tbsp of rose water
1 cup of mint leaves
1 sliced lime
Soda water
Ice cubes
Rose petals for garnish

Mix 2 cups of water and add the desired amount of organic cane sugar; stir over low heat for 3-4 minutes until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and then simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Cool to room temperature then chill until cold.

In a large pitcher, add the sugar syrup with the rosewater, lime slices, and mint. Add the soda water, stir, and enjoy.