Updated: Aug 11, 2020
Which Rose: All
Plant Uses: Inflammation, Skin, Wounds, Bladder infections, Grief, lack of self love, Lack of Boundaries, Depression, Anxiety, Heart, Pain, Womb Health.
Preperations: Tea, Infusions, Tincture, Vinegar, Salve, Balm, Food, Elixirs, syrup, Creams, Toners, Oil, Hydrosols
Plant Properties: Astringent, Nervine, Aphrodisiac, Anti-Inflammatory, Analgesic, Antioxidant
Parts Used: Petals, leaves, hips and thorns
Sensual, alluring, soft, strong, enticing Rose, linked with love, the heart, sex and femininity.
I love Rose, and this ally is one of my top medicines use both internally and externally.
But in the past, I had discarded Rose, relating this plant with stuffy and formal over sprayed gardens that I couldn’t properly explore or even touch, or cellphone wrapped roses sold in filling stations.
I preferred the Nettles and the Mugwort, the Dandelions and the Plantain.
But over the years I have come to learn the real wisdom of the 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 sensual 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 when I was a child, 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 witch hazel, the petals turning from velvety, crisp, cool, bright petals to soft and fleshy. We would, after a few weeks, bottle it drinking in the smell as the cool calm liquid filled glass vessels. There was a lovely gentle scent and a soft soothing feeling to the potion that I would use as a 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. When using Roses, make sure that they are grown organically and sprayed with chemicals.
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 out of them and wont use them, as this to me is changing the personality of the rose and making her less of her true self.
I like my roses to be wild and fierce teaching those who go near her that beauty and softness needs to be held alongside fierceness and boundaries.
The greatest medicine that Rose has taught me, has been a deep lesson for me.
Rose is the medicine of the heart both physically and emotionally. Rose is a flower that stands out in beauty and in smell, drawing a person to her soft folds through the pure sensuality of her.
Her flower is so open, her stem strong. Just from the smell of Rose, a person is transported into their heart, not in a frightening way, but in a way that makes the heart feel safe and held. A person from this place, can connect more readily to a feeling of self love.
Many times I have been asked, "How can an ally so beautiful, so full of heart medicine, this ally that helps me feel love towards myself, be full of thorns?"
And this is where my greatest Rose lesson began. - To be able to inhabit your own heart in safety, to be grounded enough to allow your beauty to shine, to be sensual and sexual from a healthy place, to soothe your anxiety and be a medicine of heartfulness for the world; You need to have strong boundaries. We are too often taught that to be soft you can't be strong, to be kind you cant be boundaried and yet in truth, without these opposites holding hands, we become out of balance, fragile and able to be walked over.
Rose as a Medicine
Beautiful heart opening Rose is an awe inspiring beauty who is a tender hearted medicine ally that soothes and calms the nerves and whispers soft and safe feelings in your heart. Touching the 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 the 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, 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 a tincture or an elixir of Rose petals with raw honey or glycerine and alcohol (I like to use Brandy) 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.
Rose is a heart medicine, both for the emotional heart and the physical and is valuable for times of heath ache, heartbreak and loss. Rose is especially potent for this when combined with another very valuable heart medicine; hawthorn.
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.
As Food -
Roses were often used as food and medicine throughout the world from Persia to the hills of Devon going back hundreds and hundreds of years.
Roses 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 a digestive rich in polyphenols, B vitamins and bioflavonoids with wild Rose containing more antioxidants than green tea.
This abundance of goodness held within Rose, especially her hip make this herb 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 rose canoe balls (pictured above).
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 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 acknowledge the thorns. And in this process, stop long enough to ask your body how it feels, how has the look and the scent of the rose changed your emotional realm, and what pictures, stories and sensations come to you as you let yourself speak with this plant in a language older than words.
*Rose petal recipes and medicinal preparations coming onto this blog very soon