Rosa gallica & Rosa centifolia

The flowers and hips (fruits) of different rose species have told their healing secrets to people all over the world – for centures.

Other names: Cabbage Rose, Hundred-Leafed Rose, French Rose, Damask Rose

The birthplace of the cultivated Rose was probably Northern Persia. From there it spread across Mesopotamia to Palestine and across Asia Minor to Greece. Greek colonists brought it to Southern Italy.

The Romans made lavish use of the Rose blossoms. They were used at banquets as a means of decoration, strewn on the floors, and in winter the Romans expected to have petals of roses floating in their Falernian wine. Roman brides and bridegrooms were crowned with roses, so too were the images of Cupid and Venus and Bacchus.

Roses were scattered at feasts of Flora and Hymen, in the paths of victors, or beneath their chariot-wheels, or adorned the prows of their war-vessels. Rose garlands were worn at their feasts as a preventive against drunkenness.

To them, the Rose was a sign of pleasure, the companion of mirth and wine, but it was also used at their funerals.

Rose as an Herb for Medicinal Use

RoseThe medicinal parts are the petals and the oil extracted from them. Rose is also used in homeopathic medicine.

The petals of the dark red Rose, R. gallica, known as the Provins Rose, are employed medicinally for the preparation of an infusion and a confection. The petals of this rose are of a deep, purplish-red, velvety in texture, paler towards the base, with a slightly astringent taste.

Red Rose petals are official in nearly all Pharmacopoeias. Though formerly used for their mild astringency and tonic value, today they are used almost solely to impart their pleasant aroma.

The old herbalists considered the Red Rose to be more binding and more astringent than any of the other species.

‘It strengtheneth the heart, the stomach, the liver and the retentive faculty. Is good against all kinds of fluxes, prevents vomiting, stops tickling coughs and is of service in consumption.’

The dry conserve called rose sugar is a very good cordial against faintings, swoonings, weakness and trembling of the heart. Rose sugar is said to strengthen a weak stomach, promote digestion and is a very good preservative in the time of infection.

Honey of roses is used in gargles and lotions to wash sores. These sores are either in the mouth, throat or other parts. The gargle or lotion is used to cleanse and heal them. Red rose water is well known, cooling and refreshing.

The ointment of roses healed red pimples. The dried leaves of the red rose are used both internally and externally to cool, bind and soothe. The decoction of red roses made with white wine and used is very good for headache and pains in the eyes, ears, throat and gums.

Folk medicine: Rose flowers are used in folk medicine internally for diarrhea, tuberculosis of the lungs, pulmonary catarrh and asthma, hemorrhage and leucorrhea. Externally, it is used for inflammations of the oral and pharyngeal mucosa, suppurating wounds and lid inflammation.

Indian Medicine: In India, Rose is used for coughs, bronchitis, asthma, fever and general debility. It is also used for wounds and hyperhydrosis. The leaves can be applied directly to the eyes.

In modern herbal medicine the dried flowers of the common Red Rose are given in infusions and sometimes in powder for hemorrhage. A tincture is made from them by pouring 1 pint of boiling water on 1 ounce of the dried rose petals. Add 15 drops of oil of Vitriol and 3 or 4 drachms (1 drachms is an eighth of an ounce) of white sugar. The tincture when strained is of a beautiful red color. Three or four spoonsful of the tincture taken two or three times a day are considered good for strengthening the stomach and a pleasant remedy in all hemorrages.

Rose Oil

The composition of rose essential oil is not quite uniform. The variation is due to a number of factors, the chief being the kind of flower and where it has been grown. The Rose oil from plants grown in colder climates contains a very high percentage of the waxy substance stearoptene, odorless and valueless as a perfume.

Rose is considered the premier essential oil for opening the heart chakra. It is harmonizing, balancing, helps soothe anger, fear and anxiety; it restores conidence.

Rose water is the by-product of the rose oil used in perfume. Rose water is used as a flavoring agent in the Middle East and Southern Europe. It is a popular skincare ingredient in America, where it is often found in astringents and toners. These products are designed to remove traces of makeup and impurities, and leave the skin looking even pored, firm, and fresh.

Milky Pink Complexion:  Take a generous handful of lily and rose petals (dried or fresh) and place them in a 10 ounces of boiling water. Simmer for 15 minutes. Filter and allow to cool before washing your face in the preparation.

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