October 14, 2011

Using Rose Petals for Herbal Water

Not only are roses pretty to look at and a common favorite, for centuries they have been used as objects of legends, symbolism, poetry, dance and celebrations as well as for food, drink, fragrance and beauty purposes.

Less common however, is the rose’s healing properties which have been also been used for many generations for anything from rheumatism, indigestion and epilepsy to coughs, colds, fatigue and even grief.

Some ancient medical texts name Gallica and Centifolia roses as being excellent medication, others suggest deep red roses are superior and in contrast, the Herbal Centre chose a pale pink fruity smelling ‘Margaret Roberts’ rose as a base for all of their soaps, creams and remedies.

Rose as a treatment for coughs and colds:

One old fashioned remedy is rose petal brandy as a cure for cough and colds.

Here’s how to try it at home – in a double boiler, add two cups of brandy from a new bottle, two cups of honey, two cups of rose petals (red are better), 12 cloves, a cinnamon stick and a sprig of fresh rosemary.

Cover and simmer for 20 minutes and then allow to cool. Pour this mixture back into the brandy bottle, shake and store, well corked, in a dark place until required.

It is said that if rose petals are unavailable (for example in the Winter) then rose hips are also beneficial in preventing and treating flu, coughs, colds, bladder infections and kidney pains as they contains many essential oils and vitamins (Vitamin C, beta carotene and fruit acids to name a few).

Rose hip is usually sold as a syrup made with honey and is also known for its ability as a mild sedative and to reduce inflammation and depression.

Rose as a treatment for strains and sprains:

Rose oil can be made by simmering two cups of petals in one cup of almond oil in a double boiler for 40 minutes and then straining it out into a bottle.

This oil was developed during the war to be massaged into the cramps, muscular strains and sprains and torn ligaments of injured soldiers during the war and was possibly amongst the first ‘aromatherapy oils’ to be developed.

Rose as a treatment for low mood (anxiety, depression, premenstrual tension and insomnia):

This delicious ancient tea recipe should help alleviate any negative energy as it has a soothing property to calm nerves and relax the emotional and psychological state of mind..

Put one cup of fresh rose petals (or half a cup of chopped rose hips), half a cup of lemon balm sprigs and three or four bruised cloves into a pot and pour two cups of boiling water over it.

Crush with a spoon, stir well and leave for five minutes.

Strain and sweeten with honey, if required.

Sip slowly preferably with a Vitamin B Complex tablet or capsule with two dolomite tablets.

The aroma of rose oil is also comforting and so a drop on your pillow could help aid sleep.

Rose as a treatment for skin:

To make homemade rose water boil six to eight cups of fresh rose petals in six cups of water in a heavy bottomed pot. Add a stick of cinnamon and 12 cloves and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring/crushing regularly. Cool, strain and store in a spray bottle if possible as it is very handy on car journeys etc to ease fatigue, invigorate and soften skin.

Rose water is fantastic for softening, hydrating and reducing the appearance of scar formation, sunburn and acne scars. It is also a gentle cleansing and toning product which can be used with cotton wool pads to clear oily skin and reduce acne or skin irritation.

Overall, the rose has more than just a pretty face – the therapeutic properties are just a few ways of maximizing its potential and best of all, it is natural and non-irritant.

More on rose water, you can read - Quick and Easy Recipe Rosewater

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