Rose, such a beautiful sound. Almost like a purr.
So soft and silky. Roses are ancient, and their presence on
the North American continent has been dated to 20,000 to 40,000
People all over the world have known and used the rose
as a soothing balm, a skin softening agent, an aphrodisiac, a
hormone balancer, a heart tonic, an antidepressant, and a nerve
tonic throughout millennia. Roses are antiseptic, antiviral
and antibacterial. Smelling roses makes most of us feel very
good. They have a wonderful healing effect on both women and
One remarkable thing that roses do for men is speed up
their sperm motility. You may have wondered why roses have
been offered universally as a symbol of love for hundreds if not
thousands of years. One reason may be as deep as survival of
the species. Roses encourage procreation. They
encourage, nourish and support fertility.
Think about all the art youíve ever seen with roses
depicted. They are present as a symbol of health, vitality,
sensuality, prosperity, abundance, fruitfulness, fecundity,
blessedness. Roses are laid at the feet of the Blessed
Mother, even today. They are a flower of the Goddess, sacred
to Isis, one of the flowers of Aphrodite, and are said to have
sprung from the blood of Venus. One legend says Cupid was
responsible for the creation of the rose. Throughout the
ages, the rose has been considered the quintessential expression
of love. Roses are known the world over as an aphrodisiac.
The ancients used both the Damask rose,
Rosa damascena, and
the Gallic rose, Rosa gallica,
in erotic perfumes.
Roses are renowned for their tonic and regulating
effects on female and male reproductive systems. The leaves,
leaf bud, flower and fruit (rose hip) of the wild roses,
Rosa rugosa, and
sweet briar, are rich in phytosterols and bioflavonoids.
These phyto-nutrients are especially necessary for us as we age.
Phytosterols act as building blocks for hormones. As long as
we are supplying these essential nutrients, our endocrine system
is able to do its job of producing the correct balance of hormones
for our body, whether it is estrogens or androgens we need.
Bioflavonoids are biologically active, brightly colored substances
found in plants. Bioflavonoids maintain the health of blood
vessels and are favorable to the production of estrogen.
They are necessary for the absorption of vitamin C, and are also
conveniently found in the inner peel of citrus fruits. With
a toned and healthy endocrine system, libido is enhanced.
The Chinese use the flowers of
which they call mei gui hus, as a chi nourisher and a blood and
liver tonic. Blood is the mother of chi, and chi commands
blood, which is the essence of life. Healthy, well nourished
blood means a healthy body/mind/spirit and good vital energy.
A wonderful health building and nourishing tonic is a
simple rose honey or syrup to which is added a few drops of pure
vanilla, ginger, and a tincture of cinnamon. This elixir is
most warming and nourishing, stimulating, energizing, aphrodisiac,
Ayurvedic healers consider rose to be cooling and
astringent, and so use the flowers to poultice wounds and
inflammations. Roses strained out from an infusion can be
used to poultice inflamed joints. Use the infusion as a wash
over surgical wounds or incisions, or use it as a compress.
Rose water or hydrosol effectively eases acne and
irritated skin conditions and is wonderful splashed on your face
after washing. Roses are esteemed the world over for their
nourishing and healing effects on all skin types and are
especially kind to aging skin. Roses are a great addition to
any kind of face cream, skin lotion, moisturizer, massage oil,
after shave, antiseptic spray, or healing salve or balm.
Added to the bath, roses are cooling, refreshing,
relaxing, and simply luxuriant. A few drops of essential oil
of rose is wonderful, but a handful of fresh blossoms floating in
the tub is simply out of this world. I like to mix sea and
Epsom salts with roses and lavender and put some of this into a
foot bath to relax my feet after working in the garden. It
feels so good!
Infused rose oil, used as a pain easing, nerve
soothing, stress relieving, relaxing massage oil, can send the
recipient straight to nirvana. Aromatherapists use essential oil
of rose to ease anxiety and depression. Rose creates an aroma that
is both sensual and relaxing.
To stay healthy through midlife and beyond, enjoy a
strong, fully functioning immune system, protect yourself from
heart disease and cancer, and enjoy a mind as sharp as a tack,
consider integrating roses and especially rose hips into your
weekly herbal routine.
Rose hips are high in vitamin C, B complex,
bioflavonoids, carotenes, vitamin E, and selenium. They also
offer abundant chromium, niacin, phosphorus, protein and sodium.
These nutrients make rose hips especially nourishing to the brain
and help enhance focus, attention, and concentration. All
those antioxidants and bioflavonoids help protect us from cancer
as well as heart disease. Rose hips strengthen immune
function, and I use them in many of our winter time teas to help
prevent colds and flu. Roses and rose hips are antiviral and
so are good choices to prevent the winter flu from invading your
turf. They are an excellent preventative medicine. I
enjoy stringing rose hips with needle and thread into long strands
that we then hang to dry. They look so beautiful hanging in
the house, inviting you to use them.
Roses are nourishing to the heart and circulatory
system. Make a cup of rose petal tea a few afternoons a
week, or blend some rose petals with oatstraw and lemon balm and
drink often to nourish and protect yourself from heart disease, or
from accumulated stress. Roses and the heart have a long
history of working together. Roses not only nourish our
physical heart, but they also soothe our broken heart should we
have one. If you are dealing with the pain of a broken
heart, heart wrenching emotional pain, divorce, or the break up of
a long term relationship, in the midst of menopausal depression,
singing the blues, feeling down and out, lost, weary, tired,
exhausted and feel you have nowhere to turn, turn to rose. She
will soothe your pain, ease your fear, and help restore
equilibrium. Anoint your heart area with rose oil often. It
encourages awareness of the many manifestations of love and beauty
all around us. Keep a potted rose in your home or plant
roses around the outside of your house to enhance your ability to
love and to share that love in a joyful way with others.
Rose glycerite is an incredibly delicious way to enjoy
the taste and subtle properties of rose. Glycerin draws out
the hormonal precursors, and so a rose glycerite is a wonderful
hormonal balancer for both women and men. Try a few
droppersful in a quart of cold water. Making and consuming
rose mead is another fun and delicious way of welcoming the spirit
of rose into your life. And itís a great way to take your
medicine! Rose flower essence helps us open our wild hearts to
love in all its forms, and rose jams, jellies and syrups are
Please make sure to visit Gail's web
Blessed Maine Herbs
Gail Faith Edwards cultivates roses
at Blessed Maine Herb Farm in Athens, Maine, where she grows an
acre of medicinal herbs, runs a highly respected herbal products
business and offers apprenticeships and herbal study programs from
May through October.