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“And the Soul of the Rose went into my blood”-Alfred Lord Tennyson
The gifts of nature are plentiful, but if given only a single plant to choose from to improve my skin, my mood, and my digestive health I would choose the rose. Sweet, delicate, and fragrant, rose imparts the essence of gentleness; it is the soul of the rose.
Roses have been cultivated for millennia and used not only for their beauty as an ornamental garden plant, but also for their fragrance and healing qualities. Roses can be used in their whole and natural state as well as in concentrated forms, such as essential oils and infusions. The subtleness of the rose is what I consider part of its healing quality. Even in concentrated forms, it does not overwhelm the senses. It is important that the use of the rose be limited to those roses that are known for their healing qualities and not just any garden variety.
Uses for rose include:
Skin: Softening, Calming of Inflammation, Wound-Healing, Wound-Treating
Rose softens and heals the skin, including wounds, so that they properly heal and do not scar. The qualities of rose, when made into a spray or tonic for spraying, serves as an excellent toner for the skin, making the skin appear more clear and vibrant. Rose also calms the skin, helping to alleviate any inflammation that may appear due to rosacea, acne, or other skin condition. Antibacterial properties help when applied to fresh wounds.
Digestion: Calming, Aids Sluggishness
Rose has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to aid with slow digestion and speed up the bowel. At the same time, it calms the digestive tract and helps calm inflammation, helping with IBS and other digestive maladies that interfere with normal and healthy digestion. Although the essential oil can be used to help with digestion, it is recommended that a rose petal jelly or other rose petal food be taken. Rose Petal or Rose Hip tea would be a good alternative.
The rose is said to balance the heart in Ayurvedic medicine, Sadhakka Pitta, the emotions that govern the heart by soothing the heart and the emotions that cause it pain. For this use, it is good to eat rose petal jam or drink rose petal tea.
Muscle cramps: Antispasmodic
Rose essential oil or lotion containing rose can be used directly on areas experiencing pain. Ingestion of rose petal, rose hips, rose tea, or rose water can help ease digestive issues.
Aromatherapy: Anti-depressant, Mood Lifting, Aphrodisiac
Scientific studies have shown rose oil to aid in lifting mood and help in alleviating depression. It has also been used for millennia as an aphrodisiac and is often included in recipes for love potions 😊
Rose may be one of those simple things that we experience so often in our lives that we have come to take it for granted. I encourage you to revisit the rose and invite it into your garden, your home, and your body for a more lovely existence.
Mika Fukada, Eri Kano, Michio Miyoshi, Ryoichi Komaki, Tatsuo Watanabe; Effect of “Rose Essential Oil” Inhalation on Stress-Induced Skin-Barrier Disruption in Rats and Humans, Chemical Senses, Volume 37, Issue 4, 1 May 2012, Pages 347–356