No flower in history has had as much written about it as the rose since it was first discovered it has been a symbol of love, beauty and purity influencing poetry, art, songs, always present in religious ceremonies since ancient times.
In the monastic gardens rose was grown primarily for it's medicinal properties as every part has a use rather than for its aesthetic appeal. Roses continued as official medicine until well into the 1930s, the petals, leaves and roots were widely used for treating a variety of conditions.
The petals are the source of essential oil, which gives the rose it's characteristic scent, it takes 5000kgs of rose petals to yield 1 kg of its precious oil, hence pure rose oil is expensive to buy and is often adulterated by blending cheaper oils together. The concentration of essential oil actually fluctuates throughout the day and is at it's peak in the early hours of the morning. This oil contains a highly complex combination of more than 300 different compounds, and interestingly chemists have not been able to imitate most of them. The damask rose blooms for only a couple of weeks, during which time the petals are collected and steam distilled, this is used in about 96% of all women's perfumes.
The key actions of rose are:
Anti viral / Anti bacterial
Rose petals infusions can be combined with sage and thyme and are beneficial for sore throats and to make an effective gargle.
Rose water combined with equal parts of witch hazel is used as a moisturizing lotion for skin prone to pimples or acne.
A few drops of essential oil of rose can be added to bath water for helping with anxiety, low mood, grief or insomnia.
Massage oil is made by mixing a few drops of either an essential oil or aromatic waters to a base oil to aid relaxation and relieve any tension in the muscles.
Compresses are soaked infusions which can be applied to specific areas of inflammation, rose contains astringent properties which causes shrinking of tissues useful for wounds and abrasions.
Rose hips are loaded with nutrients, they contain vitamins A, B complex, C, E K and minerals including Calcium, silica, iron and phosphorus.
These are particularly high in bioflavonoids which are rich in anti-oxidants including rutin these strengthen our heart and blood vessels, preventing degeneration of tissue, they also contain carotenes including Lycopene that have been linked with cancer prevention. Rosehips have the highest concentration of Vitamin C 30-50 times higher than that found in oranges.
I have added the Rosa damascena petals to the sloth tea range, specifically blended with other herbs to work as as a nervine this induces relaxation and alleviates anxiety which is essential before sleep.