When I was asked to write about rose I didn’t know where to begin. How can I explain something that is so self-obvious but also so complex? I can only start with what is most true, and that is love. Rose for me is love. Self-love, expression of love, the nurturing love, the kind of love that makes you grow, that widens the heart.
The first time I did a tea tasting with rose, I was offered a cup without explanation, without knowing what it was. I smelled the rose tea and took a sip and it felt like home. It brought me back to the English rose gardens I saw as a child, to the big magenta coloured flowers in our garden in Northern Sweden, to my mothers rose liquor.
It is said that rose helps you embrace yourself but also others. That it can help you find your right direction, it walks with you, holds your hand but doesn’t do the work for you. It helps you find your heart's strength. It is also a herb that is known to support you in grief, in heart-ache and pain, both physical and of the mind.
It is a herb with a lot of integrity, we can almost know that from just looking at it. The immense beauty within the flower, the thin but strong stem, the thorns. It can bring you courage, help you defend your own opinions and state your boundaries, lovingly, respectfully.
Astringent, analgesic, nervine, aphrodisiac, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, antianxiety, hypnotic and mood-boosting
Cooling and drying
Specific medicinal actions
Balances hormones, helps digestion, aids circulation, soothes the skin, bladder infections, pain, colds, flu, grief, depression, inflammation, wounds, acne.
Dosage & Preparations
Rose is a very safe herb to use but make sure that you find roses for consumption. If you want to try it as a tea use 1 teaspoon per cup of water. You can use rose as a tea, tincture, fresh herbal juice, honey, vinegar, in food or as Loelle’s wonderful rose water.
For me personally, rose is the perfect beauty product. Because of its astringent properties and essential oils it has been a well known and loved herb for skincare. It is often used in anti-wrinkle and anti-aging products. But not only that, roses cooling and drying properties are a fantastic help for inflamed acne skin, its mild but potent. The best part of it though is the self-love and joy it brings. Now I use rose every day in the form of Loelle’s rose water, to mist my face in its essence morning and evening, and sometimes throughout the day. It gives me a moment of reflection, a moment of stillness, a moment of beauty. It reminds me that I am love, and what a beautiful reminder that is.
Rose is love, unconditional love, but with respect for oneself and one's boundaries.
This text is written by Jennifer Askaner, herbalist, herbal teacher and owner of Meadowsweet Medicinal Herbs. Jennifer works mostly with the herbs that surround us, such as wild weeds and common herbs in our gardens and forests. With a love for nature and all its gifts Jennifer also explores her own and others' relationships with plants and how it can support our health and how it affects the way we see the world.
Bennett, Robin Rose (2014). The gift of healing herbs : plant medicines and home remedies for vibrant health
de la Forêt, Rosalee (2017). Alchemy of Herbs
Groves, Maria Noël (2016). Body into balance : an herbal guide to holistic self-care