Herbal Lesson on Roses

(Rosa spp – usually damascena, centifolia, rugosa)

Wild Rose
Wild Rose

Description – A deciduous bush growing to 7 ft. tall(damascena) with light pink to red flowers. This species is where most of the rose oil comes from. For wild roses, the flowers of native roses are nearly all single five petalled blooms ranging from thumbnail size to perhaps 2 inches in diameter in some shade of pink – rarely white. Centifolia – the rose with a hundred petals, a hybrid climbing rose, highly scented.

Do NOT use knockout roses!!! While they are beautiful, there is no scent and they do not make good medicinal preparations. I tried it and the smell was horrible. 😀

Knockout roses in full bloom
Knockout roses in full bloom

Medicinal Properties: cooling, astringent, antidepressant, antiseptic, nervine, creates sense of security, emmenagogue, aphrodisiac, alterative.

The flowers are used for emotional distress, inflamed eyes, grief, PTSD, uterine hemorrhage, amenorrhea, vaginal tears/irritations*, hemorrhoids*, yeast infections(topically)*, add to cosmetic recipes.

Edible: Good source of vitamin C in the rose hips(the fruit of the rose), petals are edible or can be used in teas. A fun and elegant project with rose petals is to paint the petals with raw egg white or if your concerned about salmonella, use meringue powder mixed with water, and sprinkle with sugar. Let dry completely and decorate cupcakes or cakes or just eat them!!! I once made a wedding shower cake with these, years ago and it was beautiful!


*RAW for topical application – Mix equal parts of rose water/hydrosol, witch hazel and aloe vera gel(commercial variety best). Store in the refrigerator and apply as needed with a cotton ball. ** Recipe from the Herbalista**

Tea for the Heart
one part rose petals
one part hawthorne leaves and flowers
one part linden leaves and flowers
one part lemon balm
Blend in a jar. Steep two teaspoons in 8 ounces of water for 15 minutes. Strain
Add honey or stevia to taste.
A fabulous monograph on roses with recipes – here from Methow Valley Herbs.

If you need dried rose petals, Mountain Rose Herbs has some incredible ones.

“The Wild Rose is my most important plant ally, and one that I am continually amazed by. If there is a single plant who has provided me with the most healing, it is this one. My relationship with this thorny beauty deepens each year, and every season the briar teaches me more about boundaries, vulnerability and self-expression. This plant teaches raw, wide open love complete with scars, thorns and an abiding sense of self-knowledge. She teaches that beauty is a bone deep quality, one that we hold in every cell regardless of the pain we’ve lived through or the battles we’ve weathered. In hard years, her petals unfurl skewed and wrinkled but this doesn’t mar her attractiveness. Rather, they add to an already complex character and give her more of the strongly scented medicine she’s known for.”

                                                                         Kiva Rose, herbalist



By Anne-Marie Bilella

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Disclosure statement: While I may recommend certain herbs and foods for any illnesses, allergies, skin conditions, natural beauty care and household cleaning, as a reader and a consumer use what I say to research further on your end. I am not a doctor but I am an herbalist not a licensed practitioner but  always learning to improve our lives and to relay what I  have learned on to you!

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