History, Identification, & Uses of Roses

The rose: queen of the flowers and symbol of love. This flower is more than a gift to show your love to someone but a great medicinal plant that has been used for centuries.

roses

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Ledgens and lore about roses go back over 3,000 years. The Greeks believed that roses formed after the goddess Aphrodite got her foot stuck on a thorn, which bled and formed the rose while trying to help Adonis. The Turks believed that red roses obtained their color from the blood of Muhammad after his blood landed on the flower and stained it. It is also said that roses did not get their thorns until the fall of Eden.

The Egyptians were known for their perfumes, which often included roses, but most notably is how Cleopatra used them. It is said that she once had the floors of her palace covered in roses petals that were knee deep! She hoped that the romantic aroma of the flower would help her win over Mark Anthony when he came to visit her. Whether it was the flowers or Cleopatra herself, she did win him over.

The modern rose can be traced back to China and now can be found throughout the world. There are some native species to other parts of the world including Europe and North America. Today the rose is best known for its fragrance and it’s fruit, rose hips, that are high in vitamin C. All parts of the rose have been used in medicine and has been used to treat anything from topical injuries, uterus issues, and the cold and flu.

Vitamin C

There are over 100 different species of roses so that means there are over 100 different types of rose hips available. Not every rose is the same so that means that not every rosehip will the same either. One study tested 11 different species to find which one had the highest amount of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). They found that the species Rosa villosa have the highest source of vitamin C.

Vitamin C is important to have because it is water soluble and does not store in the body. This vitamin is responsible for the growth and repair of tissues throughout the body. It is used by the body when healing wounds and repairing bones. There is a possibility that vitamin C could also help lower the risks of certain diseases or improve symptoms of chronic diseases.

Medicinal Roses

Due to the number of different rose species available, there are some species that have been used in medicine and for other purposes for centuries. The rose hips from the species Rosa villosa has the highest concentration of vitamin C but here are some other roses that are commonly used:

  • White Rose (Rosa X alba)
  • Dog Rose (R. canina)
  • Provence Rose (R. centifolia)
  • China Rose (R. chinensis)
  • Damask Rose (R. damascena)
  • Eglantine Rose (R. eglanteria)
  • French Rose (R. gallica)
  • Cherokee Rose (R. laevigata)
  • Japanese Rose (R. rugosa)

bush-rose-1804888_1920

Profile

Common Name: Rose
Scientific Name: Rosa spp.
Identification:
Flowers: colors vary, single flower or in clusters
Leaves: alternate, pinnate, 5-9 leaflets
Fruit: turns from green/yellow to red, sizes vary, hard or pulpy
Harvest Time: Spring- first autumn frost
Parts Edible: Petals, hips (fruit)
Found: Native to mostly China, found throughout the world; likes damp ground

Historic Uses

-Rose petals have been used as tonics and mouthwashes to treat catarrhs, sore throats, mouth sores, and stomach issues
-Roots were once used to make teas
-In ancient Greece, rose petals mixed with oil was used to treat uterus problems
-In Ayurvedic medicine, rose petal poultices have been used to treat skin wounds and inflammation and rose water was used as a laxative
-During high middle ages in Germany rose hips were used to treat just about anything
-Native Americans mixed the petals with bear grease to treat mouth sores, powder petals were used t treat sores and blisters, and rose water made with rainwater was used on sore eyes
-Native Americans also used the inner bark of the rose to treat boils
-Since the 1600’s roses have been used to treat headaches, dizziness, mouth sores, menstrual cramps, diarrhea, tuberculosis, coughs, vomiting, and to strengthen the stomach

Vitamins, Minerals, & More

Petals

-Quercitrin
-Volatile oils
-Colorants

Properties: astringent, carminative, diuretic, laxative, ophthalmic

Hips

-Vitamins A, B, C, E, K
-Organic acids
-Pectin
-Flavonoids
-Essential fatty acids

Properties: anti-inflammatory, astringent, carminative, diuretic, laxative, ophthalmic

rose-hip-2697670_1920

Preparations

-Rose hips are used in making teas, syrups, jams, jellies, and wine
-Hips are also used in baking and cooking
-Petals are made into rose water
-Oil from the petals are used in perfumes, soaps, candles, and more
-Rose petals are often candied and used in desserts or fresh salads
-Both rose hips and petals can be found in many beauty products
-Dried flowers are used in decor and potpourri

Precautions

-Consuming too much rose petals and rose hips can cause diarrhea due to too much vitamin C
-Other side effects may include:  nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, stomach cramps, fatigue, headache, inability to sleep
-Do not give to children under two years of age
-Rose hips could interact with many medications talk to your doctor before using rose hips if on:

  •  Antacids
  • Estrogen pills
  • Antipsychotics
  • Diuretics
  • Blood thinners
  • Anti-Inflammatories

-Rose hips could interact with any of the following conditions: diabetes, blood disorders, kidney disorders, heart attacks

Harvest

-Flowers should be harvested during the spring and summer after they have bloomed
-Rose hips should be harvested in the fall when the hips are orange to red
-Hips will become sweeter after the first frost but harvest before they begin to dry out
-Soft rose hips are spoiled

rose-hip-1078726_1280

Where to Purchase

Rosebuds/petals (dried)
Rose hips
Rosewater
Rose essential oil

Recipes

Canndied Rose Petals
Rose Petal Jam
Rose Hip Whiskey Smash
DIY Rose Water
Wild Rose Petal Sangria

Practicing Sustainable Wild Harvesting

  1. Only harvest plants you know are safe and can identify
  2. Only harvest plants in safe areas that are not contaminated or polluted
  3. Do not harvest on private property without permission
  4. Harvest no more than 10% or use the method: take 1 leave 2
  5. Know how to handle and prepare the plants you are harvesting
  6. Always check the legal status of the plant you want to harvest (is it endangered?)

Rose Profile


Sources

Rose Hip Benefits
PFAF Dog Rose
Web MD Rose Hips
The History of Roses
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
-Carr, Anna, William H. Hylton, and Claire Kowalchik. Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs. N.p.: Rodale, 1998. 422-27. Print.
-Castleman, Michael. The New Healing Herbs: The Essential Guide to More than 125 of Nature’s Most Potent Herbal Remedies. 3rd ed. N.p.: Rodale, 2010. 403-05. Print.

Disclaimer: All information on Not Your Typical Hippie is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor, veterinarian, dietician, or health expert. If you wish to have advice on a medical problem, please consult a doctor. I cannot guarantee that any information provided will work for every person. Please consult a doctor before making any health changes. I am not liable for any choices you make based on the information provided on this website. (Learn more here)

Could Eating Less Beef Save the Planet?

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Over 24 billion pounds of beef was consumed in The United States in 2015 according to the USDA’s statistic database. That is over 28 million cows that were slaughtered for their meat. That is a lot of cows. Surprisingly, though, Americans ate less beef in 2015 than they did 10 years prior in 2005. I’m not here to talk about the ethics of eating beef nor am I telling you to never eat beef again. Let’s take a look at how these 28 million cows may be impacting our environment.Continue reading →

Relaxing Immune Boosting Herbal Tea With Elderberry

Let’s face it, being sick sucks and can be really stressful. Just being stressed can even make you sick. If you’re going to drink a hot cup of tea why not choose something relaxing that will also help you feel better?

Relaxing Immune Boosting Herbal Tea

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Elderberry is one of the best herbs available that can help with colds and the flu. However, if you’re like me you like variety and having the same thing over and over again can get old! I wanted a tea that could help boost the immune system but also help with de-stressing and getting to sleep.

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Eco-Friendly Sex_ Going Green in the Bedroom (1)

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Many sex products are made from plastics, especially if it’s latex free, and most of them are disposable products. How you change your habits in the bedroom could not only positively impact the planet but your health too. Let’s take a look at some products available that won’t hinder what goes on in the bedroom while reducing your impact on the planet.Continue reading →

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How to Have an Eco-Friendly Valentine's Day

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Light Mountain Natural Henna Hair Dye Review

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Henna has always been interesting to me but it’s not surprising that plants can be used for dye. Plants were the first dye material but dying our hair with is isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind. This was not only my first time using any sort of henna but also my first time dying my hair!

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white pine

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Natives_ The New Garden Ornamentals

 

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How to make an elderberry tincture

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Tinctures are one of my favorite remedies because they are easy to use, have a long shelf life, and are easy to store. If you are unfamiliar with tinctures, they are essentially a strong alcohol extract. Infusing herbs in a high proof alcohol creates a potent herbal extract that contains the medicinal qualities of the herb used. You can learn more about tinctures here.

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Healing Eczema Salve

 

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I first started working on an eczema lotion in December of 2015 for my husband. Eczema is not uncommon in his family and this was the first time he developed eczema in the time that I knew him. It started on his hand and it was bothersome to him but we didn’t think much of it. Next thing we knew it had taken over the back of his hand, his fingers, and spread all the way up to his elbows on both arms. It was painful and uncomfortable and his skin looked like a dried, cracked piece of land hit by a drought.

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