The last roses of the season are blooming, giving the most beautiful farewell to the summer splendour. How can one resist and not take a moment to admire their mesmerising beauty, heart melting fragrance and sensual aroma?! Any heart cracks open, lips pulled into a soft smile, eyes closed, you feel the waves of love, happiness and complete surrender.
Long before romantics, poets and lovers started using this seductive flower to express their affection, love, or ask forgiveness, for thousands of years Ayurvedic vaidyas appreciated and used roses for making herbal remedies, beauty products, teas, and aromatic oils.
Those flirting with roses in an attempt to reach the hearts of their admired ones, know well the powerful effect the rose has. In fact, rose acts as a heart tonic, stimulating the heart chakra, balancing the sadhaka pitta located in the heart region that governs our emotions and their effect on the heart.
Whether we see, smell or eat roses, or their extracts, our heart beats happier, and we become overwhelmed with feelings of love, understanding and forgiveness, and our sensuality opens up.
Roses in Ayurveda
Aside from being a heart cracking tool, roses are used in Ayurveda as a wonderful cooling remedy, heart and nervine tonic. The Pitta dosha – the fiery energy of transformation in our body, functioning through the metabolism and digestion, increases during summer which is also governed by the fire element. By the end of the season we all might experience the excess of pitta, or heat, in our body.
Common signs of pitta aggravation include bloodshot eyes, redness, tissue inflammation, herpes, diarrhoea, heartburn, skin issues (acne, rosacea, rash, eczema). On a mental level we might be prone to overexertion, irritability, short temperedness and bursts of anger.
Healing properties of roses:
- pacifying blood heat
- promoting circulation
- highly nutritive for the skin – healing burns, bruises, rashes, minor wounds
- cools, moisturises and tones the skin
- heart tonic
- nervine tonic
- restores emotional balance
- promoting deep sleep and rest
- mild laxative
- liver cleansing
- lowering cholesterol
- hormone balancing
- anti-spasmodic – used for asthma, coughs, cramping, PMS, constipation
- tridoshic – balances all the doshas, thus beneficial for all the constitutions
- rejuvenative – slows down the ageing process
Roses can be used raw or dried, for making essential oil, rose water, rose tea, as an addition to moisturisers, lotions, or massage oils. There are hundreds varieties of roses, and all of them can be used as medicine. But the stronger the fragrance, the better the effect. Rosa centifolia, or Shatapari in Sanskrit, which translates as a rose with hundreds of petals, is a very aromatic rose, commonly grown in European gardens. As I tend to remember places and memories by smell, it’s hard to describe the amount of emotions I feel when smelling their petals. It’s the memory of my home garden, my grandmother, strudels and cakes made with rose liquor, mediterranean houses, narrow streets, a cappella singing…
- increased body heat
- redness of the skin
- mental problems
- restless mind
- blood-shot eyes
- sore treat
- premature ageing
- enlarged tonsils nervousness
- grief, sadness, anxiety, depression
- skin issues – eczema, acne, rosacea, psoriasis
- dullness of the skin
- gynaecological problems, such as Amenorrhea (absence of natural menstrual flow)
- liver toxicity
- skin burns or localised burning sensation
Collect the rose petals and buds in the morning, remove any dirt or rotten leaves, and let them dry in the shade throughout the day or longer. Aside from using these for poutpuri, there is much more that you can use them for.
Recipes with roses:
- submerge the petals in base oil and make Rose infused massage oil
- mixed with local honey for a delicious Rose honey spread (recipe follows)
- Rose facial mask (recipe follows)
- rose tea
- addition to cakes and cookies
- Rose water – cook fresh leaves in distilled water until petals lose their colour. Strain the petals and keep the rose water refrigerated. Use as face tonic and eye wash.
- refreshing summer lassi – fresh yogurt blended with water, a pinch of cardamom and rose petals. This makes a wonderful digestive aid when consumed after a meal.
It’s a long list of the rose’s health benefits that goes beyond its seductive powers. Due to its sweet taste and unctuous properties, rose enhances brain health, strengthens the stomach, balances appetite and enhances overall metabolism. It enhances your spiritual aspiration, promotes happiness, cheerfulness and love. Mixed with honey, which in Ayurveda is considered one of the best vehicles for delivering substances deep into the tissues, this delicious spread makes a perfect medicine that cools the body, rejuvenates and uplifts the spirit.
Rose and Honey Love Nectar
- a handful of rose petals, organically grown – preferably fresh, but dried will work too
- local honey
- clean jar
- wooden spoon or stick
Place the rose petals on the bottom of the jar. Pour the honey over the petals and give it a good stir using a wooden spoon or stick. Make sure all the petals are coated in honey and there is no air left in. Close the lid, and let sit in a dark place (in your cupboard) for 2 weeks, mixing them every couple of days. The petals can be eaten too, but if planning to store the spread for a longer time, strain the petals using a sieve.
Use this nectar as:
- a spread
- whisked into lassi (fresh yogurt blended with water and spices, such as cardamom)
- add in warm milk with cardamom
- an addition to cookies
- facial mask
Rose Facial Mask
- 2 tablespoons of the Rose and honey spread
- a pinch of turmeric
Mix the ingredients. Apply all over your face and neck and leave for 10 minutes. Wash off with lukewarm water. Massage your face and neck with a few drops of your favourite oil.
Casting love, romance, warmth, rose is an incredible healing herb, soothing the body, mind, and spirit. Use roses for uplifting your soul, restoring emotional equilibrium and let all your senses enjoy its beauty.