Roses (rosa spp)

Roses (rosa species) have always been associated with beauty, youth, joy, & love. One of my favorite stories is Roman mythology about the origin of the rose. A princess decided to go bathing in the sea and she swam out to bask in the sun's rays. The sun saw how beautiful the princess was bathing in his rays, and he forgot his duty and came down to cover the princess in kisses. By leaving his post night takes the opportunity to advance and reign over the world with darkness. Since then, to put the sun back in his place, the lord of the universe changed the princess into a rose. To this day, it is why the beautiful rose hangs her head and blushes beneath the sun's rays. Another story suggests a different origin of the rose. The deity of flowers (Chloris) came across a dead nymph. She was very sad to see the beautiful nymph lying there dead. She called on the help of the other gods and deities and they transformed the nymph into the rose. She was give to Eros, the deity of love, who named her the Queen of Flowers. 

This is not the only story associating roses with love and death. It is a common English customary to plant a white rose bush at the head of a grave of a deceased lover, especially if they died before marriage. The rose is also held in close association with the Virgin Mary in Catholic religions, members of the faith often use a rosary (prayer beads made of rose petals) while praying.

The rose was highly revered with the phrase sub rosa meaning "sworn to secrecy under the rose." This meant that conversations and information were confidential in Roman banquet halls where a rose was painting on the ceilings of the room. Covert operations in today's governments are still often given the name of sub rosa because of this. 

In Hindu legend there is a story that Vishnu (protector) and Brahma (creator) argued over which flower was more beautiful; the lotus, or the rose? Vishnu argued for the rose while Brahma, the lotus. Once Brahma saw the rose, he immediately decided that the rose, was indeed, more beautiful. Responding to this Brahma raised up Vishnu's wife, Lakshmi, from rose petals. Roses are an important plant to the Hindu religion and culture, as well as Catholic.

What can roses do for you physically? Rose tea, flower essence, or elixir is great for loving. Specifically, when you feel unmotivated to love or be loved due to stress or tension and allows you to open up for intimacy. It is a nervine that really focuses on the heart area to cool and calm. It is an incredible cooling herb, especially for when you are hot, irritated, stuffy and stressed. Even just rose fragrance helps relieve tension and stress through aromatherapy. Consuming and smelling rose will help you feel good about yourself, I personally feel wrapped in love when around rose, and every time I drink it. Here in town, our favorite restaurant is an Afghan place and they serve the best rose water green tea. It helps aid and improve mood for those with anxiety, fatigue, and minor depression. I've also seen it help when someone is coping with grief and have experienced this myself.

Rose tea, can build your immune system, digestion and detoxify. It also contains antioxidants (lycopene) which have all the benefits of typical antioxidants but some evidence supports anti-cancer properties. Rose hips contain insane amounts of vitamin C as well. When you compare rose hips to oranges, rose hips contain about 40 times the amount of Vitamin C than oranges. The rich nutrient content of rose hips can assist with digestion and help lead to a healthier system, resulting in decreased flatulence and help reduce diarrhea. Digestion is specifically aided when the digestive problems are of a hot/damp nature. There has been some use of roses to treat colds and flu as well, most likely good for when a fever is involved.  

I use rose in a lamp balm I make. It is incredible softening and so pleasant because of its aroma. It is inspired by my high school love of the smith's rosebud salve.... but I'm not so fond of slathering my lips with petroleum. Also here is a posting about tulsi and rose tea.

Get some rose petals/rosehips/rosewater, make some tea, a syrup, an elixir! Experience, play, and get some lovin'.

Information came from:

The Folk-lore of Plants (1848) by Dyer-T.F. Thiselton

Matthew Wood - check out his site.