Roses: fine remedies for the heart

Known as the flower of Love, roses bring unique energy into the world where their shape, flavour, scent, texture and beauty embody the energy of the heart centre or chakra.

My perception of roses is that they resonate Love and bring a sense of beauty into any darkness of the soul.

Wherever roses grow and are appreciated, poets, lovers, artists and medicine and food makers recognise them for how they influence the human spirit towards warmth and Love.

What interests me, personally, is how roses bring health and benefit and joy to humans as:

  • rose flowers
  • rose water
  • rose jellies, jams and Turkish Delight
  • rose flowers as a tea
  • rose tincture
  • rose otto or attar (essential oil often used as one essence in perfumes)

I can’t emphasise enough, how much I attribute the vast majority of the healing benefits of roses are about the roses’ abilities to reach into the heart and feelings and to engage both Love and the heart chakra (see under Ayurveda notes below).

Roses are associated with so, so many health and healing properties, I only mention a few below involving using the leaves, flowers and hips (fruits). This is followed by the way rose flowers are used in Ayurveda

Here is a list of the health and healing benefits of using rose leaves and flowers (unless otherwise mentioned):

  • heart:
    • roses calm the heart, ease palpitations and help with feelings of a lack of love in one’s life;
  • immunity:
    • rose petal tea enhances immunity and helps prevent infections due to clearing away toxins and heat;
    • cooling fevers through clearing toxins and heat from the body;
  • inflammation:
    • rashes and inflammatory problems reduce due to cooling properties;
  • respiratory system:
    • rose petal tea helps relieve symptoms of colds and ‘flu, sore throats, runny noses and to clear bronchial congestion;
    • rose flowers or hips as syrup or infusion strengthen the lungs;
  • digestive tract:
    • rose petals fight digestive tract infection and aid re-balancing healthy bacterial levels after antibiotics or poor diet;
    • astringent properties from tannins helps reduce hyperacidity / overactivity that lead to excessive thirst, hunger and mouth ulcers;
    • rose infusion is useful for diarrhoea, enteritis and dysentery;
    • rose infusions can be used for mouthwashes (mouth ulcers or inflamed, bleeding gums) or as gargles for sore throats;
  • skin:
    •  rashes, eczema and acne respond to cooling qualities of roses when used internally and externally as teas and washes;
    • rose water is famed for clearing and cleaning the skin of rashes, acne, spots, boils and blemishes and for clearing wrinkles via toning, anti-inflammatory actions;
    • rose water or infusions help repair, and prevent infection of, minor cuts, to reduce swelling of bruises and strains;
  • nervous system and stress:
    • hips, flowers and essential oil all help lift the spirits and to restore nervous well-being; they also calm the nerves, relieve insomnia, lift depression, alleviate anxiety, dispel mental and physical fatigue (due to dampening of the spirit), soothe irritability, grief and anger;
    • rose water is used to bathe tired, sore or inflamed eyes;
  • reproductive system:
    • in females roses’ properties help to –
      • clear uterine congestion causing pain and heavy periods;
      • balance irregular periods;
      • aid infertility and increase the feminine principle;
      • clear emotional difficulties associated with frigidity, PMS and menopausal concerns;
      • deal with emotional concerns about sexuality insecurities and low confidence in or about loving, secure relationships;
      • and, rose infusions make an excellent douche for vaginal discharges;
    • in males, roses can help alleviate impotence;
  • urinary system:
    • roses are diuretic and help reduce both fluid and toxins via urination;
    • roses have been used to treat stones and gravel in the kidneys and bladder;
  • vitamin C – rose hips are one of nature’s richest source of  vitamin C (plus K, Bs and A) even when cooked and made into a syrup;
  • astringent properties:
    • tannins help repair tissues and alleviate bleeding in different parts of the body such as mouth, digestive system and bladder;
    • tannins also help dry phlegm and arrest discharges;
  • other aspects:
    • rose oil or ointment makes a good lipsalve;
    • rose infusion in wine or vinegar added to a bath relieves arthritis and rheumatism.

Roses in Ayurveda

Ayurveda, one of the oldest medicinal traditions in use today, reveres the rose petals for their ability to treat the heart, nerves and for their ability to lift the spirits.

Roses cool and rebalance all three doshas (the energies that make up the essence of the body and life) with an affinity for the blood, female reproductive tract, nerves and heart.

Rose properties and uses include:

  • awakening digestion;
  • improving the intellect;
  • reducing excessive menstrual bleeding;
  • clearing excessive uterine heat and so helping clear pain, endometriosis and fibroids;
  • aiding PMS/T relief;
  • cooling menopausal hot flashes (useful as a spray to cool instantly);
  • calming the spirit and nerves and any resultant headaches, low mood or anxiety;
  • opening the heart chakra so increasing patience, compassion and Love;
  • dealing with skin inflammation – eyelid inflammation, acne, eczema, psoriasis, urticaria, itching and irritation;
  • digestive ulcers, inflammation, acidity, heartburn and enteritis;
  • reduces diarrhoea due to heat excess;
  • reduces blood lipid levels;
  • calming the emotions associated with heart and Love and sexuality.

Acknowledgements to my author colleagues – thank you for your works!

– Anne McIntyre (The Complete Floral Healer) and

– Sebastian Pole (Ayurvedic Medicine: The Principles of Traditional Practice)