It’s time for the rose harvest. I’m making rose glycerite today! I love roses…doesn’t everybody? I think I use more rose than almost any other herb in my practice…maybe as much as California poppy, gotu kola and chamomile.
The beautiful rose is a wonderful rejuvenative, helping to decrease the signs of ageing when used internally as well as applied to the skin. It makes a great tonic for the heart and mind and can be used for all three doshas. Rose helps improve memory and eyesight and is a lovely herb for calming anxiety. It is a perfect remedy for excess sadhaka pitta which might make us feel irritable or angry, or cause us to suffer from low self esteem and low spirits. It is excellent for cooling inflammatory digestive problems such as gastritis, peptic ulcers, enteritis, diarrhoea and even dysentery. It clears toxins from the gut and even helps regulate metabolism and weight. It clears excess pitta and ama from the blood (rakta dhatu), and is good for pitta problems like bleeding problems and inflammatory skin problems (such as herpes, measles, acne and chicken pox). The exquisite rose has always been the emblem of love so it is hardly surprising that it has an affinity with the reproductive system (shukra dhatu) and is used for easing menstrual and menopausal symptoms, relieving uterine spasm and congestion which can cause pain, heavy and irregular periods.
In the autumn you can use rose hips to make a syrup or decoction of the empty seed cases, or dry them and grind them into powder. They make a good remedy for diarrhoea, colic, constipation, nausea and indigestion.
Rose hips are also anti-inflammatory, and can reduce pain and increase flexibility in osteoarthritis. Rose also benefits the respiratory system, and both the hips and the flowers help prevent as well as relieve colds, flu, fevers, sore throats, catarrh, cough and bronchitis.
If you have any aromatic roses in your garden, why not make a glycerite? All you need to do is fill a jar with fresh roses, and pour over a mixture of plant glycerol and vodka at a ratio of 60:40 until you submerge the petals. Leave away from sunlight for about 3-4 weeks and then press through muslin….then try it out as a love potion and see what happens! It’s delicious!