Rosa damascena/ centifolia Rosaceae
Part used : Petal, leaf, hips/fruit
Also, rosehip oil from Rosa rubiginosa
Location The dog rose (Rosa canina) is native to Europe, and temperate regions of Asia and North Africa. It grows in hedgerows, thickets and on wasteground. Rosa gallica is originally from the Middle East. It is no longer found in the wild. It has been cultivated for at least 3 000 years. Flowers are gathered in the summer.
Description: Dog rose is a climbing perennial up to 3 m. Curved thorns, Leaves with 2-3 pairs toothed leaflets. Flowers 4-5 petals (white or pink), fruits scarlet. Apothecary’s rose is a decidous shrub reaching about 1.5 m. Stems are smooth, with smaller thorns. Leaves divided into 2-3 pairs of leaflets with serrated edge. Many petalled pink or red flowers and scarlet fruits.
Energetics and folklore: Rose is seen as the queen of flowers but was the symbol of warriors too; a true queen who is a warrior, why else would she have thorns other than to protect. The human race has a love affair with this plant; she is a symbol of love, of the heart. She opens our heart, like a rosebud unfurling, There may be an initial vulnerability, open hearts are vulnerable but we can open the strong heart that knows who we are our and fights for our truth; a warrior. Rose is associated with love and passion and eros. A symbol of beauty and femininity, the feminine, Venus. She helps soothe the depression that comes from a loss of self identity, clouding the heart and stagnating the liver. She dries out damaged boundaries in the guts and the skin, helping to astringe and heal. She appears contradictory (how feminine) in that she astringes/dries/tightens and rehydrates at the same time- so she tells us we need to step out of dualism to the ‘and,and, and”. She nourishes the womb but also tonifies the male reproductive parts – fertility is not just a physical issue. A reputed aphrodisiac. The fruits or hips contain large quantities of vitamin C which is also protective and healing to our tissues.
Taste: Sweet and aromatic
Petal Volatile oil; tannins; vitamins BCEK
Hips Vitamin C; Bioflavonoids
Actions Antidepressants; Antispasmodic; Astringent; Sedative; Digestif
Traditional and current uses
Petal Sore throats as a gargle; Conjunctivitis as an eye wash or compress; Skin tonic
Hips As a source of vitamin C and bioflavonoids; used as a sweetmeat; Rosehip syrup as a nourishing drink and vitamin tonic; Useful for diarrhoea; mildly diuretic; Reduces thirst; Alleviate
Rose is widely used as a flavouring in many middle eastern and Indian spice blends for example ras-el- hanout which is made from a blend of spices which varies from household to household .
A sample mixture is
2 tspn black peppercorns
1 tspn coriander seed
1 tspn cumin
1 tspn allspice
2 tspn cinnamon powder
1 tspn nutmeg powder
1 tspn ginger powder
½ tsp cloves
½ tspn cardamom
1 tspn rose petals
Rose water is used to flavour sweet and desserts e.g. Turkish delight, baklavas. It can be used in making sorbets and as a cooling and calming summer drink.
Cover fresh rosehips in water for 20 minutes. Press off juice. Measure volume of liquid and then add 1 g sugar (or honey) per ml of liquid. Alternatively add equal volume of apple juice concentrate. Simmer for 10 minutes and bottle. Store in fridge and use as cordial. Also delicious poured on stewed apple, apple pie or ice cream.
Instant rosehip jam
Fill jam jar two thirds with dried rosehip shells, cover with pressed apple juice and leave to soak over night.
250 g ground almonds
125 g agave syrup
50 ml rosewater
Mix ingredients together and form into balls. Roll balls in cocoa powder. Great heart medicine.