Rosa damascena, Rosa gallica, Rosa centifolia
parts used: Petals.
collection: Collect the petals from the flower in full bloom on a dry day, dry them in a dark area to retain the colour and fairly gently: an airing cupboard makes an ideal spot for this.
cultivation: Three varieties are grown for herbal medicine: Rosa damascena, gallica and centifolia. They may take a little finding as they are not the most popular varieties and aren’t always available in garden centres, but they are all are native to northern Europe so will grow happily in Britain in manure-enriched soil in full sun.
constituents: Essential oil containing nerol, geraniol, eugenol.
actions: Mild sedative, mild local anaesthetic, cooling skin astringent, anti-inflammatory, liver protector, aphrodisiac, anti-depressant, cardioactive, cholagogue, antispasmodic, antiviral, menstrual regulator.
genitourinary system: Rose has a regulatory function on the menstrual cycle, and also works to alleviate emotional tension associated with premenstrual tension via its action on both the liver and the nervous system. As an antispasmodic it also works to reduce muscle spasm associated with painful periods.
skin: The essential oil and aromatic water can be used as topical applications, to reduce inflammation and redness. It also has some action on thread veins which appear on the face with age, sunburn, or alcohol use.
nervous system: Rose is a fantastic antidepressant used in any of its available forms. It works to heal our broken hearts from anger, loss and grief, helping us to love ourselves and others again. Perhaps this is why lovers give each other roses. It also works to calm an anxious heart and prevent panic attacks and the associated palpitations. digestive system Rose works within the digestive system primarily as a liver protector and cholagogue. It is not as strong as Milk thistle in its action but can be of benefit nevertheless.
contraindications: None known
preparations and dosage: tea: 1–2 teaspoons of fresh or dried flowers per cup, infuse for 10 minutes and drink freely. Tincture: 1 part herb to 1 part 45% alcohol. Take 2ml in water three times daily. Aromatic water: for internal take use 5ml three times daily. On the skin, use freely. Essential oil Rose oil is generally very expensive in its pure form, and, as a result, is usually sold in an adulterated form. It is worth finding a reputable source if you wish to use the oil for medicinal purposes rather than just for its scent.
combinations: For regulating the menstrual cycle use with Raspberry leaf. As an antidepressant use with Lemon balm.
This is an extract from Sorrell’s book.