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The Spirit of the Rose

It takes a village, they say.

My village, at one time, was my mother: strong and stubborn, but with an unyielding heart-centered approach to life.

We had a strong connection and, at one point in my late twenties, I remember her saying that I was her best friend. At the time, I couldn’t process that my mother didn’t have friends that supported her desires, her goals, her needs, and above all, her self-care, but she didn’t even give it a second thought. She merely did what needed to be done and found her escape in murder mysteries and historical romance. She is the reason why I moved toward herbal medicine, because she had multiple heart attacks in her sixties, and they deflated her. My mother passed very suddenly when I was about 11 weeks pregnant with my son, and it was devastating, to say the least. Her being was gone, and her spirit, that resonated amongst all of our family, ping-ponged along, claiming stubbornness and escapism in some of my family and in my case, thankfully, resolution to heal and rise. Today is the 10th anniversary of her passing. I still can’t believe it. 

It was a calling from beyond that I would change my life and live my passion by my hands. This is where Rose comes into my story. The plant and her abilities are strong, resolute, calming, cooling, and infiltrating. It is one of those smells that stays with me . . . if I tuck my head in a flower or pour a cup of rosebuds in my bath, they permeate.

The Spirit of the Rose

Ways to Work With Rose:

I love the Rose family and use it often in my work botharomaticallyand for its astringency. Rosewater is still one of my favoritemists to spray during this humid season of Summer because it tightens and tones. It also, thankfully, lifts my spirit against the oppressive humidity in Virginia.  

I use Rose often when the season changes and when I need morestrength andresilience. I also use it formoving grief and opening the heart.

One of the easiest ways to work with Rose is to add a cup or twoto a bath. I don’t mind floating petals, but for those who do, put it in a little bit of cheesecloth or muslin bag. Your skin will thank you! Rose has tonifying properties for skin and hair, along with her sweet aroma and beauty.


Cultivation: Rose prefers full sun to part-shade. It has natural tendencies to create a hedge. (You will know this if you ever been to Ireland.) It is tolerant of many soils, even our Virginia clay, but prefers the river edges.

Description: Medium-sized, thorny shrub that can form a thicket in great strength. Has compound leaves with 5 to 9 leaflets. Multiple white to pinkish flowers arise on corymbs in early to mid-June. They are 2-4 cm in diameter and have an incredible fragrance. They have the classic Rose Family 5 petals and numerous yellow stamens.

Collection: Flowers bloom in early to mid-June. Harvest well after it rains to prevent molding. Each cluster will have flowers in varying stages of flowering; therefore, it is fine to harvest as long as some of it is in flower and has a full scent. I like to collect a full cluster of flowers along with 1-2 leaflets. I collect the leaves any time before frost. Collect the rosehips after a strong frost in Virginia. I do love gathering the beach rosehips from the Northeast.


It is one of my FAVORITES as aHeart Tonic for thephysiological heart andspiritual-emotional heart


I hope you enjoyed my love for Rose. I would love to hear about your experiences with this energetic gem.



Colleen O’Bryant is a trained herbalist and not a licensed doctor or registered healthcare practitioner. She cannot and does not claim to diagnose health conditions, nor prescribe medicines. Colleen O’Bryant does not claim that the information and products she provides to Client will prevent, alleviate, or cure any diseases or medical conditions. The information and products Colleen and Wild Roots Apothecary provides is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment. Please consult your medical care provider before using herbal products, particularly if you have a known medical condition, allergy or if you are pregnant or nursing. Always consult a medical doctor before modifying your diet, using any new product, drug, supplement, or doing any new exercises. Wild Roots Apothecary statements and products have not been evaluated by the FDA and they are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. Client understands that Colleen is not yet certified by the American Herbalists Guild, but by working with clients such as yourself she is gaining the required hours of practice to apply towards her certification.

Wild Roots Apothecary does not claim to be a pharmacy or prescribe medicines. Additionally, Wild Roots does not claim to be able to cure or relieve the client's specific condition or illness with the herbal formulations or recommendations provided.

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