The Spirit of the Rose

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It takes a village they say.   My village at one time was my mother.  Strong and stubborn but had a strong heart centered approach to life.  We had a strong connection, at one point in my late twenties I remember her saying that I was her best friend.  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 I moved towards herbal medicine, she had multiple heart attacks in her sixties.  And they deflated her. She passed very suddenly when I was about 11 weeks pregnant with my son 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 thankfully resolution to heal and rise in my case. 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 in to 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.

I love the rose family and use it often in my work both aromatically but then for its astringency - rosewater is still one of my favorite mist to spray during this humid season of summer it tightens and tones, thankful lifting my spirit again the oppressive humidity in Virginia.   

So I love the rose, I use it often when the season changes and I need more strength and resilience.  I also use it for moving grief and heart opening in so many ways.

On using it, one of the easiest ways to use Rose is to add a cup or two to a bath.  I don’t mind floating petals, but for those who don’t put it in a little bit of cheesecloth or muslin bag.  Your skin will thank you with it’s tonifying properties for skin and hair along with just the smell and the beauty.

I also love it as an infusion, I make a beautiful Rose Syrup when the Rose Petals are flush  3 cups fresh rose petals and leaves (harvest the top petals and first set of leaves) and 3 cups of honey.  Mix all together in a mason jar and shake every couple of days for at least 3 weeks. Strain if you'd like and enjoy. 

The roses will release their water and essence and low and behold you will have a rose scented honey that will last for months. 

More from an herbalist eye:

Name as known: Wild Rose (Rosa Multiflora, Rosa sp) syn Multiflora Rose, Baby Rose, Seven Sisters Rose, Japanese Rose, Ye Qiang Wei (China), No-Ibara (Japan), Jjillenamu (Korea)

Family: Rosaceae 

Habitat: Besides cultivated wild rose are abundant in woodland and field edges, roadsides, yards, farms, in general disturbed soil.

Cultivation:  Prefers full sun to part-shade. It has natural tendencies to create a hedge (have you ever been to Ireland?)  Tolerant of many soils even our Virginia clay but prefers the river edges.

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

Herbal Ecology:   Originally native to eastern Asia- China, Japan, and Korea.  The rose hips are a favorite forage in winter for birds, deer and other wildlife.It is a plant of edges and seems to protect exhausted agricultural land, and prevent further encroachment on woodlands.   I love that it is defined as a “people plant” and also the plant of love.

Collection: Flowers bloom in early-mid June. Harvest well after it rains to prevent molding.   Each cluster will have flowers in varying stages of flowering therefor it's 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 and 1-2 leaflets. I collect the collect leaves any time before frost. Collect hips after a strong frost in Va. they are very tiny. I do love gathering the beach rosehips from the Northeast.  

Taste: Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Astringent

Energetics: Cool, Dry/Contracting

Herbal Actions:  Flowers + Leaves- Anti-inflammatory, Vulnerary, Relaxant Nervine, Astringent, mild Anti-Infective (esp topically), Hemostatic/Styptic, Cardiovascular Tonic, Blood Tonic (esp Hips), Liver Relaxant, Aphrodisiac, Blood-Mover, Blood Tonic, Astringent, Vulnerary

Constituents and details. : Flowers- B Vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Carotene, Calcium,Potassium, Anti-Oxidants, Bioflavinoids, Polyphenols. Hips- Vit C, Vit A, Vit B1, Vit B2, Vit B3, Niacin, Bioflavinoids, Vit K, Vit E, Polyphenols, Pectin

What do I use Roses for Wellness:

Leaves and Flowers:  

Gut Inflammation and food intolerance

pain reduction, heat and inflammation from wounds and skin abrasions, rashes, bites and stings.  One of my favorite first aid medicine it takes the heat out of the wound or abrasion including sunburn.

It is one of my FAVORITE as a  Heart Tonic for the physiological heart and spiritual-emotional heart.  

Useful for trauma, sadness and grief, depression, anxiety, heartbreak along with general melancholy especially in a flower essence.

It is heart-opening, and well known flower of love and devotion.

Makes an excellent for nerves especially those that need calming quickly (re: grief and distraughtness)

Cardiovascular tonic, promoting proper vascular functioning, treating high blood pressure and poor circulation.I use it often in my formulations for an  Aphrodisiac, helpful for low libido, erectile dysfunction, frigidity.

Helpful for feelings of anger and frustration especially in children and elderly adults. I also use the petals for opening the spirit so it is in a few of my tea formulations energetically.   

For the Rosehips - they are nutritive, rich in Vitamin C and excellent for colds, flus and low immunity. Especially combined with elderberry.  

Rosehips are also excellent for cardiovascular health and immunity as a high vitamin c tonic.

I hope you enjoyed my love for rose.  let me know your experiences with this energetic gem.  


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