A Rose is a Rose....
There is a long hedge of a wild rose variety called Rosa Rugosa along the back of my garden. I planted them there a few years ago, chosen because they supposedly have the biggest rose hips of all the roses. I have been collecting the luscious hips each fall since then, but this year I was inspired by a couple of herbalists I admire, namely Elise Krohn, Olympia community herbalist and Kiva Rose, traditional herbalist in the SW, to use other parts of this beautiful plant to make medicine.
Wild roses have been used in herbal medicine for centuries and have a wide range of uses and benefits. Here is a list of some of the major properties of wild rose:
The petals of wild rose are so deliciously aromatic, that I decided to collect them this summer to make several different remedies. The first one I made was a Rose Petal Elixir.
Here's how I did it:
I gathered petals on a dry mid-morning after the dew had evaporated.
I filled a clean glass jar loosely with the petals.
I then poured vodka over the petals to fill the jar 3/4 of the way.
The next step is to fill the jar the rest of the way with raw local honey, leaving about 1/2 inch of headroom.
At this point I like to cover the top of the jar with a layer of plastic if the lid is metal, otherwise, rose has a tendency to react with it. Put the lid on tight. Let the jar sit in a cool, dark place for 4-6 weeks and shake it often. When it is done, the petals can be strained out (or not).
And that's it! It's that easy!
This simple elixir can be used topically for just about any type of wound, burn, rash or bite, as well as for sore muscles. Internally, it can be used in any situation where a calming influence is needed - trauma, mental shock, fear or stress.
Have you used wild rose petals for medicine? What is your favorite way to use them?