Oh so lovely Roses. Sep 10, 2021 | About Herbs, Blog The rose as symbol of love and beauty has influenced most cultures and is evident in rituals around the world. I dare say that the custom to bring roses to a loved one is globally accepted as a showcase of love. During Ancient times rose petals were used as confetti during festivities and even consumed as food. What has remained, though less widely recognised, is their use in herbal medicine due to their antidepressants and anti-inflammatory properties. Rosewater, for example, has astringent qualities which have been used both in beauty products as well as to aid minor wounds and to reduce stress. It can even be added to food products as flavour. Beauty products make use of their distinct sweet, heavenly scent and take advantage of their health benefits, too. The famous red Rosa gallica, or “Queen of flowers” was once native to the Middle East but now rarely exist in the wild and is almost exclusively cultivated. This practice was introduced during the 18th century from China and has grown from there into todays’ breeding and hybridization of rose plants. This may be to decorate gardens, for selling at the florist or to extract rose water and essential oil. The extraction of the essential oil, or attar of roses, goes back to ancient Persia. To obtain a single gram of it one needed over two thousand roses. It is easy to imagine that this precious extract was at times even used as currency. Next to the famous red rose, there are many other species and hybrids, all with slightly different smells and with slight variations to their health benefits. Most rose petals will have astringent, antmicrobial, anti-inflammatory, stress-reducing and antidepressant properties and are high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. This makes them a fabulous remedy for the skin and aids to tighten pores, reduce wrinkles, restoring pH balance and overall having a revitalising effect. In order to make their effect even more stress-reducing and enjoyable, the ideal cure I find is to enjoy a relaxing bath floating amongst rose petals. You can spoil yourself to this magical treat or create a romantic evening with your loved one. In China, rose petal tea is said to reduce menstrual pains and some research suggests it may aid to reduce high cholesterol levels. If none of these sound like your cup of tea, you can always use them as potpourri to sweeten your day.