“To raise the spirits and cheer the heart”. According to Bartram’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, that is what rose was traditionally used for in the context of herbs for health.
It is the petals and hips of roses – particularly Rosa Gallica and Rosa Damascena – that are mostly widely used in herbal medicine. Rose is very much still considered to be a heart herb, with anti-depressant and uplifting qualities. It is commonly used today as a mild sedative, and also a skin astringent – meaning it helps to tighten pores and aid with drying out oily skin. It is also a very gentle and soothing addition to a herbal tea.
I absolutely love the smell of roses and think that the smell in itself is the reason why this herb is deemed so uplifting.
I made this rose balm – originally as a lip balm but I also love applying it to my wrists for a soothing scent. It was super easy to make – here are the instructions below.
Rose lip balm
2 x tbsp. rose-infused almond oil (you can make this by filling a 200ml glass jar with dried rose petals – dried yourself, or bought online – and filling it to the brim with almond oil. Seal and store in a cool cupboard for a month, shaking daily)
1 x tbsp. unrefined shea butter
1 x tsp beeswax (or vegan beeswax substitute)
5 x drops of rose essential oil and a few rose petals to decorate
- Combine the rose-infused almond oil, shea butter and beeswax/substitute in a pan. Turn on the stove and heat gently until the ingredients melt and combine
- Remove from the heat, allow to cool for a minute or so and then add the rose essential oil
- Add a few dried rose petals at this point, if you like
- Decant the mixture into a small, lipbalm sized jar. Allow to cool and seal
- This should keep for around 6-12 months