"The rose and the thorn, and sorrow and gladness are linked together."
Saadi (Iranian Poet, 1184-1283)
Moroccan Roses growing in the Atlas Mountains Dades Gorge where we went
on our honeymoon. There is an annual rose festival in this region every year.
Lush green oases produce heavenly scents at the foot of dry red earthen slopes.
While training to become a herbalist, my dear grandmother, Oma suffered a stroke, lost her ability to speak and became paralysed down one side. My family experienced the loss of our cherished matriarch to this condition and the anticipation of her passing. This prompted me to do my herbal medicine dissertation on how herbal medicine can be supportive for the experience of grief and loss.
I surveyed all herbalists registered with the most popular professional bodies of herbal medicine in Britain. Out of the many herbs used in prescriptions for a broad range of actions to support patients experiencing the emotional and physiological effects of grief, rose was by far the most widely used. The aroma of this gentle plant can be a soothing balm even in the depths of sorrow.
Rose petals and hips have a wide range of applications in health and beauty products, cooking and crafting. The buds and petals are cooling and mildly astringent, helping to reduce inflammation. Rose water has been used traditionally as an eye wash, skin tonic, and refreshing for over-heated skin.
The rose hip seed are rich in vitamin C and healing as a cold-pressed oil to restore scar tissue and skin irritations, as a tincture or syrup to boost immunity when depleted or at the change of seasons.
I often recommend adding a few drops of rose essential oil to a base oil and using this regularly to massage into pulse points or onto the chest and throat, common areas of tension where there is emotional upset. Tincture of rose can be taken as a herbal rescue remedy, a few drops on the tongue or added to water, in times of overwhelm or distress.
Love and rose petals,
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