The Herbal Healing Powers of Wild Roses

Wild Rugosa Rose petals and rosehips make teas and tonics packed with health benefits.


| September 2015


Herbal Goddess (Storey Publishing, 2015) is herbalist and yoga teacher Amy Jirsa’s guide to the restorative powers of herbs, including recipes and ideas for healing teas, nourishing foods, and beauty and health treatments. This excerpt introduces the benefits of roses, and how to use the plant for teas and healing properties.

You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Herbal Goddess.

Rediscovering the Most Romantic Bloom

Ah, roses; ah, love. Enter a beautiful medicinal with the most romantic history (and associations). No matter where you fall on the love it/hate it rose-love symbolism spectrum, you have to admit that there’s nothing like the jolt from the sight and smell of a rose (a species of the Rosa genus). Casting love and its myriad consequences aside, roses (as herbs) are soothing and therapeutic to the body, mind, and spirit.

Now, we’re not talking the seriously sexy, long-stemmed, perfectly velvet-red roses you find for a zillion dollars a dozen in any florist’s Valentine window display. We’re talking the untamed, undomesticated, uncultivated, wily, wanton, and wild rose (my favorite varietal is Rosa rugosa, or the rugosa rose). As you develop your relationship with these medicinal herbs, you’ll find that, just like people, you get better results when you just let them live the way they want to live.

For the Body

In herbal medicine, we use the petals and fruit (rosehips) of the rose. Rose petals are mildly sedative, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-parasitic. They’re also mild laxatives, a good supportive tonic for the heart, and great for lowering cholesterol (romantic, right?). The antiseptic nature of rose petals makes them a wonderful treatment for wounds, bruises, rashes, and incisions. Taken internally, their anti-inflammatory properties make them a wonderful treatment for sore throats or ulcers. They can stimulate the liver and increase appetite and circulation.

Got flu? Rose can also lower your body temperature and help bring down a fever or cool you off in the summer. As an anti-spasmodic, it helps relieve spasms in the respiratory system (asthma and coughs), in the intestinal tract (cramping, constipation), and in the muscles (cramps and sports injuries). Adding its antiviral qualities, you’ve got an entire winter’s medicine chest in one herb.





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