Thursday, May 8, 2014

What I'm Using. . . WILD ROSE

Photo by Andrey

The past couple weeks I've been extremely drawn to wild rose.

Funny, because it's not in season yet. I've been feeling that Mother Earth gives us what we need, when we need it, and have also been drawn to abundant use of nettles lately, whose leaves are at the height of their potency (or maybe beginning to flower now?). 

Spring Herbs! Nettle patch surrounded by Wild Rose bushes.

However, it IS just past Beltane, the Earth-festival of love, and rose emanates love energy, so it is definitely seasonally appropriate. 


This is one plant that I have not yet worked with as a vibrational essence, though I am looking forward to its blooming season this year to develop that energetic relationship. 

Aside: I just moved into a neighbourhood where all the streets are named for plants (I think I'm in the right place). I live on Buttercup between Wild Cherry and Wild Rose. I was disappointed to find only one wild rose bush along Wild Rose Street (though maybe more will reveal themselves when their pink blossoms start popping out). I'm considering doing some guerilla planting. . . .

Even using the herb, I feel a powerful energetic effect, it really is a loving feeling, like a cloud of pink softness hugging the heart, and hovering around the body. Feelings of tenderness, affection, and compassion flow easily. That is why this herb is in the aphrodisiac category, along with its power to relax and release inhibition & anxiety. 

Tea & Wine

This week I've been adding rose petals to my Lavender Assam tea in the morning. The result is practically ecstatic. It's led to me ingesting a bit more caffeine than is probably ideal, but the rose seems to soften the effect (I added equal parts rose petals to black tea), and I feel so happy!

I also added rose petals to my Nourish & Hydrate tea (which also contains rose-hips, high in vitamin C), sweetening & lightening up the highly nourishing blend. I made a rose-nettle infusion on my son's birthday, and we ended up mixing it with white wine, which was fantastic (um, it wasn't for the birthday boy, he's only four). Then I added some rose petals to infuse in the leftover wine, which I'll enjoy in a week or two. 

Nettles & Wild Rose Leaves

Root Tincture

The other way I've been using wild rose is a tincture I made from its root this winter. Not a typical part of the plant to harvest, I came across a long root while hunting oregon grape and blackberry roots. It practically jumped out of the ground into my hands, so I figured it wanted to be tinctured. Upon research, sure enough, roots were used traditionally by first nations healers along with the rest of the plant. 

Energetically, I expect the root of a heart-healing plant to connect the energy of the heart to the earth, bringing grounding to an overabundance of love, balancing and bringing strength to a sensitive heart. This would have the effect of drawing the heart energy downwards through the body, and potentially increasing circulation of all energies from the heart on down to the toes (and deep into the heart of Mother Earth). 

Using the tincture confirmed my expectations. While using the petals in abundance can lead to a heady, blissed-out feeling, the root is slightly more of a pleasant body-calmer. I was pleased to find it having a sweet hint of rose flavour, without it being perfumy. I've been using the tincture fairly liberally in my drinking water this week, offering it to family members when anxiety, stress & irritability pop up ("here, you must be thirsty"), and finding it to have a calming effect. It's one of those herbs that can be used regularly without unpleasant side-effects, and probably should be by many people. (Overuse may be indicated by dryness, as it is a mild astringent).

Emotional Rescue Remedy

Herbalist Kiva Rose (knows her roses, that girl) recommends rose as an emotional rescue remedy for trauma, grief, fear & anxiety (elixir recipe). I think it's been helping me release the built-up stress of a very busy month. 

Parts Used

While rose hips are the most common way to use roses herbally, I find them more foody and nourishing, and the flower petals more effective for releasing tension & softening emotions

All parts of the plant can also be used EXCEPT the seeds, which contain harmful glucosides. When using the flowers, pick just the petals. Include the leaves if using for its astringent properties. 

Types of Roses

All types of roses can be used medicinally, but wild rose is the best, domesticated roses having lost some of the species' original properties. If your roses smell good, they'll probably make a good tea too. As domesticated roses go, Rugosa roses are considered excellent for their scent, flavour, and medicinal properties. They also produce large tasty rose hips. 

Medicinal Uses

Rose is commonly used for its nervine effects: calming the nerves. It is medicinally used as an anti-inflammatory, particularly in the respiratory tract (sore throats & sinus irritation). It's also astringent, dealing with excess mucus in a cold, relieving diarrhea, & other conditions involving fluid-loss

It's used topically to soothe sunburns and insect bites (as an infusion, poultice, or infused vinegar), and to help heal wounds

Rose has a balancing effect on most of the body, the heart and circulatory system, the reproductive system, the liver, kidneys & bladder, the nervous system, and the respiratory system. Oh and it helps relieve congestion in the lymphatic system, and calms auto-immune disorders. So, pretty much everything. 

What's your relationship with Wild Rose? 

Lavender Assam Tea with Wild Rose Petals

Want to try my Wild Rose products?

Check out my Etsy Shop, & message me to have Rose added to Lavender Assam Tea, Nourish & Hydrate Tea, or Garden Tulsi Green Tea. It would also be a good addition to my Sleepy Tea (chamomile, lavender & lemon balm). Or try my Rose Root Tincture ($10 for 15ml). 

Sources Used
Wood, Matthew. The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants