Using roses in herbal medicine and home remedies

Rose petals and seed pods are used in herbal medicine to treat everything from skin problems and stress to vitamin C deficiency. Rose petals are made into tea, lotion, rose water, and essential oil. Rose seed pods, known as rose hips, are a useful food source due to their high concentration of vitamin C.

Red rose - roses are useful in herbal medicine.
© Sabilin | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Take time to smell the roses. The scent of roses promotes feelings of well-being and helps heal depression.


Roses (Rosa Centifolia or Rosa Damascena) are very useful in herbal medicine.

Treat stress with rose petal tea. Rose petals are made into tea for the treatment of stress, depression, sinus congestion, colds, digestive ailments, nausea, vomiting, constipation, sore throats, coughs, swollen eyes, puffiness, broken capillaries, insomnia, PMS, menopausal symptoms, reduced libido, and eating disorders. The tea can be taken as a drink, used as a gargle, or applied as a wash.

Rose essential oil is used in aromatherapy.

Rose essential oil is diluted and used externally to help regenerate skin, to promote feelings of well-being, and to purify the system. The scent of rose oil is very soothing for the nervous system. It is a gentle sedative and can help stop panic attacks. When combined with Melissa essential oil, the blend is known to help herpes sores and other skin eruptions disappear.

Combine rose with lavender essential oil for detoxing.

Rose essential oil is also combined with lavender essential oil and a carrier such as almond oil to rub into the lymph nodes for detoxification and revitalization. Rose oil contains over 300 chemicals, of which only 100 have been identified. For centuries, herbalists have realized the value of rose. Who knows what scientists may one day discover about this magnificent flower!

The scent of roses is soft and sensual.

Rose essential oil is known as the Queen of Essential Oils. It is very expensive since it takes 30 roses to make one drop of oil. Rose oil is an aphrodisiac and is considered a good remedy for disorders of the female system. If you want to learn more, The American Rose Society has lots of good information about the fragrance of roses.

Use rose essential oil on mature skin.

Rose essential oil is often included in cosmetic creams for its refreshing and tonic effect on sensitive skin.  The oil is very appropriate for mature skin as it moisturizes and helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Dilute rose essential oil and use as a compress on tired eyes.

Rose essential oil, diluted in distilled water, may be used as a compress to treat tired or inflamed eyes. Rose oil is anti-bacterial, astringent, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and a good anti-depressant. Rose petal tea may also be used as an eye compress.

The scent of roses is considered to be an aid to meditation.

Rose helps balance hormones and calms anxiety that may cause frigidity or impotence.  When used in a gentle massage, rose essential oil can help heal broken capillaries and stimulate circulation. Always dilute essential oils before applying to skin. Rose water is less expensive and may be used as a substitute.

Rose essential oil is used in many fine perfumes.

The scent of rose is rich and deep with flowery undertones. Stopping to smell the aroma of a rose can actually help cure grief, resentment, and anger.

Rose hips are full of vitamin C.

Rose hips are actually seed pods and are sometimes used as a kidney tonic. One cup of prepared rose hips equals the vitamin C content of 144 oranges. Harvest rose hips in the fall for making nourishing teas, syrups, and fruit drinks.

Preparing rose hips for use as a herbal remedy.

To prepare rose hips, cut off stem and blossom ends, slit down one side with a knife, and remove seeds. Use the white pulp for medicinal purposes and for vitamin C content.

Rose petals are safe to eat.

Roses come in countless varieties. All are edible but the wild varieties are preferred for use in herbal medicine. Both cultivated and wild roses are used in cooking to make jellies, jams, and garnishes.

* Avoid rose oil during the first four months of pregnancy. Always consult with a physician before using any herbal remedy.

Learn more about rose essential oil.

Roses growing at Payne Mountain Farms
Several varieties of heirloom roses grow at Payne Mountain Farms. Photo by Janice Boling.

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Herb Articles by Janice Boling

"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... , herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer

"Ointment and Perfume Rejoice the Heart." Proverbs 27:9

Every Green Herb is a place to learn about medicinal herbs and essential oils. Visit my online store to buy wild harvested yellowroot, mullein, bee balm, and other herbal products at Payne Mountain Farms.

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