Herb of the Week: Rose

“I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I’ve never been able to believe it. I don’t believe a rose WOULD be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

This is a quote from one of my favorite childhood books, Anne of Green Gables. As is evident, the protagonist, Anne, understood something special about the rose. Indeed, roses are not only beautiful, they have symbolic and medicinal significance as well.

Roses are especially beneficial for Pitta due to their cooling nature. Their sweet, nourishing qualities also benefit Vata. Rose water is used in puja (devotional ceremony) and I like to keep it around the house as a refreshing skin spray. Rose water is moistening, and it is reputed to protect one’s energetic fields. Dr. Lad and Dr. David Frawley write of rose water: “It opens the mind and heart and is cooling and refreshing to the eyes” (Yoga of Herbs). Indeed, pure rosewater can be used safely as an eye wash.

Taken internally, rose can be used as a tonic. Roses also cool inflammation. For regulating menses and clearing blood stagnation, take rose with hibiscus or safflower.