24. June 2013 · Comments Off on Yarrow’s Garden~The Beloved Wild Rose · Categories: Flower Essences, Health and Healing, Plant Medicines, Yarrow's Garden Blog


Whidbey2012 027From very early in botanical history, poets, romantics, mystics and gardeners have sung the praises of the Rose.  First cultivated by the ancient Persians, then by the Arabs, Greeks and Romans, the rose has become glorified as one of the most beloved flowering perennials of all time.

Although most of today’s rapture with the rose is based upon cultivated varieties, I will be focusing on our Colorado native Wild Rose (Rosa woodsii) and then comment on the uses of the rose around the world.

If you have walked the mountain trails here in the Wet Mountain Valley during June or early July, you have certainly come upon the wild rose in bloom. This sensually fragrant, showy, pink, five-petaled beauty is common along trails, roadsides, open meadows and slopes, along forest edges and shady creekside areas, in the full sun or part shade habitats of the foothills and montane zones. They establish themselves easily in most soil types, prefer consistently moist soil and can develop extensive root systems forming dense thickets. Plants in the rose family are typically upright woody shrubs, often with thorns (although shrubs like Mountain Mahogany—Cercocarpus montanus, Choke Cherry, Padus virginiana, and various Cinquefoils—Potentilla sp, are without thorns). All will have an edible fruit of some kind. The familiar rose hip, sour, sweet and astringing, is rich in vitamin C and flavonoids; a favorite food for deer, elk, birds, and bears. It makes an excellent cooling, tension-taming tea.

The widespread popularity of the cultivated rose began near the tenth century in Northern Persia, spreading to China, India, Morocco and throughout Europe. Then, as now, roses were grown for their beauty, fragrance, and for their healing properties, culinary uses, and skin care. One of the first preparations from rose was the floral water. Known for its antiseptic and astringent properties, rosewater used topically, was applied to burns and inflammations.Today, rosewater is still in use for firming the skin, found especially soothing for dry and aging skin conditions. A prized extract of rose is the distilled essential oil or attar. Considered one of the most precious and sought-after fragrances of all flowers, rose oil is used today to lift the spirit from depression, to decrease anxiety, and applied to the abdomen, known to decrease pelvic congestion and menstrual pain. To date, perfume chemists have been unable to replicate this sweet, woody fragrance, explaining why rose essential oil currently retails for about $208 for 5ml (30 ml equals one ounce).

In traditional Chinese medicine, rose flowers are used in herbal formulations to promote circulation, disperse blood stagnation, regulate menstrual bleeding, and to restore harmonious digestion. In various Native American herbal traditions, all parts of the rose have been used. Tea of rose petals, leaves and roots were relied upon to reduce high fevers in children, as a wash for eye inflammations, and to ease emotional tension. Old World European traditions use rose petals and hips for acute inflammatory lung conditions including sore throat, to promote nasal flow and relieve bronchial congestion. In chronic cases, rose petal waters and baths were used for treating the excessive heat of certain arthritic conditions. Since the flower and hips are edible, many culinary uses have been created for rose, including wines, cordials and liqueurs as well as jams, jellies, teas, honeys and syrups. French cuisine makes use of rose petals to embellish even the most ordinary of presentations.

Today, the flower essence of the wild rose is often used to address the more soulful issues of depression, apathy and despair, fatigue, alienation, or lack of compassion. Rose is said to balance the love forces of the heart so that the soul can find enthusiasm in earthly life, worldly tasks and human relationships. As a universal expression of unconditional love, passion, nurturance, compassion, giving and caring, the rose is revered worldwide, respected and appreciated as a healer and remedy with broad application. The native Wild Rose, hardy and relatively easy to grow, has a soft, light, and uplifting energy and would make a great addition to any high altitude garden. The joy of stepping outside your door and experiencing this calming and enlivening energy leaves no excuse for the blues.


PLEASE NOTE: Posts on Yarrow’s Garden Blog andThree Sisters Medicine are for educational and inspirational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. Herbs are Medicine! Proceed with care. Self-diagnosis and self-treatment of serious medical conditions is inappropriate and unwise. If you have or suspect a medical condition, it is your responsibility to consult a medical practitioner for appropriate treatment.

THREE SISTERS APOTHECARY offers a variety of dry tea blends and tinctured formulations.Formulas are custom blended for your specific health and healing needs. Contact me at skyedarter@gmail.com or phone: 719.783.0465 to schedule an appointment.

Comments closed.