Rosa centifolia/damascena – Flos (Rosaceae)
Common name: Rose (E), Gulab (H)
Rose petals treat the heart, nerves and lift the spirits. Like all Rosaceae family, they have a certain astringency that stops bleeding and reduces inflammation. The Sanskrit ‘Shatapatri’ literally means the ‘hundred petalled’.
Roses are either upright, climbing or trailing bushes, reaching up to 7 metres in height with characteristically spiked branches. The leaves are dark green in colour with delicate hairs spanning the surface. Flowers will vary in size, colour and scent and are often very beautiful. The large majority of species are native to Asia, but some are also native to Europe, Africa and the Americas. Many varieties are now bred and cultivated for the horticultural industry.
How it Works
Rose is particularly astringent, which is one of the primary ways in which this herb works within the body. It will tighten and astringe tissues and mucous membranes which makes it particularly helpful for conditions associated with excess fluid production or sweating. Rose has a naturally cooling and anti-inflammatory effect when used internally and externally, making it suited for hot and irritated conditions.
Rose acts as a nervine, calming and relaxing the nervous system, with a particular impact upon the heart as an organ relieving emotional as well as physical tension.
Into the Heart of Rose
The cooling and anti-inflammatory nature of rose has an affinity for the heart and blood. Rose is excellent at clearing excess heat and congestion from the bloodstream and targeting blood based disorders such as those associated with the menstrual cycle and/or the skin.
This herb’s affinity for the heart means that it will support the organ on both a physical and emotional level, helping to relieve emotional tension, but also tension in the heart muscle itself manifesting as palpitations for example. As a result of this effect, rose can also act as an effective aphrodisiac and also help to boost libido. Rose will open the heart chakra, increasing patience, compassion and love.
The astringent, drying properties of rose are helpful for conditions associated with fluid accumulation, particularly within the digestive tract where there may be associated heat and inflammation in the case of ulcers and excess acidity.
Gyanaecology: Rose is indicated in excessive menstrual bleeding, vaginal infections and inflammation. It clears heat from the uterus and blood and is used in dysmenorrhoea, metrorrhagia, endometriosis and fibroids. Its can also help to alleviate PMS symptoms associated with irritability, emotional sensitivity and heat and also enhance libido and fertility. It’s cooling and drying qualities have made rosewater and excellent solution for menopausal hot flushes.
Nervous: Rose’s nourishing and calming effect on the nervous system make it useful for nervous depression and anxiety, particularly where this is characterised by agitation, palpitations and tension headaches.
Skin: Roses are used in inflammatory and suppurating skin conditions; eczema, psoriasis, urticaria, itching and irritation. In the form of rosewater, it is excellent for astringing and calming irritated skin.
GIT: The astringency and cooling effect of rose has made it excellent for the treatment of ulcers, inflammation, acidity, enteritis and heartburn. Its astringency has also made it useful in diarrhoea. Roses can help with fat metabolism and help to reduce blood lipid levels, for example where there are imbalances in cholesterol.
Reproduction: The calming effect on the emotions and the heart are complemented by the aphrodisiac effect of this plant.