Friday, July 09, 2010
Cool, calm and collected with Roses
Last months blog party was on staying cool in summer heat, and I wasn't able to put anything together in time, but we've been having a bit of a heat wave in the Northeast this past week or two and I've been turning to Rose to keep the heat from rising too much!
Rose, besides being sweet smelling, heart soothing and settling to emotional frights and upsets, is a wonderful cooling remedy. Roses gently move blood, are slightly bitter, astringent, antiinflammatory, nervine and nourishingly rich in vitamins, minerals and bioflavanoids.
I always turn to rose for burns. Sunburns respond amazingly quickly to an application of rose vinegar diluted in water. I've also used a rose tincture applied similarly with great results. I also turn to rose for cooling and calming red inflammed and damaged skin- either on the face or elsewhere- heat rash, red and painful chaffed skin, cold sores, and the delicate skin of the face in rosacea or general sun damage. Rose tea, rose tincture, rose vinegar, rose hydrosol, rose infused oil, and rose otto all work well in these cases. I choose the preparation that is both convienently close by, and appropriate for the situation at hand. i.e. tea or vinegar as a compress for heat rash, oil for damaged skin or inflammed dry rashes, hydrosol to cool and calm.
I use Rose tincture diluted in a saline solution as an eyewash that offers quick relief and healing from burning, redness, itchiness, or in removing a particle of something in the eye. Rose eyewash works really well for the unfortunate experience of hot burning chile pepper/cayenne in the eyes! Just make sure to strain the solution well through a coffee filter to avoid putting more particles in the eye. I dilute 30 drops of tincture in 1 oz of saline solution (1/2 tsp non iodized salt in 8 oz water), and use an eye cup, or a shot glass, or just use a clean dropper to rinse and irrigate the eye. You can also use rose hydrosol for this.
But lately, as I've been dealing with the hot, sticky humid New England heat wave, rose has made its way into my daily routine in the following ways.
After a sticky, hot walk outside I drink a glass of cool water with a splash of rose hydrosol. Yum! you can also add a spoonful of rose petal honey to this to make it a bit sweeter. Some days I add a generous splash of rose petal elixir to the mix as well. Feel free to mix and match to what suits you. If you like the taste you can also make a rose vinegar and rose honey mix to add to your water.
I frequently mist my face, neck, chest and back with a blend of rose tea, rose vinegar, and rose hydrosol mixed in a mister bottle. You can add a drop of rose otto, lavender essential oil, or peppermint essential oil if you like.
After a cool shower I massage my skin with a rose infused and scented oil- honestly I can't say how directly cooling the oil massage is, but it feels so beautiful after a cooling shower, and heart nourishing- do it just to love yourself. Anoint your heart with rose.
Include rose petals- either fresh or dried in your daily infusions. This can be very astringent and drying, so take note of how much rose you use, and if you are already dry and dehyrated or live in a dry/hot climate, you might consider adding a demulcent like marshmallow root to the infusion as well.
I like to use the fragrant wild roses for most of my medicinal preparations, but note that unsprayed cultivated roses and the wild multiflora rose which is less fragrant still make wonderful cooling medicines - as vinegars, elixirs, infused honey and tea.