It's Valentine's Day so I thought I'd take a look at that wonderful plant which is traditionally given on this day as a token of love, the rose.
I make no apology for being a lover of roses. My garden is filled with heavily scented roses. One of life's simple pleasures for me is sitting on the patio surrounded by the exquisite perfume of the roses clambering up the surrounding walls. Beautiful to look at, gorgeous to smell, the rose is one of my favourite plants. But beauty and perfume are not the only reasons roses are a favourite with me. The rose is also wonderful medicine and one which I frequently use in my practice. Here are just a few of the uses.
First of all, grief. Drops of rose tincture can be wonderfully helpful when someone is recently bereaved. However, I also often add some rose to a patient's medicine if they mention a loss from some time ago; and that could be any loss such as something like a job as well as a loved one. Traditionally rose is considered to strengthen the heart, and it has been used to help reduce blood pressure.
Rose has an uplifting effect and can help relieve the symptoms of depression. Research into the pharmacology supports the traditional uses in relieving nervous stress and tension as well as anxiety and depression.
Another area where I consider using rose is with chest problems like bronchitis. Rose can be an effective cough medicine for children as well as adults.
Depending on the individual person and their needs, I might include rose in a prescription is in gynaecological problems. A simple tea of rose petals taken regularly has been found to reduce menstrual pain and improve well-being. *
There are three main varieties that are used medicinally. They are Rosa gallica,Rosa centifolia and Rosa damascena. Rosa canina is used for producing rosehip oil.
So, when your Valentine gives you roses, they are giving you medicine and not just a token of love.
This is not intended to provide advice on how to use medicines containing rose flower. For help with health problems you should consult a qualified medical herbalist. See www.nimh.org.uk for your nearest herbalist