"The Rose is one of the most ancient botanical medicines known to humans." -Sophia Rose of La Abeja Herbs
Rose carries the medicine of softness + strength. Of all the many ways it brings healing, one of the most important is by reminding us that softness and strength can co-exist. In fact, they must co-exist.
Power without vulnerability isn't strength; real strength always contains an element of vulnerable openness to life, to others, to sharing the truth of ourselves with the world.
Likewise softness without an underlying structure of strength, sureness of self, and integrity is bound to collapse in on itself, crushed under the weight of other people's demands and expectations.
Alongside its silky petals are rose's sharp thorns, which remind us to keep our boundaries intact and to balance our soft openness with a strong sense of discernment between what/who to allow into our space and what/who not to. The importance of this on a person's life cannot be overstated.
From the ancient Egyptians to Hippocrates to Ayurveda to Hildegard of Bingen to Nicholas Culpeper (all historical cultures/systems/people steeped in the lore and use of botanical medicines), roses have been used and recommended for such various ailments as wounds, inflammation, women's health, stomach complaints, headache, dizziness, grief and heartache, and colds & flu (to name just a few).
This luxurious herb works on so many different parts of the body and imbalanced tissue states because of its many healing properties...
Rose is aphrodisiac (moving the blood and opening us up to the sweet sensuality of this human embodiment) astringent (helping to tighten lax tissues), nervine (calming the nerves), slightly antimicrobial (as are all plants with a detectable scent, due to their volatile oil content), anti-inflammatory and cooling (making them great for sunburn, rashes, boils, stings, etc.), vulnerary (wound healing), and slightly analgesic (pain-killing), among other things.
Long used as a women's medicine, rose has a lovely effect on the wombspace. Physically, it is a pelvic decongestant- a blood mover- used to break up stagnation and bring warmth and movement to the area. This action- the stimulation of circulation and blood flow to the pelvis- helps to address menstrual difficulties, cystic growths, and volatile emotions, and it is also what is responsible for rose's famed aphrodisiac properties.
On a more energetic level, rose reminds us of our creative nature as women who bleed and are capable of bringing life into the world. Rubbing rose oil onto the lower abdomen or drinking rosebud tea is a sweet way to honor this part of our body, where we all hold trauma and shame and pain in deep need of healing.
Rosehips, the seed-bearing fruit of the plant, are one of herbalism's most beloved and oft-used remedies. They are full of antioxidant rich bioflavanoids and high in Vitamin C, and are delicious to boot. One study showed positive outcomes in blood pressure and cholesterol levels in people who had been consuming rosehip tea.
Simply inhaling the intoxicating scent of rose oil creates a measurable calming effect- lowering systolic blood pressure, having a positive effect on blood oxygen saturation, and slowing down breathing.
Herbalist Kiva Rose says, "There are as many varieties of Rose as there are shades of green, and every kind holds some profound therapeutic value."
There is certainly some rose medicine waiting nearby for you to respectfully harvest or purchase and use to heal your heart, womb, spirit, and so much more. Use it with love.