The history of the rose has led to it being used often as a symbol. In ancient Greece, the rose was associated with the goddess Aphrodite. In the Greek Epic “Iliad”, Aphrodite protects the body of Hector using the "immortal oil of the rose".
Medicinal Uses of Rose
The Romans formerly used the rose for medicinal purposes; myth has it that Cleopatra festooned her bed and floors with unsullied rose petals. Roses have diuretic effects as they contain Vitamin C, pectin, malic and citric acids. In addition to substantial proportions of vitamin C, the rose hips contain several other chemical amalgams that encompass 11% of pectin and 3% of a blend of Malic and Citric acids. According to the researchers it is the presence of malic acid and citric acid that contributes to the rose hips' laxative and diuretic effects. As a consequence, physicians frequently recommend the use of rose hips or preparations with it to treat constipation and urinary problems.
The flower bears the quality of both an aphrodisiac and an antidote to warfare drunkenness. Its effect in medicinal science proves that it clears toxins and heat from the body resulting in a cooling effect on the body. According to researchers, rose aroma increases brain power and helps sharpen the memory. The rose flower can relieve one from sore throat, runny nose and blocked bronchial tubes. Roses are useful in fighting chest infections. Rose petals relieve fluid retention and hasten the elimination of wastes through kidneys. The practitioners of naturopathy and herbal therapy believe that rose is a wonderful remedy for dysentery, diarrhea and gastro enteritis. As it is a laxative, it works as a remedy for all liver problems including sluggishness and constipation. It has also been said that roses help to cleanse the liver and gall bladder. Roses also promote bile flow.
Rose Petals in Tea
Rose Petal Tea is very useful and healthy. It grants relieve from pain and heavy menstruation in women. It is an excellent remedy for irregular menstruation and infertility. This tea has a calming effect on the nervous system and can relieve insomnia, depression and fatigue. It is also considered to be an effective cleanser and purifier. Rose hips also contain Carotenoid pigments, plant sterols, Tocotrienols and very high levels of Anthocyanins, Catechins and other Polyphenolics, known Phytochemicals to protect against cancer and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). The leaves as well as the petals of the rose plant grant a comforting effect and if ingested as a tea, can lessen body temperature during high fevers. The tea prepared with rose petals and leaves is also effective in removing heat from the body. Several researches have shown that the tea also possesses properties that increase the body's immunity and help to restrict all kinds of infections from entering the body system.
Culinary Uses of Rose
Apart from having immense medicinal value, roses are used all over the world for culinary purposes. Rose hips have a tangy, fruity flavour similar to that of cranberries. The rose hips are used fresh, or are even dried and preserved. They can be used in apple sauce, soups and stews, syrups, puddings, marmalade, tarts, breads, and pie, or even made into a jam or jelly. In France, the use of rose syrup is much common. It is made from an extract of rose petals. In India, Rooh Afza, a concentrated drink made with roses, is popular, as are rose-flavoured desserts such as ice cream and kulfi. Rose creams are widely available and used in the UK. Rose petals are used in a variety of forms. The rose water is used to prepare sweets like Kheer, Rabri, Barfi, Sandesh etc. and is also added to preparations like Biriyani and Fried Rice. Rose petals are preserved and added to various sweet dishes too. Dried and crushed rose hips are also commonly used to make herbal teas. Rose hip tea may also be improved taste-wise, by blending with hibiscus flowers. In addition to producing oil, rose petals are commonly used in potpourris, and can be added to salads.
Ornamental Uses of Rose
The majority of roses are used to decorate gardens, rooms, and ceremony halls etc. They are used for such ornamental purposes owing to their aesthetic grandeur and breathtaking visual appeal. Usually roses are grown for attractive and scented foliage, ornamental thorns or for their ostentatious fruit. A few species and hybrids are grown for non-floral ornamental use. Ornamental roses have been cultivated since long ago, with the earliest known cultivation dating back to at least 500 BC in Mediterranean countries, Persia and China. While Greeks emblematized rose as the symbol of futuristic culture, rose in their territory was accredited as "Sub-rosa." Indians are influenced by the similar usage. The roots of the ornamental uses of rose can be traced back to Indian mythology. Long ago women in peacetime preferred wearing floral ornaments and rose being the most attractive flower was considered most suitable for it.
Uses of Rose in Cosmetics
Dried rose petals are used in the form of a face mask for attaining clear skin. Rose water and rose oil are also very useful for improving hair quality. They promote hair growth. Various lotions, creams and soaps are also made using various qualities of rose. Rose oil is very useful in aromatherapy as well. It also treats eye infections. Rose water treats dry skin, dermatitis, eczema, etc. It eliminates toxins from the skin, giving a natural glow all over. Rose hip seed oil is also very useful when used as skin products. It is also used in some makeup products.
Use of Rose in Fragrances
Flowers serve the purpose of preparation of perfumes and other scented products. The use of roses in the preparation of perfumes is generally credited to their natural aroma. According to researches, the aroma of the rose serves as a tranquilizer. The fragrance of rose can create a fresh and pure atmosphere creating a soothing effect. Actually, the most commonly used perfumes and scented products are made from roses.