Come mid-June, this ally of mine is ready for harvesting and she sure is a beautiful one. Some say she is related to Venus, the Goddess of love, beauty, sex, prosperity, fertility… All those super awesome and sexy kinda things. I certainly agree.
She’s delicate a delicate one, blushing bright pink all of the time, and her sweet scent is intoxicating. I give thanks every time I get to touch one of her silky soft blossoms.
Who is she?
I’m speaking of Rosa rugosa, or more commonly known as Beach Rose. She is seemingly quite abundant here in Maine, and while she isn’t native to Maine, she has naturalized herself along much of the Maine coastline. Rosa rugosa has many sisters, perhaps one of them grows near you? A few other species of Rose are: Virginia rose (Rosa virginiana), Rosa carolina (Carolina rose), Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris)… The list goes on. Look her up.
For the last few years, I have made it a bit of a ritual out of going to harvest rose petals in early summer for special medicine making. I meet her on the coastline about thirty minutes from my home. I make my trek to the beach to greet her fertile abundance. I visited her on the Gemini New Moon earlier this month, and she was ripe and ready for picking.
I am convinced that Roses are medicine direct from the Goddess herself. If a plant were to embody the qualities of the Goddess, especially Venus whom she is most commonly associated with, Rose sure does have it going on. Her scent seduces me into her bushes, her luxurious petals caressing my fingertips. Rose embodies seduction and beauty. She has that persuasive female charm dialed in, I have no question about that.
Beautiful Rose has so much to offer. Of course there is her obvious aesthetic appeal, which offers us much pleasure just by looking at her and smelling her. Consuming her also downloads us with those pleasurable sensations, in tasting her sweetness and sensual quality. Rose is known to be blood-moving, anti-inflammatory, as well as anti-bacterial when used topically. I find her to be an extremely calming (but not sedating) medicine, when used in tincture form or tea. She is very soothing–Physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Rose is known to be a mild nervine, as well as having anti-spasmodic qualities.
Some of my favorite qualities of Rose are her heart-opening effects. Rose radiates love, and just looking at her taps me into my deep heart-space… Not to mention smelling and consuming her. I find her to be an aphrodisiac, which only makes sense being associated with Venus, the Goddess of sex and love. Rose is a sensual character and definitely inspires sexuality when I commune with her. I have heard that Rose is an all around lovely tonic for women in general, as well as very supportive to the womb. Yum, yum, yum. I just love Rose!
How to Work with Her
Rose petals are edible, and can be eaten raw, added to different food recipes, and she makes beautiful medicine. I particularly love her for medicine making purposes. She can be infused in hot water to make a deliciously flavored tea, infused into honey, infused into oils to use in beauty products, and of course extracted in alcohol to use in tincture form.
My personal favorite way to use Rose, is to extract her in both alcohol and honey to create a Rose Elixir. My recipe is kind of a merger of a Rose Elixir and Rose Cordial. I have found many recipes for Rose Elixir’s and Cordial’s online, and have chosen to tweak the ones I have found to suit my personal needs and desires. Many cordial recipes call for heat and white sugar (which I would like to avoid), while many elixir recipes I have seen go heavier on the honey so they can be used topically. I like to make my Rose Elixir for internal use, to use as a daily tonic in small amounts or sips on a night of fun
Rose Elixir for Venus
What you will need:
• At least 1 Pint of Organic Alcohol (I enjoy the brand “Rain” Vodka. I can find it at many liquor stores and it is Organic.)
• 3/4 – 1 Pint of Fresh Rose Petals
• Roughly 100 ml’s of local, organic raw honey
We’ll work of off a recipe for a pint’s worth of elixir here–Double the recipe to make a quart’s worth.
Here is my method… This is super easy recipe and it yields a lot of medicine! Simply fill the pint jar with the whole, fresh rose petals. You can roughly chop the petals as well, to release her juices more quickly–Up to you. Pour the 3/4 of a pint of organic alcohol over the rose petals, leaving room to add honey. I prefer to keep the recipe on the less-than-sweet side, as I prefer to go light on sweeteners in my diet. Please feel free to increase the amount of honey used in the recipe so it is sweetened to your liking! Next, stir in roughly 100 ml’s of your local organic raw honey. If there is still room for more liquid after you have added the honey, you might choose to top the jar off with a bit more of alcohol so it is full. Screw on the lid, shake it up so the contents are mixed up really well and then… It’s all a waiting game! Let the Rose petals extract for a minimum of six weeks. I enjoy letting my elixir sit and extract for as long as I can wait. The longer it goes, the nicer it gets!
Check out the photo on the left–That is the Elixir I started earlier this month, after only one night of extracting! Look at all the beautiful pink hues the liquid has already started to take on from the petals. Now, al
Note on lids for this recipe: I like to use mason jars for this recipe. While I avoid plastic at all costs in my day to day life, I do prefer to use one of the plastic mason jar lids with the metal top insert for this recipe. Alcohol (and especially Rose petals in alcohol for some reason) love to corrode the metal, and will wind up infusing rust into your Elixir if a straight up metal lid is used. Yuck! Use some kind of lid that won’t allow the metal to touch the alcohol, as I highly recommend avoiding the rust.
I personally really enjoy using about 2/3 of a droppers full of this Rose Elixir every morning. I enjoy all of the benefits that I listed above from it, especially the gentle calmness it offers, as well as the sensual heart connection. I also find it can be a fun treat on nights with friends, taking small sips, especially perhaps at a sister gathering, for tapping into some fun a giggles!
Well, there you have it friends… That’s my love affair with Rose; a relationship condensed into into a blog post! I hope you enjoy working with her and all the lovely things she has to offer as much as I do.
In the comments below, please share your experiences in working with Roses! Have you ever made medicine with her before? If not, what is your favorite summer plant to work with? Which wonderful plant are you having a love affair with? Do tell!
Thank you for reading, as always. It brings me such pleasure to share with you.
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