Rosa Canina aka Wild Dog Rose
This most wonderful of plants is called the dog rose due to the old belief that the rose roots could be dug up and applied if bitten by a rabid dog, hopefully this is an application none of us will have to experiment with!!!
Many first childhood herbal concoctions were rose medicine; crushing smooth, red/yellow/white/pale peach etc, petals for rosewater potions.
Who remembers feeling slightly cheated as the petals browned and lost their beauty over time???
Wild Roses have a long and colorful history
They have been symbols of love, beauty, war, and politics.
In nature, the genus Rosa has around 150 species spread throughout the Northern Hemisphere, and then there are the entire hybrids created for our gardens. Apparently there are over 30,000 varieties, leading to the most complicated family tree of any known flower species. Garden cultivation of roses began 5,000 years ago, in Asia. She truly is an ancient ancestor; fossil evidence ages her at 35 million years old.
Included in her vast family Rosacea are hawthorn, apple, plum, raspberry and lady’s mantle to name a few. Most have astringent, cooling qualities when used as medicine.
Harvesting Rose Medicine
Roses are under the domain of Venus. Friday is also ruled by Venus, so is a good day for harvesting Rose buds and petals.
Harvesting especially around the full moon ensures that the energies of the plant are up in the ariel parts. We harvest the petals on a dry, bright day, filling a jar to the brim with the petals, asking or setting intentions for what the medicine can gift us then covering with good quality vodka. We then leave it in a cool place for a lunar cycle to brew. Strain out the petals and you are left with a Powerful Brilliant Rose Petal Tincture.
Rose Petal Tincture
We have long used her sexy, deep red fruits, the rosehips, to make syrups packed with valuable nourishment in the form of vitamins and minerals. It tastes delicious. The content of ascorbic acid (also known as Vitamin C) in the hips, is ten times more than in blackcurrants, fifty times more than in lemon and a hundred times more than in apples.
There have been plenty of studies documenting how the hips have given numerous folks relief from arthritis. And over our years of clinical practice we have used rose flower & rosehip tinctures and powders for very effectively.
What a joy our own native European, wild super food, the dog rose brings us. Packed full of nutritional goodies, vitamins and antioxidants, it’s fruit contains one of the highest sources of vitamin C. The dog rose, wild rose or rosehips as you might know them grow abundantly in hedgerows across the UK This beautiful herb friend has great gifts to offer but she requires care and patience in her relationships.
Her perfect heart-shaped petals are available throughout the summer, picture perfect cartoon romance. Then come the Autumn, she develops her red rounded berry seduction. Rosa heartspetal, voluptuous, nurturing but with a sharp, no messing side to her tongue in the guise of those sharpened talon thorns.
The delicate pale pick and white Rose petals are relaxing and mildly sedative, have antiseptic & anti-inflammatory interactions in our bodies and make a brilliant supportive tonic for our hearts in times of stress of grief. You can tell instantly on seeing the petals that when drunk as a tea you will feel improved in your mood. There are definite mood enhancing and nervous system support through out the rose family.
The flowers and the hips both have effects at the level of the gut which is often the root of lots of conditions in the body including the arthritis we mentioned earlier.
Rose is cooling in nature and a tea of the petals and buds can lower a fever or simply cool you off if you are feeling hot headed! This cooling nature of this beauty lends itself to the anti-spasmodic medicinal action of the plant, helping to relieve any painful spasms in the body.
The petals are a uterine tonic through their astringent nature — healing many different imbalances that can arise in the womb, rose petals are a calming nervine, soothing and calming frayed nerves easing tension and pain.
Rosa Heartspetal is a grandmother, a midwife, incredibly wise, both gentle and caring but she takes ‘no nonsense’. She encompasses all aspects of the feminine through her own life cycle from bud and flower to hip and seed. She holds many a secret, deep in her protective arms. She grows abundantly in all our hedgerows, often intertwined with her equally protective and prickly cousin Hawthorn (also Rosaceae family). She offers a lovely warm hug to any who needs drawing into her soft bosoms. She listens patiently to all your woes but does not tolerate self-indulgence nor self pity and soon becomes sharp with anyone who starts to wallow.
Folklore & Magic
Being the flower of love, roses have been used since time immemorial in magic love spells.
According to the ancient Greek, poet Anacreon, white roses appeared from the sea foam that dripped off the goddess Aphrodite at her birth. The white colour represented her innocence and purity. Later in her life, she bled on a white rose while trying to heal the wounded Adonis, her blood created red roses, representing passion and desire.
Grief & Roses
Grief is a multifaceted response to loss. Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, cultural, spiritual and philosophical dimensions. Grief can be a response to many forms of loss, a death in the family or someone you knew or felt connected to, the loss of a relationship, the loss of a home, a plan that didn’t go as intended. There can be similar reactions to all of these situations in varying degrees and for different lengths of time. How we respond to grief will depend on our past experiences, the suddenness or severity of the impact of the loss amongst other factors. It is important to remember that the process of grief is not necessarily linear and that we can enter or re-enter any one of the phases at any time.
Being kind and loving to ourselves is essential for good health. Rose reminds us to take care, to nurture our hearts and nourish our bodies.
Herbal Support for Grief and Loss
The herbs can support each of us through grief and loss and we always turn to the wisdom of the Rose. Once during autumn, whilst out harvesting her juicy hips we found ourselves talking about loss and grief. We spent an afternoon exploring the emotions that are conjured up and then created our Drops of Love potion. Drops of Love is made up from Rose petal tincture, Rosehip syrup and Peppermint tincture.
The glorious and super famous Rose flower has become our protectress of choice for both magical practice and plant centered work for years we have been opening spells, workshops and rituals by anointing our hearts area with Rose cream.
The gently uplifting and relaxing scent of this flower reminds us of safety and security and helps all who anoint themselves sigh out any stresses with a feeling of relief. the rose is both gentle, loving and nourishing and fully armed in protective barded thorns
Rubbing rose into our heart space and pulse points brings her protection and offers a physic shield, fortifying our magical work with a safe shelter to design and create from.
As we rub the rose cream into our heart space and open up to feeling and connecting with the energy of this plant we repeat the mantra
‘With great respect and love I honor my heart my inner teacher’
Which we learnt from Uma Dinsmore Tuli who in turn learnt it from the late Mukunda Stiles his Translation of ‘Om Namah Shivaya’
Hawthorn blooms and rosa petals, intermingled with the honey uplifting vibes of the soothing lime blossom given a citrus zing with the gentle lemon balm. The strengthening heart centred, from the Rosaceae family cousins, hawthorn blooms and rosa petals, intermingled with the honey uplifting vibes of the soothing lime blossom and opened up and given a citrus zing with the gentle lemon balm makes for the perfect infusion of Peace and Tranquillity – a gift of calm.