Oh, this is that wonderful time of the year. The time when I drive here or there and note how many people have beautiful rose bushes in their yards, as if I’m marking my prey. No, it’s not really that bad. But it is a shame, most people have no clue that these beautiful flowers growing in their yards are very good for you! Internally, externally, roses have been used for ages as a food source, for heated skin conditions, and internally as a medicine to treat such things as diarrhea, rashes, heart conditions, or bladder infections. After first frost, when the flowers begin to fall away, the rose will make their hips, which are incredibly high in vitamin C, possibly more than oranges. With these hips, you can make an amazing rose hip syrup, rose hip honey, you can dry them for your herbal teas, you could freeze them for smoothies, you can make them into preserves, or you can eat them raw! Of course, you would have to make sure that the rose has not been treated chemically in any way first, and you will have to de-seed them, as those seeds can be irritating. But aside from the bother of cutting and scraping those hips, they taste amazing, something I did not expect! Here is a quick photo to help you identify the hips:
Last year was when I really began reading into the benefits of this amazing plant, and since, my friends and neighbors who are unlucky enough to have untreated roses growing in their yards have had me nipping away at their flowers one by one, and looking them over for hips when the fall chill kicks in. (Fall, what’s that??) I have to admit, they have all been great sports about my odd requests! This year, I actually planted some roses of my own, hoping to have a good sized rose bush in the years to come, but until then, I’m still that weird girl who always asks to pick the roses everyone else just visually admires!
Now, since this is the perfect time of year to get a good sunburn remedy started, and the ingredients are ever-abundant, I thought I’d share this goodie with you all. It’s a rose petal vinegar recipe! Easy to prepare, it only takes time on the counter to infuse! This recipe comes from the Healing Herbs eBook, by Rosalee de la Foret:
- Gather enough rose petals and leaves to fill a mason jar
- Cover the petals and leaves with apple cider vinegar (I love Bragg’s!). Cover the jar with a PLASTIC lid, or a metal lined with plastic – the vinegar will corrode metal lids.
- Let sit for 2-6 weeks, shaking regularly.
- Strain. When needed, dilute 1/3 C vinegar with several cups of water and apply to sunburns using a wash cloth. You can also use this dilution to soothe bug bites and sprains.
As you can see, the apple cider vinegar turns a beautiful pink color, as the nutrients from the petals infuse into the vinegar. Want to try the undiluted version of this rose vinegar as a salad dressing? Go for it!
Won over by this amazing plant? I hope so! Next time you see wild roses growing, I hope you have a new appreciation for all it can do. If you don’t have any growing, plant some, and reap the benefits for yourself! You won’t regret it! Unless, of course, you don’t watch out for those thorns. But, that goes without saying.
As you will see, I hope to uncover the many nutritional benefits of plants (you may not even know you’re growing!) in posts to come. I find it fascinating that we can be self-sufficient on a level far greater than that of what we currently understand. And it’s so incredibly rewarding!! When I first started learning about medicinal plants – and in effect, essential oil concentrates as well (that’s a whole new story!), things just began to click. Was I surprised? Honestly, a little at first. But I’ve come to the point where I understand, and firmly believe, that God did not put us on this earth without everything we needed at that time to sustain us. Would it make sense for us to have to wait a few thousand years for Tylenol to be invented before we could truly thrive? Absolutely not. But then again, I’ve never been a big fan of curing “symptoms” over the “cause” in the first place.
I don’t know if anyone has seen the “Food Matters, Food Inc” type documentaries (if you haven’t, please do so!!!), but I heard a quote, and forgive me for forgetting who said it! That even something as great as cancer, is just a symptom, so why don’t we “treat the cause?” Wow, imagine that. The power of that statement still gets me thinking. But I believe it’s all too true. Somewhere down the road, our culture and society has moved away from that agrarian lifestyle, to something more fast and convenient. And it has left our bodies ravaged with disease and a myriad of other issues that could easily be corrected if we get back in balance. Believe it or not, our bodies were designed to regenerate, to fight off conditions that are chronic and commonplace now. The worst of the problem is the loss of readily available information to promote this “return to nature” that we truly need right now. All of this used to be common sense, passed on generation to generation, but now it’s become more of a “use it or lose it” failure. What we need to remember, is that sometimes you need to step back to move forward; it’s as simple as that.
I believe, if more people realize how easy it is to incorporate little changes here or there, then we could all have more healthy, fulfilling lives. And I hope by sharing this knowledge with you all, we can do just that! Remember, additions, NOT subtractions is the key to making this work. Enjoy your Monday, everyone!