Rose could very well be Flora’s flavor of the moment. I may be the pack leader when it comes to actually fueling this obsession (I’m pretty much a sucker for anything floral tasting), but I don’t think I’m overstating our love for its delicate flavor and overwhelming aroma by any means.
The rose family (rosaceae), is actually quite large and contains many other culinary and fruit favorites from the apple, apricot, peach, pear, raspberry, strawberry and hawthorn. The rose, however, is the queen of the group and imparts vast medicinal qualities that these other family members simply cannot compete with. Besides its intoxicating aroma, the rose nourishes and uplifts the heart and emotions, supporting us in times of grief, stress, anxiety, depression, sadness, trauma and heartbreak – strengthening our souls and bringing emotional stability.
It’s exterior shape and delicate yet strong aroma and mystic beauty is a perfect metaphor for its potent therapeutic properties. The blossom itself is protected from predators and other creatures by a shroud of thorns, leaving the delicate petals intact and an alluring fragrance admired from afar – a perfect enigmatic balance between masculine and feminine, yin and yang, and a sense of being whole, comforted and supported.
In addition to its beauty and aroma, roses contain many other health benefits, as well, such as vitamins C, A, B3, D and E, minerals, malic and citric acid. Roses help to clear toxins from the body and resolve menstrual pain, uterine congestion and PMS. Overall they are anti-inflammatory and help to boost the immune system, prevent infection, colds and regenerate cells. Containing antibacterial properties, externally they are also soothing to rashes, burns, cuts and wound healing. From an energetic perspective they are soothing, slightly astringent and cooling.
One of our favorite ways to utilize the rose’s vast benefits is in the form of a vegetable glycerin extract or glycerite. Glycerin is a clear, thick, syrupy plant-based extract that is also sweet, making it the perfect and complimentary vehicle for roses and for those that don’t like to use or cannot tolerate alcohol tinctures. Glycerin is commonly used in skincare and healthcare products as it has wonderful emollient and moisturizing properties, as it pulls oxygen into the skin. In terms of extracts, a glycerin shelf life is about 1-2 years vs alcohol-based extracts that average about 4 years.
Our rose glycerite is delicious enough to consume on its own, or to impart a delicate rose aroma and sweetness into tonics, teas and other food preparations.
8 ounce glass ball jar or other glass jar with tight fitting airtight lid
Cheesecloth or sieve
Amber or blue colored bottle with dropper
Food grade, GMO-free, vegetable glycerin
Fresh or dried, chemical-free rose petals
As with most herbal preparations, measurements are usually made in ratios based on the size of the vessel and ingredients being used. For instance, are you using fresh or dried herbs. If using fresh, more of the herb will be needed to extract its essence.
1. Whether using fresh or dried herbs, be sure to chop them up so more surface area is exposed to the solvent.
2. Fill your very clean glass jar ½ way with dried, chopped rose petals or ⅔ of the way with fresh chopped rose petals packed tightly into the container.
3. Next, if you are using dried roses you may want to add a bit of water to help rehydrate the roses, though this is not essential. If you do decide to rehydrate your dried petals, in a separate container create a mixture of 3 parts glycerin to 1 part distilled water, and then pour over petals.
4. If you choose to forgo the water, simply pour the vegetable glycerin over the roses to completely cover the petals and fill the jar close to the top, leaving a little room to allow for movement. Ensure that all ingredients are well mixed and completely covered by the glycerin.
5. Every day, agitate or shake the jar a few times. Allow to age in a cool, dark place for 2-3 months.
6. Once it’s reached a desirable flavor, strain the extract through a sieve or cheesecloth and bottle in an amber or blue spectrum bottle with a dropper lid.
Roses are safe to consume daily either as the glycerite extract alone or used in other recipes and preparations, like our black matcha rose coconut milk tonic, recipe coming soon.