The rose is the oldest flower ever known to man. The rose has been prized since ages not only for its wonderful aroma, but for its untold beauty too. The fossil remains from the Colorado region reveal that they are more than 35 million years old! In fact, roses were grown in China and Babylon more than 5000 years ago.
Ancient literature is full of references to roses being used for its botanical, medicinal and cosmetic values, and speaks of their uses for feeding the body, soul and spirits.
The petals of wild roses and the fat of bears were together used as a mixture to cure mouth sores. A powder made from rose petals was used on any type of blister or fevered sores. They even used rainwater infused with roses to bathe sore eyes and the stinging pulp of rose stem was mashed and applied to boils.
Later it was found that the hips (berry-like fruit) of the rose are highly rich in vitamins C, A, B1, B2 and K and was used in jellies, jams and marmalades. Rosehips are known to treat influenza, cold, scurvy and in controlling diarrhea.
The rose buds and flowers of the Provins rose (R. gallica) are used in warding off bacterial infections such as bronchial infections, common colds, gastritis, depression and lethargy.
Ayurveda makes use of rose to treat inflammations, congestion, circulatory problems, mouth sores and menstrual complaints. A paste made of dry rose leaves and sugar is believed to improve digestion too.
In Aromatherapy, rose is used to tackle depression, grief, anxiety and such negative feelings. Rosebud tea, made by brewing buds, is recommended for calming an anxious mind.
Honey of Roses, prepared from clarified honey and fluid extract of roses, is considered to be an astringent. During ancient days, the Honey of Roses was popular for sore throats and mouth ulcers, and was made by grinding fresh petals in a small quantity of boiling water, filtering the mass, and boiling the liquid with honey. The solution is used as gargles and lotions to wash sores and cleanse and heal them.
Red rose-water is known for its cooling, refreshing feeling, and is used against redness and inflammation of eyes. The ointment of roses is used against heat and inflammation of head to massage the forehead and temples, and also to cool and heal red pimples.
The oil of roses is used to cool hot inflammation and swellings and hence is added to ointments and plasters that are cool and binding. The dried leaves of red roses are used both for topical application and internally, as they cool, bind and are cordial.
The rose leaves and mint, when heated and applied externally onto the stomach, is believed to strengthen a weak stomach, and act as a fomentation to the region of liver and heart, by cooling and tempering them, and quitening the over-heated spirits, causing good rest and sleep.
The decoction of red roses, when mixed with white wine, are believed to be good cure for head-aches, and pain in the eyes, throat, ears and gums.