rose | rosa damascena

 Botanical / Latin Name: Rosa damascena | Other Names: Rosa gallica officinalis | Plant Family: Rosaceae

history + folklore

35 million years old (according to fossil evidence) and the epitome of love and beauty, the rose has forever been the most loved flower around the globe. The genus Rosa has some 150 species and has been used throughout history by many cultures for spiritual, emotional, and medicinal reasons. During the Roman era, the rose was grown in considerable amounts to be used for perfume, as confetti for weddings and celebrations and for its medicinal properties. Roses were in such high demand during the seventeenth century that royalty considered roses and rose water to be legal tender and they were often used as barter and payments. 

The world’s oldest living rose is said to be 1,000 years old. Growing on the wall of the Cathedral of Hildesheim in Germany, its presence has been documented since A.D. 815. According to legend, the rosebush symbolizes the prosperity of the city of Hildesheim. So long as it flourishes, Hildesheim will not decline. In 1945 allied bombers destroyed the cathedral, but the beautiful rosebush survived. SAVAGE! Its roots remained intact underneath all the debris and began growing again up the wall.

In both Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Unani traditions, the heart is believed to be the seat of consciousness, having a powerful affect on the spiritual state of one’s heart.



Rose is known for its ability to encourage a blissful state of mind and a sense of peace. Rose-infused honey, rose elixir, and rose tincture can all be used after a traumatic event to help re-center a person and cope with what has happened.


Use rose topically or internally to calm inflammation. Use it in topicals on inflamed muscles and joints. Apply a few drops of rose tincture at the site of infections. This also makes rose a great treatment for sore throats or ulcers. They can stimulate the liver and increase appetite and circulation. 


Rose can be included into topical applications, such as lotions and creams which absorb into the skin, to relieve muscle spasms. Try rose tincture to calm intestinal spasms and rose elixir or syrup to calm bronchial spasms.

tender, love + care

Roses like full sun and do not like to be crowded. She should be planted in well-drained, well-balanced soil and pruned in the early spring before blooms appear. To keep buds producing, cut flowers when ready. If you live where winters can get rough and pretty cold, like my native town of Connecticut, then you can dig them up and bring them inside for the winter.

Plant Rose near ChivesFeverfewGarlicCalendula, Onion or Parsley for best yields.

Susun Weed, author of the Wise Woman Herbal series, discusses the importance of rose medicine for women in her article Wild as a Rose.
"The growing tips of the rose canes are rich in hormone-like substances that help women with menstrual difficulties get into an easy flow, those with libido problems to feel frisky, and those who want to conceive to be more receptive."

rosa rugosa flower essense

My absolute favorite species of rose is the Rose rugosa. Rose rugosa, native to eastern Asia, grows and thrives on beaches and sand dunes. This deliciously floral rose will raise negative vibrations and help purify your heart. I love making flower essences with this beauty. Flower essences are liquid extracts used to address issues with one’s emotional well-being, soul development and holistic health.

Rosa rugosa flower essence is all about love. Because this rosebush grows best by beaches, the alchemy between Rosa rugosa and the sea enables this flower essence to physically balance out negative ions, release grief & transmute negative vibrations into love and compassion.

Rose petals are soft and soften a broken heart. The thorns offer fierce protection! This is truly a beautiful flower essence and plant.  To ease your heart, follow the instructions down below to create your own Rose Flower Essence.

You will need:

  • a clear glass bowl

  • 1-2 roses of any species (as much as she’ll allow you to have. don’t be greedy!)

  • 1 one-ounce amber bottle with dropper

  • 2 glass jars

  • spring water

  • Brandy (preservative)

  • Chopsticks

  • Sunshine 🌞


  1. Start by sitting with your roses and spend some time meditating with your plant. Communicate with your plant and speak your intentions into existence.

  2. Fill your glass bowl with spring water.

  3. When you’re done meditating, take your rose and place it face down in the bowl of water, covering the entire surface of the plant.

  4. Let your bowl of flowers sit in the sun for 4 hours, checking on the blooms periodically to see if they limp, signifying the life force of the plant leaving the rose and going into the water. If you don’t have 4 hours of full sun, use your intuition and decide whether to continue making your essence.

  5. If your essence has spent the appropriate amount of time in the sun, take your chopsticks and left the petals out of the water.

  6. Fill a jar halfway with your flower essence. Fill the other half of the jar with brandy to preserve it. Mark this as your Mother Essence.

  7. Fill another jar halfway with brandy and the other half with plain spring water. Add 2 - 4 drops of your mother essence. Label this as your Stock Bottle.

    Fill your remaining 1 oz. amber bottle with 3 parts plain spring water and 1 part brandy. Add 1-2 drops from your Stock Bottle. Label this your Dosage Bottle (what you will take internally).

Dosage: Take 4 drops 4 times a day.

Essences can be added to spray bottles, ritual baths, oils, salves and lotions.