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Rose health benefits and therapeutic value

Single pink rose of the Rosa gallica variety

Rose trees (Rosa) is a thorny shrub native to Europe and to the Middle East, that sometimes produces edible fruits.

This is true for the Rose of Provins (Rosa gallica), a type of dog rose known and used for its health benefits and therapeutic value.

Health benefits of roses

Roses are famous for their health benefits ever since they were brought from Syria in the XIIIth century. Recommended to fight tuberculosis until the Renaissance, rose petal was recommended in the XIXth century for its invigorating effects and generally prescribed to tired persons. Moreover, roses were used long ago to treat hemorrhoids, skin diseases and eye disorders.

There are many rose cultivars, bred and crossed-bred, but all cultivated roses trace their ancestry back to the Rose of Provins.

  • Roses are invigorating and astringent, revitalizing, regenerative and wound-healing.
  • External use is for example enemas against diarrhea, injections against discharges and gargling against sore throat.
  • Rose is used to treat skin and is part of the many remedies often used to treat purulent wounds.
  • Rose extracts contain an anesthetic agent: distilled rose water is used in eye drops to soothe pain due to inflammation.
  • Diluted in plant-based oil, rose oil extract used in topical preparations to help treat acne and light burn wounds, to revive worn skin and to prevent appearance of wrinkles.
  • From an emotional perspective, rose essential oil is very effective against anxiety and stress, overwork, exaggerated emotions and temporary depression. It is then used in diffusers or inhaled.


Infusions (⅓ oz (10 g) rose petals for 1 quart (1 liter) boiling water) of roses is used as tonic drinks, two or three cups a day between meals.

Rose syrup is very effective against diarrhea (1 ½ oz (50 g) rose petals for 2 quarts (2 liters) boiling water, to which 35 oz (1 kg) sugar is added and boiled until syrupy).

External use

Cold compresses soaked in rose water either purchased or home-made (1 ½ oz (50 g) rose petals for 1 quart (1 liter) boiling water) soothe inflamed eyelids and make your eyes shine.

Growing roses for their health benefits

Rose trees require soft, rich soil and full sun exposure to thrive.

If you use garden boxes and pots at least 12 inches (30 cm) deep, and that you check that they drain well, your rose trees will feel at home on your terrace or balcony. Take note, though, that special rose tree fertilizer is needed to strengthen the plant so it can fight off aphids, mites and ticks and caterpillars.

But careful: if you plan to eat the flowers of your rose trees, don’t treat them at all!

Roses in cooking for their health benefits

You can use rose petals and rose flower buds in mixed salads and pies. You can also produce delicious jams, liquor, syrups and ice cream.

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