By Wallyd Hamid
Perhaps one of the most well known and beloved plants on earth, the rose produces a myriad of substances that can be harnessed for human use. The rose is possibly my most favorite flower due to the reasons below, and some more! In fact, it is pretty much loved by all Persians and Middle Eastern persons.
Quick rundown of all the uses and useable parts of the rose –
1) The petals can be used in the culinary, beauty, and spiritual realms.
Culinary: the lipid based molecules may be extracted in a less sophisticated version of enfleurage via butter. To most effectively extract the rose flavor, spread out the butter on a wax paper lined baking sheet before gently pressing the petals into the now flattened butter. This rose petal infused butter can then be used to make things like Anne Burrell’s Victorian Rose Geranium Cake (which is actually quite good, but requires a lot of patience. http://goo.gl/8neY8E).
Beauty:The petals can also be used to make rose water – rose water has almost infinite uses!! It may be used as a toner to prevent wrinkles, flavoring for food and desserts, additive to tea for added health benefits, etc. In fact, I am in the process of reformulating the JAMILA Cosmetics skincare formulas to include rose water instead of “regular” water. The coloring in the petals may also be used for staining; a large amount of petals is needed to provide enough color to stain.
Spiritual: the petals may be used in baths to achieve a more direct version of rose water, without the constant reflux of evaporating and condensation. A more familiar use of the petals is to make attar, or perfume, out of the fragrance extracted. Perfume/scent is thought to be a psychologically engaging medium that may evoke strong memories, or aid in forging new memories via life experiences.
2) An effective way to admit you were wrong, and apologize to the person who deserves an apology.
3) Great shrubs that help add elegance and value to a home.
4) Deriving from Ancient Persian practices, rose essential oil is used to make some of the worlds most well known fragrances. Last summer, I conducted an informal experiment where I was able to extract 1/3 of a drop rose oil out of about 3 full rose heads; in other words, a lot of roses are required to create this alluring scent. In addition, the method of extraction matters in that if done one way, a crystalline liquid is obtained while the other method results in the uncrystallized version of the oil.
5) The fruit of the rose, the rose hip, is actually very potent in Vitamin C! Although it has been reported the value of the Vitamin C varies from each individual rose hip, the average is still quite high. Rose hips may be used in culinary applications such as marmalades, jellys, and jams. Rose hip contains an oil as well, different from the Rose. Although rose oil has been used in the skincare industry for quite some time, rose hip oil is a different oil which has its own set of benefits. As discussed in the last post (Vitamin A), some essential oils contain vitamins – rose hip oil is a perfect example of an oil containing a vitamin precursor! Rose hip oil contains beta-carotene which then is converted to Vitamin A derivatives after subsequent synthesis.
These are just some of the many uses of roses, rose water, and rose hips. Comment below if you use it in another way not mentioned!
A great source of all the scientific information on rose hips is included in the link below: http://goo.gl/PLDx1c