The rose is a plant that is strongly rooted in the earth. It has a form in a pattern of 5 like the star that we often see atop the Christmas tree at this time of year. This is a symbol of the star that once led the wise men to the Christ child, as the story is told. Now, as the Star of Humanity, it leads us on our journeys on earth to become all that we can become.
Hidden within the rose is the same pattern of 5 that we see in a five-pointed star, in the leaves and petals of the blossom in a wild or a cultivated rose. You can find it easiest by simply turning a rose over to look at where the stem is connected to the blossom. There you’ll see the pattern in the calyx.
During the holiday season, placing fresh roses on the Christmas tree or in a vase on a table will allow the scent of this lovely, fragrant flower to drift throughout your home, reminding us of our eternal spiritual nature that leads us, like a star, to what is important in the world.
Since ancient times, the rose has been used for health and healing. In her time, St. Hildegard spoke about the cooling and healing properties of the rose, as well as its ability to uplift one’s mood.
Rose is cold, and this coldness… is useful. In the morning, … pluck a rose petal and place it on your eyes. It draws out the humor and makes them clear. One with small ulcers on his body should place rose petals over them. This pulls the mucus from them. One who is inclined to wrath should take rose and less sage and pulverize them. The sage lessens the wrath, and the rose makes him happy. Rose, and half as much sage, may be cooked with fresh, melted lard, in water, and an ointment made from this. The place where a person is troubled by a cramp or paralysis should be rubbed with it, and he will be better. Rose is also good to add to potions, unguents, and all medications. If even a little rose is added, they are so much better, because of the good virtues of the rose.
-An excerpt from Hildegard von Bingen’s Physica: The Complete English Translation of her Classic Work on Health and Healing, by Priscilla Throop (1998)
Today we know that the rose has many therapeutic compounds that are supportive. They can relieve stress and anxiety, help with depression, detoxify the blood, bring regenerative health to the skin, and boost the immune system, just to name a few!
With its anti-inflammatory properties, rose can be infused in water to sooth the skin. It can reduce the redness of irritation, tighten pores and tone the skin while it hydrates and moisturizes. You can easily make rosewater at home.
Rosewater Spritzer for Skin Health
Take the petals of a fresh rose and simmer in about 1 ½ cups of filtered water in a pan for 15-20 minutes. Let the mixture cool. Strain and pour into a spritzer. Store in the refrigerator.
To lift your mood, promote calm and relaxation, reducing stress and anxiety, make rose petal tea to sip. Infuse rose petals, about 1-2 teaspoons, in boiling water and allow to brew for 5-10 minutes. Strain and enjoy!
You can also add a little honey to your rose tea and use it to sooth a sore throat.
Don’t have any roses handy this holiday season? Rosewater, rose petals, rosehips and rose essential oil can easily be found for purchase.
Rose Essential Oil
Rose essential oil is one of my favorite ones to put in my diffuser or in a bath. The exquisite fragrance floats through the air bringing a sense of calm, happiness, and peace to my home.
This Christmas season, let the beauty of the rose fill your home, bringing a sense of fulfillment, joy, and peace this year!