Aromatherapists and holistic practitioners utilize rose for its antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, astringent, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Rose oil and rose water are used as a cell rejuvenator and to soothe and heals skin conditions, including cuts and burns. Cosmetically, it is suitable for all complexion types. Essence of Rose fragrance shows potential with asthma and sinus treatments and can be used as an inhalant. So the rose you grow is more than beautiful it is healing and beautifying.
How to make your own Rosewater – Rose water is best from freshly picked petals. I like to give the rose flower a gentle hose down on the bush to remove any insects and dirt particles and not waste water (I have generally tempered my holistic expressions thus far, but washing the flower on the plant is nicely ritualistic and you are watering the plant in thanks for its gift – it makes it more special, less of a pluck and run affair – in a way it sets the context for the spiritual and healing energy of the rosewater you will make).
By steeping method (infused water): Harvest some flowers and place those petals into a saucepan. Add just enough distilled/spring water to just cover the petals. Bring to a simmer – we want steam but not necessarily boiling, lid and allow to sit until the petal lose their colour and the water absorbs it. You may notice some rose oil floating on the surface. Strain away solids and decant to container. Keeps for 2 weeks if refrigerated.
By distillation method (hydrosol): This way is a bit more of a process but worth it – firstly make your makeshift stil – a large pot, a slightly smaller lid, a cup, a small bowl and a tallish glass. Invert the cup inside the pot – in the centre; add petals to pot and enough water to cover, the cup may be prominent depending on quantity of roses. Balance the gathering bowl on top of the cup and place the tall glass in it as a support to the smaller lid (to balance atop the glass) which will catch the steam and drip it down the shaft of the glass into the gathering bowl. Bring stil to a simmer and keep it steaming but not hard boiling for long enough to gather a decent amount of steam distilled essence. When petals lose their colour you can stop distilling. Cling film as a lid – weighted with a stone in the centre – can funnel the drips to a gathering bowl if balancing lids and bowls and cups and glasses give you a panic feeling. Keeps for two weeks in a fridge or longer if converted to ice cubes – stick a fresh petal in each to demarcate.
The benefits of steam instilled rosewater are well lauded but fear not – for the steeping method yields the healing properties too. The advantage of steam distilled is that the residue left over in the pot is steeped method rosewater – two for the price of one.
Pick up some more beauty harvests from your own garden https://www.mercierpress.ie/irish-books/the-holistic-gardener-beauty-treatments-from-the-garden/