‘Flowers’ are the most beautiful and charismatic gift of nature. Along with humans, even the birds, butterflies and other creatures, all fascinates to flowers. The presence of flowers in life has a great impact on the state of mind and emotions. And when we talk about flowers, we are most likely liable to think about roses first. Roses being the most admired and savoured flower to communicate emotions like love, trust and joy; holds a high symbolic value among the garden ornamental plants and industry of perfumes and cosmetics.
Though the beauty of this flower is admired all over the world and is cultivated in abundance, still people are largely unaware what else this flower can offer to us. On number three of our series #SacredIndianHerbs is the king ‘Rose’ with numerous health benefits.
Scientific Name: Rosa Centifolia
Hindi Name: Gulab
Rose is a thorny, woody plant that belongs to the family of Rosaceae. There are more than 100 species of this plant with different colors and above 2500 hybrid varieties of roses are found. But only ‘Rosa Centifolia (Latin name)’ is used in Ayurveda. The Ayurvedic name for this rose is ‘Shatapattri’ meaning ‘a hundred petals.’ The leaves of this plant grow alternatively with oval shaped leaflets. Fruits of this plant is fleshy and edible, known as Rose Hip. It is interesting to know that world’s best roses are abundantly found in the Damascus city near the river Tigris. In our country, the region near Aligarh is famous for the cultivation of roses. You should also garden a rose plant, let’s know why !
Skin and Cosmetology
Roses have been in practice for the preparation of various lotions, creams, bathing shampoos, beauty soaps etc. It has become a must-have ingredient in beautifying and anti-aging cosmetics because being safe for skin and having anti-inflammatory properties. Rose is considered as a boon for removing acne and rashes. Dried rose petals along with Fuller's earth (multani mitti) mixed in rose water can be a miraculous face mask for attaining a natural glow to your skin. Besides rose petals, direct rose leaves can also be used to treat skin irritation, rashes or any kind of skin allergy by just churning the leaves into paste form and applying on the affected areas.
Organic homemade rose cream has a longer penetration on the skin so here we have brought you a easy method of making Rose cream at home :
Take rose petals and water in a proportion of 1 : 4 respectively and heat them at lowest setting till half. Filter the decoction. Add 2g of borax powder to 75 ml of prepared rose decoction and mix properly. Then take 200g sesame oil or almond oil and 30g of beeswax in another container, and heat it to 60 degree of temperature. Lastly start pouring the rose decoction slowly into the oil mixture with one hand and stir unidirectionally with the other hand. You should pour it so slow that while mixing, the temperature maintains at 60 degrees. When both mixtures have been emulsified, put off the flame and keep stirring in the same direction till the temperature comes down. Now your homemade organic rose cream is prepared, store it dry and cool in an airtight container. To increase its potency you may also add 2 drops of rose essential oil to it. This rose cream is an excellent remedy for various kind of skin related issues such as acne, eczema, warts, rash, hives, etc.
Learn about Gulkand - Rose petal jam !
Summers are on the peak and now it is the time to have deserts and drinks. This summer's try a new and innovative way to spruce up your drinks by adding a delightful ingredient, Gulkand with intense rose fragrance. "Gul" means rose and "kand" means sweet. Hence, it is a sweet Indian delicacy having rejuvenating properties made from rose petals. It has now become a star ingredient for innumerous food products such as paan, ice-creams, smoothies, cigars, chutneys, etc.
Gulkand is a natural coolant helpful in disorders that may occur due to excess heat in the body or hot temperature outside. Such as :
- Acidity - A common problem nowadays and many people suffers from heartburn, sour mouth, indigestion and stomach ache. Hence consuming antacid drugs on empty stomach each day has become a decision. You treat such problems naturally by taking Gulkand just before sleep every night.
- Balances Pitta Dosha - The regular intake of Gulkand reduces the impact of excess heat on the body and balances the pitta dosha according to ayurveda. Thus it helps in reducing the burning sensation in soles and/or palms during summers.
- Nosebleed / Epistaxis - In summers nose bleeding becomes a prevalent issue with kids. Give 1 teaspoon of gulkand to your children to prevent and treat nosebleed.
In addition to being a natural coolant, it has several other benefits such as :
- Improves memory and eyesight
- Improves appetite and enhance digestion
- Relieves constipation
- Removes toxins and purifies the blood
- Excellent skin tonic
Making of Gulkand at home with ease
Making Gulkand at home is the easiest job you can do. All you need is - rose petals, sugar and a glass airtight container. Dry the rose petals in shade as direct exposure to sunlight will destroy its essential oils. Put crushed sugar and dried rose petals in equal quantity into the glass container and place it under the sun for a week. A jam like consistency mixture will eventually form and you would be ready with your holistic homemade Gulkand.
Versatility of Rose water
Commonly rose water is used for making various face packs, adding flavour to various sweets and for sprinkling on the guests at marriages or ceremonies. Keeping a bottle of rose water or preparing it at home can be handy for instantly releasing eye stress, toning the skin, as an antiseptic and releasing constipation. Lets know about it.
Rejuvenating Eyes: If you too are among the digital generation those commonly experiences tired eyes, dryness, redness or inflammation in eyes; then rose can bring you a relief. Put some crushed fresh rose petals into a cotton cloth, dip in cold water, gently squeeze and place it over closed eyes. Repeat it number of times for 5-10 minutes. Or you can do the same by simply placing two cotton pads saturated with cold rose water over your eyes. It will help you to tackle the puffiness under the eyes. Rose water provides cooling and sparkling effect and by using on regular basis, the beauty of eyes will be maintained.
Toning Skin: Rosewater provides immense benefits to the skin and with no surprise it can improve your complexion and freshen up the skin. It delays the marks or wrinkles present on the skin. Apply upto 30 ml or 1 ounce of rose water daily on your face and experience a glowy skin.
Rose for Wounds: Cleaning wounds or burns with rose water is a good idea. Rose water has powerful antiseptic properties, which can prevent and treat infections. Thus they promote faster healing.
Release Constipation: The ingestion of rose water has beneficial effects on the digestive system. It works as a laxative and can treat bloating as well as stomach upset. It can increase both the amount of water in the faeces and the frequency of going to the toilet, making it a good treatment for constipation.
Collect Rose hips !
Not so known rose fruit with immense health benefits: Yes ! you heard it right. The fruit of the rose flower do exist with plenty of health benefits. They appear after the flower drops and are commonly known as Rose hip (Rose hep) or Rose how. They are the round portion of the rose flower just below the petals and usually form in the late summer and autumn. The color is typically red, but it can also be orange, purple, or black. Rosehips bears a lot of properties that can help you to protect from various health problems.
The foremost advantage of Rosehip is that they are are particularly rich in vitamin C and hence are responsible for their antioxidant impact. It is said that it has more than 60 times vitamin C as compared to an orange. So, they are helpful to prevent diseases connected with oxidation such as cardiac disorders, arthritis, aging problems, cataract, cancer, etc. Moreover, rosehip can be used to eradicate stretch marks too from our body when used topically. Nowadays they have been in use for preparing herbal teas, jam, jelly, syrup, beverages, bread, wine and marmalade.
If you have a rose plant in your house then do remember to collect the rosehips. Dry them in shade and store them in powder form in an airtight container. While making a cup of tea, put half a teaspoon of this powder in the boiling water and cover the container for few minutes. Sip a rose flavoured tea and enjoy the health benefits of Rose hips.
Hope you will appreciate rose more after knowing the benefits of this fascinating plant. So, what are you waiting for ? Go and plant this beautiful, aromatic and decorative piece that will not only allure your home but will make your body and mind balanced too.