Rose (Mei Gui Hua)
Botanical Name: Rosaceae. Western – Rosa gallica officinalis, R. damascene, R. canina. Eastern – R. chinensis, Flos Rosae Rugosae.
The rose was one of the most valued medicinal plants in the monastery gardens of Medieval Europe. Rose petals are very astringent, making them excellent for washing skin and bruises. Roses are also classically considered a strong aphrodisiac and antidepressant. The Persians are credited with the development of rose oil.
Below is an overview of rose, combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of rose.
Western Name: Rose
Also Known As: Provence Rose, Apothecary Rose, Dog Rose
Organs/Systems: Nerves, Skin, Uterus, Intestines
Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Anticancer, Antidepressant, Antiscorbutic, Antispasmodic, Aphrodisiac, Aromatic, Astringent, Coagulant/Hemostatic, Cordial, Depurative, Emmenagogue, Hepatic, Laxative, Nervine, Refrigerant, Sedative, Skin tonic, Stomachic, Uterine Tonic. Aromatherapy, Beauty, cuts and wounds, nutrition, skin care. Lower’s cholesterol, balances the endocrine system.
Pin Yin: Mei Gui Hua
Also Known As: China Rose
Meridians: Heart, Liver, Spleen, Stomach
Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Draining through Clearing Heat/Cool Astringent, Decongestant. Moves Qi/Disperse Stagnation: liver qi stagnation, constipation, headache, nausea, belching, poor appetite. Clears Heat/Calms Heart: headache, irritability, depression, infertility, insufficient semen. Harmonize Blood: regulates menses, dry phlegm, stop bleeding, promote urination. Reduces Inflammation: diarrhea, dysentery, painful stool, ulcers, sore throat, sinus.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Rose Hips, Flower Buds, Petals, Leaves, Bark
Flavors/Temps: Astringent, Slightly Bitter, Sweet, Warming
Caution: None noted.
History/Folklore: Roses are an ancient symbol of love and beauty, with “rose” translating to the words “pink” or “red” in many languages. The rose was sacred to the goddess Isis, Aphrodite, and Venus (goddesses of love and beauty). In ancient Rome, a wild rose would be placed on the door of a room where confidential matters were discussed. Hence the phrase “sub rosa” (under the rose) which means secretive. “Passing under the rose” meant giving your word to not repeat anything discussed in the room or at the table. In later decades, roses would be plastered onto ceilings in reference to this custom. Romans also scattered rose petals along funeral routes for protection and as a symbol of rebirth. The rose has a long history in Islam and Sufism, where it signifies divine love and was often incorporated into art, architecture, and landscape gardens. Medieval Christians identified the five petal rose with the five wounds of Christ and the blood of the martyrs. Later, Catholics identified the rose with the Virgin Mary. The word “rosary” has its origins in the rose petals being compressed into beads as well as the rose’s symbolism for rebirth, the blood of Christ, and for compassion. The color red is good luck in Chinese, so a red rose symbolized luck, love, and fortune in this culture.
Vitamin C (to 1.7%), Vitamins B, E, and K, nicotinamide, organic acids, tannin, pectin. Glucose, fructose, citric acid, malic acid and carotene.
Rose in Medicine
Rosa gallica was hybridized so much that any scented deep red or deep pink rose was used in medicine, as long as it yielded strong color and fragrance in hot water.
While the sharp objects along a rose stem are commonly called “thorns,” they are scientifically called prickles.
War of the Roses
The rose is the national flower of England, ever since Henry II introduced the Tudor rose at the end of the War of the Roses (combining the red and white roses of the houses of Lancaster and York, as a symbol of post-war unity between the two houses).
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