Stop and Taste the Rosewater
Stop and smell the roses, states the famous cliche. In other words, make time out of your busy schedule to appreciate the simple beauty in life. Well, why stop at JUST smelling them when you can benefit even more by applying this flower to your other senses as well? Dating as far back as 1200BC, roses have been a key ingredient in cuisine, cosmetics and medicine.
Rose water is made when rose petals are washed and boiled in a large pot over a low flame. The rose oil separates and is used, usually for perfume, while the by-product of rosewater is whats used to flavor food and enhance some cosmetic and medical remedies.
Although they aren't known for it - roses are edible and nutritious. They contain flavonoids, anti-oxidants and the essential vitamins A, C, D, E and B3. Rosewater is used heavily in Middle Eastern, Persian, and South Asian dishes - especially in desserts. Rose petals or buds are used to flavor ordinary tea, or combined to make herbal teas.
Cosmetically, rosewater can be applied as a skin toner that caters to all skin types. It gently cleanses and moisturizes. So gentle, it can be used as an eye soak. Mixed with glycerine, it can be used as a setting or primer concoction. Let's not leave out hair though. Rosewater nourishes and strengthens the hair while lessening dandruff.
"During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, rose water was a popular remedy for depression. It was fine for bathing in, too, and as a "handwater" for rinsing. " Listed as Rosa damascena in the US National Library of Medicine, it states that besides its perfuming effect, this plant contains several components that have beneficial effects on human health. "The respiratory, cardiovascular, laxative, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, anti-HIV, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant are other effects of this plant." Dang, Rose! You got it going on.
My first experience with a slight variation of rosewater was me attempting to make a rose scented perfume at age 11. I mixed rose petals with water and stored it in an empty Tinkerbell brand perfume bottle. Needless to say, it did not deliver the results I expected. Its funky fragance was putrid and disposed of asap. Fast forward, years later, to my mommy years and it's a staple in my cosmetic arsenal, as well as my medicine cabinet - all thanks to surfing the internet for natural remedies. I get my supply from a neighborhood Indian grocery store. I plan on making it myself one day soon. I will definetly use organic roses because I don't like pesticides and whatnot.
I've used it with almond oil for my hair, as a skin toner and most importantly, on my children. Rosewater is great for pink eye. I initially used a chamomile tea and rosewater mixture soaked washcloth over my eldest daughter's infected eye. She now allows me to pour rosewater, by the capful, right in her eye - mostly because she knows it will clear up quick fast and in a hurry. I also dab rosewater soaked cotton pads on my newborn's face and refresh the rolls tween her neck. She smells sweet and her coos display how she approves of this as well.
Although roses are have been used daily for centuries in certain cultures, others have never known them to be anything but delicate, attractive plants given commonly as gifts. Not everyone is aware of all of its natural benefits and ready-availability. Rosewater has a plethora of physical healing properties as well as psychological benefits. Try it for yourself today!