Roses have been revered, beloved and written about since the earliest of ancient worlds and have remained an everlasting symbol for passion, love, spirituality and healing. No matter the culture or religion, roses are always connected to Divinity. GOD and Love. Both Hinduism (the oldest religion in the world) and Buddhism consider rose as a symbol of spiritual joy. In Greek mythology, the white rose was said to have arisen from droplets of sweat from the prophet Mohammed and the red rose is stained with the blood of Aphrodite, cut by the thorns separating her from Adonis. Christian mystics believe the rose bloomed on the crucified body of Christ and in ancient India the Nightingales pressed against the thorns of the white rose at night to stay awake and delight the world with their birdsong. And according to Hindu mythology, Brahma and Vishnu debated about which was more beautiful, the rose or the lotus? They finally both agreed that there is no flower that can stand up to the rose as far as beauty and natural wonder are concerned.
White rose symbolizes purity and the red rose, beauty and even bloodshed in the name of love. The red rose symbolizes losing of one’s virginity and has had hidden messaging in fables and stories to signify revolution. And alas, there is the most ironic and symbolic contrast of the Rose in her velvety soft and intoxicatingly fragrant petals atop her thorny stems that will quickly pierce and even draw blood. Perhaps a metaphor for the pain and suffering that come with beauty and love? Not surprising that a rose, seemingly frail in her nature, is actually quite the hardy plant having exceptional longevity and an everlasting and more mature beauty season after season.
ROSE IN PROSE & NOSE
And, of course the prose… most famously Shakespeare’s “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet” from Romeo & Juliet.
The French poet Guillaume Apollinaire wrote “I have perfumed my soul with rose my whole life.” And a new personal favorite from Emily Dickinson reads:
A sepal, petal, and a thorn
Upon a common summer’s morn.
A flash of dew, a bee or two,
A caper in the trees,
And I’m a rose!
The rose produces infinite diverse aromas, some heady and triumphant, some sweet and lingering, some deep and woody. And some also exude the aroma of the fruits that are part of the Rose’s lineage like apricot, apple, almond, blackberry, currant and plum. However, only two varietals out of hundreds are grown for their aroma, Rosa centifolia, the famous hundred-leaf varietal mostly grown in the south of France and Morocco and Rosa damascena, a variety mostly grown for perfumery in India, Bulgaria and Turkey. Rosa centifolia is also the varietal mostly used in therapeutic remedies.
Mixing the two (centifolia and damascene) is said to produce the most subtle rose perfume in the world. And though silent, the rose vibrates so high that she speaks the universal language of sensitivity, emotion, beauty and imagination.
SPEAKING OF VIBRATING
Everything that is alive vibrates at its own frequency and thus everything exists on a vibrational level. Vibrations can be scientifically quantified in Unit Hertz (Hz) and Megahertz (MHz) so for example, the human body vibrates at about 62-68 MHz while rose vibrates at a whopping 320 MHz, more than four times that of the human body vibrating higher, further and wider than any living being in our human / Mother Earth existence.
And then there is the vibration of Love, the aspired playground on which we hope to live and be. Yes, Love vibrates too and science quantifies Her vibration at 528 Hz. Not MHz. To give you an idea of where love is on this scale .00001MHz = 10 Hz.. quite far removed from Love, the highest frequency known to exist. A vibration so beyond our scope of logic and so powerful that it has proven throughout all lifetimes to heal us from what ails and why phrases like Love is the only Medicine or Love Cures resonates so strongly within us. This means that Rose, vibrating at 320 MHz is closer to the vibration of Love than any living being and it is Her high vibration that makes it possible for Her to uplift us from sadness, depression, anxiety while taking us to higher plains like forgiveness, happiness, compassion and kindness. Rose is the most accessible remedy we have for elevating our vibration and bringing us closer to the frequency of Love.
ANCIENT HEALING WITH ROSE
Rose holds a significant place in the ancient sciences of Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. And it was Avicenna, regarded as the most significant physician of the Islamic Golden Age and father of early modern medicine that began distilling rose specifically for her therapeutic attar and hydrosol.
Rose’s high vibration also makes her an essential remedy for boosting circulation and relieving the body of stagnant disease, especially in the liver according to Chinese medicine. TCM regards Rose as a qi (energy) stimulant and blood tonic. In Ayurveda, Rose is a Hridya (or cardio tonic) and her energy can reach all the vibrational “hearts” located throughout one’s body, as well as our physical heart, calming and balancing their own natural beat when needed. Rose and her powerful ability to break up stagnant energy in the body have proven her to be an effective diuretic, relieving the body of fluid retention and toxins (AMA) from the body.
Ayurvedic considers rose astringent and cooling and for thousands of years has used her petals crushed, juiced, ground and dried for aromatic skin tonics, teas, syrups and jams to cool a blazing pitta’s Agni or transformative fire. Without Agni at the perfect temperature, our thoughts, emotions, perceptions and our food do not get assimilated, digested and transformed into nutrition or waste. Without a stable agni we risk burdening the mind and body with unprocessed (unresolved) anger, ambition, and stress. Even an accumulation of unprocessed joyful experiences can burden the body.
In Ayurveda, rose regulates brajaka pitta, a sub-dosha of pitta that controls the skin’s chemical processes, especially sweating. A healthy brajaka pitta allows for a radiant au naturel glow by purifying our sweat of hot acidic toxins that can cause harm on the skin’s surface. Using a quality rose product like our Pampered pH Rose or Rose Cardamom Bath will neutralize the pH of the sweat externally so it does not inflame the skin when it is released. And last but definitely not least, Ayurveda says that rose is also a vajikarna (aphrodisiac) and uses it therapeutically to enhance the sensual experience of love between partners.
Ultimately rose petals are pitta and vata pacifying and can be taken orally in the form of Gulkand (rose petal jam), rose syrup or even by adding a capful of Pampered pH Rose to your bottled water. However, Ayurveda says that Rose is tridoshic (benefitting all three doshas) so preparing your rose remedy with warming and pungent herbs/spices like clove, cinnamon or black pepper to balance out the sweet and cooling aspects of rose so it can also be an effective treatment for Kapha, especially a Kapha-related respiratory disorer.
ROSE IN MODERN SCIENCE
Modern medical research has often proven the benefits of rose. In the 1930s, with the discovery of vitamin C and Linus Pauling arguing that in massive doses it could cure the common cold, rosehips gained popularity and even became a part of pharmaceutical enterprises due to their high C content. In fact, rosehips became an extremely popular source of vitamin C during World War II because of fresh citrus shortages at the time. The British government even looked to rosehips as a substitute and went so far as to organize the harvesting of them in England. Our immune system benefits from vitamin c because it boosts production of our white blood cells and the antioxidant levels allow for lowered oxidative stress which allows production of collagen and an ageless and radiant skin.
In 2005, a Taiwan study published in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, examined 130 adolescent women who drank rose tea over a period of six months and concluded that this routine led to less cramping during menstruation and relief from other stress associated with cramping. Researchers concluded that drinking rose tea is a simple, safe and effective treatment for remedying the symptoms of menstruation.
In 2013, scientists studied the anti-mutagenic properties of roses. Out of 30-35 thousand rose hybrids and cultivars it was the “passion” rose (i.e. Rosa centifolia) that was most beneficial at blocking mutagens that increase cancer-causing mutations in genetic material. This is believed to be due to the centifolia’s high anthocyanin content which was found to remain stable in all these beneficial compounds even after being heated in the distillation process or when making tea or syrups.
A 2014 scientists studied roses to treat Scalp Seborrheic Dermatitis and compared a natural shampoo made with Rose petal extract to chemical shampoos. It was the rose petal extract shampoo that was found to perform equally to the medicated treatments and probably one of the main reasons why our Crown & Mane hair and scalp treatment is so effective. You are literally layering each segmented application with Pampered pH Rose. In 2015, another study examined the anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties of Rose Centifolia extract and found the anti-inflammatory effect of Rose water was equivalent to the prescription drugs in the test, a precedence for Rosa centifolia to be a justifiable treatment for inflammation associated with arthritis. Studies have also found that due to their high level of antioxidants, powdered rose petals deserve further research into possible effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory substitute for aspirin or ibuprofen.
Rose is the closest you can come in vibration to love and therefore to true mind/body/spirit healing. Including her essence, whether in a jam, hydrosol or syrup, in your everyday life can only be of benefit to you and will be the only living being that can lessen the distance from your vibration to the vibration of love. Let that sit with you for a while and may we thank our Mother Earth and our Divine Spirits for her ever-present gift.
And just like the Rose, Love has been written about since the beginning of time as well. My mother who passed 14 years ago on February 16th, had a favorite writing from Thornton Wilder:
“But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead, and the bridge is love.”
May we be love and may we receive love. If only to share it with another.