I don’t know about you but I always feel sad when the flowers in the garden start to disappear for another year. There’s a hint of regret and loss.
But that’s been the great thing about exploring herbology, I’m discovering more and more ways to use wild herbs and plants for the benefit of health and day-to-day use. Holding onto a few plants and herbs before they turn to seed, to make tinctures, glycerites and lip balms, has been a fun way to make use of dying nature, while also saving some money here and there.
I’m by no means an expert and still very much a novice but I like sharing what I’ve learnt in hope it will help you guys too.
I was really drawn to the scent rose a few years ago. I started using the Neal’s Yard ‘rose’ range, and then rose essential oil in my diffuser, which is soooo expensive. But the smell is completely alluring.
It’s definitely heart-centred stuff. Well, it would be. Roses have been long associated with matters of the heart. There’s a good reason why – they are indeed a tonic for the heart. Quite literally.
So I decided to make some rose glycerite. I discovered that rose tincture is particularly good for the following:
- Viral infections
- Sore throats
- Hormone imbalance
- Dry skin
- Feeling unloved
- Feeling unloving
I was particularly interested in rose to help with viruses, as we seem to experience lots of those still during the winter. As for some of the other heart-centred emotions associated with love, being unloved and grief – well I’m wondering if this remedy will come in useful for the winter months too perhaps, especially if you suffer with low mood.
How to make rose glycerite
You can use garden roses for this and in fact, they are great as long as they haven’t been sprayed.
You’ll need the fragrant roses! Damask roses are great apparently but we don’t have any of these but we didm inherit several varieties, though not all fragrant.
Simply pick fragrant rose petals. If need be, wipe off and dry any dust or bugs, and pop the petals in a jar with a mixture of 60% vegetable glycerine and 40% water. You can buy food grade organic glycerine on Amazon and other places online. I even spotted some in Sainsbury’s on the ‘baking shelves’, though it wasn’t so cheap in small quantities.
Then pop on a sunny window or in a warm place. Stir occasionally to keep the petals beneath the surface of the liquid.
You can keep adding petals over the coming season as and when they turn transparent.
After around 6 weeks when the last petals have lost their colour, strain the liquid and bottle.
It should taste delicious and smell of rose. Mine haven’t matured as yet but I’ll let you know once my oldest batch has finished its cycle.
How to use
1 tsp. for sore throats and viral infections.
For a broken heart or grief, mix half with hawthorn tincture and take 1 tsp. several times a day.
You can also use it as a face lotion for dry or sensitive skin – mix half with water and apply daily.
How to Make Rose Tincture
This will have similar effects to the glycerite, but will act faster and a little deeper. It’s made with alcohol so it’s clearly only for adults whereas the glycerite is child-friendly. Simply fill a jar with fragrant rose petals but don’t over-stuff, and top with vodka or bandy and steep.
Keep in a cool dark cupboard and shake once a day.
Transfer into a tinted dark glass jar after 4-6 weeks.
Great for the same issues listed above.