Delicate, and elegant, the rose is far more than an eye pleaser. The healing properties of roses are known throughout cultures; practised in Native, European, Persian, Ayurvedic, and Chinese Traditional medicine. It is consumed as food, drink, medicine and made into perfumes. It offers us physical and well as emotional healing. One whiff of rose scent would help to uplift the spirit, making a believer out of any skeptic.
It is talked about in mythology, poetry, literature, religion, folklore, art, and songs. The Indian gods, Brahma (the creator of the world) and Vishnu (the protector of the world), argued over whether the lotus was more beautiful than the rose. God Vishnu was enamoured by roses, while God Brahma supported the lotus. But Brahma had never seen a rose before and when he did he immediately recanted. As a reward Brahma created a bride for Vishnu and called her Lakshmi, goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity — she was created from 108 large and 1008 small rose petals. In Greek mythology, when Eros wed Psyche, the daughters of Jupiter spread roses across the land – this is the mythology when love is wedded to the soul of mankind. In the case of Roman mythology, it was Cupid (Eros in Greco), son of Venus, while stopping to smell the rose, was stung by a bee. In anger, he drew his arrow and shot it right into the flower, resulting in the rose forever sprouting thorns. And last, but not least, Like Water for Chocolate, the lovesick Tita puts all her sorrow into the rose petal sauce, intended for her lover, but mistakenly eaten by her sister who became hot with desire. Can you say aphrodisiac?
According to Ayurvedic texts, it is not a coincidence that the rose is associated with romance, because it balances Sadhaka Pitta, the sub-dosha of pittat that governs the emotions and their effects on the heart. Sadhaka Pitta can go out of balance more easily in the summer months when the hot, humid weather increases Pitta dosha, the mind-body operator that governs heat, digestion, and metabolism in the body, while enhancing coordinatinon between the Sadhaka Pitta and Prana Vata, the subdosha of Vata, which governs the brain, chest, respiration, sensory perception and the mind.
Here is a simple invigorating and delicious beverage to jumpstart your day in a positive light, thanks to the exquisite scent and health benefits of roses.
1 ½ cups/350 ml yogurt or milk kefir
1 Tbsp/15ml rose syrup
7-8 or 10-12 dried rose petals (optional)
1-2 tsp/5-10ml rose water (optional)
½ tsp/2ml cardamom powder (optional)
a pinch of Himalayan salt (optional)
1-2 tsp/5-10ml chia seeds (optional)
Fruit such as raspberry, or pomegranate (optional)
Garnish: 1 tablespoon chopped dried nuts such as pistachios.
Combine and blend all ingredients, except nuts. Add milk if you wish. Garnish with nuts.
Rachel conducts gardening, culinary and fermenting workshops/retreats at her home on 100 acres in Northern Ontario, Canada, where she lives in creative harmony with nature. Rachel’s mission is to ensure the wisdom of our ancestors is preserved for future generations.
Images ©2002-2023 Rachel Thoo