Our first roses will be blooming now. So many types and varieties grow almost world wide. The name for a “rose’ is almost the same in any European language, an indication of its antiquity.
Early poets all sang praises of the rose. Dried roses have been found in Egyptian tombs. “Rose” by any name signifies joy, beauty and love. During the medieval period people associated the rose with Spring and fertility, also with pleasure and enjoyment.
The old specific meanings of roses depends, yes, often even today, upon the colour of the flower:
- Red: passion and desire
- Pink: simplicity, happy love
- White: innocence and purity
- Yellow: jealousy, perfect achievement
Rosehips and petals have long been used as a tonic, laxative, diuretic, astringent. The petals as a laxative or in poultices to aid wound healing. The hips in tisanes, and reduced to a seedless puree are an excellent source of vitamin C.
Some of us can recall Rosehip Syrup prepared for babies during the war. 100g of hips contain as much vitamin C as 1kg of lemons. Both deseeded hips and petals are used in conserves and jams. And of course, perfumes and cosmetics.
SO – take another look at your roses, they give us much more than just beautiful flowers.
The Herb Society’s next meeting is on Thursday 28 November 7pm at the Avice Hill Craft Centre