Originally the most commonly used species of Rose was the cultivated variety Rosa gallica officinalis, also known as Apothecary's Rose, which has been in cultivation for at least 5000 years. At home in the Middle East, this beautifully fragrant species was highly revered in the ancient world. Today many deep red species of Rose are available to commerce and sold simply as 'Rose' as it is often impossible to tell exactly which species they are derived from.
Medicinally Roses do not play a great role today. In the old days they were valued for their cooling, soothing effect and for their ability to improve the flavour of other medicines. Today it is the essential oil of rose that plays the greatest role as a therapeutic agent. Roses are mildly astringent and can be used in tea blends for respiratory complaints. Externally, they make a good cleansing wash for impurities of the skin or for eye infections. Roses lift the spirit and dispel depression.
Rose petals are an excellent strewing herb for any sacred space, especially when dedicating the altar to Venus/Aphrodite. They can be included in incense blends, magical potpourris, dream pillow, sachets and love charms or in the ritual cup, especially for celebrations of the Great Rite. They can be sprinkled in the bath water for purification, especially in connection with hand fasting celebrations. No ritual of love should be celebrated without Roses.
Red Rose Petals
Size - 25g