Herb Spotlight - Rose

Rose (Rosa spp.)

Family: Rosaceae

Part Used: Flowers, Fruit

Flavor/Aroma: Sweet, Sour

Energetics: Cooling, Drying



Roses are red, violets are blue, I will soothe your broken heart and nourish tissues too! Roses are famous as a therapeutic heart medicine, having been used by ancient civilizations, and in modern times, to support a variety of emotional dispositions, strengthen the blood, and stimulate bodily systems. These romantic blooms have a variety of both energetic and medicinal uses that extend far beyond its alluring beauty.


Rose bushes grow as a perennial, thorny shrub with a variety of widths and heights that can be reached depending on the habitat in which they grow. Its leaves are generally darker green, have serrated edges, and are attached to woody stems. Roses generally prefer disturbed, well-drained soil types, as well as full sun and regular watering to ensure colorful blooms. The Rose flowers express in a variety of colors and fully open in the peak of summer, usually in the months of July and August.

Cultivation and Harvesting:

Rose fossils discovered in Colorado and Oregon reveal that they are over 35 million years old. Rose species are native to North America, Asia, Europe, and Northern Africa. Roses, with over 100 species, are one of the most popularly cultivated plants in the world. Rose flowers are best harvested with care just as they begin to open, before they are fully expressed, to ensure they are collected at peak volatile-oil potency.3,2

Southern Oregon Cultivation:

Roses are popularly planted as ornamental decorations in gardens throughout the state, but are most popularly associated with Portland and it’s vibrant, famed Rose garden. There are a few species of Rose native to Southern Oregon particularly that can be found along rocky mountain sides and along hiking trails in sunnier areas. Rose flowers are a prized discovery by scavenging pollinators and provides them with a variety of valuable nutrients. 

The Portland Rose Society was founded in 1889, prompting the guerrilla planting of over 20 miles of garden beds filled with multicolored roses throughout the city.  Paving the way for the establishment of the “Portland International Rose Test Garden” and the city’s nickname of “The City of Roses”.5

History and Folklore:

Roses have been incorporated into medicinal, cosmetic, and edible preparations for thousands and thousands of years. The sweet fragrance has been harnessed and used for perfumes and infused into oils, its petals for dyes and art, and its symbolic nature for representing the purity of love, strength, and the cycle of life.

American Native Uses: Roses were popularly revered as a romantic symbol of life, vitality, and survival. Paiute, Nez Perce, and Interior Salish tribes believed that Roses would protect them from pestering ghosts, placed in the house and worn during times of mourning, and were sometimes integrated into quillwork, beadworkings, and used to infuse various edible confections.3

Modern Applications:

Roses can be used for a variety of edible preparations that preserve its medicinal properties such as extracting volatile oils for aromatherapy, as well as to flavor beverages and confections alike. Internally, Rose has been noted to support inflammation of the mouth and throat1, soothe coughs; and to ease menstrual symptoms like cramping, excessive bleeding, and mood swings. It is also indicated to remedy hemorrhoids and help regulate diabetes.4 Topically, Rose is popularly used to give lotions, salves, oils, honeys, liquors, and other cosmetics their floral aroma or flavor, as well as contributing to the therapeutic potential of those products. It is also widely used to calm hysteria and to protect both the physical and energetic heart.4,1,3

Uses and Preparations:

Dried Herb Tea Preparation: 

1 Tablespoon per cup of warm water.

Using a reusable tea bag or tea ball, immerse the loose dried herbs into boiling water and allow to steep for 5-10 minutes, preferably covered, in order to release the maximum amount of herbal goodness. Some herbal tea can carry a strong flavor. We recommend organic honey as a sweetener which preserves the beneficial herbal compounds. 


2-4 mL up to 4 times per day.

Some herbal tinctures can have a strong flavor on their own. Adding your tincture to a glass of 6-8oz of water is one easy way to help, should you wish to dilute the flavor.  

Honey Infusion:

Fill any size jar to the top with petals and cover in honey. Allow it to infuse for about one week, or longer, before consuming.

Recommended Usage:

It is important to remember that some bodies may react differently than others when using herbal products. Our recommended usage amounts are designed to be an average dosage only. If you have specific concerns about the usage amount or interaction with other medication, please consult with your doctor or health care practitioner prior to using our products.


We recommend consulting with your practitioner if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, or if you are using any other medications.


  1. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://cms.herbalgram.org/commissione/Monographs/Monograph0315.html
  2. Rosa Gallica (U.S.P) (n.d.). https://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/rosa-gall.html
  3. Rose. (n.d.).  https://www.herbrally.com/monographs/rose
  4. Boskabady, M. H., Shafei, M. N., Saberi, Z., & Amini, S. (2011, July). Pharmacological effects of rosa damascena. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3586833/ 
  5. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.portlandrosesociety.org/Who_We_Are.html

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.