Sweet Rose Elixir

by Libby Jennison

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Last summer (was it really that long ago?) I put together this little gem- a rose petal infused  glycerin with a touch of brandy to keep things preserved  a little longer.  It’s been sitting in the herb pantry for later straining, and that day finally came yesterday.  So of what use is a rose glycerite?  I particularly love Deb Soule’s description on her company Avena Botanicals website.  She says, “Roses are praised by people worldwide for their affinity with the heart. Traditionally, roses are used to calm the nerves, relieve insomnia and mild depression, dispel mental and physical fatigue, and soothe irritability associated with PMS, post-partum stress and menopause.”

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From another angle, rose medicine cools and sweetens any excess pitta, or heat.  Shoot, just plain gardening, as long as it isn’t extremely hot outside and irritating you further, can sweeten your mood.  So I suggest getting outside by the plants and taking time to smell the roses.   Linger by the blooms and take a long look inside them.  Look for the bugs that have made it’s home there.  Take a long drawn inhalation and appreciate their sweet, rather complex bouquet.  Ask them permission to take their medicine.  If they say yes, then feel free to harvest their petals.  It is best to do this in the early-ish morning, but I have harvested in the afternoon as well.

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The day I harvested for this batch of rose elixir was particularly fiery.  I needed to cool down, and even with the high afternoon sun, I got the benefits of their medicine.  But on other days when there is no time for stopping (a problem in itself in this modern world), a tincture of this lovely elixir will soften the sharp corners of the day.

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The other issue that rose medicine, and really any aromatic flower, can address very well, is depression.  It can help to sweet life when you perceive no sweetness.  In this same vein, it can also aid with emotional eating (specific to sweet cravings).

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Rose Elixir


rose petals, preferably freshly harvested

enough vegetable glycerin to cover the petals

a touch of brandy, or any other alcohol you like to drink (I’d have used gin if I’d had it)

a glass jar with a well sealing lid

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 Place the freshly harvested rose petals in the jar and pour the glycerin over the petals until it comes to the top of the plant material.  The rose petals will not all sink down underneath the glycerin, but using a chopstick or something of the like will help to get them all covered.  Then add a touch of brandy to it.  All the amounts of ingredients will end up depending on the amount of the rose petals you harvest.  Use your common sense and best judgments.  Leave to steep for at least four weeks.  I like to make a double, or even triple, tincture of the rose elixir.  So after four weeks, strain the petals out of the glycerin-alcohol mixture using a mesh strainer.  Remember to squeeze the petals and get all of the medicine!  Then add more petals to the tincture.  Leave for another four weeks.  Strain again.  Repeat if desired.  On the final strain, put the tincture in a special bottle and/or the bottle you will be dosing from.  For acute situations, take a dropperful every hour (or more often as needed) until the problem subsides.  For chronic imbalances, take four times a day.