Roses are some of the most popular flowers in gardens and bouquets alike. While there’s no doubt that roses are beautiful, you can use these flowers for more than just their lovely appearances. Various parts of the rose plant can be used to treat medical ailments, make delicious kitchen creations, and send unique messages. Keep reading to learn some amazing uses and benefits of roses.
1. Rose Tea Is Rich in Antioxidants
One of the easiest ways to consume roses is by making tea from rose petals. Not only does this beverage have a subtle floral flavor, but it also provides a boost of antioxidants.
These antioxidants can seek and destroy free radicals, help rebuild DNA, and keep cells healthy. Since excessive free radicals can lead to the development of chronic diseases, consuming antioxidants may help protect against heart disease, cancer, and more.
The exact amount of antioxidants present depends on the rose species and cultivar. However, many rose teas contain more antioxidants than green tea.
2. Roses Tea Can Help with Menstrual Pain and Distress
Some cultures have long used rose tea to treat symptoms associated with menstruation.
A 2005 study investigated how drinking rose tea could impact symptoms, including menstrual pain, anxiety, and distress. Results showed that participants who regularly drank rose tea experienced decreased symptoms that the control group did not experience.
3. Roses Can Help Soothe Irritated Skin
If you’ve noticed rose water or rose extract popping up in lotions and face salves, it’s for good reason. Rose petal extract has been shown to contain both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help with damage caused by exposure to UV light.
Another study found that rose extracts had anti-collagenase, anti-elastase, and antioxidant properties. So, what does that mean?
Well, collagenase is an enzyme that degrades protein molecules, including collagen and aggrecan. Therefore, anti-collagenase can help prevent the degradation of these proteins and help protect the skin.
These properties can help with skin redness, swelling, and irritation associated with conditions like eczema and rosacea.
Powder made from rose hips can also help improve skin appearance. A study showed that people who applied this powder to their faces experienced decreased wrinkles as well as improved skin moisture and elasticity.
4. Roses Have Antibacterial and Antiviral Properties
Rose essential oil has antimicrobial properties that can help protect against common bacteria. This can help prevent wounds from becoming infected.
The phenolic compounds that act as antibacterial agents may also help speed the healing of cuts and burns.
Research has also shown that roses have antiviral properties. One study investigated the effects that alcoholic and water extracts of rose petals had on HIV.
Scientists separated the various compounds present in the extracts and tested them against HIV. They found that these compounds had different modes of antiviral action, and together they combined to have a multi-pronged antiviral effect.
5. Roses Make a Delicious Floral Jelly
Almost all parts of rose plants are edible, from the leaves to the flowers to the fruits. One delicious way to enjoy rosebuds and rose petals is to make rose jelly.
Steeping the flower petals or buds in water helps extract the bright floral aroma and flavor. After you have a bright, fragrant liquid, you can add sugar and pectin to make a jelly.
Rose jelly goes great on toast and biscuits, and you can also use it to add a pop of flavor to baked goods like cookies and cakes.
6. Roses Make Beautiful Additions to Gardens
Roses are popular cut flowers, but they are also beautiful garden plants. With thousands of different rose varieties available, you can find a size and style of rose that fits just about every growing zone and space. There are also options to explore eco-friendly rose gardening practices.
Roses are perennial plants, which means they come back year after year. As long as you choose a variety well-suited for your area and plant it in a proper location, you can expect to enjoy rose flowers for over ten years.
Roses flowers vary in size, shape, and color. You can find vibrant red tea roses, delicate yellow old-garden roses, and sprawling wild roses.
7. Rose Hips Are High in Vitamin C
Rose plants produce small fruits known as rose hips. These fruits contain numerous vitamins and minerals, but they are especially high in vitamin C. In fact, a cup of rose hips has more than five times the amount of vitamin C as a cup of orange segments!
Vitamin C helps protect cells from free radicals and prevents diseases like heart disease and cancer. This vitamin also helps your body heal from sickness and injury and form muscle, bones, and blood vessels.
The most popular way to consume rose hips is in rose hip tea. However, you can also eat the rose hips as a jam, jelly, or relish.
8. Roses Can Help Reduce Arthritis Pain
A unique benefit of roses is that they contain anti-inflammatory compounds, and they can help alleviate pain caused by inflammation. This includes pain associated with arthritis.
Galactolipids are a special type of rose compound that may help with pain. These fats are found in cell membranes and are known to reduce inflammation.
One study investigated the impact that rosehip powder could have on pain associated with inflammation. Results showed that individuals who consumed rosehips reported less pain than those who did not eat rosehips.
Rosehip powder may also be able to help protect cartilage and, therefore, reduce arthritis pain.
9. Roses Make Lovely Cut Flowers
Another lovely benefit of roses is that they are among the most popular flowers for bouquets and flower arrangements. They’re long-lasting, come in various colors, and can be used to send messages.
Most people know that red roses are linked to passionate and romantic love. But did you know that each rose color has unique symbolism?
For example, light pink roses are tied to happiness and friendship, while orange roses mean energy and enthusiasm. Learning about the meanings of roses can help you pick the perfect color for every occasion.
10. Roses Have a Wonderful Fragrance
You know that saying, “stop and smell the roses?” Well, it came about for a reason.
Many roses have a strong fragrance that can range from floral to musty. These scents have been used as inspiration for perfumes, lotions, candles, and more.
You can also capture rose fragrance in rose extract or rose essential oil. Rose oil is popular in aromatherapy.
11. Roses Can Be Used in Potpourri
Fresh flowers and rose essential oil aren’t the only ways to enjoy rose fragrance! You can also use dried roses to create potpourri.
Try mixing roses with other flowers and placing potpourri-filled sachets in with your sweaters or bowls filled with potpourri in the bathroom.
12. Roses Can Be Used as a Natural Dye
Rose petals can be used to naturally dye clothing, towels, raw wool, and other materials. The color that roses produce depends on the color of the roses and the pH of the dye.
A lower pH will result in a pink or peachy color that’s similar to pink rose petals. However, a higher pH creates a color that’s more of a gray or blue shade.
Both fresh and dried rose petals can be used in dying.
The Uses and Benefits of Roses – Wrapping Up
With culinary uses, medicinal benefits, and the ability to beautify almost any space, you can surely find a couple of ways to use roses. While the species in the rose genus are relatively similar, there are differences between species and varieties. Therefore, you should complete further research if you’re interested in specific roses’ exact uses and benefits.
For more, see my favorite rose quotes and messages.
Briana holds a B.S. in Plant Sciences from Penn State University. She manages a small market garden where she grows vegetables and herbs. She also enjoys growing flowers and houseplants at home.