In anticipation of Valentine’s Day this Friday, let’s talk about the iconic flower commonly sent by the dozen. For millennia, this flower has inspired writers, artists, musicians, and political thinkers. And it’s been used to make everything from cosmetics to perfumes to high-priced wrinkle creams to medicines!
In fact, it actually has a long history of use as a medicinal remedy. And recent research links it to improvements in sleep, pain, memory, and much more!
Of course, I’m talking about roses…
World’s most romantic flower offers dozens of health benefits
The rose—or Rosa, from the Rosacea family—has been used medicinally throughout the world since at least the 7th century to treat a wide variety of ailments, including:
- Back and leg pain (sciatica)
- Bacterial infections
- Diarrhea and constipation
- Gallstones and gallbladder ailments
- High blood pressure
- Lower urinary tract and kidney disorders
- Memory problems
- Poor circulation
- Viral coughs and fevers
Modern scientists have also started to consider the benefits of rose extracts. In fact, clinical trials demonstrate that two varieties of the rose—R. damascena and R. centrifolia—have powerful effects on brain function. And laboratory studies show that R. damascena, in particular, appears to support strong brain cell growth.
The rose also appears to benefit the heart. This benefit makes sense, as the rose comes from the same botanical family as hawthorn (Rosaceae), which has a long history as a safe and effective natural remedy for early-stage heart failure. Similarly, rose extract appears to regulate heart rate and strengthen the heart muscle, like hawthorn.
Harness the healing power of roses
There are dietary supplements on the market made with rose hips (the bulbs which persist at the base of the flower after “the bloom is off the rose,” so to speak). Just be aware that the manufacturing process destroys much of the vitamin C in rose hips. So, make sure to check that the manufacturer adds back any lost vitamin C (look for at least 250 mg on the label).
Of course, before taking a rose hip supplement, check with your doctor. And when choosing a rose hip supplement, make sure to find a reputable manufacturer. As I’ve warned many times here in my Daily Dispatch and in my monthly Insiders’ Cures newsletter, many supplements sold through big box stores and online retailers are inferior in quality. Worse yet, some are complete fakes!
Instead, I urge you to do your research and purchase high-quality supplements. And while you’re doing so, check out my own line of supplements under the “Shop” tab of my website. You can even use the search bar at the top to look for specific ingredients.
“Turkish Rose: A review of the history, ethnobotany and modern uses of rose petals, rose oil, rose water and other rose products.” HerbalGram, January 2012; 96: 40-53.
“Effects of the hydroalcoholic extract of Rosa damascena on learning and memory in male rats consuming a high-fat diet.” Pharm Biol, 2017;55(1):2065–2073. doi.org/10.1080/13880209.2017.1362010