Saturday, June 21, 2014

Rose Syrup

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," wrote Shakespeare, but historically, a rose isn't just any rose when it comes to medicine. Roses such as R. damascena (Damask rose) and R. gallica officinalis (Apothecary rose) are, specifically, herbal roses.

Today, roses are commonly placed in gardens and lawns for their beauty, but in medieval times, the herbal roses were mostly grown for medicinal purposes. The Apothecary Rose, in particular, was used historically to treat a variety of ailments, such as sore throat and indigestion. Classically, in ancient Rome, the rose was also used to treat hangovers. On that note, Roman author and naturalist Pliny the Elder wrote of thirty-two remedies made from the rose.

Titus Pullo could  probably use some of dat rose med.
From HBO's series, Rome.

A decoction of the Rose, wrote 16th herbalist Nicholas Culpeper, is good for headaches, and pain in the eyes, ears, and throat. I have seasonal allergies which gives me a sore throat, and I am an eccentric, so I wanted to be my own guinea pig and make a Rose syrup, using  a very basic recipe with my own UNSPRAYED Apothecary Rose petals (R. gallica officinalis), freshly picked from my personal garden. If curious, you can probably buy rose syrup online, but please consult a doctor before consumption, to be safe. The following is the result of my own experimentation, and, like the rest of this post, is intended for educational purposes only.

In a saucepan, I slowly brought the sugar water to a boil. I then turned off the stove and removed the saucepan from the stove surface to allow the mixture to simmer. When the mixture cooled, I added my own Apothecary Rose petals to the mixture, stirring occasionally. I allowed the petals to simmer in the mixture for several hours, stirring occasionally. The mixture turned a gentle pink in color. I then strained the mixture through a sieve before bottling.

Simmering Apothecary Rose petals.

Apothecary Rose Syrup... what's left of it, anyway.

Needless to say, I am very pleased with my homemade Rose syrup. The subtle flavor of the rose in the syrup is lovely. Not only did I add the syrup to smoothies, drinks and dishes, I used it medicinally, taking a tablespoon of it before bed to help a sore throat from allergies, and soothing the mucus felt in the throat. For me, personally, I was pleased with it, overall. Rose Syrup FTW!

This post was written strictly for educational purposes only, is not approved by the FDA, and is only to reflect my own personal experiences with herbs.The rose recipe linked and the rose notations is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease and is to reflect my own experience. Do not use or treat yourself with any herb, especially while pregnant or nursing, before consulting a physician.
For more information, please see: 

The Apothecary's Rose, by Rosemagazine.com

Plant Profile: Rose by sacredearth.com

The English Physician Enlarged by Nicolas Culpeper (see page 278, specifically)