Rose Petal Elixir…This is one of my favorite remedies of all time!
This summer I am reacquainting with hands-on medicine. I am harvesting and processing herbs from my very own herb garden and from my neighborhood. And I am making a LOT of medicine – or at least a lot for me.
Sometimes I am very much a folk herbalist. I love placing herbs in a jar and covering with my mentrum based on how it looks, what I have, and what I’m feeling at the moment. Little mind is paid to measuring exacting quantities. I trust the herbs, the extraction process, and myself.
Other times I am very much a clinical herbalist who pays attention to dosing, mestrum to herb ratios, extraction time and process (you can be a clinical herbalist without paying attention to these things, too). I want to make replicable and reliable medicines. The array of chemical constituents present in the herbs inspire me to match them with the ideal mediums. I consider what will extract the herbs to their fullest potential.
This rose petal elixir is an old favorite. I first wrote about it in 2010 in this post about a Spiced Rose Elixir.
A DIY Rose Petal Elixir is pretty simple: Rose petals steeped in half alcohol, half honey (glycerine is a good vegan alternative).
Most Simple Rose Petal Elixir Recipe
- Add rose petals to a jar, a little more than halfway full. The petals can be fresh or wilted a day or two.
- Pour in alcohol halfway filling the jar.
- Fill the rest of the jar with honey or glycerine.
- Let steep for at least 4 weeks. Shake often.
- Strain, bottle, label.
- Enjoy as desired. Try a tablespoonful stirred in a sensuous and floral drink, a 45 drops in water as a cooling soothing remedy, or a few drops on the tongue for a gentle heart-opener.
Mostly I use about 40% alcohol/80 proof like vodka or brandy, or use a half water, half grain alcohol mix.
I use Rose Elixir can be used for the same reasons one would use any other Rose remedy. Rose is a cooling, sweet and floral herb that opens and fills the heart spreading joy and love. Rose gently moves stagnant Liver Qi, calms the nervous system and quells hot and inflamed states in the emotional or physical body.
How do you use Rose for medicine?
The batch of rose petal elixir pictured here was an experiment making an elixir with grain alcohol. I can’t exactly remember why I wanted to try a higher amount of alcohol. Perhaps it was because I had messed up a couple of liquor recipes by using too little alcohol, like this violet one. You live, you learn.
This particular batch was especially near and dear to my heart. I saved the petals and made a jar of Rose Petal Bandages with them and my entire family still uses with great effectiveness for any burn 7 years later. Seriously, I just Rose Petal Bandages on burns from a curling iron last night, and on some sunburn a week ago.
Play with herbs, and play with them often
The point of making medicine is to have fun. Or at least that is one of the reasons I like to make herbal medicine.
Take breaks and then get back into it when the herbs and the desire to tinker and create are calling.
Follow a certain method…then try the exact opposite. I don’t want to be locked into boxes in how we express our relationships with medicines.
I view herbal medicine making like I do cooking. When I try a new recipe I try to follow it as precisely as I can, but I don’t stress if I am missing a spice, or if accidentally skipped a step, or if I don’t have the ideal equipment. After I have gotten the hang of it, I feel confident to make it without a recipe. and to use what I learned as a foundational jumping off point for putting together recipes of my own creating.
So…how do you make your Rose Petal Elixir?
This summer of medicine making has inspired me to think of a new-to-me variation for this classic rose elixir. I’ll post it here someday.