What is Rose Flower?
Rose Flower (mei gui hua, 玫瑰花) is one of the oldest flowers in the world, and they have been referenced in literature, music and art for centuries as an iconic symbol of love and romance. In fact, it is nicknamed as the ‘Queen of the Flowers’
A perennial shrub found worldwide, over 100 species of Rose Flower are known to exist. Rose Flower are gathered between April and June, then baked before being incorporated into herbal formulas and recipes. These beautiful flowers have been used in cooking and healing for thousands of years. In ancient Rome, Rose Flowers were often added to meals that celebrated a great event or victory. Candied rose petals were a popular type of candy in the United States back in the late 19th century as well. Even till today, Rose Flowers are often added to cakes, jams and confections to add flavour.
Medicinally, Rose Flowers have traditionally been used to treat patients since as early as the 7th century in the Middle East, and for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practices.
In TCM, Rose Flower falls under the category of ‘Herbs that regulate qi’. Such herbs help to treat Qi Stagnation, where qi is blocked in the body’s Organs and Meridians, most typically the Stomach, Liver and Lungs. Qi Stagnation often translates into psychological consequences such as depression, irritability or mood swings. It is also often associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menopausal symptoms, breast swellings and various digestive disorders.
Warm in nature, Rose Flower can help individuals who have too much ‘Cold’ in their body, such as those who are experiencing a Yin Excess or a Yang Deficiency. Bitter and sweet in taste, the herb can also cleanse the body by clearing Heat, drying Dampness, and promoting elimination via urination or bowel movements. It can also slow down acute reactions, detoxify the body, and tonify the body by replenishing qi and blood. In particular, Rose Flower targets the Liver and the Spleen.
Functions and Benefits of Rose Flower
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) shows that Rose Flower has the following functions.
Rose Flower can regulate qi to release Stagnation and relieve pain. Thus, this herb is useful in treating gynecological issues, such as PMS, menstrual cramps, irregular menstruation, menopause and acute mastitis.
Rose Flower can nourish the blood vessels of the Heart and the Liver to dispel depressive qi, calm the spirit and stabilize emotions. It can hence function as an antidepressant and help to improve mood swings by reducing irritability, relieving stress and anxiety.
Rose Flower is effective in regulating blood and qi, which makes it an ideal herb to dispel Stagnation under the skin. Thus, it can help to improve one’s dull complexion, ecchymosis, acne, spots and wrinkles. This can aid us to achieve a naturally radiant complexion!
Modern studies have also discovered that Rose Flower is rich in Vitamins A and E, which means that Rose Flower can hydrate and tighten the skin while reducing fine lines and softening dark circles. That explains why Rose Flower can be found in many skincare products in the market.
Rose Flower is also loaded with Vitamin C, which supports the production of white blood cells in our body to strengthen our immune system. Rich in antioxidants, Rose Flower can also combat oxidative stress, which causes premature ageing. For example, it can help to reverse salt and pepper hair.
If your stomach is feeling uneasy, consuming Rose Flower can also relieve stomach discomfort, gas and bloating by relieving the digestive system and aiding digestion. Rose petals also contain polyphenols, which can protect the body from cell damage. These substances have been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cognitive diseases.
How to Use Rose Flower
Rose Flower can be found in countless commercial products in the market today, from food and beverages to skincare products, bath soaps to perfume, supplements to essential oils, rose water to rose tea.
It is impossible to list out the full uses of Rose Flower because there are simply too many of them. To list a few, products such as Rose essential oils and Rose facial masks are increasingly popular among female consumers today due to the beauty benefits that they offer. Due to the long list of Rose flower tea benefits, herbal tea that contains Rose Flower are also more prevalent in the market today.
Be it adding Rose Flower to your diet or applying it on your skin, you can be sure that you can enjoy multiple benefits at once when you use this herb.
Cautions and Side Effects of Rose Flower
Although Rose Flower is considered relatively safe for long-term use, it has been found to have stimulating effects on the female productive system. Hence, it should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Also, Rose Flower may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and antidepressants. Hence, if you are already on such medication, it is best to avoid using Rose Flower in the meantime.
High quantities of Vitamin C may cause kidney stones in some people. It may increase iron absorption as well, which can worsen symptoms for people with iron-related disorders. Hence, if you already have a lot of Vitamin C in your current diet habits, avoid consuming too much Rose Flowers to prevent other side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, headaches and heartburn.
Here is a summary for Rose Flower:
- Herb name (Chinese): 玫瑰花
- Herb name (Pin Yin): méi guī huā
- Herb name (English): Rose Flower
- Herb name (Botanical): Flos Rosae Rugosae
- Origin of species: Rosa rugosa Thunb.
- Part(s) of herb used: Flower bud
- Geo-specific habitat(s): Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Shandong, Sichuan
- Taste(s) & Properties: Sweet, slightly bitter; Warm; Administrates the Liver and Spleen meridians
- Actions: Eases menstrual pains and pre-menstrual discomforts, e.g. tender breasts; Aids to speed up recovery from physical injuries, such as bruises by removing Blood Stasis; Eases symptoms of emotional irritations or distress; Eases stomach discomforts, nausea and lack of appetite.
Ng, T. B., He, J. S., Niu, S. M., Pi, Z. F., Shao, W., Liu, F., & Zhao, L. (2004). A gallic acid derivative and polysaccharides with antioxidative activity from rose (Rosa rugosa) flowers. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 56(4), 537-545. [Accessed on 18 September 2022]
Sharma, M., Gargi, A., & Borah, A. (2022). Rhododendron arboreum and its potential health benefit: A review.[Accessed on 18 September 2022]
Zheng, J., Meenu, M., & Xu, B. (2019). A systematic investigation on free phenolic acids and flavonoids profiles of commonly consumed edible flowers in China. Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis, 172, 268-277.[Accessed on 18 September 2022]
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