Wild Rose – Rosa canina / Rosa rugosa / Rosa centifolia
Wild Rose is one of the very easiest herbs to find out and about in wild spaces across the Northern Hemisphere, and much of the rest of the world too! It is native to Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia, and is now naturalized in North America as well, commonly found in hedges, and alongside woodlands, fields, and thickets. Wild Rose has an especially rich tradition of use in European folk-medicine. A deciduous, prickly shrub, it has odd-pinnate leaves of 5-7 elliptic or ovate leaflets, each with a serrated edge. Its sweetly-scented blossoms are varying shades of pink to white, appearing in late spring and into summer. With those lovely, bright red rose hips following in the autumn and hanging on into winter.
Harvesting: Gather the blossoms once fully opened, either tincturing, infusing in oil, or carefully drying. The rose hips can be gathered once reaching a bright orange or red hue, and can be eaten fresh, made into jams, syrups and wines, or simply dried for future use. Rose hips give an especially lovely, berry flavour to most recipes and preparations.
Uses: Rose hips, the fruit of Roses, are a wonderful supply of vitamin A and many other various vitamins and minerals, but is most well known for its abundant supply of vitamin C when fresh. Rose hips are a traditional herbal support for recovery from colds, flu, and general exhaustion, and are a great aid to the respiratory system as a whole. The petals and rose hips can be combined together into a syrup for soothing sore throats. It is also known for its astringent, tonic, and mildly diuretic and laxative effects. Wild Rose is such a gentle, safe herb to use, and so easy to identify if you’re a beginner! Just make sure it is un-sprayed and truly wild if harvesting for medicinal use. Both petals from the blossoms and its fruit make a lovely addition to any home herbal cabinet.
Actions: Anti-Inflammatory, Antioxidant, Antiviral, Astringent, & Nervine.
Taste: Sweet & Astringent
Energy: Contracting & Cooling
Botanical Design: “Medicinal Plants Coloring Book” – Ilil Arbel
I hope you enjoyed this short herbal monograph! Head back to the Herbalism page for more ways to study herbs and their properties, actions, preparations, and traditional use in day-to-day living, or look up a few more herbal mini-monographs and read about another plant in depth.
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