Ever wondered if you could do something interesting with the rose petals that you let fall every year? Well, you can! This year I was prompted to make my own rose water as my roses were all blooming at once and they looked amazing, not so easy to see on this photo below, but there are reds and pinks blooming here.
What can you use rose water for once it's made? Here's a list of ideas:
- skin toner (anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties)
- hair rehydrator (final rinse after shampooing)
- cooking (think Turkish Delight!)
- ironing (use in a spray bottle, or in the chamber)
- mood enhancer (uplifting on emotions)
- linen spray
Rose has been used since ancient times, with rose water first being prepared by the Arab physician Avicenna (AD 980 - 1037), though roses were used in bath water and as food earlier than that too. During the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance era, rose was used as a remedy for depression. Rose water has similar properties as Rose essential oil, though not as concentrated as the oil. Some of these properties include:
- anti-inflammatory (e.g., soothes blotchy skin)
- cicatrizant (healing of wounds)
- neurotonic (uplifting)
Overall, rose water can be sprayed onto your skin, used to rinse your hair, as a mouth rinse and in your bath water.
There are many ways to utilise rose water once you have made a batch in your home.
It is easy to prepare and here are the steps to follow:
- Gather your rose petals. Ensure you use rose petals that have not been sprayed (otherwise you will be adding pesticides to your beauty regime, or to your environment). You can also use dried rose petals if you don't have freshly gathered rose petals. A good time to collect your rose petals is in the morning, when the aroma is the strongest.
- Rinse in warm water
- Place into a pot and cover with just enough distilled, spring or rain water to cover
- Gently, on a medium heat, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat (leaving the lid on) to maintain a gentle simmer. Allow to simmer until the colour has gone from the petals, this can take up to 25 - 30 minutes.
- Leave to cool, I left these overnight. Strain. You can use a sieve or a cheesecloth (muslin).
- Bottle. I wish to keep my rose water for a little longer than 2 weeks, so I have added 5 ml of ethanol (95%) to 500ml of rose water. Store in a cool dark place.