The sensory magic of infused honeys made with aromatic flowers can’t be understated: the taste, obviously, and the smell, and then there’s the color, and the texture difference between the honey and the flowers…please go make one for yourself, you’ll see what I mean.
Medicinal Attributes of Roses
Rose honey is my favorite non-drowsy nervine relaxant. It is particularly useful for grief, anxiety, & trauma, and it has an affinity for the physical and emotional heart, especially useful when the heart races and feels tender in response to grief or anxiety stimuli.
Which Roses are Medicinal?
All of the Rosa species are medicinal to varying degrees, but they have slightly different attributes. My favorites are Rugosa, Multiflora, and Marsh or Swamp Rose (R. palustris), but I also enjoy organically grown Garden varieties as well.
Garden, Marsh, and Rugosa roses are more about peacefulness and grounding in the living moment, whereas Multiflora is more about self-protection and tenacity. Also called Seven Sisters, it is protective and vigorous when you can’t be–but please don’t plant this easy-to-find wild rose, as it is one of our most aggressive invasive species and will cheerfully decimate a hedgerow. That strong energy is part of its medicine, though, and as always I strongly advise using abundant and invasive plant medicines, like Multiflora, over at-risk and threatened species.
Formulating with Rose Honey
The batch of Rugosa and Marsh roses in the pictures below became an oxymel with Lilac, Peach flowers, and Ginger, because I make the rules, and the rules say: “let’s make it delicious & beautiful on top of working well,” and so that is what we will do. The Marsh roses on the left are infusing into honey, while the Garden roses on the right become an infused vinegar. Lilac and Peach are also relaxing nervines for anxiety and grief. Lilac-infused honey fills the house with fragrant peace and calm; Ginger-infused honey is delicious, increases absorption, and helps support embodiment; and Peach is a stronger, bitter medicine that does really well in a vinegar extraction, so the oxymel combo works nicely to bring these herbs together.
In the pictures below, the apprentices and I are processing Multiflora Rose into tinctures and oxymels. I love Multiflora alone, combined with the herbs listed above, or in anxiety rescue formulas with stronger nervines like Linden, Pasqueflower, Pedicularis, and Skullcap. If trauma is an issue and you’re trying to armor your heart, Motherwort is specifically helpful too.
What are your favorite ways to use Rose medicine? What infused honeys have you made that you loved the most? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram, and great recipes will be shared (with attribution!)