Wild RoseRosa species
Often called, Brier Rose or Dog Rose, there are 100s of species of wild roses, so many
in fact that identifying each has become difficult. In some cases the same species growing
in another state is given another name, just as an example, the Virginia Wid Rose for
instance may also be the Tennessee Wild Rose. To further complicate things wild roses
often cross pollinate creating another variety. The genus Rosa consists of thorny shrubs
or climbing vines found wild or cultivated. Growing in open fields, thickets, woodland
edges and on dry banks. Wild roses are native to Europe thought to have originated in Asia
and are now naturalized throughout the U.S. and Canada. Cultivation of wild roses is
fairly simple and usually requires transplanting from the wild. They prefer dappled shade,
moist, loamy, well drained soil and a trellis to climb for some varieties. Colors and
sizes of the flowers vary from white or yellow to red or pinkish, and have a delicate but
refreshing fragrance. Most wild rose flowers have 5 petals, but some are double or triple.
The leaf structure is most often the same, bipinnate and odd-pinnate, usually consisting
of 5-7 leaflets that are opposite, ovate, acute, and sharply serrate. They bloom from May
to August. The oblong, scarlet to orange-red fruit or hips, contains many one-seeded
achenes (hips) and ripen in the fall. Gather rose buds and petals as they bloom and hips
in the late fall after the first frost. Dry for later use.
Properties: Wild roses are edible and medicinal. The fruit or hip can be eaten raw or
cooked, remove the tiny hairs and seeds in the center. They are used in making jelly and
jams and can also be dried to make a tea. Flower petals are great in salads adding a light
flavor and beautiful color. The dried leaves are used as a tea substitute. Used as a
medicinal plant all over the world for thousands of years wild roses are mentioned many
old manuscripts and even in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs. Wild roses are astringent,
carminative, diuretic, laxative, nervine and tonic. An infusion of the leaves has been
used as a spring tonic. An infusion of the hips and roots is used in the treatment of
colds, fevers, influenza, minor infectious diseases, scurvey, diarrhoea, dysentery, and as
a treatment for stomach complaints and gastritis. The dried flowers are used in the
treatment of heartburn. The infusion has also been used as an analgesic to treat nervous
headaches. Its pectoral qualities make it useful as a gargle for coughs and sore throat. A
strong decoction of the whole plant is used to treat bladder infection, kidney problems,
inflammations, stress, menstrual pains and nervousness. The main constituents responsible
for these uses are citric acid, flavonoids, fructose, malic acid, sucrose, tannins,
vitamins A, B3, C, D, E, and P, calcium, phosphorus, iron, rutine, hesperidin and zinc.
Five wild rose hips are said to be much higher in vitamin C than a whole lemon. Wild roses
are being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and
also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers. Rose hips are also known to
lower saturated fats and triglycerides, helping to control blood pressure and good for the
heart. The seed is rich in vitamin E and an oil extracted from the seed is used externally
in the treatment of burns, scars and wrinkles. A poultice of the chewed leaves is used in
an emergency to allay the pain of bee stings.
HERE TO FIND MANY ROSE PRODUCTS!
Folklore: Rose hips were the original rosary beads warn by Catholic priest. To the
ancient Egyptians, roses are a token of silence. Ancient Greeks believed that roses became
red from the blood of Aphrodite, who had pricked her foot on a thorn while trying to save
her beloved, dying Adonis. The Turks claim the white rose was stained red by the blood of
TRY THESE RECIPES
Infusion: to 1 to 2 tsp. hips buds and petals add 1 cup boiling water. Steep 10 min.
sweeten to taste.
Decoction: soak hips in a small amount of water for 12 hours, add 1 cup water. Boil
until 1/2 cup of liquid remains. Drink throughout the day.