Rosewater: a soothing skin remedy

Summertime is around the corner which means gardening is in full swing. We want to be exposed to some sun rays but not to the extent of getting burned.

Rosewater 4OZ Liquid

Rosewater is an excellent product to keep in our medicine chests for exposures to the sun longer than we intended. I get immersed in a gardening chore and can forget to cover up or take a break. Rosewater used a s a body splash revives tired skin and tired eyes. For tired eyes simply spray some on a clean gauze and place on closed eyes for a refreshing lift.

Some of the rose water recipes can be time consuming and seem complicated. Here are two that I found that are simple to do. Remember do not use petals from flowers that are chemically treated. Check petals for any dirt, insects before placing in pot.

Old Fashioned Recipe:

Items Needed:

Rose Petals
Distilled Water
Enamel Pot (any size)

Directions:

  • Fill the bottom of an enamel pot with the petals a few inches deep. Pour distilled water over them until they are just covered.
  • Turn on heat for the water to be steaming hot, but do not boil. Let steam until the petals have lost their color, the water has taken on the color of the petals and you see oil skimming the surface. This will take approximately 60 minutes.
  • Strain the water and squeeze out the liquid from the petals, this is your rosewater.

Quick & Easy Version:

  • For every 1 firmly packed cup of petals, pour 2 cups boiling water over top. Cover and steep until the liquid is cool. Strain, squeeze out the liquid from the petals, and refrigerate the liquid in a sterilized jar.

Out in the sun? Skin reddened and hot? Try using rosewater to soothe and revive your skin this season.

Enjoy. Judith

 

 

The Rose and Her Qualities

 

Rosa sp: Family: Rosacaea,

Rosa gallica: dark red, fragrant blossoms; few if any pure Rosa gallica exists. It is the hybrids with dark red petals that are chosen for confection, rose water, tea, and rose petal sandwiches. Flower buds are collected but not those in full bloom. Gather in dry weather, cut the white base off and place petals on a cookie sheet, place in a dry spot (not in the sun) and let dry till petals are crisp. Then store in a glass jar. These can be added to potpourri’s as well as teas.

Dark Red Petals: Properties: the dark red petals contain Quercetin, a bioflavonoid known to help reduce the inflammation associated with seasonal allergies. It is also astringent. Astringency in any herb usually suggests an aide for diarrhea, dysentery. The petals in a rose water infusion were known to help with coughs. petals can be candies and even made into sandwiches. Do you have a favorite rose recipe?

Caution: remember to use only roses for consumption that have NOT been sprayed.

 


The Herb of the 2012: The Rose

Roses

“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.”

Emma Goldman

Poets and playwrights, gardeners and lovers have found the rose to be a perfect symbol of love’s perfection.  Many of the cultivated roses we prize and fuss over are hybrids. The Rosa gallica that probably originated in the Middle East has been cultivated for its fragrance, the attar of Rose, a very highly prized and expensive fragrance used in perfumery, teas and cooking.  It is said that the rose heals the heart. It is its fragrant smell that can create a feeling of happiness. Truly, the rose has become a flower that  enthralls most of us each day in spite of its thorns.

The Herb Society of America has declared the Rose as the herb of the year. I thought it fitting that this month’s blog be devoted to the rose. Mother’s Day is next week. Roses are given, roses are planted and roses are tended as they begin to bloom this month. What is your favorite rose? Mine is the one pictured above. While the photo contained an unidentified species I chose it because this soft pink is one of my favorite.

Enjoy a walk in your garden today. Gives thanks for the beautiful rose.

Judith

 

 

The Sound of Music

 

I just got back from teaching  at Western Ct State University. My classes are holistic health based and a joy to share.  The journey of creating bridges of understanding that develops is a fascinating process that reveals itself from the first class to the end. I never tire of the questions and explorations that go on.

One of the topics covered is body therapies. While wide in range and scope I try to  give the students a taste of several types that we as consumers use/enjoy/ incorporate into our lives though not regularly taught in medical or nursing schools. One in particular captured my interest over the weekend. I attended a concert given by Eve Watters, a Celtic harpist and gifted storyteller.  She wove her stories and tales, music and sounds in a delightful and enchanting way.  Eve reminded us of her intention “to give us many  sounds like vitamins”.  Using the harp, 5 string banjo, dulcimer and native american flute, she played for us, sang for us, told us tales from far and wide allowing us to laugh and giggle or to simply be in the moment that each note created. We forget sometimes the power of simple tales told over an evening meal with loved ones. What stories hold your attention? What are your family tales? Is there someone you could listen to again, a story from an elder that you can keep, protect and pass down? Music transports us doesn’t it? So do stories….

Enjoy this beautiful day. Judith

How to Attract (and Help) Hummingbirds: Garden and Flowers

 

Bee Balm: Monarda

 

 

Reasons For Hope

Did You Know?

“Percentage wise, the hummingbird has the largest brain of all birds (4.2% of its total body weight).”

“Hummingbirds in the U.S. and around the world have the benefit of being garden and backyard favorites. Many people put out hummingbird feeders or grow flowers that attract hummingbirds in the warmer months that allow these birds to refuel during their long migratory journeys. What’s in sight is often in mind, and many fans of hummingbirds are doing what they can to keep every backyard, park and garden a friendly place for these beautiful birds.”(quote from Defenders of Wildlife )

The hummingbird like many species is suffering loss of habitat. We can provide a suitable habitat by placing flowers and trees, shrubs and vines that will attract them.

This is a great article from Virginia Tech, titled ” Backyard Habitat for Wildlife: consider the flowers, trees, shrubs and vines listed as possible additions to your garden this year. The flowers tend to range from orange to reds with trumpet type shapes. Here’s a few examples:

Sweet William: Dianthus barbatus

Hibiscus: rosa-sinensis

Coral Bells: Heuchera sanguinea

Enjoy planning and preparing a welcoming for these marvelous and enchanting creatures .
Enjoy your day. Judith

 

Plight of the Bees

The bees learn where they live by landmarks. If they’re moved within their home range, they get          confused.
Gene Robinson

In my last post I focused on honey. Coincidentally I just watched the documentary Vanishing of the Bees this week. And unfortunately there has been a severe accident where a semi truck overturned in Monatana on Wednesday, 2/9/12 while transporting  9 million bees! Bees are so important for the  pollination of  our food crops. They have been the topic of concern as Colony Collapse Disorder continues to make the news while we continue to transport bees in such high numbers in trucks that provide unnatural conditions. Since the accident just happened this week I would like to summarize some of the facts from the movie:

1. When bees are dying it often  indicates environmental quality.

2. Large commercial bee producers have a mechanized way of artifically inseminating the queen. they have to be removed from the hive in order to do so.

3. When transported bees are often fed sugar water which is not their natural food, subjected to cold temperatures and  exhaust fumes.

4. We have transformed states farming practice from diversity to monocrops.

5. 1 billion pounds of fertilizer are used on our mono agricultural crops since they are very susceptible to pest and other infestations. Most mono crops cannot sustain bees through an entire year.

6. Pesticide residues are found in dissected bees.

What disturbed me the most is that Europe recognized the problem before we did when “Gaucho” a systemic pesticide was introduced.  European beekeepers conducted protests when their hives perished at an alarming rate. They were successful in adopting  precautionary agricultural provisions. Gaucho has been banned and in one year the bees have returned to normal. Here in the US, manufacturers of the chemicals submit their data to the EPA for approval.These companies test for lethal doses. What seems to be happening is that sub level levels of pesticides accumulating over 6 months may be the problem. This is when the colonies collapse. Go to organicconsumers.org for many related articles.

This one in particular posted on Dr. Mercola’s site is thorough.