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Rosa Gallica: Apothecary's Rose


Despite its positive medicinal values, the Apothecary’s rose is primarily used as a vehicle for other agents to provide flavor and odor to prescriptions. Petals contain aromatic oil, tannic and gallic acids, quercitrin, coloring matter, and other salts. The tannic and gallic acids make it an effective astringent, although the mechanism of action is not known.


Medicinal Uses

The Apothecary’s Rose is known to be antibacterial, aromatheraputic, and cordial, and used as an anticancer agent, tonic, and astringent1. Rose water is water saturated with the volatile oils from petals through steeping. This oil is used to impart flavor or scent to other mediums or as an agreeable excipient with the recommended dose of ½ to 4 drams a day.

Rose water or rose oil is used in cold creams and lotions: it is an emollient and protective agent used for chapped hands and superficial skin affections. The petals are also dried and used in potpourris since it is believed the fragrance relieves anxiety. It may also in a compound infusion containing sugar and dilute sulphuric acid and used as a gargle for inflamed and ulcerated throat and mouth conditions.

The petals are edible and used as a garnish or to flavour teas. They may be put in honey to soothe sore throats or in vinegar to treat headaches when placed on the forehead1. Rose hips do contain vitamin C and may be added to syrups or jellies to impart nutrition.