Medicinal and aromatic roses – Valentine’s Day

Medicinal and aromatic roses – Valentine’s Day
14/02/2015 Margarida Moreira

On Valentine’s Day it is common to present to our soul mate some aromatic or exotic flowers and sweet chocolates.

The rose (symbol of love, friendship, purity and gratitude) is the most popular flower in the world, ranging from thousands of varieties and aromas. It is a plant that bedecks the garden (bush) or the wall (climbers) and delight any floral jar.

Rosa canina (Rosaceae family) whose flower is simple and delicate, is the county Hampshire, England.

The shrub that measures approximately 3 meters, flowers in summer (June and July in the Northern Hemisphere) and the seeds ripen in autumn (October to December). It easily adapts to all types of soil and preferred locations with exposure to sunlight – sunlight promotes the growth and development of flowers  consequently to fruit.

The best way to propagate the Rosa canina (medicinal and aromatic rose) is through cuttings techniques using the half-ripe wood branches (20-25 cm long) to be planted outside around the spring, but the stake can only be definitively established after one year. Alternatively sow rose, it can take two years to germinate due to thermal needs – may reduce this period to put the seeds for about 3 weeks in moist peat between 27 to 32°C. After germination and rooting, the plant should be transferred to individual pots to keep up with growth.

Petals of roses (carefully and specifically grown) are used in fine dining and gourmet restaurant to garnish dishes, served as vegetable, flavoring desserts and jellies. The fruit can be consumed in jellies, syrup (rich in vitamins and excellent nutritional supplement) and herbal tea.

In medicine the petals are prescribed as antirheumatic, anticancer, diuretic, anthelmintic, tonic and source of vitamins – combating diseases related to vitamin deficiencies, such as scurvy.

Roses are used in essential oil, floral arrangements, perfumes and pot-pourris.

The dog rose name is due to the shape of the spines, that are similar to dog canines.

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