Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Therapeutic Benefits of Roses [EXT]

I found this from Rose Magazine at

It explains the therapeutic benefits of roses.

by Andrea Grant

Therapeutic Benefits of Roses

Aside from providing an aesthetic appeal, which contributes to the overall pleasure and feeling of well being, roses have a genuine practical use in our regimens of good health. Rose oil and rose water are derived from the flowers and rose hips have many valuable properties.

It is suspected that the rose was probably the very first flower from which rose oil and rose water were distilled; possibly in the 10th Century Persia. Today, most of the rose oils are still produced in that region of the world. A very large quantity of rose petals is needed to produce a very small quantity of oil. Thus, it is very costly. Thankfully only a small amount of rose oil is needed in therapeutic preparations. It is not used in its concentrated state, but rather in a carrier oil such as almond, jojoba, and grapeseed.

Generally rose oil and rose water (a by-product of distillation) are used topically rather than internally; with the exception of aromatherapy.In this case the rose essence may be inhaled, via steam or diffusion. Three varieties of rose are used in commercial production of rose oil and rose water: Rosa Centifolia, Rosa Damascena and Rosa Gallica. The product will vary slightly in colour between these species but the therapeutic benefits are the same.

The use of the rose is far and varied. It has a long history in its use in folk remedies, especially in the area of skincare. It is suitable for all skin types, but it is especially valuable for dry, sensitive or aging skins. It has a tonic and astringent effect on the capillaries just below the skin surface, which makes it useful in diminishing the redness caused by enlarged capillaries. It is important to ensure that the product contains the genuine natural rose oil. Many manufacturers label their products containing rose essence but it could be synthetic. Synthetic rose ingredients have no therapeutic value at all! Remember, with authentic rose oil, a little goes a long way.Certainly rosewater is a less expensive way to provide skincare. It is very soothing to irritated skin.It is also a tonic and antiseptic. Rosewater has been shown to be very valuable as an antiseptic in eye infections.

The rose also offers a soothing property to the nerves and emotional /psychological state of mind. It is regarded as a mild sedative and anti-depressant. It is increasingly used in treatments for conditions of stress: nervous tension, peptic ulcers, heart disease, among others. There is indication that rose essence may also positively influence digestion, bile secretion, womb disorders and circulation. In addition, a tea made with rose petals (pour 150 ml of boiling water over 1 /2 grams of rose petals) often soothes a mild sore throat.

Rose hips (the flowers which have swollen to seed) are an excellent source of vitamins A, B3, C, D and E. They also contain bioflavonoids, citric acid, flavonoids, fructose, malic acid, tannins and zinc. Taken in the form of tea they are good for infections, particularly bladder infections. Rose hip tea is also used in the treatment of diarrhea. It is an especially good source of vitamin C.

To best use rose oil for topical purposes (i.e. skin care), use approximately 8 drops of essential rose oil for every 10 ml of carrier oil. Apply directly onto skin. Rosewater may be used with abandon. There is no such thing as too much of it. For emotional wholeness and wellness, rose oil may also be used in a room diffuser, aromatherapy ring (a brass ring placed atop a hot light bulb will work to evaporate the essential essence throughout the room) or in steaming hot water on the stove. Whatever works!

To brew rose hip tea, which by the way is truly delicious, roughly chop up entire rose hips. Cover with distilled or purified water and boil for 30 minutes (longer if desired). Strain through a fine strainer or cheesecloth and add a bit of honey if desired. One can also find Rose Hip Tea in the local health food stores. The essence of rose need not only be used to treat ailments. Whether inhaled and enjoyed from a freshly cut bouquet of sumptuous blooms or splashed on as rosewater after a shower or bath, it is simply a pleasure to be enjoyed by all!
(By Andrea Grant)


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Short Burst & Long Burst Flower Bud

by Richard Chew

In this posting I like to share some of the blooms that I have experience in my garden while I experimented with my fertilizing.

Short Burst Flower Bud

Short Burst Flower is my definition to describe a way the rose plant develop its flower bud.

It produces strong growth, but very little energy is channeled for stem and leaves development. In fact all of its energy is channeled for flower development instead. In the picture below you can see the bud stem develop without leaves (or very small leaves), and its stem growth is unusually short before it begins flower bud development. The stem growth length is usually up to about 5cm.




However the flower buds are quite well developed when it opens. Though the petal count seems lesser, the petals are quite well developed.

My assumption of getting Short Burst is knowing the timing of fertilizing, pruning and dosage of fertilizer applied. If the routine is altered, it changes its growth stage.

I find that Short Burst is good if I want repeat flowering without the rose plant being too "leggy". The only setback is that it may be harmful to rose plant in the long run, as this method doesn't promote new leaves development. I reckon if the rose plant has healthy bush, then attempting Short Burst won't do any harm.

The next thing that I like to share is the Long Burst. Long Burst is my definition to describe extreme stem growth with little leaves development. Its 'child' stem thickness is almost equal to 'parent' stem thickness.



The stems with young red leaves are the new stems growth. The picture above is considered as 'semi' Long Burst. However the 'extreme' Long Burst would be like the picture below. The stem growth is fast (accelerating growth); all its energy seemingly is channeled for stem development alone.


No leaves are developed at all unlike the 'semi' version. And its energy for flower bud development is conserved untill the end when the stem completes it growth cycle.

The picture below is the flower bud fully developed. The flower bud size is larger.



As it opens, the higher petals number are quite noticeable.

I reckon that going for Long Burst has its advantages too. If I want to have a fuller shrub with more stronger stems, then going for Long Burst helps to develop a more balanced shrub size. Of course there are additional work need to be done to ensure it spreads evenly, that is to peg/train the stems/canes.