A rosey batch of ointment is good for the soul.

While I have picked my herbal ally for the year as burdock, I wouldn’t be true to myself if I didn’t mention my great devotions to roses. The scent is so uplifting to me that sometimes, I use diluted rose essential oil as perfume. I literally “huff” rosewater which I learned to make myself, because the other was so expensive. I also use it as a mild toner for my dry skin, in my cremes and as the final ingredient in my Queen of Hungary’s Water. I use the petals in my cleansing grains and in my full moon tea which is usually just a blend of rose petals and mugwort. Although sometimes, I drink rose petals by themselves when I am feeling the need to connect deeply to my inner reserves. I love drinking many flower infusions; but rose is my favorite. I don’t neglect the rose hips though, they provide flavor and extra Vitamin C in my elixirs and my infusions.

I suppose I am not the only herbalist out there who is fond of roses. In fact, I feel a bit stereotypical. I wish I had a more exotic obsession like poppy or passionflower. But I do come by my love of roses honestly.  It seems to have been passed down in my family. As far back as I know of, there have been roses growing by the homes of my family.






Here I am in front of my grandfather's roses when I was a little tyke. Does anyone else see a wee bit of a rainbow above my head?
Here I am in front of my grandfather’s roses when I was a little tyke. Does anyone else see a wee bit of a rainbow above my head?

My parents have always had roses too, but I don’t seem to have any pictures of them. My favorite was the bush that grew at the farm; but her new roses are nice, also. I think it was my paternal grandmother who first got me hooked on the scent. Remember that Rosemilk lotion?

Consequently, it was with great joy today, that I decanted my latest jar of oil I’d had infusing on my water heater.   It smelled  so beautifully of fresh rose petals. As it was an especially nice batch,  I felt I should offer out a special thanks to my friend , Tara, for contributing some of those from the roses by her front door.

I have rosebushes and they are pretty enough. Unfortunately, they are a great source of disappointment to me because they are hybrids which have had the smell bred out of them. So while still in the very beginning stages of planning the “great garden re-org”, I know that the sunniest spot I have is being devoted to a couple of old fashioned R. rugosa bushes.    I think it is my way of connecting with my ancestors and my family even though I don’t get to see them as often as I would like.    It makes my garden feel more like home and that is so important when I am trying to figure out a way to connect to this place and make it my own.

Published by Stephany Riley Hoffelt

If you want to read more about me, it's on the website www.domestic-medicine.com

6 thoughts on “A rosey batch of ointment is good for the soul.

  1. I am in the roses club also:) What a precious picture of you and your grandfather’s rosesxx And yes, I see the wee rainbow over you, too! What a wonderful memory picture for you , Stephany. The Cornwall home is delightful, as well as its garden and its link between you and your ancestors. What a lovely blog post:) Roses are beloved by many for a variety of reasons, all which link us to the past and support and soothe our present xx


  2. I know, I am hoping it is still there. This pictures was taken by a cousin who visited Cornwall probably 15-20 years ago. The owners are still related to us somehow.


  3. Hello there!

    Kiva Rose sent me over 🙂 . This was a beautiful post to a beautiful plant; I remember my Grandma’s Rosemilk lotion, too! It’s one of my fondest childhood memories.




  4. so you’re the pot of gold?!

    i’m just now starting to appreciate the goodness of rose. before the last year, i could take them or leave them. thanks for sharing your journey with them and your family history! i love your great-grandfather’s house!


  5. Yep, I have a confession – I am one of those boring herbalists who like roses too! Utterly wonderful flowers, I really don’t know what I would do without them – or just about any other herb hehe! By the way – AWESOME house in Cornwall, WOW!!


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