Who does not associate the smell and the beauty of roses with summer, joy, love and well-being.

In our gardens and hedges we can find numerous varieties of often beautifully scented roses. They belong to the family of rosacea, are strong plants with wooden stocks and branches, have beautiful coloured scented flowers with five petals (excepting the hybrid variety), with multiple stamens in the centre. Their fruit, the hip is oval and turns red once ripe. The plant is vigorous and has thorns; the leaves are beautifully formed with a strict rhythmical structure.

The rose plant expresses in the most wonderful way its harmonious connection between heaven and earth; the mineral element in the harder parts and the selflessly producing scent in the flower. In contrast to most other healing plants the rose has no one-sidedness. Whether you look at leaves, the flower or the stem the plant radiates beauty and harmony.

These are exactly the qualities with which the rose can help us to compensate the demands of our busy civilisation and so is particularly useful in conditions of general weakness and exhaustion.

Apart from flower bunches and potpourris, roses can be enjoyed in teas, or salads, used medicinally or cosmetically, regardless of whether they are hybrids, as long as they are not chemically sprayed. Traditionally the rosehips are used in teas, powders or syrups for its Vitamin C.

Chemically they have astringent, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, sedative, anxiolytic properties. Some studies of natural remedies indicate that the use of rose oil either through inhaling, or absorbing through the skin, transmits messages to the limbic system, a brain region responsible for controlling emotions and influencing the nervous system. Some trials suggest that the use of them is helpful in anxiety, depression, headaches, balancing moods, reducing stress, sharpening memory, with menopausal problems, as well as with menstrual cramps.

It also is very beneficial for hydrating skin and skin problems such as psoriasis or excema.

The Rose oil is present in the centre of the flower and can be extracted through oil or water infusion. Generally it will be made into an essential oil before use. The essential oil is a very pure product created through a laboursome distilling process. Pure essential rose oil is mainly collected from the red Damascus Rose which has the highest scent content and its oil is extremely valuable.

Essential oils are non-fatty, very ethereal and will easily evaporate. Aromatherapy makes use of this property. Essential oils combine well with fatty oils, such as olive, almond, Jojoba and others. The essential oils must never be ingested and always diluted before their use.

Weleda and Dr Hauschka make a beautiful Rose oil. In Rhythmical Massage I use the Rose Nurturing Body Oil by Dr Hauschka for the above mentioned conditions, for a beautiful general relaxation or when needing a rest from too many demands in life.

If you want to try something with roses yourself: pick rose petals in the morning, stuff them in a jar with a lid, cover them with almond oil, close the lid , gently heat the jar for about an hour in water (about 60˚C), cool a little, squeeze the petals through a cloth and repeat, remove petals, fill in clean bottles and use to your own delight.