Does that surprise you? The herb of the year is the Rose? It surprised me when I heard about it last summer! I never think of a rose as an herb. However, if we refer back to the definition I posted:
What the word “herb” really means
A very fitting definition that defines herbs by their usefulness rather than by their appearance or botanical structure was coined by Holly Shimizu, director of the U.S. Botanic Garden. Holly says, ―Herbs are defined as plants (trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, biennials or annuals) valued historically, presently, or potentially for their flavor, fragrance, medicinal qualities, insecticidal qualities, economic or industrial use, or in the case of dyes, for the coloring material they provide.
Roses definitely fit into that category.
**Very Important: ONLY use culinary roses. NEVER use roses from a florist. They are treated several times with chemicals. Use the roses you grow if you do not use chemicals on them or look for local organic growers.**
Rose petal and rose hips are used a lot to make jams, jellies, cordials, vinegars and sweets. Rose flavoured Turkish delight has been produced in Turkey since the 15th century and is known there as lokum.
Rosehip syrup is a natural source of vitamin C, containing 20 times more vitamin C than oranges by weight.
Recipe - Rose Vinegar
I found this recipe for treating mild headaches and as a gargle for sore throats. It's also good to use as a facial toner.
- 3 Handfuls Fresh Highly Scented Rose Petals (red or deep pink give the best colour).
- 7 Tbsp's Distilled White Vinegar.
- 1 Tbsp Rose Water
- 1 Pint Distilled Water.
- Place the rose petals in a glass container and add the wine vinegar
- Leave the container in a cool, dark place for 1 week, shaking the liquid every day
- Strain through a muslin cloth and discard the petals
- To use, dilute the 1 Tbsp of rose vinegar with 1 pint of waterSource: Herb Society.org
I will be sharing different things I try with roses this year. There are so many fun and interesting uses for them. Who knew?