Wild Rose Elixir: A Favorite First Aid Remedy
Wild Rose Elixir
1 pint jar
enough fresh wild rose petals to fill the jar
everclear or vodka/brandy to fill the jar 3/4 (I prefer a lower proof alcohol for this preparation, I might make a 50% solution with water and everclear)
glycerine or raw honey to fill the jar 1/4 (I generally prefer glycerine for first aid purposes since it is less sticky, which leads to higher compliance in patients, honey tastes better though).
Fill the jar with whole or roughly chopped Wild Rose petals. Add raw honey or glycerine, then fill with alcohol. Cover top with plastic or other non-reactive material before screwing on a regular canning lid. If you skip the plastic, your elixir will eventually start tasting strange and/or eat you metal lid, eating metal seems to be a special property of roses! Shake well. Let sit for three to six weeks, shaking regularly. You can strain at the end of that time or you can just pour off the amount you want to use a little at a time.
This is an incredibly useful preparation that I just love. Externally, it’s amazing on burns and wounds. It has the wonderful ability to eradicate the pain of burns very quickly, to coat the surface of the skin without holding in heat, to actually reduce a great deal of the heat radiating from the burn, and to dramatically speed healing. The glycerine or honey helps to hold the elixir in place on the skin and contributes to the soothing effect. The Rose is blood moving, which contributes to pain relief and quicker healing. It’s also very anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial as well as astringent, helping to reduce redness, swelling and any possible infection. It’s extremely gentle and non-irritating, safe enough to use on baby skin or as a sitz bath but effective enough for most any first aid need.
A drop or two will calm itchy or stinging insect bites, and combines well with a Yarrow or Plantain spit poultice. It’s also great on rashes from heat, contact dermatitis, blisters or poison ivy, especially when combined with Mugwort.
I use the elixir as a liniment, though the plain tincture will work well too, and is less sticky (but in a pinch, who can complain too much about sticky?). This liniment is effective for relaxing sore muscles, and has a special talent for sharp, shooting sensations related to nerve pain or slipped discs. For a badly pulled muscle or older injury, I will usually combine with Goldenrod oil if it is available.
Internally, I use small amounts of the elixir just as most would use Rescue Remedy, for any trauma, panic, fear or stressful situation for child, adult or animal. It’s calming, pleasant and blood moving, helping to move someone out of a paralyzing shock or stuck emotion. It acts as a mild nervine, calming without sedating. I have met people though, who find it quite perception altering. And of course Wild Rose excels at opening the heart and restoring emotional equilibrium. It’s also a well known aphrodisiac, but we’ll leave those properties for a future post. It’s also anti-spasmodic and can be used externally or internally for mild to moderate cramps.
For a more relaxing remedy with greater anti-infective properties, make with half Wild Rose petals and half Wild Rose hips (with seeds intact). This preparation is an especially good heart tonic (like its close relative, Hawthorn) and arthritis remedy when used in the long term. The hips are also effectively anti-viral (like their OTHER close relative Raspberry).
note: Yes, you can use domestic Roses instead, but depending on the variety you may not find it as strong as the wild ones.