How to Use Rose Medicinally

How to Use Rose Medicinally
photo copyright Sharon Falsetto Chapman All Rights Reserved

An article about how to use rose medicinally. A quick introduction provided by garden herbalist, aromatherapist, and botanical perfumer Sharon Falsetto Chapman.

Rose is probably the most talked about, most written about, and most loved of all of the aromatic flowers. Yet rose, as well as being that most evasive, most chameleon, and most elusive of all aromas, is also a powerful healer on many levels.

Let’s take a quick look at how roses are used medicinally.

Species of Rose Used Medicinally

Not all roses are created equal. Some roses are purely ornamental, while others have medicinal properties. In addition, all roses are not aromatic (I know, I don’t think that’s right either!). So, get to know your rose species and what it is commonly used for before using it in a holistic or aromatic way.

Below are some of the common rose species which are used medicinally:

  • Damask rose (Rosa × damascena)
  • Rose de Mai (Rosa × centifolia)
  • White rose (Rosa alba)
  • Dog rose (Rosa canina )
  • Nootka rose (Rosa nutkana)
  • Apothecary rose (Rosa gallica)
  • Rugosa rose (Rosa rugosa).

I am familiar with all of these rose species growing in my garden and/or have used them medicinally or aromatically in my work.

Parts of Rose Used to Heal

Most people know that the petals of rose are medicinal. Yet, you shouldn’t forget the fruits of the rose, known as rosehips, which also contain medicinal properties. These are the two main parts of the rose species which are used by herbalists and aromatherapists in their therapeutic work.

However, did you know that “…the petals, stems, leaves and roots of a rose plant contain various secondary metabolites and nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals. Extracts from different parts of rose plant have also been reported to show substantial anti-bacterial and anti-fungal activity. The parts of the plant especially the petals have high antioxidant property that helps in curing many health ailments.”1

Extracts of Rose Used Aromatically

Rose species are extracted in various ways depending on the species and purpose of the extraction. Here are some common extraction methods and their uses:

  • Absolute: Botanical perfumery, sometimes used in aromatherapy practice
  • Essential Oil: Aromatherapy, botanical perfumery, herbalism
  • Hydrosol: Aromatherapy, botanical perfumery, herbalism
  • Tincture: Botanical perfumery, herbalism
  • Tea: Aromatherapy, herbalism
  • Carrier Oil: Aromatherapy (rosehip oil)
  • Honey: Herbalism
  • Sugar: Herbalism.

Medicinal Uses of Roses 

So, how do you use rose medicinally, as in, what is rose good for? These are some of the common uses of roses therapeutically:

  • Skincare: Rose is used in all types of skincare but is particularly suited to mature skin and baby’s bottoms!
  • Stress and Depression: Rose promotes a feeling of happiness, contentment, and peace.
  • Babies and Children: Rose has the ability to calm and soothe irritable babies and children and quell feelings of jealousy. It helps to boost confidence, too. And of course, it’s excellent for baby skincare.
  • Female Issues: Rose has an affinity for menstruation, pregnancy, and menopausal problems, supporting all stages of a woman’s life.
  • Aphrodisiac: It is said that rose can stimulate romance. It’s often promoted as the flower of love, and both Queen Cleopatra of Egypt and Joséphine Bonaparte of France historically used it in one way or another to seduce their lovers. 

How to Use Rose Medicinally

If you enjoyed this fun and informative bitesize look at rose and would like to learn more about how to use rose medicinally, take a look at our latest eclass, Rose in the Garden. In addition, you may want to take a look at our Botanical Aromatherapy™ Membership School (where you can access this class for FREE as part of your annual membership fee) to view Materia Medica, as well as blends and recipes on rose. 


  1. Nanda, S., Das, P.K., 2015, Medicinal Efficiency of Rose Plant: A Mini Review. Accessed from:,bacterial%20and%20anti%2Dfungal%20activity. 

About the Author:

The author of this article has been working in the health care industry since the 1990’s and in the aromatherapy industry since the 2000’s. She is a UK-certified aromatherapist, a NAHA Certified Professional Aromatherapist®, a gardener, and a certified herbalist with several years of study. She is also a botanical perfumer, working on launching her first fragrance line.

Sharon is both a published author and editor in aromatherapy, a consultant, and custom blend formulator. She is the author of Authentic Aromatherapy and the current chief editor of the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal. Sharon works from her garden studio in Sedona, Arizona, where she gardens and distills plants from her own aromatic gardens, surrounded by natural fauna and flora on an original pioneer homestead property.

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