Wildly Beautiful Dog Rose (Rosa canina)

On a recent forage I saw the beautiful pink roses of the dog rose. Foraging while it was pouring with rain didn’t make me appreciate them any less. In fact the clear fresh air that comes with a downpour feels invigorating.

The flowers are seen in May and June and can be found in hedgerows, scrubland and the edges of woodland. 

Picking the petals I chose those which were about to fall to the ground anyway. The Woodland Trust also advises that it is best to pick them as they begin to drop.

If you are new to foraging take a look at my “Foraging Tips for Beginners” post;


Other Names for the Dog Rose

Some say that the dog rose got its name because the rose’s root was once thought to cure rabies. Other names include;

  • Wild rose because it grows in the wild.
  • Briar rose maybe because of the Brothers Grimm story of Sleeping Beauty, also known as Briar Rose. King’s sons came from far and wide to the castle where she lay asleep, but they could not get through the thorny hedge to reach her.  Therefore she was also named Briar Rose because Sleeping Beauty was the rose among the thorns.
  • Hip-Rose because of the rosehip fruit that the dog rose produces which is harvested in autumn.



Eating  Rose Petals

There are various ways to enjoy eating rose petals which include;

  • Adding them in soups, salads and meat dishes.
  • Turkish delight – You are probably aware that rose is a Turkish delight flavour and one which I enjoyed very much as a child. I always loved my Christmas treat of rose and lemon Turkish delight.
  • Many desserts which are made with rose water such as meringues, crystalised rose petals and rose flavoured Panna Cotta.
  • Having a slightly fruity flavour which makes them good for jams, jellies and syrups.
  • Rose infused vinegar – I infuse cider vinegar with the rose hips too.

Take a look at my “Rose Hips in January” post to see what you can do with the rose hips later in the year;


Support for the Body

Wild rose petals are a great source of vitamin C and may also support the body in various ways including;

  • Having anti-inflammatory properties and these reduce the heat of inflamed skin.
  • Cardioactive and in the past herbalists would favour the rose petals to strengthen the heart and spirit.
  • As a mild sedative they may relieve insomnia, soothe the nerves and lift depression.
  • The petals have a astringent effect because of their high tannin levels which reduce bleeding. This means that they may be helpful as a menstrual regulator which reduces uterine pain and cramps.
  • Having anti-viral properties.
  • Supporting the immune system.
  • As a aphrodisiac for low libidos and impotence.

Make rose water with the petals and then use the water as a mouthwash, gargle and a lotion for inflamed eyes. The rose water can also be used as a douche for vaginal irritation and dryness.

Making Rose Petal Glycerite

After tasting the delicate but sweet dog rose petals I had a think about what to do with the rest. Reading a lot of articles about making rose petal glycerite I combined the processes which felt right to me.

The process I use is;

  1. Wash the petals and place them in a jug.
  2. Add 60% vegetable glycerine to 40% bottled water covering the petals.
  3. Place the mixture into a blender and blend for a few seconds.
  4. Pour the mixture into a glass jar and screw on the lid.
  5. Store in a dark cupboard and shake briefly but thoroughly every few days.
  6. In 2-6 weeks time when the petals have lost their colour strain the liquid into a clean jar using a conical funnel and cheesecloth. Make sure you strain out all of the precious liquid.
  7. Discard the rose petals.
  8. Label with preparation name, preparation date, expiry date, ingredients and uses. If using clear bottles ensure the glycerite is kept in a dark cupboard away from daylight.

Using glycerine is a good alternative if you don’t want to make a tincture with alcohol.

Uses of Rose Petal Glycerite

Possible areas for support include;

  • Sore throats and viral infections
  • Menopause
  • Loneliness

Standard doses are 1 teaspoon 3 times a day.

The glycerite can even be mixed with equal parts of water and be used as a face toner for dry skin.


Rose Pure Essential Oil

The sedative effects of rose pure essential oil may support the mind and body with regards to;

  • Bringing forth a sense of spiritual connection
  • Constipation
  • Depression and emotional wounds
  • Headaches
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Insomnia because psychological studies indicate that rose can lead to sweeter dreams.
  • Nausea
  • Nervous tension


Avoid use of this oil during pregnancy because it is an emmenagogue. Hence it is a substance that stimulates or increases menstrual flow.

Bach Flowers Remedies

Bach flower remedies are complementary medicine preparations which are made from flowers. These remedies may help to balance the emotions and  allow peace and happiness to return so that a sufferer’s body is free to heal itself.

The Wild Rose Bach Flower Remedy is for those who drift through life resigning themselves to accept any eventuality. It is also for fatalists who believe that no matter what they do, the outcome will remain the same because it’s predetermined.

Consequently using the wild rose essence may bring forth a renewed interest and zest for life.


You don’t even have to eat the rose petals because they are also a basic ingredient of potpourri.  I dried rose petals from my garden last year, as they began to drop, for just this purpose.

To prepare rose petals for potpourri I wash them and then place them onto kitchen roll paper for a week or two to dry.

Magical Roses

Magically roses hold power with regards to love, fertility and clairvoyance.


Being well known as the plant of love, especially the red ones, there is no wonder that roses emotionally soften the heart.

Scattering rose petals on and around the bed of a couple’s honeymoon suite is a well known practice. In fact my friend put loads of petals in our suitcases when my husband and I went on honeymoon. We did not discover them until we opened them at our destination.

Rose oil

Rose oil is also known as the love oil. Magical uses for the oil include inducing peace and harmony, adding to baths, and using in all love operations.


Be aware that you never know if you’re intolerant to something new until you try it for the first time. Therefore only try a tiny amount first and wait a day or two to check that there is no adverse reaction. 

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking any medications, always check with your doctor to ensure that using any of these suggestions don’t contradict them.


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