For centuries the rose has been highly valued not only for its beauty and scent, but also for its profound healing properties. The ancient Chinese used Rosewater to balance the energies in their environment. Cleopatra used it to keep her skin dewy and supple during her reign as queen of Egypt. It is said to bring emotional strength and assists in improving the ability to love. Whatever your intention may be, cleansing yourself and your home with rosewater is a simple and effective way to refresh your energy.
Create your own Rosewater:
2-3 quarts fresh roses or rose petals
Ice cubes or crushed ice
1. In the center of a large pot (the speckled blue canning pots are ideal) with an inverted lid (a rounded lid), place a fireplace brick. On top of the brick place the bowl. Put the roses in the pot; add enough flowers to reach the top of the brick. Pour in just enough water to cover the roses. The water should be just above the top of the brick.
2. Place the lid upside down on the pot. Turn on the stove and bring the water to a rolling boil, then lower heat to a slow steady simmer. As soon as the water begins to boil, toss two or three trays of ice cubes (or a bag of ice) on top of the lid.
3. You’ve now created a home still! As the water boils the steam rises, hits the top of the cold lid, and condenses. As it condenses it flows to the center of the lid and drops into the bowl. Every 20 minutes, quickly lift the lid and take out a tablespoon or two of the rose water. It’s time to stop when you have between a pint and a quart of water that smells and tastes strongly like roses.
Recipe adapted from Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbs for Natural Beauty, by Rosemary Gladstar.