Among the most popular plants in the world, the rose is not only a beautiful addition to any garden or landscape, but the petals may also be used in fragrances, for potpourri, in cooking and in medicine. As cut flowers, roses hold up well and are often used in weddings or sent for holidays or celebrations. But these beautiful plants also have healing properties, likely due to a high concentration of vitamins C and K and carotene.
Because of their sweet fragrance, dried rose petals are often used in potpourri and sachets. For potpourri, you may dry fragrant rose petals and keep them in a decorative dish or bowl. To make sachets, place dried, fragrant rose petals in a small netted bag with a tie. The sachets may then be kept in lingerie or clothing drawers to keep clothes smelling sweet.
Dried and crushed rose petals may be used in cooking, as a way to sweeten anything from cakes to applesauce to jams. Rose petals not only add some sweetness to these dishes, but the fragrance enhances the aroma of most dishes. Rose hips, the dried seeds of the flower, and rose petals may be steeped in water to make tea.
Rose petals have long been used in making pills, herbal teas and aromatherapy oils. The scent of the petal is believed to make pills easier to swallow. Historically, Native Americans and the Victorians believed the rose herbal teas had healing properties, and the teas are high in vitamin C. Rose petals may also be ground down into rose oil, which is used in aromatherapy during spa treatments. According to Herbs 2000, rose petals are effective in treating sore throats, colds and fevers and may help to increase immunity.
Ubiquitous at weddings, roses and rose petals may be used for decoration, in bouquets or thrown by flower girls. In recent years, wedding guests have begun throwing rose petals rather than rice as a couple leaves a wedding.