Multiflora Rose

Multiflora Rose

JoAnne Lussier
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Roses in June

Roses are what we most often associate with feelings of love, passion, and romance. It is no surprise then that June is a popular month for weddings. As summertime heats up, so do affairs of the heart.  Roses are in full bloom during this time of year and come in an impressive array of different colors and sizes. When it comes to matters of the heart, roses are a top choice when you wish to convey feelings of love, sympathy, or joy and have been used throughout the ages to personalize such occasions. A rose by any other name may still be a rose but a specific color rose helps one communicate on a deeper level.

However, not all roses are worthy or beautiful in the eyes of the beholder. Take for instance the multiflora rose. Many people have seen these roses growing alongside roads and highways or have them somewhere in their own back yard. The difference with the multiflora rose is that it has become a nuisance for many property owners. This species of rose was introduced to the northeast in the 1930s to provide food for wildlife during the cold winter months and to serve as a living fence helping to reduce the effects of soil erosion. Like many other transplants, the multiflora rose gained momentum and soon became more like an invasive weed instead of a prized flower. But there’s a reason why everything exists if you dare to dig a bit deeper and the multiflora rose is no exception.

Oh, That Sweet Smell

Aside from the intoxicating, sweet smell this wild plant emits, multiflora rose has many other uses. Herbalists know that much of what is in our own back yard can be used as medicine or offers therapeutic value. The materia medica on this plant is quite diverse and all parts of the plant can be used for one thing or another. This amazing plant has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, astringent, aphrodisiac, and nutritive tonic herbal actions, just to name a few.

Not Just a Pretty Face

Roses have a strong attachment to the heart and the multiflora rose can be prepared in a variety of ways to enhance feelings of love or nourish a healing heart. Like so many other plants, multiflora rose can be made into a tincture, elixir, oxymel, essence, or infused into honey.

Tinctures are made from plant material that is soaked in vodka or brandy for several weeks and finally placed in a dropper bottle to be used as a powerful remedy. Take that one step further and it can be made into a cordial for yummy consumption. Elixirs are much like tinctures but have honey added to them during the saturation process. If you have ever taken elderberry syrup during the winter months, this is essentially what you were taking. Oxymels use plant material that is soaked in vinegar and honey and is a great alcohol free alternative. A flower essence is created by infusing the blossom into water and energetically extracting the essence of that flower into the water. Infused honey is just what it sounds like. Petals are infused in honey for up to a week and the options for use are limitless.

Backyard Beauty

If all that seems like too much work, you can still enjoy the healing benefits of this rose by simply picking the blossoms and adding to a beverage or sprinkling on your salad. Rose petals of any kind elicit feelings from the heart. So, whether you are filled with love, healing from a broken heart, or simply wanting emotional or physical support, you needn’t look beyond your own back yard.