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Friday, September 06, 2013

Fell in love with Roses..... [ part 1 ]

Rose is the King of flowers, Queen of essential oils and Gift of Angels, Cherished, loved and held high for its intrinsic beauty, mesmerizing aroma and stupendous health benefits Rose and its essential oil can simply make anyone addicted to the flawless elegance of Mother Nature. This mind-blowing flower is connected with love, romance and forgiveness that it can soften even the hardest of hearts.

History tells us how Mughal Empresses and Egyptian Queens enhanced their beauty and allure by using rose oil and perfumes. In Greek mythology they were believed to come directly from the blood of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. The flowers are even found in literature like Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" The rose, one of the most glorious of flowers, it has been associated with beauty, fragrance and romance since time immemorial. It has also been eulogized in poetry and legend.

The medicinal properties of the rose are not lost on modern researchers, who are investigating the effect of the rose in balancing hormones and creating overall well-being. Yet, long before the advent of modern science, Ayurveda taught us that the fragrant rose has three main medicinal properties. It is soothing, cooling, moisturizing and above all, it can show us the way to love, beauty and good health.

Even though there are hundreds of species of wild and cultivated  roses, it's only the Rosa Centifolia(Latin name) that is used in Ayurveda.The ayurvedic name  for this particular rose is Shatapattri, meaning ‘a  hundred petals’.It’s also known as Cabbage rose due to  its appearance.

 Ayurvedic texts explain that the adoring qualities of  Rose and the  essential oil extracted from it are due to  the strong reasons that it balances  Sadhaka pitta and  Prana vayu.

Sadhaka  pitta  governs mental energy, creativity, beliefs and emotions, our powers of analysis and discrimination, and is responsible for motivation, self-confidence, and feelings of fulfillment. When Sadhaka Pitta is out of balance we may be prone to mood swings, anger and irritability, we can be domineering, critical, intolerant, we can be easily hurt and suffer from low self esteem, and feelings of hopelessness which can lead to despair and depression.

Prana Vata is the subdosha of Vata that governs the brain, head, chest, respiration, sensory perception, and the mind.

A rose literally soothe the heart and balances the mind. It enhances the coordination between Sadhaka Pitta and Prana Vata, by balancing Sadhaka Pitta; it enhances positive emotions, and intensifies the experience of happiness and bliss.

It also helps to pacify Ranjak Pitta a subdivision of the pitta dosha the influence of which is evident in the liver, spleen, and erythrocytes. It promotes red blood cell formation and balances blood chemistry; and when unbalanced, blood disorders, liver conditions, and anger-management problems result.

Given below are various product derived from rose and their uses.
Gulkand (Rose petal jam)

Gulkand is incredibly delicious, mouth-watering body coolant prepared from rose petal preserves. It is an ideal alternative to regular jams as it is credited with many health benefits.


Method of preparation

In April-May, the flower petals are collected mixed with Sugar twice the weight of petals. Dried in hot sun for 8-10 days or on low simmering heat and stored in air tight jar after cooling.
In another recipe, light pink colored fresh leaves of the rose plant are taken and coarsely crushed in a grinder. About 1.5 to 2. times sugar is added. In a wide mouthed glass jar, arrange the layers of rose leaves and sugar alternately. Close the mouth of jar and keep in sunlight daily from 10 am to 4 pm for three to four weeks. The time varies depending on sunlight availability, season etc.One can add silver foil, Cardamom seeds etc. to increase the cooling or pitta pacifying properties.

Uses of Gulkand

  • Gulkand has cooling properties, thus it is beneficial in alleviating all heat related problems like tiredness, lethargy, itching, aches and pains. It also helps in reducing burning sensations in the soles and palms. 
  • Gulkand is a powerful antioxidant and a very good rejuvenating tonic for all ages. Consuming 1 – 2 teaspoons of gulkand  after meals helps to reduce acidity, this preparation is a very good digestive tonic it helps to improve appetite, improves digestion helps to reduce acidity and stomach heat. It also helps in treating ulcers and prevents swelling in the intestine
  • It can help alleviate the symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome) by reducing irritability and menstrual cramps. It can be used to treat leucorrhoea.  
  • Gulkand helps to remove toxins from the body and purifies blood.Thus, it helps in giving a clear complexion and prevents the occurrence of various skin problems like acne,boils,blisters etc.Can be used as an adjuvant in treating Herpes(Visarpa in ayurveda) Helps to reduce excessive perspiration and foul body odor. 
  • Having two teaspoons of gulkand before venturing outdoors, can help to prevent sunstroke and controls nose-bleeding. It is good for all those individuals who have water retention problem, as it helps in increasing your urine output.  It has a calming effect on the nervous system, thus helps in reducing stress. 
  • Rose is one of the best sources for water soluble fiber, 1-2 tspn gulkand taken along with milk helps to cleanse the intestines and alleviate constipation. Ayurveda calls it a “vrishya” i.e Aphrodisiac. 1-2 tspn can be taken with milk at bedtime.                                                                                                              

Since it contains sugar, people having diabetes should consult their doctor before consuming it. In addition, obese people may consume this in reduced quantity.

To be Continued....

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