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How To Use Dried Roses... And Other Important Info On Roses
By Meagan - April 08, 2013
Guest Contributor: Tessa McKnight Everyone loves roses. They have a lot of meaning to them. Romance, love, tender feelings, they are beautiful, smell incredible, and you betcha, also have health properties to them. When you have such a flower that wins in just about every area, how can you possibly avoid falling in love with it?! And once you know about some of the amazing and practical uses for your roses, how can you just let them sit there looking pretty all the time? ;)

Roses Are Herbs  Roses are indeed herbs. Used both in the culinary area of life, and too, in the medicinal area. You can make tea with rose petals, and even syrups, cookies, oils, and tons more. The petals of your rose plants are one of the most beautiful and useful things you have growing in your garden whether you consider them an herb or not. Today though, we’re going to concentrate on one specific uses for rose petals, dried or fresh. Roses make an amazing tincture called rose water. Pretty simple, huh? Rose petals and water, and you have a beautiful toner for your skin. All homemade. All natural. And super duper easy. Rosewater can also be used to sweeten up sweets in the kitchen, but that’s another topic for another day. Be sure to come back this Friday because Meagan is going to be talking about how you can make hydrosols or floral waters easily at home! Rosewater  Rosewater is essentially rose-scented water. As I’ve already mentioned, the uses are wide and varied. Right now we’re going to learn how to make our own rosewater toner by making a rosewater tincture.

What You’ll Need 
  • Rose petals, dried or not (see below for info on drying roses)
  • Water
  • Quart jar
  • Quart jar lid
  • Optional: Kumbucha, Witch hazel, Apple cider vinegar, Vodka, Rubbing alcohol
How To Do It Heat about 5 cups of water to boiling. (You’re not going to need all this water.) In the meantime, place the rose petals in the quart jar, making sure to use only the petals and not the leaves or any part of the stem. Fill the quart jar halfway up with petals (or as full as you want it!). When your water is hot, pour water over the rose petals filling the jar all the way up. If you’re using any of the optional ingredients, add one to two tablespoons before pouring the water in. To make this toner even more incredible, you can add many different herbs that will be infused into the water. Many, MANY herbs are great for your skin, so do a little research and see if YOU have anything beautifying growing in your backyard! How To Dry Roses  I love drying flowers. When my husband brings me home a beautiful bouquet of flowers, roses or otherwise, one of the best parts is knowing that I’ll get to hang them to dry in a week or so. One time Chuck brought me home a really gorgeous bouquet and while I was admiring them I made the comment that I can’t wait until they start wilting so that I can hang them! My husband chuckled at this. I guess the fact that I am as eager to have dried wilted flowers as I am to have live beautiful ones was amusing! :D Drying roses, and any flower, by hanging is super easy. While you can cut them directly from your garden and hang them to dry immediately, you can also use them as a centerpiece for a week or two, and as they begin to wilt, pull them out of the water and hang them. That’s what I usually end up doing since I don’t yet have a beautiful flower garden. Once you take them out of the water, lay them on their sides and arrange them to your satisfaction. You can use wire, twine, a rubber band, or anything else (yeah, I’ve even used a ziptie!) to keep them together. Then, wrap a string around your tied up stems, tie a tight knot, and you’re ready to hang them! I usually stick a tack into an overhanging beam on the ceiling and hang my flowers from there. It makes the dining room look so pretty! You can also hang them from the ceiling in your cellar or basement, or anywhere else for that matter. I’d just try to keep them out of direct sunlight. In a few weeks, you’ll have wonderful dried flowers. Now you have to make the decision of whether or not you want to pull them apart or leave them hanging as a pretty decoration! Ah, hard decisions...

Some Things To Note  If you’re growing your own roses and other flowers, this isn’t something you’re going to have to worry about. However, if you buy your flowers from a grocery store or other flower store you’re going to run into the horrid problem of chemicals. Those things that haunt us just about everywhere. I would recommend finding roses that have not been sprayed or grown in fertilizer for making your toner (or any tincture for that matter.) Sometimes our quest for being healthy and making things from scratch can be defeated in a matter of seconds if we don’t know what has been put on our food and flowers. It’s tough at times, but totally worth it to seek out all--naturalally and naturally grown roses...especially when you’re going to use them on your skin or in your food.

Benefits of Rosewater  Back to our rosewater! Aside from the fact that it’s fun to make, smells lovely, and is sooo elegant, check these out! A quick Google search will bring up many results for the uses of rosewater. I've highlighted a few below.
  • Rose oil is good for anti inflammatory, so it can help reduce redness and swelling, it’s also great for acne
  • The beautiful scent of roses is a mood enhancer (yay!)
  • You can pour a little rosewater into your bath for an all-over soak that will make you feel beeeeeautiful!
  • You can help take away the dark circles under your eyes by applying rosewater there
  • You can drink rosewater. It’s rich in many wonderful vitamins
  • If you apply rosewater to insect bites (like icky mosquito bites!) it will help stop the itching
  • Rosewater is a natural disinfectant. If you put rosewater in a spray bottle, you can use it just like you’d use a disinfectant spray around your home or office
  • Rosewater also is a soother for sunburn
  • It’s a great cleanser and will help remove oil and dirt from your skin, plus, it’ll be wonderful in aiding the removal of makeup
  • You can add a few drops of rosewater to your shampoo for a bit of natural conditioner and moisturizer
  • Rosewater will also help hair growth
As you can see, the benefits of rosewater are wide and varied, and extremely useful in day to day life. Because it’s natural and chemical free, it’s a product you’ll feel good about using in your home, bathroom, kitchen, and around your children and pets. In my opinion, this makes for a huge win.

Your Turn! Have you tried making your own rosewater tincture? How did it turn out? What were some of the things YOU used it for? What kinds of herbs and other liquids did you add to it?
Tessa McKnight blogs at TessaMcKnight.com, where she talks about life, the quest of living naturally, home birth, homeschooling, book reviews, delicious recipes, and more! She’s married to Chuck (who blogs at BeingFilled.com), and together they live life as a daily adventure seeking to honor Christ. In addition to blogging, Tessa enjoys family, coffee, getting lost, cooking, and going on new adventures with her husband. Find her on twitter @TessaDMcKnight.


  1. Lindsey
    How long do you let the petals and water sit in the jar? I might have missed it, but I don't think that you mentioned it! :)
  2. El
    Thanks for this blog; I'mma get started by the way!!! While I only have ONE rose, it's a beaut!; gonna try the rosewater thing.And for Lindsay, I believe you leave the rose petals in indefinitely to get the FULL effect; however, if you want to make smaller portions, get a tincture or a spritzer, but keep the jar full of the rosepetals. While what I say is(more than likely)speculative, I feel it's the NATURAL thing to do. I'm gonna try to experiment sommore for a bit. Thanks to the both of you ladies; hope to hear from you soon!
  3. Tessa McKnight
    Hi Lindsey! It depends on what process you'd like to use! 1) You could let them soak in a dark place for a couple of weeks.2) You could set up a crock pot on LOW, filled half way with water. Place a towel on the bottom of the crock, and set your jar in the middle. Place lid back on, and if the jar is too tall, drape a towel over the lid to keep the water in there. Let it sit in the crock pot for about 2 days, making sure the water never gets too low. And that's about it! Thanks for your question!
  4. Tessa McKnight
    Hey El!Thanks for your comment - I hope you have fun with your rose! Don't ever be afraid to experiment and even mess up. That's how we learn best! :D
  5. Kim
    How long does the rose water keep in a cool dark place? I assume some of the additives you mentioned might help preserve the rose water. Which do you think would be best? Thank you!
    1. Meagan
      Sorry Kim. This post needs to be updated as the terminology isn't very clear. She's calling it "rosewater," but what she's referring to in the post are rose extracts (either in water, alcohol, vinegar, etc.) Each of these is stored differently depending on how shelf-stable they are. Water extracts must be refrigerated and will last 1-3 days. Alcohol extracts can be stored at room temperature and will last 1-3 years.

      From my understanding, true rosewater is a rose hydrosol (or floral waters). You can see our post here on hydrosols. They must be stored in the refrigerator and I think they last 1-3 months. Hope this helps and clears things up a bit. We'll get this post edited soon!