Sunday, February 7, 2021

Rose teas and tisanes: A February treat


February is the perfect month for drinking rose-scented teas or tisanes. The rose brings to mind February’s major celebration of hearts and love, Valentine’s Day.  We know that the heart and rose are both considered to be symbols of love and romance, but they are so much more.   These connections between roses and hearts, and love run deeper than the images depicted on Valentine greeting cards (which, by the way, have been printed and posted only since the early to mid-nineteenth century).


The rose carries many associations with love in the symbolic realm.  For example, the red rose was associated with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. When the Roman empire later became Christianized the rose came to be associated with the Virgin Mary.  You can read about abundant symbolism associated with the rose here:

 But associations between the rose and the heart are more than symbolic. Consuming rose-scented tea is purported to have some general health benefits.  For a quick overview of this topic, take a look at an article from WebMD:


More specifically, in regards to ties between the rose and the heart, consuming rose-scented tea is considered to be good for the heart itself both physically and energetically.  Asheville herbalist, Joanne Zerdy*, writes:

 Rose (Rosa spp.) is a powerful botanical ally. Both rose petals and rosehips have many medicinal benefits for us inside and out. With their astringency, rose petals gently tighten the tissue of our internal organs (including the heart) as well as our skin. Rose might also aid the cardiovascular system by supporting the regulation of blood pressure. The benefits of rose petals on our nervous systems is well known; with its antianxiety, anti-inflammatory, and mood-boosting qualities, rose helps us to calm down and connect with our emotional centers. Rosehips have high concentrations of vitamin C, bioflavonoids, and antioxidants. As such, they strengthen our immune systems as well as our cardiovascular health by improving blood circulation and restoring the elasticity of our blood vessels. Energetically, rose can help us to lighten our hearts and to maintain our emotional boundaries. The thorns on rose bushes and vines are great reminders of the importance of protecting our emotional selves in a balanced way. A final note: given the commercial nature of growing roses, it's really important to ensure that any rose that you consume has not been treated with pesticides. 

So, given the symbolic, physical and energetic ties between the rose and the heart I know that I will always consider February the perfect time to drink rose scented teas or tisanes.  Pictured above is the rose scented black tea from Dobra Tea and the heart blend tea from Finlay’s Garden, both here in Asheville.  I have been drinking both of these teas and you can too as all teas from these Asheville purveyors can be ordered online!


*Joanne Zerdy, PhD is a former university professor in theatre arts who turned to herbalism and grief work following the death of her son Finlay. Joanne completed a 1000-hour Herbal Immersion course through the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine and is particularly interested in researching herbs for grieving and emotional healing. She puts her knowledge into practice through her Finlay's Garden teas and herbal honeys and through the grief work that she does through Inviting Abundance.

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Maira Gall