Roses are synonymous with beauty and love. What if I told you they are healthy too?
Rose tea is a lesser-known member of the tea brigade that is made from the petals and buds (and sometimes fruit) of the rose plant. Isn’t that interesting? There’s evidence to prove the benefits of rose petal tea too. Scroll down to find out how this rose beverage rose to fame!
Table Of Contents
What Is Rose Tea?
Rose tea is a hot brew of dried rose petals and buds. Often, rose fruit and rose hips are also added to the blend. Petals from several cultivars of the rose species are used to make this tea.
Apart from the characteristic lingering sweet smell, rose tea has excellent health benefits. Rose petals have been extensively studied for their cytotoxic and antioxidant effects (1). Their activity has been proven on breast and cervical cancer cell lines.
These delicate petals possess significant antimicrobial properties. Some studies have found that water extracts of rose flowers have anti-inflammatory and analgesic (painkilling) effects. All these properties are attributed to the bioactive components of the rose flowers (1), (2).
Before we get to what those active ingredients are, let’s look at the benefits offered by rose tea.
How Is Drinking Rose Tea Beneficial For Your Health?
There is insufficient literature on the benefits of rose flower and its tea. One property that has been widely acknowledged is its antioxidant capacity. Since it can scavenge free radicals, rose tea is thought to improve menstrual health and reduce anxiety, pain, and inflammatory diseases.
1. May Improve Menstrual Health
Menstrual cramps are a nightmare for every woman. It is worse in teenagers or girls who have just begun menstruating. Almost 50% of female adolescents showed a decrease in academic performance, sports participation, and socializing with friends due to menstrual cramps (3).
Rose tea has been used in folk medicine to alleviate menstrual pain and dysmenorrhea. A study with 130 girls was set up to investigate this effect. The test group was given rose tea to drink, and intervention data was collected at the completion of one, three, and six months of the course (3).
Results showed that the girls who drank rose tea felt less pain, anxiety, and distress during menstruation. Hence, beverages like rose tea are a safe and simple treatment for dysmenorrhea and potentially premenstrual syndrome (PMS) (3).
Many rose varieties have been used for their aesthetic and medicinal properties. Rosa damascena is one such variety of rose. It has been used in traditional medicine to treat digestive problems. Dried petals of Rosa damascena are often eaten to solve stomach issues (4).
Syrian, Lebanese, Assyrian, and rural Middle Eastern populations consume rose-based beverages. Rosebuds, flowers, or extract drops are added to these drinks. One such drink is Zhourat. Various rose elements are added to this herbal tea that is said to cure stomach pain and ulcers (5).
Adding Rosa damascena petals, buds, or oil increases the antioxidant potential of these drinks (5). Thus, having rose tea can be linked to great digestive relief.
3. May Relieve Anxiety And Pain
Rose petals contain potent antioxidants. These active ingredients can lift your mood and soothe your heart. Drinking tea made of rose petals, passion flower, lemon balm, and skullcap relieves stress and anxiety (6).
Rose aromatherapy has also been proven to improve mood and sleep. It may relieve depression, grief, tension, and pain. In fact, Rosa damascena, as a species, is known to have analgesic properties (4), (7).
4. May Relieve Constipation
Iranian medicine uses rose decoction as a laxative. Gol-e-Ghand Majoon is a traditional rose-based medicinal product that is prescribed for constipation as a laxative (8).
Boiled extracts of Rosa damascena showed significant laxative effects when given to rats. The rose extract increased the water content in feces along with the frequency of defecation. This could be because it may stimulate the movement of fluids in the intestines (4).
5. May Help In Managing Diabetes
Consuming an alcohol extract of Rosa damascena has been proven to have an anti-diabetic effect. In rat studies, this extract decreased blood glucose levels. It is suggested that this species of rose is a potent inhibitor of glucose-metabolizing alpha-glucosidase enzyme (4).
Rose extracts suppress the carbohydrate absorption from the small intestine. By doing so, rose tea or its extracts can reduce the postprandial levels of glucose. It can,thereby, help control diabetes (4).
6. May Aid Hair Growth
Rose petals – notably, the petals of white and pink rose – have excellent antioxidant and anti-allergic properties. A study conducted in South Korea found that white rose petals decreased the oxidation of lipid and protein in the hair cells (9).
The rose phytochemicals can inhibit the secretion of sebum. Low levels of sebum can prevent itching and oily scalp issues. When added to hair products, like shampoos, rose extract can help reduce inflammation as well (9).
The ellagitannin and epigallocatechin gallate in rose petals can prevent hair loss and conditions like seborrheic dermatitis (9). Hence, drinking rose tea or applying its extracts topically may treat scalp inflammation, hair fall, and Malassezia infection.
7. Has Antimicrobial Effect
Certain cultivars of rose have been studied for their antimicrobial properties. The flavonoids, tannins, phenolic acids, and carotenoids in rose petals are responsible for its antimicrobial effect (1).
Rose petals showed an inhibitory effect against several strains of bacteria. These include Staphylococcus epidermidis, S. aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Micrococcus luteus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus mirabilis. They also retarded the growth of some yeast species (1).
These properties are all the reasons you need to try out rose tea. The phytochemicals found in rose petals are responsible for these properties. There are several anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic agents in its phytochemical profile. Scroll to the next section to find out more.
What Are The Phytochemicals In Rose Tea?
The rose plant contains terpenes, glycosides, flavonoids, anthocyanins, carboxylic acids, and several complex and simple organic compounds. Myrcene, kaempferol, quercetin, tannins, and fatty oils are also found in its flowers. Most of the flavonoids are present in its essential oil (4).
Biochemical analyses have revealed that the total content of phenolic compounds in most rose teas was equal to or higher than that in the green tea. Gallic acid was found in teas made from several rose cultivars. Free gallic acid is considered to be the main ingredient behind the strong antioxidant capacity of this beverage (2).
Anthocyanins are another cluster of phytochemicals responsible for the color of rose petals. They also help in eliminating free radicals from your body. Together with phenolic acids and tannins, these pigments enhance the medicinal value of rose tea (2), (4).
Therefore, it is proven that this tea has higher antioxidant potential than green and black teas. The polysaccharides in it make this tea mildly sweet or neutral to taste.
If you want to learn how to make rose tea, we’ve got you covered! Find a simple recipe to brew rose tea below!
How To Make Rose Tea At Home
You can brew rose tea with either fresh or dried rose petals. You can buy them here.
Method 1: With Fresh Rose Petals
- Get organic, pesticide-free, fresh rose petals.
- Wash 1-2 cups of them gently under running water.
- To a saucepan/boiling pot, add these petals and 3 cups of drinking water.
- Boil the contents for about 5-6 minutes.
- Strain the contents into serving cups.
- Add sweetener of your choice (optional).
- Serve hot!
Method 2: With Dried Rose Petals
- To a boiling pot, add 1 cup of dried rose petals and 2-3 cups of water.
- Boil the contents for about 5-6 minutes.
- Strain the contents into serving cups.
- You can add green tea powder while brewing rose petals. If the petals you chose turned bitter on drying, green tea leaves could be a savior.
- If you find the rose flavor to be overpowering, you may use these dried or fresh petals to make scented teas.
- Scented teas require just a few petals to garnish. Rose petals go well with oolong, green, and black teas.
The Bottom Line
Rose tea is a powerful and pleasant beverage. Rose petals have high antioxidants. Adding them to your brew can enhance its medicinal value. Drinking a cup of rose tea can ease digestion, bowel movement, anxiety, pain, and several underlying issues.
This drink has almost no reported toxicity. Only minor side effects like nausea and diarrhea were reported. However, it is best to talk to your healthcare provider before starting drinking rose tea.
Try making a small pot of this mild drink. See how you like it. If you have any queries or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.
- “Cytotoxic, antioxidant, antimicrobial properties and chemical…” Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- “Rose Petal Tea as an Antioxidant-rich Beverage: Cultivar Effects” Sensory and Nutritive Qualities of Food, Journal of Food Science, Academia.
- “Rose tea for relief of primary dysmenorrhea in adolescents…” Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- “Pharmacological Effects of Rosa Damascena” Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- “ Beverage and culture. “Zhourat”, a multivariate analysis…” Research Report, Appetite, Elsevier, Academia.
- “Pre-Formulated Teas and Extracts” Maryland University of Integrative Health.
- “Depression and Anxiety” Self-Care Wellness Toolkit, Humboldt State University Student Health & Wellness Services.
- “Rosa damascena as holy ancient herb with novel applications” Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- “Clinical Evaluation of a New-Formula Shampoo for Scalp Seborrheic…” Annals of Dermatology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
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