Roses are far more than a pretty plant for the garden or a romantic gift on Valentine’s day. Instead, they have a history of being used in traditional medicine and may offer a range of health benefits.
Indeed, roses have been historically used to treat digestive disorders, some types of pain and help relieve menstrual cramps.
The idea of using roses in this way has been going through a revival of sorts, especially in the form of rose tea.
This makes rose tea benefits such a relevant topic. Now, rose tea is an amazing drink both for health and for the flavor that it offers. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly popular and is well worth trying.
The tea itself is a sensory experience, making it feel like you are out in the garden among many different types of roses. The flavor profile also makes it a great drink for anyone who doesn’t enjoy traditional tea.
What is Rose Tea?
As the name suggests, rose tea is an infusion created from hot water and rose petals. You can make it using fresh or dried roses, depending on what you have available, and the outcome is about the same either way.
Basically, the water helps to draw some of the healthy compounds out of the rose petals allowing you to take advantage of these. At the same time, the approach gives the tea a fragrant and distinctive taste that is extremely appealing.
Indeed, many people turn to rose tea because it is a mild drink. It also contains no caffeine and almost no calories.
This means that it is suitable for almost every situation. For example, the site The Blissful Mind talks about white rose tea as part of a self-care routine.
Now, like other herbal infusions rose tea isn’t technically tea at all. This is something the site Swanson Vitamins talks about in detail. Even so, these infusions are still conventionally called a tea and have some of the same properties.
The plant-based compounds and antioxidants present also mean that rose tea can be a great way to give your body a boost and make you feel better overall. This is particularly relevant when you are run down or stressed.
Rose Tea Benefits
So, what about rose tea and health?
After all, the tea is just an infusion of hot water and rose petals – so it doesn’t sound like it could be amazing. But, that’s not necessarily true.
Instead, the tea is a source of plant-based compounds, including antioxidants. At the same time, having a healthy and simple hot drink can do wonders for your body.
1. Can Reduce Menstrual Cramps
The connection between rose tea and menstrual cramps is well-known and the tea is used in this way globally.
This outcome isn’t just anecdotal either. Instead, one study showed that rose tea decreased cramping in adolescent girls (1).
This outcome is extremely beneficial because menstrual cramps often affect people’s productivity in school and also at work.
Rose tea may not get rid of cramps entirely, especially if they are severe. However, it can still help.
2. Improves Digestion
The impact of rose tea on digestion is another feature with a long history. The outcome is likely to be connected to the rose petals themselves and also to simply having a hot drink.
For one thing, the tea helps to promote the production of bile. This may not sound appealing but it ensures that the stomach is able to digest food effectively, particularly when it comes to fat.
Rose tea may also be relevant for promoting beneficial bacteria in the gut. That outcome could be especially powerful if you also regularly rely on fermented foods.
On a related note, rose tea can act as a mild laxative. This can be appealing in some situations, especially for people fighting constipation.
But, it isn’t a strong laxative and many people may not be affected by this aspect at all. As a result, it would still be entirely safe to take, even on a regular basis.
3. May Aid with Urinary Tract Infection
Rose tea is also a natural diuretic, which means that it can increase the frequency and the quality of urination. Again, this effect is mild, rather than dramatic, making the tea relevant for many different situations.
Promoting urination is particularly relevant to urinary tract infection and can sometimes help to clear an infection. Additionally, the antioxidant properties of rose tea will also help in this area.
Now, this advantage is mostly relevant to mild urinary tract infections. If you have something serious, then it is important to talk to your doctor.
4. Helps Treat Anxiety and Stress
By their very nature, hot drinks are soothing and rose tea is no exception. However, it also offers a number of specific advantages for anxiety.
For one thing, the tea doesn’t contain any caffeine at all, because it isn’t actually tea. This is different than options like oolong tea, yerba mate and green tea. Those all offer significant health benefits but they do contain some caffeine.
If you are anxious or if you suffer from anxiety as a condition, then even a little caffeine may be detrimental. So, a drink like rose tea may be especially powerful.
At the same time, the roses themselves may be relevant. After all, the aroma of flowers tends to be relaxing and many people associate the scent with good memories.
Additionally, rose tea is a simple and a natural approach. This aspect alone may make it appealing, especially as medications for anxiety often come with a range of risks and side effects.
Now, rose tea alone may not be enough to treat anxiety or stress, depending on the severity of what you face. Still, the drink can be a powerful part of a treatment plan and a healthy habit overall.
Plus, it is something that you can have late at night, which may not be as viable for tea that does contain caffeine.
5. Offers Advantages to Skin, Acne and Hair
The benefits of rose tea aren’t all internal either. Instead, there are many reports that the tea can help with external aspects of your body, including skin tone, acne and the quality of your hair.
Much of this is connected to the antioxidants, including the vitamin C, which is present in rose petals.
Precisely how much vitamin C is present is likely to vary depending on the cultivar of rose used. However, this level isn’t nearly as high as many people claim. In particular, the bulk of the vitamin C is present in rose hips, not petals (4).
This pattern doesn’t make rose petals useless, far from it. They do still contain antioxidants and rose petal tea is a valuable addition to the diet overall.
Likewise, drinking hot teas regularly (including rose tea) can easily help improve your skin and hair. After all, the process is a great way to consume more water, something many of us don’t get enough of.
For that matter, dehydration is much harder to spot than people realize and you could be dehydrated without even knowing it. Not getting enough water can have many negative impacts, which includes implications for the skin (5).
As such, getting enough water is critical and rose tea is one way of doing just that. Plus, there are antioxidants present and these will certainly be beneficial for health as well.
6. Supports the Immune System
The vitamin C and antioxidant content of rose tea are also great for the immune system.
This means that the tea can help you to fight off infections and may also reduce the symptoms of some conditions, such as the common cold.
7. Soothes a Sore Throat
Hot drinks are also amazing for soothing a sore throat and this is another key advantage of rose tea.
While this effect may be similar for other types of hot drink and teas as well, rose tea does have the advantage of vitamin C and antioxidants. Additionally, the lack of caffeine is also appealing, especially if you are drinking the tea at the end of the day.
8. Helps with Weight Loss
Rose tea doesn’t contain any specific compounds that will promote weight loss – but it is still extremely relevant for anyone who is trying to lose weight.
In particular, the tea acts as a healthy drink that is extremely low in calories. This can be extremely beneficial if you drink rose tea instead of other options that are laden with sugar.
Indeed, it may even be effective to replace some of your coffee intake with rose tea, especially if you tend to use sugar or cream with your coffee (although, coffee does have health and weight loss benefits of its own).
At the same time, having a hot drink can be great for fighting hunger pains, especially if you are relying on a diet approach like intermittent fasting. Even if you’re not hungry, rose tea will make it easier to stick to a diet overall.
Rose Tea Side Effects
Rose tea is considered safe and there are no significant side effects associated with it. This isn’t too surprising, as rose tea is much milder than many other drinks.
Indeed, the absence of caffeine alone means that rose tea will have fewer side effects than coffee or many other types of tea.
Still, as with any dietary component, it’s important not to drink rose tea to excess. So, you certainly shouldn’t be having 10 cups per day or anything like that.
Rose Tea Research
As a general rule, herbal remedies aren’t heavily researched. A key reason for that is simply funding, especially as most large companies and groups aren’t going to be interested in supporting this type of research.
At the same time, there are so many different traditional medicine options out there that it would be almost impossible to get sufficient research on each of them. As a result, we know relatively little about the scientific benefits of rose petals or their implications for health.
There is also an added complexity with roses.
In particular, there are so many different cultivars out there. These will vary in terms of color, scent, shape and, by extension, aspects of their chemical composition. As a result, the health implications of roses are likely to vary from one cultivar to the next, as some research has highlighted (6).
Still, some of the studies that have been conducted are encouraging and there have even been some that specifically focus on rose tea.
For example, one study indicated that the compounds in rose petals may have antimutagenic properties (7). This means that they may be able to help fight cancer.
Likewise, the presence of bioactive compounds reinforces the idea that rose petals may offer health benefits. Another study also highlighted the significance of compounds in roses.
In this case, the study looked at rose petal extract from one specific cultivar. The authors found that it could help lower inflammation (8). This outcome suggests that rose tea could act as a key component of an anti-inflammatory diet.
This outcome was also supported by a second study that looked at extract in the treatment of a type of scalp dermatitis that has an inflammation component (9).
Both of those studies looked at extracts from rose petals, which are likely to be more concentrated than rose tea. As such, the studies don’t prove the advantage of rose tea.
Nevertheless, they are still relevant as the research highlights the fact that rose petals do have significant bioactive compounds. These may well have more implications for health than the research currently shows.
Finally, research has shown that drinking rose tea can help with menstrual cramps in adolescents (10). This also reinforces the presence of bioactive compounds and means that rose tea acts as a simple remedy to a challenging problem.
How to Make Rose Tea
So, with all these benefits, how do you make rose tea for yourself? Well, it’s incredibly simple and something that you can easily do at home.
The key thing to remember is that you need to be using rose petals that haven’t been treated with pesticides. Ideally, this means you should be looking for petals that are organic, or ones that come from your own garden.
To make the tea, you can follow the steps below:
- Get roughly 1 cup of fresh rose petals, make sure you wash them first and dry with a clean towel. If you’re using dried petals instead, you’ll need around a handful of them
- Bring around a cup and a half of water close to boil (don’t let it boil completely), ideally around 175°F
- Add rose petals to the water and allow to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. In this time, the petals should turn dark and the water should be colored
- Strain out the petals and pour the tea into a cup
Many people drink the tea as-is, but you could also add in honey or spices like cinnamon if you wanted additional flavoring. There are also recipes you can use. For example, the site Matters of the Belly offers a Hibiscus & Rose Ice Tea recipe that sounds amazing.
Now, unless you have roses in your own garden, buying petals to make rose tea can make the most sense.
In theory, you could just buy roses locally. However, you will often know little about how they have been treated and the producer probably didn’t have human consumption in mind when growing them.
Because of this, it’s often worth finding dried rose petals that are specifically designed for rose tea. These will tend to last longer anyway and mean that you don’t have to worry about finding new roses regularly.
Thankfully, rose tea is popular, so there is a range of high-quality options to choose from.
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