Image: Samantha Hurley, processing: Unguentarium
Damask rose petals have, on the inner surface, small glands that emit odors. Hydrolate or rose water is a by-product of water distillation of a Damask rose, in which water-soluble aromatic substances of the plant are present.
All types of roses are exceptions in distillation, as they are distilled by water distillation, such as brandy, for example. This means that the plant material floats in the distiller boiler in water and is not raised above the water, where it would be treated by steam. For water distillation, you can use spirit boilers or distillers with a neck, but remove the neck from them.
The use of the Damask Rose Hydrolate has a history of several hundred years. It was used during religious ceremonies, for guests' welcome, for mental and physical healing, etc. Similar to lavender hydrolate, the Damask Rose Hydrolate is used to treat many diseases. It is recommended for dry, damaged, swollen, sun-affected skin, mouth ulcers, colds, stress, and calming of the spirit.
Damask Rose Hydrolate is made up of 32-66% alcohol, 8-9% esters, and 5-6% aldehydes. In general, it is considered to be antifungal, anti-infectious, antiinflammatory, antispasmodic, antiviral, bactericidal, soothing circulatory, balancing, decongesting, and invigorating.
Damask Rose Hydrolate is a powerful means for skin revitalization. It can be used in massage lotions and tonics. It is traditionally used for maintenance of the skin. It has a fresh, delicate scent that literally invites to daily use.
It is used for all types of skin, because it nourishes, revitalizes, strengthens its blood circulation, regulates sebum secretion, regulates skin’s pH, narrows pores, soothes dermatitis, it has antiseptic effect on acne, and is especially suitable for aging skin. It also works well in clay coatings. It also calms sun-damaged skin. Mix the Damask Rose Hydrolate with cornstarch and apply it to the affected areas.
It works equally well on the body as well as on the psyche. It releases emotional energy and eliminates nervousness and mental tension. It acts sedative and calming. Some take a teaspoon of hydrolate when they are overwhelmed by stress and unrest, and others use a face spray for this purpose.
In modern herbalism, dried rose petals are used in infusion or powdered against bleeding. Tincture is made of half a liter of boiling distilled water, which is poured over two tablespoons of dried rose petals. Then15 drops of vitriol and 5-7g of white sugar are added. Take three to four tablespoons of this tincture two to three times a day to strengthen the stomach and eliminate bleeding.
You can also make syrup from petals. Do this by pouring boiling water over them and leave them in this water for a further 24 hours. Then strain this water and weigh it. Add as double weight of white sugar to it. Syrup helps with digestion problems.
We can also make honey from rose petals, which helps with sore throat and ulcers of the oral mucosa. Pour the distilled water over the petals, filter the water, and mix it with honey.
Damask Rose Hydrolate itself also has healing powers, as it helps with mouth ulcers and sore throat. Use it as a gargle fluid or as a spray. If ingested, it helps with staphylococcal and streptococcal infections, inflamed bladder, liver problems, vomiting, and nausea. It can also be used to alleviate irritated eyes and inflammation of the eye conjunctiva. If we have inflammated, irritated eyes, moisten a wad with hydrolate and place it on the affected eye.
In Turkey, it is often used in the production of traditional confectionery. When preparing candied boragine flowers, they are cooked in a sweetened hydrolate. It is suitable for making confectionery, sorbets, alcoholic drinks, etc.
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