Roses have long been used in European home remedies, both externally and internally. They are used on the outside in skin care as toners (tightens pores), emollients (lubricants for the skin), and stress relief. On the inside, a tea made from dried rose petals was used for congestion. Cooled, the tea (now rosewater) made a good compress for the forehead in case of headache. Jewelry was even made from rose petals–called rose beads. The rose produces fruit (hips) which are loaded with seeds which are prized for their omega 6 oils in all kinds of skin care products. The rose pictured below is Rosa Mosqueta–favored for seed oil. If you’ve ever priced rose essential oil you will know how expensive it is. It takes a lot of rose petals to make even a few drops of essential oil. One of my favorites is rose vinegar. Use white distilled vinegar and fresh rose petals. Heat carefully then let cool. Strain and sniff. If you can’t smell rose yet, repeat the same process adding fresh petals to the vinegar solution. This is a great secret ingredient in your cooking such as a dash or two when you need a little acid balance, or as a salad dressing. The rose hips are also used. The hips, with seeds removed, are made into a tea which is useful for digestive problems and is a diuretic that does not irritate the kidneys. You also see rose hips used in vitamin C supplements.