Friday, August 10, 2007

The Antique Cabbage Rose Story

Rosa centifolia

Cabbage Rose (Rosa centifolia LINN.)
Medicinal Action and Uses
Preparations The pale petals of the Hundred-leaved Rose or Cabbage Rose are also used in commerce. On account of its fragrance, the petals of this variety of rose are much used in France for distillation of rose-water. Though possessing aperient properties, they are seldom now used internally and preparations of them are not official in the British Pharmacopoeia.
The roses grouped as varieties of R. centifolia have all less scent than R. gallica.
The best of them is the old Cabbage Rose. It is a large rose, sweet-scented, of a pink or pale rose-purple colour, the petals whitish towards the base. Its branches are covered with numerous nearly straight spines: the petioles and peduncles are nearly unarmed, but more or less clothed with glandular bristles and the leaves have five or sometimes seven ovate, glandular leaflets, softly hairy beneath. This species and its varieties have given rise to innumerable handsome garden roses.
The flowers are collected and deprived of the calyx and ovaries, the petals alone being employed. In drying, they become brownish and lose some of their delicious rose odour.
The Constituents of the Pink Rose are closely similar to those of the Red. The very little colouring matter is apparently identical with that of the Red Rose. A little tannin is present.
Rose-water. The British Pharmacopceia directs that it shall be prepared by mixing the distilled rose-water of commerce, obtained mostly from R. damascena, but also from R. centifolia and other species, with twice its volume of distilled water immediately before use. It is used as a vehicle for other medicines and as an eye lotion. Triple rose-water is water saturated with volatile oil of Rose petals, obtained as a by-product in the distillation of oil of Roses. The finest rose-water is obtained by distillation of the fresh petals. It should be clear and colourless, not mucilaginous, and to be of value medicinally must be free from all metallic impurities, which may be detected by hydrogen sulphide and ammonium sulphide, neither of which should produce turbidity in the water.
Ointment of rose-water, commonly known as Cold Cream, enjoys deserved popularity as a soothing, cooling application for chapping of the hands, face, abrasions and other superficial lesions of the skin. For its preparation, the British Pharmacopceia directs that 1 1/2 OZ. each of spermaceti and white wax be melted with 9 OZ. of Almond oil, the mixture poured into a warmed mortar and 7 fluid ounces of rose-water and 8 minims of oil of Rose then incorporated with it.

2 comments:

Isabelle said...

Lovely article, Deb! I love rose water. I use it on my face every night.

monique said...

Interesting :) I like the pink ones in the picture!