What is rose tea?
You’ve likely had the pleasure of smelling fresh red roses outside or in a vase at home. Perhaps you’ve incorporated rosewater or rose oil into your skincare routine. Have you ever tried drinking rose tea, though?
Many people don’t realize that the rose isn’t just beautiful, fragrant, and good for your skin — it’s edible and drinkable, too. Here’s why rose tea might also deserve a mention in the hall of floral fame.
Rose tea is created using fresh or dried petals and buds from the rose flower.
Deemed one of the most ancient flowers, the rose has been cultivated for approximately 5,000 years and likely originated in Asia (although several species are indigenous to North America).
The process for making rose tea is quite straightforward. In fact, you can easily make rose tea at home by boiling water and adding clean rose petals (fresh or dried) to the water — about 2 tablespoons of rose per 2 cups of water is a good ratio, but feel free to make adjustments to suit your tastes. Allow the mixture to simmer for at least 5 minutes before straining out the petals and serving.
In addition to the petals and buds used for rose tea, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has confirmed that the following parts of the rose are edible:
- Rose leaves
- Rose oils
The method of drying rose petals can impact the quality of rose tea. Currently, most manufacturers dry rose petals manually with solar energy. A 2019 study found that drying the petals with a freeze dryer, though, better preserves the original properties of the petal (such as color, taste, fragrance, and nutritional value).
Now that you know what it is and how it is prepared, though, you’re probably wondering: What is rose tea good for?
Health benefits of rose tea
Roses have been cultivated and used for their healing properties for hundreds of years.
Like green tea and black tea, rose tea exhibits strong antioxidant activity, which protects your body from negative effects caused by oxygen. Rose tea offers a number of health benefits due to its high amounts of the following antioxidants:
- Vitamin E. Vitamin E is a soluble vitamin present in a wide variety of foods, including certain oils, poultry, meat, and vegetables.
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C is often found in vegetables and citrus fruits and is best consumed via foods rather than supplements.
- Polyphenols. Polyphenols are chemical compounds commonly found in fruits, vegetables, and plant-based foods.
These antioxidants can serve many helpful purposes within the body, although some of the claimed benefits of rose tea are still anecdotal and need to be studied further:
- Pain relief. The polyphenols (such as flavonoids and phenolic acids) in rose tea can reduce pain caused by inflammation in the body. Vitamin C has been used to decrease pain after surgery and to increase the efficacy of medications that treat chest pain. Drinking rose tea has also been proven to be an effective method of relieving menstrual cramps.
- Protection from cancer. Vitamin E is used to prevent certain cancers like breast cancer, oral cancer, and pancreatic cancer, and one study found that rose petal extract helped inhibit lung cancer cells.
- Lower blood pressure. Rose tea can prevent high blood pressure, a common condition that can damage your circulation and organs when left untreated, as well as increase your risk for strokes and heart attacks.
- Healthier skin and hair. Drinking rose tea may promote healthier skin and hair due to its vitamin C and vitamin E content, which can lessen the appearance of wrinkles, treat sunburn, and potentially reduce hair loss.
- Stronger immune system. Antioxidants can help boost your immune system, which can keep the common cold and more serious viruses at bay.
- Healthy heart. One recent study found that women who followed an antioxidant-rich diet decreased their risk of heart attack by 20%. Antioxidants have also been known to lower your cancer risk.
- Better brain functioning. Polyphenols improve your brain functioning by improving brain structure and reducing the rate of brain aging and memory loss.
- Digestion. Rose tea can help your digestive system function properly and is commonly used as a mild natural laxative.
- Weight management. Because it’s a healthy beverage primarily made from water and because it contains polyphenols that can inhibit fat cell production, rose tea can help you manage your weight. Reaching for rose tea instead of another soda can thus have a positive impact on your overall health.
- Improved mood. Due to their many positive health benefits, antioxidants can improve your overall mood. Research shows that taking vitamin C in conjunction with an antidepressant can increase its efficacy. Many find that rose tea has a calming effect and can help them relax during times of stress.
What does rose tea taste like?
Rose tea can vary in taste depending on which type of rose is used, with flavors ranging from bitter to sweet. Participants in one study noted that tea made from the R. damascena rose was much sweeter than other varieties.
In general, rose tea has a light and subtly fruity flavor that many people find very pleasant and refreshing.
If you prefer to experiment with your rose tea, though, you can always add honey, spices like cinnamon, or a bit of milk.
Side effects of rose tea
For most people, drinking rose tea is unlikely to cause any adverse side effects.
The most likely side effect of rose tea is an allergic reaction. Although this type of flower produces relatively little pollen, some people are still allergic to roses and can experience standard allergy symptoms like itchiness, sneezing, wheezing, and congestion.
Consuming excessive amounts of vitamin C can also cause some uncomfortable side effects like nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, and headache, and consuming more than 2,000 milligrams can lead to more serious side effects like kidney stones. However, it’s unlikely that anyone will exceed this dosage simply by drinking rose tea.
Should you drink rose tea every day?
Provided you’re not allergic to roses and that you’re only drinking one or two cups per day, there’s no reason you can’t drink rose tea daily. So, if you’re looking to reap the many benefits of antioxidants with a caffeine-free beverage, rose tea could be the perfect addition to your diet.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Healthy Focus: "10 Science Backed Benefits of Rose Tea."
IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science: "Physical quality change of rose tea during freeze drying."
Journal of Food Science: "Rose Petal Tea as an Antioxidant-rich Beverage: Cultivar Effects."
Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health: "Rose tea for relief of primary dysmenorrhea in adolescents: a randomized controlled trial in Taiwan."
Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine: "Rosa damascena as holy ancient herb with novel applications."
Molecules: "Rose (Rosa gallica) Petal Extract Suppress Proliferation, Migration, and Invasion of Human Lung Adenocarcinoma A549 Cells through via the EGFR Signaling Pathway."
National Council on Aging: "Vitamin C and Older Adults: How Much Is Enough?"
St. Luke's Health: "A quick guide to flowers in food."
The University of Alabama at Birmingham: "Love is in the air — or is it allergies?"
University of Missouri Integrated Pest Management: "The Power of Flowers," "Rose: A Brief History."
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