Do we need to stop and smell the roses?

Throughout the ages, people have planted and cultivated a variety of wild plants in their home gardens.

Roses are a great example.

When I was growing up in Queens New York, we had immigrant neighbors living on both sides of our house. One family was Italian, and the other was German. Both of those families had bountiful food and herb gardens.

And us, the American family, had an inedible lawn.

The neighbor’s gardens, even though they were from different countries in Europe, were growing very similar plants. There was fennel, cucumbers, squash, leeks, chives, climbing beans, tomatoes, rosemary, parsley, thyme, mint, sage and others.

Interestingly, both of those gardens had roses crawling up the fences that surrounded the yard.

Roses, of course, bring pollinators to the garden, but they are also highly beneficial as food, medicine, and protection.

They are beautiful eye-catching flowers, and their aroma is simply intoxicating.

I’m sure you know the old saying, “Stop and smell the roses.”

It reminds us to relax, slow down, and take time to enjoy the beauty of living life on earth.

But, what happens to us when we actually do stop and smell the roses?

Scientifically, it connects us with the part of the brain that processes memories and emotions. It’s one of the reasons why a scent can trigger an older, long-forgotten memory to suddenly come back to the forefront of your mind.

Here are some thoughts about roses to store in your memory bank.

Rose is a classic heart medicine, both for the physical and emotional body. It promotes love, friendship, and joy.

It’s one of the reasons why people give roses to someone they love or are seeking to love.

In the physical body, rose acts as an astringent, toning, and cooling medicine. Due to this nature, it is excellent for treating what is perceived as dampness in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

A damp condition is an inability to rid the body of excessive moisture that can lead to a buildup of phlegm, swelling, clamminess, sluggishness and lethargy.

According to Matthew Wood, “The (rose) hips and the petals are used for acute inflammatory conditions of the respiratory tract, including sore throat, free nasal secretion, and bronchial secretion or obstruction. It is also a remedy for chronic inflammation.”[1]

Several studies have shown that consumption of rose hips can reduce pain and improve wellbeing of patients with osteoarthritis in the hips and knees. Rose has tissue-toning properties and is good for use when the teeth get loose, or if someone has excessive diarrhea.[2]

Rose hips are the fruit or seed pods of the rose plant (pictured below). They are rich in vitamin C. And, you can make a delicious fruit spread with them or these yummy Heart Opening Rose Cookies.

It seems like roses, besides smelling great and being really pretty, are an important medicine that many folks would do well adding to their home apothecary.

At least, the “wild rose” version rather than its ultra-cultivated, highly-sprayed cousin: the rose that sits in every florist shop waiting to be purchased for a sentimental holiday.

Roses are members of the Rosaceae family that includes red raspberry, wild rose and hawthorn, all of which protect themselves with very sharp thorns.

You can’t just reach in and grab a handful of roses without getting jabbed, pinched, or stabbed. Those piercing thorns protect the plant and command respect!

So, why would humans surround their gardens and yards with thorny bushes that can draw blood?

One thought is that the rose bushes – especially, if they are located on the surrounding fence of the yard – can stop someone from climbing over to grab some of your garden veggies and herbs.

Something else to consider is that maybe humans chose roses to not only serve as protectors of our homes and gardens, but to trigger our long forgotten memories of what we are doing here on earth.

We are supposed to be the gardeners lovingly tending to this entire planet, no?

It seems that we haven’t been doing such a good job.

Or more appropriately, the people running the world haven’t been doing a good job. BIG Ag corporations, governments, and scientists around the world, have been crapping all over our garden:

Newsflash… NOTHING in the garden can flourish or grow without sunshine.

It’s time to stop and smell the roses, open our hearts, and tap into our memory banks.

We must lovingly tend to, and protect, the garden that nourishes us.


[1] The Practice of Traditional Western Herbalism, by Matthew Wood, North Atlantic Books, 2004, pg. 147

[2] Alchemy of Herbs, by Rosalee De La Foret, Hay House 2017. pg. 232