Rose Symbolism and Rose Petal Tea

Rose Symbolism in Honor of Valentine’s Day

Generation to generation, story tellers have passed on myths and legends regarding Rose symbolism. Since roses are showing up every where, I went and dug up some rose symbolism and history to share. There a bit of this and a bit of that, but for the up-coming Valentine’s Day, it makes for a few conversation starters, if nothing else.


Rose Prose

Roman Rose Symbolism

The rose has been called the flower of love due to its link to the Roman goddess Aphrodite. Aphrodite was the Roman goddess Venus. Romans believed that roses symbolize love, beauty, purity and passion. The Romans were known to use rose petals in their bath water. They also decorated their homes with petals and strew them across the floor at banquets.

Roman legend says that suitors passionately in love pursued a beautiful maiden. She took refuge in the temple of the goddess Diana (the Greek god Venus) who became jealous. When the suitors broke down the temple gates to get near their beloved maiden, Diana turned the maiden into a rose and her suitors into thorns.

Cleopatra was probably the most famous symbol of beauty. It is said that she bathed in ass’s milk to keep her skin youthful.  The cedar wood ship on which she sailed to meet Marc Antony had rose-scented sails. She welcomed him into a bedroom carpeted several inches deep in rose petals!

Today, roses are used in culinary creations and crafts. Rose essential oil is used in perfumes. The rose is still an essential element in perfumes such as Chanel #5, Arpege, Joy, White Linen, Beautiful, Lauren and Opium.

Rose petals can be used to make elixirs, tinctures and vinegar’s.

Many people swear that rosewater positively alters their mood. It would seem it has the ability to muster an emotional strength from within.

The Complete Book of Roses provides a general history and guide through the complex evolution of roses.

Relish Rosebuds with Rose Petal Tea

1/2 cup black teaUnopen Rose for Rose Symbolism
2 tablespoons organic rosebuds
2 tablespoons hibiscus
2 tablespoons seedless rose hips
1 tablespoon cloves

Place tea in food safe container. Mix in all ingredients and store in
airtight container.

To Brew: Place one teaspoon tea in muslin bag or tea infuser. Fill cup
with one cup boiling water, cover, brew 3 minutes. Remove tea and
serve sweetened with sugar or honey and lemon, if desired.

Aromatherapy effect: roses give feeling of well being and happiness.

See also: Edible Flowers

Runny Nose? Try Elderflower Tea

Runny Nose? Try Elderflower Tea

Oh how annoying a runny nose can be! Or is “sniffles” a better word? Well, by either title, it’s a nuisance. Anytime you have a runny nose, think about drinking elderflower tea.  Elderflower makes a rich, full-tasting, caffeine-free herbal tea.

If you drink this tea throughout allergy season, it will help to reduce itchy eyes and a runny nose. Elderberry eases respiratory symptoms from excess mucous, cough, throat strain or discomfort to muscle strain.

Elderflower has long been enjoyed in Europe. The U.S. is slowly starting to catch up.

Homemade Elderflower Tea Recipe for that runny nose:

3 cups water
3 tablespoons dried elder flowers

Let steep for two hours. Strain out the flowers, re-heat and drink 3 cups a day.

More About the Elder Berry

Elder Berry has been used in European folk medicine since antiquity for a host of maladies, ranging from joint discomfort and constipation to respiratory problems.

Elder berries are high in anthocyanidins, powerful purple pigment compounds that act as potent antioxidants, and includes vitamin C.

The berries anthocyanidins help ease the joints by its antioxidant activity. It also detoxifies tissues and promotes better digestion.

Elderberry flowering
Elderberry Plant Flowering

Stock up on elderflower tea for the coming winter and beat that runny nose and those sniffles!

Household Uses for Tea Leaves

Household Uses for Those Humble Tea Leaves

Many things we dispose of every day can have other uses – such as old tea leaves. Following are traditional tips for using old tea leaves in every day household chores. These tips have lasted for generations…

Tea Leaves

  • As a deodorizer. Used tea leaves make good odor-removers for refrigerators and wardrobes. First dry the leaves thoroughly and then wrap them in a gauze bag. The leaves can be dry-roasted in a fry pan to revive their deodorizing function, but be careful not to burn them. If you wrap the leaves in a decorative cloth, you will have an attractive display item.
  • As a fertilizer. Squeeze out all the water from old tea leaves and bury them in the soil next to the roots of plants and bushes. They are great for indoor plants, too. After some time you will notice the leaves looking brighter.
  • For a finger bowl. After handling fish, you can clean your hands by rubbing them with used tea leaves to remove fishy smells. In the same way, after eating crab or prawns, rinse your hands in a bowl of tea. Tea leaves will also remove grease from your hands after handling meat.
  • For diaper rash and bedsores. After the first serving, pour more hot water on the tea leaves and then pour this into another container to let it cool to the baby’s body temperature. Dip a piece of soft gauze in the tea, squeeze it lightly, and wipe the affected areas. This method is also effective against bedsores.
  • For treating cuts. Chew the used tea leaves a little to soften them, and then apply to minor cuts such as those sustained working in the kitchen. This will stop the bleeding, and the tannin acts as a disinfectant.
  • For morning sickness. For many pregnant women, nibbling on steeped leaves, especially those with a high content of vitamin C, such as quality sencha, can relieve morning sickness.
  • As bath salts. Used tea leaves wrapped in gauze and placed in the bath emit a rich aroma that will help soothe your body and mind. Tea leaves are also said to improve the complexion, but please be aware that tea will stain towels.
  • For athlete’s foot and hemorrhoids. Apply soft tea leaves to those parts of your feet affected with athlete’s food, or apply a gauze soaked in strong bancha tea leaves, changing it several times a day. If the infection is still at an early stage, this is an effective remedy because of the antiseptic quality of tannin. Inflammation between the fingers, caused when the hands are immersed in water for a long time, seems to heal quickly if the fingers are soaked in bancha for about 10 minutes and then dried gently. In mild cases of hemorrhoids, washing with lukewarm bancha is said to relief from itchiness.
  • For producing dyes. Just as you can produce dyes from herbs, you can make a pale-green dye by adding powdered green tea to water and boiling it to reduce the liquid.
  • For stuffing pillows. Pillows stuffed with used tea leaves that have been thoroughly dried in the sun are said to prevent hot flushes and improve blood circulation.
  • As first aid after a tooth extraction. Tannin has an antiseptic effect, so rinsing your mouth with strong bancha will help to stop the bleeding after a tooth has been extracted.

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Black Tea: Fun and Practical Uses

Black Tea Leaves
Black Tea Leaves

Black Tea: Fun and Practical Uses

Black tea – it’s not just for drinking! Here are a few fun and practical uses for black tea:

  • Deodorize your feet: Boil three or four black tea bags in one quart of water for ten minutes. Add enough cold water to make a comfortable soak. Soak your feet 20 to 30 minutes, then dry and apply food powder. Do this twice a day until odor is under control. Then continue twice a week.
  • Tenderize meat: Add equal parts of strong brewed black tea and double-strength beef stock to a tough pot roast or stew. The tannin in tea is a natural meat tenderizer.
  • Highlight brown or red hair: Rinse red or brown hair with brewed black tea for golden highlights.
  • Polish black lacquer: Wash pieces of black lacquer with strong brewed black tea, then wipe dry with a soft cloth.
  • Invigorate houseplants: Water ferns and other houseplants once a week with a weak, tepid brewed black tea.
  • Relieve sunburn pain: Pat your sunburn with cool wet tea bags.
  • Soothe tired eyes: Place tea bags soaked in cool water over your eyes for at least 15 minutes.
  • Fix a broken fingernail: Cut a piece of gauze paper from a tea bag to fit the nail, coat with a clear nail polish and press gently against the break. Then cover with colored nail polish.
  • Dye graying white fabrics: If bleach will not whiten a graying white garment, soak the item in hot, strong brewed tea until it is a shade darker than you desire. Then rinse in cold water and let dry.
  • Accelerate the germination of grass seeds: Mix two tablespoons of cold, strong brewed tea into each pound of seed, cover and place in the refrigerator for five days. Before sowing, spread the seed to dry for a day or two on newspapers on the garage or basement floor.
  • Deodorize stuffy rooms: Mix one quart brewed tea and four tablespoons lemon juice, strain through a coffee filter and store in empty spray bottles.

And of course, drinking black tea can be fun and very practical! Try the following recipe. it’s great year-round, but especially great for the up-coming fall season.

Honey Apple Black Tea Recipe

4 bags of black tea
3 cups boiling water
1/3 cup honey
3 cups unsweetened apple juice
Lemon slices

Place the tea bags in a heat-safe pitcher or teapot. Pour the boiling water over the bags and steep about 15 minutes. Pour into 2-quart serving pitcher. Discard bags, add honey and apple juice and stir well. Serve over ice, garnished with lemon slices. Recipe makes 6 to 8 servings.

Avoid the Growth of Bacteria

Making tea with the rays of the sun is unhealthy. This method can cause the growth of bacteria called Alcaligenes viscolactis. The Center for Disease Control and prevention discourages the practice.

The bacterium is in the water. While the caffeine in black tea will help prevent its growth for a few hours, the effect will not last all day. Rather than brewing tea in the sun, the DCD and the National Tea Association recommend you use water heated to at least 190-degrees.

If you cannot boil water, you may steep the tea in the refrigerator overnight where the cold temperatures will prohibit bacteria growth. For the same reasons, make only as much tea as you will drink in a day and store brewed tea in the refrigerator. If the tea develops a thick or syrupy appearance, discard it.