A rose is a flower to which it is virtually impossible to remain indifferent. Sophisticated petals combined with sharp spikes, a bewitching aroma, incredible color scheme turn this flower into a real queen among their own kind.
For the first time, a rose began to be cultivated in ancient Rome. It is curious that it was grown in special gardens intended exclusively for plants that had not decorative, but quite practical purposes: spices and medicinal herbs. In the IX century, the court healers of the Carolingian dynasty treated the rose exclusively as a medicinal flower.
At the end of the 18th century, tea roses became known. It was during this period that flowers were brought from Europe to Asia, the aroma of which resembled the smell of tea. The so-called tea roses quickly gained recognition due to its medicinal properties and amazing beauty.
The beneficial properties of both ordinary and tea roses are primarily due to the presence of a high concentration of essential oil in the flowers. Rose oil claims to be considered one of the most valuable in the world. It is widely used in perfumery and cosmetology. At the same time, rose oil made in Bulgaria is considered the highest quality. In this country there is the so-called Valley of Roses, where they grow a special oilseed variety of this amazing flower. An interesting fact: to get just one gram of rose oil, you need to process more than thirty kilograms of petals.
Rose essential oil has a mild sedative effect, while exacerbating cognitive abilities, relieves fatigue, and helps to concentrate. In addition, it improves the regenerative properties of the skin, helps relieve irritation and relieves inflammation.
If we talk about the use of roses in cooking, the first thing we recall is pink jam. Useful sweetness, which is known under the romantic name "women's revenge", not only has a great taste, but also has healing properties. Jam from the Queen of Flowers helps to cope with stomatitis, its use is indicated for angina. However, the use of roses in cooking is not limited to cooking: it is the raw material for the preparation of rose water, which is part of sorbet and other desserts, specially processed rose petals are used to give flavor to baked goods, to decorate cakes, to make a very unusual taste sweets and so on.
One of the most pressing questions that nutritionists often ask is the following: which roses are edible? The answer to this question is quite simple. Conventionally edible, that is, those that can be eaten without negative health consequences, are all varieties of flower. However, this does not mean that you can put flowers bought at a nearby store to prepare jam. Most roses, which are grown for decorative purposes, are treated with special chemicals that are designed to help them maintain their presentation. The use of these flowers for the preparation of desserts, preserves or for medical purposes is fraught with very unpleasant consequences. Therefore, when we talk about the varieties of roses that are used in medicine and cooking, we most often mean a tea rose.
Tea rose is a special kind, the beauty of which is able to impress even the most sophisticated gardeners in the heart. Its distinguishing feature is a very intense aroma and flowers of unusually large diameter, which may seem prohibitively large against the background of thin stems and graceful leaves. In Europe, the tea rose appeared relatively recently, although the history of human interaction with this plant goes back to the distant past.
A bit of history and geography
The "homeland" of the tea rose is China. This flower came to Europe only in the nineteenth century. He was brought from China by the ships of the East India Company, which they called "tea clippers", since their main purpose was to deliver tea to the Old World.
English gardeners, captivated by the beauty of the flower, began to actively cross tea rose with local species. Their goal was to obtain hybrids that could easily withstand the cold European climate and temperature extremes. As a result, many so-called "tea-hybrid" varieties were bred, which were also included in the "tea roses" class. At the same time, the plant, despite all the efforts of breeders, still remained unusually sensitive to heat, therefore it is rarely grown in open ground.
There are three versions as to why tea rose got its name. The first theory connects this with the fact that the seedlings of the flower were transported precisely on ships that delivered tea to Europe. The second version sees in the aroma of this plant a resemblance to the smell of freshly brewed tea of elite varieties. Finally, the third, most romantic, theory says that a half-opened flower resembles a Chinese tea bowl with its outlines.
Tea rose in Asia is found even in the wild - in the mixed forests of China, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar. There are four varieties of wild flowers, but they are all threatened with extinction.
Tea rose can be either stunted, from half a meter in height, or climbing, reaching more than two meters. The stems of the flower are very thin, but strong. The leaves of most varieties are oval, and also have a noble dark green hue.
Tea rose flowers may seem disproportionately huge against the background of its stems and leaves. The shape of the buds varies for different varieties: they can be either rounded or elongated, slightly pointed. Each tea rose flower has about sixty petals - which is why they are so incredibly lush.
The color scheme of tea roses is incredibly wide - the efforts of breeders affect. Nevertheless, a soft pink shade, in which peach and beige notes are present, is considered classic. When the flower is fully revealed, a yellow core is clearly visible in its center.
Species and varieties
It should be noted that modern varieties of tea roses are very different from their "ancestors." Due to the efforts made by the breeders, the flowers became a little more resistant to climatic conditions, from the branch they became thicker and tougher, and the leaves became larger and more leathery. The hue of the buds also varies - modern tea roses can be not only pink or yellow, but also white, red, and orange. However, most tea rose varieties have a distinctive pearl shade.
How intense the aroma of the flower also depends on the variety. For some, the smell is unusually strong, while other varieties boast a very light, almost elusive aroma.
As a rule, in cooking only the most odorous varieties of tea rose are used. Many of them were bred by a breeder from the UK, David Austin.
Alan Titchmarsh. This rose has very large, double flowers with pinkish-lilac petals. It has an incredibly long flowering. Also, the "chip" of this flower is a very sweet and rich aroma, in which there are light citrus notes. Experts say that the smell of this rose resembles the aroma of those ancient Chinese varieties that once arrived in Europe on tea clippers. Most often, this variety is used for the preparation of liquors and preserves.
Christopher Marlowe. This rose has pink-orange flowers, which are collected in lush inflorescences. It is noteworthy that they do not fade in the sun, retaining their brightness until the end. The aroma is very intense, reminiscent of the smell of tea with a citrus accent.
Abraham Darby. Rose Chameleon. Her flowers are very large, peach-apricot hue, have the property to turn pink if the air temperature drops. The buds have an intense fruity aroma with notes of strawberries.
Gertrude Jekyll. The flowers have rich pink petals with an incredibly strong odor. As a rule, this particular variety is used for making jam. They are also the raw material for the preparation of perfumes.
Gentle Germione. Flowers are distinguished by a delicate pink tint and extraordinary tenderness. They are actually transparent, but this fragility is deceiving - in fact, even rainfall cannot damage them. The aroma is very saturated, with a barely noticeable presence of myrrh.
Blue moon - incredibly large flowers of soft lilac color are distinguished by a silver tint. This variety is used to make liquor.
Chemical composition and calorie content
The energy value of tea rose petals is practically zero - it is only 5 kcal per 100 g of product. However, fragrant buds are a real storehouse of useful substances.
So, tea rose petals contain vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system and regulates the blood formula, vitamin K, normalizes the blood coagulation process and helps prevent osteoporosis, group B vitamins, which are responsible for energy metabolism in the body, which increase resistance to viruses and bacteria, and also supporting the digestive system.
If we talk about macro- and micronutrients, then in the petals of tea rose there is a big - and the best! - part of the periodic system of Mendeleev. They contain calcium, which is responsible for the condition of bone and dental tissue, potassium, which normalizes the activity of the heart muscle, copper, which helps to cope with depressive disorders and chronic fatigue syndrome, as well as iodine, which increases the elasticity of the blood vessels and normalizes the thyroid gland. The composition of rose petals also includes iron involved in the synthesis of hemoglobin, which has a vasodilating effect of magnesium, which also helps to cope with stress, and selenium, which is known for its antitumor properties and takes part in the synthesis of a number of enzymes and hormones.
In addition, the chemical composition of tea rose petals includes zinc, phosphorus, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium and silicon. Zinc helps to maintain healthy hair and nails, and in addition, it is necessary for the vitamins of group B to be properly absorbed in the body. Phosphorus increases cognitive abilities, participates in energy metabolism, and is responsible for the state of muscles. Manganese is involved in the synthesis of cholesterol, and is also a prophylactic against obesity of the liver and the development of diabetes. Vanadium normalizes blood counts and also helps lower bad cholesterol. Molybdenum is an effective tool for preventing the development of gout, as well as a participant in the synthesis of a number of vitamins and enzymes.
Also in the chemical composition of rose petals are citric and malic acids, tannins, resins and, of course, essential oil, which has an incredibly wide range of beneficial properties. It is able to stimulate the immune system, improve the condition of the endocrine glands. Also, essential oil normalizes the state of the gastrointestinal tract, eliminating the manifestations of dysbiosis.
It is also useful for nervous strain, because it helps to calm down and relax, prevents migraines and spasms of the vessels of the brain.
The unique chemical composition of tea rose petals gives them a wide range of beneficial properties. Here are just a few of them:
- Increasing the overall resistance of the body, its ability to withstand bacteria and viruses.
- Normalization of the gastrointestinal tract. Funds based on rose petals not only nullify inflammatory processes, but even have the property of promoting the healing of ulcers in the digestive tract. In addition, they help get rid of the lazy bowel syndrome and improve the liver. A slight choleretic effect is also noted.
- Help in the fight against insomnia, getting rid of nervous stress. A bath with rose petals has a relaxing effect, relieves muscle spasms. If you find yourself in a situation where you are forced to constantly exist in the regime of intellectual and emotional overload, periodically arrange yourself a “discharge”, breathing in the aroma of rose oil.
- Treatment of colds, relief of inflammatory processes in the respiratory tract and oral cavity. Jam from rose petals is recommended for tonsillitis, pharyngitis, periodontitis and stomatitis.
- Improving the condition of the skin and hair. Rose petals have bactericidal properties, helping to heal wounds and get rid of acne. In addition, when using preparations based on this plant material, the skin acquires velvety, becomes more tender, its tone improves. In case of allergies or mosquito bites, it is enough to apply fresh pink petals to the itchy places, after having slightly kneaded them in the fingers - burning and irritation will disappear.
- Normalization of the monthly cycle in women. Means of rose petals are useful for heavy and painful periods.
- Removing excess fluid from the body, which helps to "unload" the kidneys. In addition, in this way you can get rid of edema.
The healing properties are possessed not only by the pink petals themselves, but even their aroma. Breathing rose essential oil is indicated for angina pectoris and a tendency to heart disease. In this case, you can wear a ceramic medallion around your neck, in which several drops of rose oil are placed.
Inhaling rose oil also helps to relieve the symptoms of vegetative-vascular dystonia: dizziness, sudden bouts of weakness and nausea, panic attacks. To do this, you need to take slow and long breaths, “drawing” the healing etheric vapors as deep as possible.
We all know the "grandmother" recipe for cases of upper respiratory tract diseases - to breathe over a pan with potatoes cooked in their uniforms. However, few people know that with bronchitis and tracheitis, steam inhalations can also be done with pink petals.
With neuralgia, "rose water" helps - an infusion of rose petals. It is applied to the area of the skin where a person experiences pain. Also, compresses with "pink water" are useful for radiculitis and osteochondrosis.
In cooking, tea rose petals have also been in demand since ancient times. There are many ways to use them. Fresh petals are used to decorate cakes and desserts. In addition, they are dried, soaked, jam, honey, as well as liqueurs and tinctures are prepared from them.
Candied rose petals are especially popular. They can act as an independent dessert, as well as act as an exquisite decoration for other dishes.
Also, rose petals are added to black tea to give it a piquant aroma. In addition, in some countries, tea rose is used as a raw material for a standalone drink. It has a pleasant, refreshing taste, as well as a very specific tart aroma.
And finally, from childhood, we all know the jam from rose petals - an exquisite delicacy that can satisfy the most demanding taste. Jelly and marmalade are also prepared from tea rose buds, and cottage cheese and yogurt are scented with rose water.
Real culinary professionals know that using rose water and petals is not at all as easy as it might seem. It is enough just to go too far with the Queen of Flowers essential oil - and the dish will turn into something with a suffocating aroma reminiscent of perfumes with an expired shelf life.
Therefore, it is necessary to consider with what ingredients tea rose in different forms is combined:
- Rose water gives piquancy to dishes with a high content of chocolate, coffee and citrus zest. It also unexpectedly goes well with bitter spices, in particular with cloves. Achoblanco sweet pink rose soup is very popular in Spain, in which honey and ground almonds are added, and served with grapes and melon.
- Roses with almonds are another popular combination. So, in France, on the shelves of stores, the almond-pink syrup Orgeat is widely represented, which tastes like amaretto. Use it to make cocktails. And in Iran, almond plates soaked in pink water and rolled in sugar are one of the main holiday treats.
- The pulp of tribute in pink syrup is a popular treat in India. Before serving a treat, it is kept in the refrigerator for some time.
- The bitter aroma of coffee will partly muffle the sugary roses. Therefore, the invigorating drink in the East is often served cooked in rose water Turkish delight.
- A few drops of rose water can be added to apple desserts. Their taste will become more saturated, and the aroma will “sparkle” in a new way.
- Roses and cucumbers - a strange combination, which, however, is very popular in the UK. A cocktail is prepared there, in which sliced cucumbers and rose water are added. It is believed that this is a tribute to the tradition of the Victorian era, when sandwiches with plates of fresh cucumbers were served at picnics in the garden.
- A few drops of rose water added to the lemonade will allow this drink to “sparkle” with new colors.
- Chocolate sweets with pink fondant, chocolate ice cream in pink water sauce are another very winning combination.
- Cardamom, pistachios and rose water - a combination that will turn even an ordinary ice cream into a delicious dessert that can satisfy even the most picky gourmet.
How to collect tea rose
Tea rose is best collected independently. Do this at a time when the bud has not yet fully opened - in other words, the golden core should not be visible.
Collect petals only in dry weather. There should be no dew or raindrops on the petals. In this case, it is best to go "hunting" for a tea rose at dawn - at this time its aroma is the most saturated.
It is correct to collect the tea rose as follows: holding the flower, cut the stem to a distance of at least half a centimeter from the base of the bud.
How to dry and store
In the event that there is no need to use fresh tea rose buds, they are quickly dried so that they do not lose valuable essential oil.
The most convenient option is to disassemble the bud into petals, which then lay out on paper with a thin layer so that they do not touch each other. After that, the rose should be covered with another sheet of paper. It will completely dry in three to four days.
Immediately after the petals dry, they are placed in a jar and tightly corked. The duration of their storage should not exceed one year.
Cooking jam from roses
To make fragrant rose jam, you will need the following ingredients: 600 g of sugar, 300 g of fresh rose petals, and six glasses of water.
Sort and wash the petals. Dry them on a towel, then place in a bowl and sprinkle with two tablespoons of sugar.
Rub the petals thoroughly with your hands and drain the juice into another bowl.
Bring the water to a boil and pour the remaining sugar into it. Mix thoroughly and, without stopping stirring, boil for two minutes. After this, strain and cool.
Pour the petals with the prepared syrup. Bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce the heat to a minimum and boil for six minutes, stirring and removing the foam.
Add the juice of rose petals to the jam and boil for another quarter hour until the syrup thickens.
Making tea from tea rose petals
A drink made from tea rose petals may claim to be one of the most popular flower teas. At the same time, the raw materials can be used both independently and for flavoring ordinary black tea.
In the event that you need to "recharge", tired, cold and feel tired, make tea from rose petals. Very gentle sweet taste and bright aroma will help to relax.
Also, rose petal tea is an excellent antiviral agent, helps relieve stress, normalizes digestion.
To make tea from rose petals, pour two teaspoons of fresh or dry petals with boiled water. Please note that its temperature should be no more than eighty degrees. Five minutes later, the tea is ready to drink. Sugar is usually not put in it.