Our many garden roses are occasionally used in medicine, though more as a grateful flavor than as a remedy. ROSA CENTIFOLIA, or hundred-leaved rose, is the most fragrant; and its petals are employed in preparing rose water by distilling two gallons of water from eight pounds of the fresh, or ten pounds of the dried petals. The dried flowers, when designed for this use, are usually preserved with one-third their weight of common salt; and these are said to yield a better-flavored and longer-keeping water than even the fresh petals. More commonly, however, rose water is prepared by adding twenty drops of oil of roses to a drachm of carbonate of magnesia, triturating with eight ounces of water, then agitating with enough water to make two gallons, and filtering. This water is often used as an addendum to mild sirups, and some external washes designed for diseases of the scalp, or irritable diseases of the skin. Sirup of roses is prepared by macerating seven ounces of petals in three pints of water for twelve hours, heating gently, straining, evaporating to two pints, adding three pounds of white sugar, and finally five ounces of diluted alcohol. It has little of the odor of roses, but is a very gentle laxative, sometimes used for children, but principally employed for making confection of senna and of scammony. For confection or conserve of roses, pulverize four ounces of red petals, and rub them with eight fluid ounces of rose water at a temperature not above 150 deg. F.; gradually add thirty ounces of pulverized sugar and six ounces of clarified honey, and beat till thoroughly mixed, using a marble mortar. It is used only as a vehicle for other medicines.
ROSA GALLICA, the red or French rose, is somewhat astringent; and its sirup or confection is employed when unpleasant or powerful astringents are to be given in powder.
ROSA CANINA, a plant found only in Europe, is without thorns on its peduncles, and is called dog rose, wild brier, or hiptree. "The fruit is fleshy, smooth, oval, red, and of a pleasant sweet, acidulous taste. The pulp, separated from the seeds and the silky bristles, is employed in Europe for the preparation of a confection." (U. S. D.)
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com