I’ve had a few people ask me for the recipe to the Rose Elixir that I posted about a few weeks ago. It is so lovely, and the one that I made has multiple plants in it that historically have been known to be supportive in times of depression, sadness, and grief – especially for women. No matter what the coming months throw our way, I feel reassurance knowing this sits in my pantry at the ready.
What is an Elixir?
An herbal elixir can be a single herb or variety of herbs extracted in an alcohol or apple cider vinegar solution, then sweetened and used for medicinal or health-enhancing purposes.
“Hearth medicine” essentially means home medicine. I feel strongly that healing herbs belong to everyone and should be shared and accessible to all and in every home. Does this mean we should discount higher care and modern medical advances? Absolutely not. It just means that there is much we can do – and will likely find joy in doing – particularly from a preventative perspective, to care for ourselves and our family in terms of physical and emotional well-being that comes with connecting to the healing beauty and medicinal properties of plants. At some point the art of hearth medicine got lost in the translation of modern living, disrupted communities, complicated health and eating strategies, supplements, and specialists. But it can be reclaimed. To learn everyday herbal remedies for your own kitchen is a way to return some of the knowledge lost along the way.
Hearth medicine includes the recipes our grandmothers knew by heart (and learned from their own grandmothers), both how to make and how to use, and often how to find them in their local woods or meadows or creeks. In today’s world, an elixir might seem to describe a luxury “self-care” item that is only found at a spa or boutique. While there are methods of preparation and variations that only those trained in herbalism will know how to create (and should be compensated fairly for), recipes like this basic rose elixir can easily be created by anyone in any kitchen.
Katia’s Simple Rose Elixir
I first learned about this elixir from a teacher of mine named Katia LeMone. She is an midwife and herbalist who has been supporting women and children in multiple countries for decades. Here her basic recipe:
Step one: Fill a small 8 oz mason jar 1/3 of the way with dried rose petals. (My personal variation on this recipe is to add some dried Hawthorn berries, which add their own heart supportive properties. A dried cinnamon stick also makes a lovely anti-inflammatory and delicious addition, and this formula combo is something I picked up from another herbalism teacher of mine, Ginger Webb.) Note: Take care with where you source your ingredients. You don’t want to use grocery store roses that may have been sprayed with things you don’t want in your body.
Step 2: Cover the dried petals and berries with raw unpasteurized honey, which offers additional medicinal benefits.
Step 3: Two options for the menstrum (aka, the liquid solvent used to extract plant constituents from an herb) are to either fill the jar with your favorite brandy the rest of the way, OR add an herbal tincture already made with brandy and herbs of your choice (I happened to already have a tincture of rose, hawthorn, cinnamon with brandy already in my cabinet that I added to mine).*
Step 4: Shake the jar daily for two weeks or so. You will have some of the goodness extracted after two weeks, but if you can leave it soaking for 6 weeks, you’ll get even more. Strain and squeeze out all of the medicine from the dried herbs. Bottle and take a a drop or dropperful as needed. This is such a delicious blend and always feels like a supportive arm around the shoulder when times feel dark.
*If you happen to need a recipe that is alcohol free, you could also just make this into an infused medicinal honey by leaving out the brandy and straining + adding it to tea (or just eat it off the spoon!).
Rose is a beauty that has long been associated with love and matters of the heart. Rose petals are known as mildly sedative, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, cooling to fevers and anti-parasitic. Rose was long considered helpful for calming nerves and relieving stress. It is helpful for diarrhea and also coughs. Additionally it can act as a digestive support. (1)
Cinnamon is useful as a digestion aide. It has antibacterial, antifungal, properties. It’s an antioxidant and a blood sugar stabilizer, as well as an anti-inflammatory that is a gastro tonic and digestion strengthener. (1) Impressive as cinnamon’s many benefits are, the delicious taste is the only reason I’m using it in this formula.
The Hawthorn berries are mucilaginous (moistening), nutritious, and restorative to the heart. It’s also an anti-inflammatory to the blood vessels. (1) It’s useful in reducing anxiety, for indigestion and diarrhea. (2).
Let me know if you try this elixir at home and how you like it!
1)Tilgner, Dr. Sharol Marie, Herbal ABC’s The Foundation of Herbal Medicine.
This post is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for informational purposes only.
If you’d like support creating your own rituals, yardsteading and nature connection practices, check out The Handmade Life! There I offer nature-based coaching sessions, share herbal traditions, handcrafted goods, DIY workshops and herbal consultations.