Updated: Feb 25
In mid-spring, the deep green forest edges are painted with the tiny white and light pink blooms of the rosa multiflora, or as I like to call her, wild rose.
Roses have long been symbols of love, beauty, and romance. Her intoxicating aroma and velvety smooth petals have inspired art, poetry, and healers for thousands of years.
This wild variety of roses, unlike the cultivated stems found at a floral shop, is where the true healing and magic of rose shines through. And since she is an "invasive" plant, you may already have her growing near where you live, waiting for you to discover her wild medicine.
How to identify and where to find wild roses
Wild roses are bushy vines with thorny stems, and in the mid spring the fragrant 5-petal roses will bloom in clusters of colors ranging from white to pale or dark pink.
Belonging to the bramble family along with wild raspberry and blackberries, wild rose bushes have similar shrubby and viney characteristics. I sometimes find myself mistaking blackberry blooms for wild roses as they can be found growing together in the shady edges of the forest, but the beautiful rose aroma is the surefire tell that you've found a wild rose. Wild roses can be found growing in a variety of places, both shaded or sunny, in wooded areas, along stream and river banks, and along country roadsides.
Wild Roses as Wild Medicine
Roses have the highest vibrational level of all plants, and her medicinal gifts are just as bountiful as her beauty. Working with wild rose, (or simply being in her presence) can help uplift your spirit, ease tension, and since she is also an aphrodisiac, inspire feelings of love and lust.
Her gorgeous heart-shaped petals are used to heal symptoms of the physical and emotional heart by easing feelings of grief, anxiety, and heartache. She can also be used as a cardiovascular tonic and can help with high blood pressure and promote healthy circulation.
Wild rose petals can be used externally to cool hot and inflamed skin conditions. Her astringent properties help to tighten and tone tissues, which can help heal rashes, cuts or burns, and also soothe redness and reduce puffiness.
The list goes on and on for what wild rose can provide for us medicinally, and she even gifts us with medicine in more ways than just her petals! In the fall and winter, rose hips can be harvested and used to boost immunity with their high levels of vitamin C.
My favorite ways to capture rose medicine is by crafting elixirs, herbal infused oils, and even a simple mix of rose petals in my herbal tea is incredibly healing and uplifting.
Wild roses are one of the top 3 plants that have completely captured my heart. As I harvest her petals in the spring, I can feel her spirit connect with mine, and I instantly feel calmer, uplifted, and head-over-heels in love with her.
Note: Before harvesting wild roses, or any other wild plant, make sure you are not harvesting from public lawns, busy roads, or other places that may be polluted or exposed to chemicals. And, it is imperative that you properly identify a plant before harvesting and using for food or medicine.