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  • Making Rose Water – Enjoying the Benefits

    Making Rose Water – Enjoying the Benefits

    By Laura D. Field of Potpourri of Health – June 14th, 2018

    Making Rose Water – Photo by Laura D. Field

    It is that time of year again, when the roses are in full bloom, enriching the landscape of our yard. My favorite roses, that were given to me by my husband a few years back on our anniversary, were that of three Knock Out Red Rose bushes. Although I have other wild roses in our gardens, these are my favorite, as they provide the most beautiful, large red flowers that I truly adore.

    The one thing that I do to keep these gorgeous flowers returning every spring and flowering through the fall season, is I prune the roses as they get to where they are fully open, or just about to. Always before a rain storm that could damage them as well.

    In addition, I cut they back each year, with one year having to cut it completely down to the root due to something that destroyed them (or so I thought). My husband couldn’t believe that I cut them back so far, worried that they would not return. Honestly, I had no idea what would happen, yet cutting it back, brought health back to their roots. Of course, I added diatomaceous earth to the soil once I cut it back. I think that helped them greatly, while keeping many bugs at bay.

    Making Rose Water – Photo by Laura D. Field

    Two of the things that I do with rose petals is that of making potpourri of just rose petals, sometimes other flowers, but my most favorite is that of using them to make rose water.

    Rose water is amazing!! My youngest daughter once asked me what she could do for her face, because for some reason her young adult years, she was getting acne again. Such fun!! Just when we think we are over the trauma of pimples showing up unannounced, they arrive again in our adult years.

    So, in order to help her, I suggested that she try rose water. My girls have acclimated to my unusual ideas, or more in line of what would normally be suggested from the over priced, chemically based products on the market.

    Knock-Out-Roses are not as fragrant as other roses, but they are just as beautiful while still providing lovely skin and health benefits. The more fragrant the rose, the more senses are awakened, providing you more therapeutic benefits.

    Rose water has many benefits that consumers are not aware of:

    • Due to its anti-inflammtory properties, it can help reduce facial/skin redness due to irritated skin, dermatitis and eczema.
    • In addition, it helps to get rid of acne. SCORE!!
    • In speaking with my daughter the other day, she said her face has never felt softer. She is now sold on a very natural remedy that can be purchased over-the-counter, as well as easily made at home (recipe to follow 🙂 )
    • It is a wonderful skin cleanser, removing dirt and oils that accumulate on our faces throughout the day.
    • After a day in the sun, working in the garden, after a hike in the woods, after a day at the beach, or basically every day, simply applying it to your face can be refreshing as well as aid in softness and a healthier skin tone while hydrating your skin.
    • It has anti-bacterial benefits which help in healing scars, cuts and wounds. Even after you decide you “must” eradicate that irritating, unsightly pimple, be sure to add some rose water with a cotton ball.
    • With its antioxidant benefits it will regenerate and strengthen healthy skin.
    • It is also known to help with wrinkle prevention, as a result of the above mentioned benefits.
    • Puffy eyes? Since I keep my rose water in the refrigerator, it is a fast solution: soak cotton balls in the rose water and place over your “closed” eyes, and chill-out for a spell. It is okay to tell the world to stop for a few moments for you to enjoy this pampering effect.
    • Lets talk about our hair: Rose water has proven to me in providing a very soft conditioner effect, leaving my hair soft and manageable vs. dry.
    • In addition the softness, I have noticed that my natural red highlights are enhanced. My husband often times exclaims, which i am using this as my conditioner, how amazing my hair looks.
    • Unlike commercial hair conditioners, it does not leave a heavy, greasy residue. That alone, is worth it to me.
    • One other benefit: You can consume rose water!! YES, it contains vitamins A, C, E, and B, and is said to be beneficial to aid in depression as well as sore throats.
    Making Rose Water – Photo by Laura D. Field

    Now one thing I do NOT do with my rose water is add glycerine. Some sites will share adding it to your rose water skin treatments. This is something I do not do, as glycerine is something that I am allergic to. It is the source of skin issues. Basically, it can irritate my skin and if i have any open areas, glycerine will cause redness and burning. So, I avoid it in all my personal skin care products.

    For facial moisturizer, I add a little rose water to my coconut and argon oil mix. Not a lot, just enough for a few days applications.

    For after outdoor weather activities, after work stress relief, spritz some cool rose water on your face. Or, if you freeze in ice cube trays, take one out to rub over your face.
    NOTE: I rarely wear make-up, so this is easy for me. I don’t have to worry about removing any make-up. But still a great refresher after you do remove it.

    For a cleanser, I use it straight after washing my face gently with a washcloth dampened in warm water. Since I keep it in the refrigerator, the coolness closes the pores nicely and without any burn. Some add lemon juice, and that irritates my skin, so I also avoid that in skin care.

    Making Rose Water – Photo by Laura D. Field

    For a moisturizer after shaving, rough elbows, after being in the sun or after a relaxing bath, rose water mixed with almond oil can be a nice soothing remedy for any potential risk for dry skin or an improvement without chemicals.

    For a bath: Since I contend with chronic pain, I add 1/2-1 cup of rose water to 1-2 cups of epsom salts. Of course, I do not have an endless supply of rose water, but during the months when I harvest my roses, I take advantage of this benefit.

    For a tea or drink: Since it has vitamins, I do drink what I make, as I know that there are no chemicals added. But, I can add it to a smoothie, drink it straight from the refrigerator, or warm it up to make a tea. For tea, I use a cup of the rose water, add a fresh stevia leaf, and sometimes a sprig of thyme and let it steep for 20 minutes. Simply delightful!!

    Tea made in the sun: Take a handful of rose petals and put in a jar filled with distilled water for two days in the sun. An enjoyable, healthy and naturally made tea.

    Okay, how do I make this amazing rose water? It really is the most simplest recipe.

    1. Basically, pull all your roses that are ready to be pruned off your bush, and prior to them fading away. You want LIFE in your rose!!
    2. Place in a sauce pain appropriate for the number of rose petals. I tend to use my largest one with a handle
    3. Cover the rose petals with distilled water.
    4. Then bring to a boil and stir until all the color has left the petals. Depending on your heat level, it will take 10-20 minutes, where I find that 10 minutes works for me.
    5. Now it is time to strain out the spent petals, and pour into a mason jar or heat resistant glass container of choice.
    Making Rose Water – Photo by Laura D. Field
    Making Rose Water – Photo by Laura D. Field

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Making Rose Water – Photo by Laura D. Field

     

     

    That’s it!! Pretty easy, don’t you think?

    I hope you find this to be resourceful while enjoying your roses completely. Not only for visual therapy, but also for how it responds to you and your needs.

    NOTE: You can use any roses. I will be pulling my white roses later today, to make another batch. I will freeze these in an ice cube tray, to take out to toss in a bath, if someone gets a sunburn, or simply to melt to use in my tea or smoothie later in the year.

    NOTE: Homemade rose water has a life span. It will not last a year, which is why I will freeze as ice cubes. It will last up to 2 weeks in your refrigerator, sometimes more, but it is always best to err on the side of caution, since many health issues arise due to mold. Similar to veggies that are going bad after a being in the fridge too long, toss out any unused rose water after 2 weeks into your compost or pour down the drain.

     

     

    QUESTION one might ask: What about store bought rose water? These are often made with alcohol and glycerin, which allows them to last longer. I don’t appreciate these ingredients on my skin, which is why I prefer to make my own. A brand that you trust, that is made with quality resources, I think are fine. It is a personal choice.

    QUESTION one might ask: Can you use store bought roses? Personally, I don’t see a problem with it, if you are not consuming them. I am never sure how roses are grown that are sold on the retail market, but the aroma would certainly add to the therapeutic effects of your relaxing bath or hair rinse. This again, has to be a personal choice.

    Enjoy YOU and the beauty that surrounds you.

    love,

    Laura – Blogger and paid Freelance writer

    Potpourri of Health www.potpourriofhealth.com
    Freelance writer at www.reflectivetapestryoflife.com
    Seamstress consultant at www.davinadawnsewing.com

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  • Fruit and Produce Selection & The PLU Meaning

    Fruit and Produce Selection & The PLU Meaning

    Laura D. Field of Potpourri of Health – Feb 22th, 2017

    When attempting to eat healthy, with all that we know and have heard about pesticides and GMO’s, it can still be daunting in trying to decipher what is the best choice when selecting our produce. What also complicates matters is when our food budgets are not flexible enough for us to go all organic.

    There is nothing wrong with going all organic, in reality it is the best option, yet not always economical for many household budgets. This does not mean that you will not be able to enhance your health by choosing other healthy produce.

    While shopping, do not ignore the organic section, as I have often found that some items are less costly in comparison and sometimes with the most satisfying flavors.

    When possible stay away from the bagged salad produce, unless you find this is your best option and something you enjoy. I have personally found them to be less appealing for quality and flavor. Kale in a sealed bag tends to be the ends, which the one time I did purchased it, I fed most of it to the compost because there were very few kale leaves. If you “must” buy a salad in a bag, make sure you purchase the bags with the least expansion, as the expansion is the result of the gasses released as the produce begins to break down. Go for the flatter bags, found in the back of the refrigeration with the latest “use by date” and use immediately. I personally do not find that I enjoy the flavor of these bagged salads, despite the various vegetables they might include, yet I can appreciate the ease in making a quick salad after a long day at work or on the road.

    A guideline of the PLU can be quite helpful. For many, one can make a cheat sheet on their phones or on a piece of paper to carry in their wallets, simply as a reference point.

    The Basics of the current PLU codes are:

    1. The 4 digits simply mean that the produce was grown conventionally with the use of pesticides. The four digits represent what type of produce you are purchasing, so that when it scans, it will read that you purchased a banana, an avocado, an apple, etc.
    2. But then there are the codes with 5 digits, which will clearly identify whether the fruit or vegetable was genetically modified or grown organically.
      1. The 4-digit number proceeded by a “8” is the code that identifies it as being genetically modified, being unnaturally tampered.
      2. The 4-digit number proceeded by a “9” is a product grown organically with no modification.

    As much as we would all love to eat organically, it is not always possible. The best option, when selecting produce not found in the organic bins, would be to try and select the “Clean 15” in combination to others in the organic area and be sure to wash ALL your fruit and veggies before cooking and consuming, even the organic.

    The Top “Clean 15”

    1. Avocado’s
    2. Sweet Corn
    3. Pineapple
    4. Cabbage
    5. Frozen Sweet Peas
    6. Onions
    7. Asparagus
    8. Mango’s
    9. Papaya’s
    10. Kiwi
    11. Eggplant
    12. Honeydew Melon
    13. Grapefruit
    14. Cantaloupe
    15. Cauliflower

    As consumers looking for the healthiest of nutrition, I myself can find it hard to purchase organic at times. The key element in our health is shopping smart while only purchasing what you “need” for the duration before the produce will go bad. Depending on family size, everyone’s use of produce will be different. If at the end of the week you are composting any amount of produce, then you are purchasing too much for you needs. Cut back until you find that balance, or simply make two trips.

    Buy in bulk the items you can freeze when they are on sale. I purchase avocado’s and banana’s in bulk when they are on sale. The banana’s and avocado’s I puree for protein shakes and smoothies. Even items from the garden’s can be frozen for later use, but be sure to freeze before they start to go bad (preferably fresh) and use soon upon defrosting for best flavor.

    The produce that is marked down, are great options if you plan on using the food within 24-48 hours (in some cases, maybe more). I tend to look in this area if I am looking to choose something for that day or plan on baking with the item. Banana’s “starting” to turn are perfect for banana bread and sometimes I enjoy them cut into bit sized pieces with added fruit and homemade yogurt. Fresh beans, if they are still firm, are great to steam for dinner. Apples that are still firm, but with a bruise or two, can easily have the bruise portion removed before enjoying.

    When purchasing berries, turn the container over. Strawberries are my most challenging to select. They notoriously have soft and often times in the winter have molding berries, that you can’t always see on the top of the container, but if you turn it over, you will see this more clearly. This is understandable though. Even when I go pick fresh strawberries at the farm, I have to immediately work at preparing them for consumption (refrigerating enough for a few days to enjoy), make jams, or freeze for future use, otherwise they start to get soggy.

    Although expensive in our area, fresh picked fruit and veggies found at the farms, are the most flavorful. I really enjoy finding farm stands when my husband and I take one day trips from home in the summer. Sometimes I find some new vegetables I cannot find at home and often times less costly to the farms we have locally. Many towns also have winter Farmer Markets in addition to their summer markets. This is a great option for fresh food while supporting the local economy.

    Home gardening will be time consuming, and at a cost, but is the most rewarding with great flavors. Hopefully the woodchuck who visited daily last year has found a new home, as I have hopes that our flowers, herbs and veggies will not be wasted on the one bite this pest took from each and every plant it visited.

    Enjoy healthy eating 🙂 while making the choice to be healthy,

    Laura – Blogger and paid Freelance writer

    • Potpourri of Health www.potpourriofhealth.com
    • Freelance writer at www.reflectivetapestryoflife.com
    • Seamstress consultant at www.davinadawnsewing.com

    REFERENCES:

    EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. (2016). Retrieved February 21, 2017, from https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/clean_fifteen_list.php

    What Grocery Stores Don’t Tell You about the Stickers on Fruit and Veggies. (2016, September 07). Retrieved February 21, 2017, from http://tiphero.com/produce-stickers/