Thursday, 14 June 2007

Mrs C. F. Leyel and roses


No mortal ever knows
How to surrender to a rose;
But simply say 'Suppose
This flower should teach me how to die,
Where would I find eternity?


Botanical names: Rosa gallica, Rosa centifolia, Rosa damascena. Natural order: Rosaceae. English names: French rose, cabbage rose, damask rose. French names: Rosier de France, Rose a cent feuilles, Rose de damals. German names: Gallische rose, Zentifolien Rose, Damaszener Rose. Italian names: Rosa Domestico, Rose centofoglie, Rose di Damesco. Turkish names: Kirmizi frenk Gutee, Van qu tu, Mur Gutee. Parts used: petals, leaves hips. Natural habitat: Persian gulf. Virtues: refrigerant, astringent. Consituents: A glucoside guercetrine and quercetin, red colouring matter, volatile oil, sugar, gum, fat.

The Rosa indica has anodyne properties and is also a wound healer among the chines; and in India the Rosa damascena is recommended, as it is in Europe, as a heart tonic.

Roses are so wholesome that they have always been used in food and drink.

Roses have been made into electuaries and juleps since the time of Arabian pharmacy, and in the days of the English country house still rooms, rose water, conserve of roses, and rose butter, were made reularly through the summer months; and rose petals were dried for the yearly pot-pourri and sweet jars, each family priding itself on its own recipe.

Roses are a simple and very safe tonic for the heart.
They increase the retentive faculty and have a soothing effect on the whole body.

the introduction to the rose in Mrs C.F. Leyel's Elixirs of Life, and some extracts.

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