Edible and Medicinal Plants: Rose Body Butter Recipe

Wild Rose (Rosa spp.)

Prickly Rose (R. acicularis)
Prickly Rose (R. acicularis) | Source

The Wild Rose (Rosa spp.)

Roses are a very aromatic plant that come in many varieties. This article will be talking about Wild Roses. It is a bushy shrub with green pinnate leaves. The leaflets are 5 to 7 oblong and toothed. The branches are covered with small bristles. The hips vary in size but often are about marble-sized and range in color from orange to red. The flowers have 5 petals and can range in color from white, light pink, to deep rose pink.

Wild roses are found in forested regions, along roadsides, and in open slopes. They range from the plains to subalpine zones. There are three main types of wild roses. The Prickly rose (R. acicularis), found from Alaska to New Mexico; the Prairie Rose (R. woodsii), found from southern Yukon and NWT to Colorado and Utah; and the Nootka Rose (R. nutkana), found from southern BC to Colorado and Utah.

Edible and Medicinal Uses of the Wild Rose

Many parts of the Wild Rose can be used:

  • Leaves
  • Flowering tops
  • Hips
  • Roots
  • Bark and stems

Nearly every part of wild roses can be used both for medicine and food. The petals can be added to salads or even eaten raw. They can also be dried and used to make infused oil to make salves, lotions, body butters, chap sticks, and other body care products.


The inner threads and seed of the Wild Rose have been known to cause irritation to the digestion tract and stomach. All members of the rose family have cyanide-like compound in their seeds that are destroyed by either drying or cooking. Not recommended to eat raw.

Rose Hip

Wild Rosehip
Wild Rosehip | Source

The hips are rich in many vitamins, including A, B, E, K, and C. Three rose hips can contains as much Vitamin C as an orange. The level of vitamins can vary, though. Rose hips are a good alternative to Vitamin C for people who are sensitive or allergic to oranges and other citrus food.

The rose hips stay on the shrub throughout winter, so that makes them a good food source to collect when all the other plants have died off for the winter. The best time to harvest rose hips is after the first heavy frost. It makes the hips softer, but it sweetens the taste.

The hips are easily dehydrated and can be made into teas, jelly, jam, syrup, and even wine.

When dehydrating rose hips for use you can either dry them whole, which is good for re-hydrating to use for jams, jellies, and syrup. Wash the hips and cut the top off then place in your dehydrator or on a cookie sheet in the sun. Or you can cut them in half then dry them. After they have dried, take a toothpick to clean the seeds and threads out of the hip. This is a tedious job, and it is recommended to do it outside because cleaning up the seeds and threads can be very difficult.

Dried Rose Petals

dehydrated Rose Petals
dehydrated Rose Petals | Source

A tea made with the bark and stem is often used to relieve stomach issues and diarrhea. You can add some of the dried flowers to this, as well, to improve the flavor a little. A tea from the bark was also used to relieve labor pains.

The root can be made into a decoction and used to treat swelling, mouth sores, tonsillitis, and sore throats.

The petals are made into infusions, teas, and vinegars to relieve heartburn, headaches, and mouth sores.

Roses are great for overall skin care, especially for aging skin and wrinkles. You can infuse the dried petals in witch-hazel for 6 weeks to make a very nice, aromatic skin cleanser that also helps reduce fine wrinkles.

Roses and rose hips were also used to ward off ghosts and bad spirits, and they were sometimes placed in grave yards to prevent the ghosts from howling and leaving. Often times it was hung over a cradle to protect infants—or hung around the house to ward off bad energy and unwanted spirits. The rose hips were also used to make a love necklace. The hips were strung onto string and left to dry; then they were worn to attract love to a person.

This plant for the most part is considered to be safe, but before using internally it is still recommended to check with your doctor to make sure there are no bad interactions with medicines or treatments.

Rose Body Butter

Rose Body Butter
Rose Body Butter | Source

Rose Body Butter Recipe


Makes about 100 ml of body butter


  • ¼ cup Infused Rose Oil
  • 7 tsp Shea butter
  • 4 tsp grated or pellet beeswax
  • 10-20 drops of Rose Absolute oil (not essential oil)
  • 1 Vitamin E capsule 400 IU
  • 1 small jar


  1. Melt beeswax, infused oil, and Shea butter in double boiler on medium-low heat. The beeswax will be the last to melt. To keep from overheating the Shea butter, remove from heat and stir until the beeswax finishes melting. This will prevent the Shea butter from becoming "grainy."
  2. Pour into mixing bowl and set in the freezer for 3-5 minutes until it is just set. Do not freeze.
  3. Mix for 5-10 minutes. Place back in the freezer for 3-5 minutes. Resume mixing. Add the Vitamin E capsule. Pop a hole in the capsule with a small pin and squeeze the contents into the mix. Discard the case. Add your Rose Absolute oil and continue mixing until soft peaks form.
  4. Put into sterilized jar, and place in the fridge until fully set (usually 1-2 hours). After it has set it no longer needs to be in the fridge.
  5. Label your jar and date it. Your body butter should be good for 6 months.


Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Rocky Mountains and Neighbouring Territories, Terry Willard Ph.D., Wild Rose College of Natural Healing, ISBN: 0-9691727-2-9

Edible & Medicinal Plants of the Rockies, Linda Kershaw, Lone Pine Publishing, ISBN: 1-55105-229-6

Wild Roses

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© 2016 Twyla DiGangi

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    Twyla DiGangi (TwylaDiGangi)0 Followers
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    Twyla is a Certified Herbalist and a hedge witch. She received her herbal certificates from Susun Weeds ABC of Herbalism and Heart of Herbs.

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