All the roses are in bloom now, from tiny tormentil to the full-blown hybrids in your garden.
The rose family is a large one with many branches, and many different healing virtues. But they all share one quality, which is something you might not expect. It’s astringency; they are all rich in tannins, which give a protective and healing character, especially for digestive problems.
The strongest of all is tormentil root, which can calm down an inflamed bowel and so stop diarrhoea. Next might be agrimony, useful for treating gastritis, and gentle enough to be suitable for children.
Hawthorn is another member of the family Rosaceae, and it was also traditionally used for digestive problems, although nowadays we value it chiefly for its cardioactive glycosides, which can help the heart to work more efficiently and improve the health of blood vessels
We use the rose itself, of course, to heal the heart in other ways. In the language of flowers, the rose stands for unconditional love, and the essential oil can be used in massage to bring balm to a broken heart. Medicinally, it’s only the wild rose and some of the old-fashioned varieties that are of use, because the chief value of roses is in their amazing perfume.