22 Dec 2008


Wishing my Christian readers a wonderful Christmas
and my Jewish readers a very happy Hanukkah.

Rosewater's history goes back thousands of years and was said to be a favorite of Cleopatra. Today, due to the high cost of rose essential oil many of us are again turning to rosewater.

Rosewater is obtained either as a hydrosol, a byproduct when distilling roses for their essential oil, or as a suspension, a little of the essential oil suspended in water and alcohol. Hydrosols contain all the beneficial components of rose essential oil whereas the cheaper oil suspension does not. Therefore it is better to buy your rosewater from a reputable dealer like a health shop or aromatherapist if requiring it as more than just a flavoring. Hydrosols also acidify the waters preventing bacteria from growing in them.

This floral water is a wonderful tonic, excellent antiseptic and anti-viral, and has many healing properties. It can be used as a simple skin toner and after shave for those with delicate, irritated, oily or dry skin as it controls sebum production, balances the skin's and tightens the pores. Rosewater stimulates the blood flow under the skin so will also benefit those with thread veins or acne scars.

It is also wonderful for refreshing the eyes or healing mild eye infections by soaking cotton wool with rosewater and placing over the eyes for a few minutes. Sunburn and bites will also be relieved with rosewater. Internally rosewater makes an excellent gargle for relieving inflamed throats. It has also been said to be excellent for mild infections and for balancing females hormones, relieving PMS and menstrual cramps.

Rosewater can also be used as a air freshener by spraying it into the air with an atomizer . Store rosewater in a cool dark place to prolong its shelf life, it does not need refrigeration.

Many countries use rosewater in their cooking and sweetmeats. We all have at one time tasted rosewater Turkish Delight I am sure. Keep a bottle of rosewater both in the kitchen and in the bathroom as it's lovely taste and perfume will add just that little extra zing to everything.


Homemade Rosewater
From Care2 (Just luv this site). Adapted from Rosemary Gladstar's Herbs for Natural Beauty.
This recipe is the more traditional way to prepare rose water. Though it’s a little more involved, its fun to do and the results are outstanding. You can make a quart/litre of excellent-quality rose water in about 40 minutes. However, if you simmer the water too long, you will continue to produce distilled water but the rose essence will become diluted. Your rose water will smell more like plain distilled water, rather than the heavenly scent of roses. Be sure you have a brick and heat-safe stainless steel or glass quart bowl ready before you begin.

2-3 quarts/litres fresh roses or rose petals
ice cubes or crushed ice

In the center of a large pot (the speckled blue canning pots are ideal) with an inverted lid (a rounded lid), place a fireplace brick. On top of the brick place the bowl. Put the roses in the pot; add enough flowers to reach the top of the brick. Pour in just enough water to cover the roses. The water should be just above the top of the brick. Place the lid upside down on the pot. Turn on the stove and bring the water to a rolling boil, then lower heat to a slow steady simmer. As soon as the water begins to boil, toss two or three trays of ice cubes (or a bag of ice) on top of the lid. You’ve now created a home still! As the water boils the steam rises, hits the top of the cold lid, and condenses. As it condenses it flows to the center of the lid and drops into the bowl. Every 20 minutes, quickly lift the lid and take out a tablespoon or two of the rose water. It’s time to stop when you have between a pint and a quart of water that smells and tastes strongly like roses.

Simple Rosewater Recipe 1
From JaneAustin

rose petals, fresh or dried

Start with fresh or Dried Rose petals. Steep Rose petals in near boiling water from 20 minutes to an hour and let cool. Make sure you cover the pot tightly. You don't want those oils escaping into the air; you want them in your water. Strain the petals. The more roses you use and the longer you let it steep, the stronger your rose water will be. Rosewater can last up to a year if kept sealed in the refridgerator.

Simple Rose Water Recipe 2
From Spa Index

1 cup rose petals
1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
1 1/2 cup water

Simmer rose petals in water for 10 minutes. Strain. Add alcohol. Keeps in fridge for up to 2 weeks with alcohol or 1 week without. If you don't wish to use rubbing alcohol, you may substitute vodka.

Turkish Delight (Rahat Lakum)
From The Green Chronicle
Turkish delight is a traditional and exotic Christmas sweet meat. The recipe here will allow you to make pink and white Turkish Delight.

9 cups icing/confectioner's sugar
3 pints/ 1.4 litres water
6 tablespoons corn starch
3/4 pint / 300cold water
rose water
lemon juice
almond oil

Make a syrup of the icing sugar and 3 pints of water by boiling together in a heavy pan (take great care not to burn yourself with the sugar syrup). Mix the corn flour with the 3/4 pint of cold water, making sure that the cornflour is completely dissolved. Add the cornflour mix very carefully to the boiling syrup and continue boiling until reduced by about two thirds. The mixture will become very thick and stringy. Remove from heat. Pour half into another saucepan. Flavour one half with lemon and the other with rose water. Pour into two dishes greased with almond oil. When set turn both onto a board dredged with confectioner's sugar. Use kitchen paper to absorb any excess almond oil which was used to grease the two dishes. Cut Turkish Delight into cubes and roll in confectioner's sugar. Store in a dry place.

Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding)
From RecipeZAAR Contributed by Jazmina

1/2 cup basmati rice
2 cups water
2 quarts / 1.9 litres almond milk
5 green cardamom pods, whole
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup blanched slivered almond
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons rose water

Wash the rice and boil in the water over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes, until the rice is one quarter done. Drain in a colander. In a saucepan, bring the almond milk and cardamom pods to a boil over medium heat. Add the rice and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until the rice is soft and the milk is very thick. Stir occasionally at first and then constantly when the milk begins to thicken, to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the sugar, almonds, ground cardamom, and nutmeg and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat and set aside. Sprinkle with the rose water and mix, you may add more rose water if you desire. Serve warm or chilled in dessert bowls. Serves 4 to 6.

For Vegan Lavender/Rosewater Shortbread pop over to from Vegan Yum Yum .

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EastCoastLife said...

Wishing you and your family a Merry Xmas!!

Mystery Ranch said...

Hi Jackie
Love this post. I use rosewater in a facial toner, and as a flavoring too. Your tip about eye wash is great and I because I have these growths on the inside of my eyelid and it's hard to find something gentle and effective. I'm going to try it. Thanks for the tip!
Hope your holidays were wonderful

Mariuca said...

Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas Jackie, hope it was wonderful for u and ur family. :):):)

Mariuca said...

May this New Year bring you more love, joy and success. HAPPY 2009! :)

Wishing on a Falling Star
Mariuca’s Perfume Gallery

Mike Foster said...

Wishing you a happy, healthy, prosperous, and amazing 2009!

Happy New Year!

Marion said...

mmm...the rice pudding sounds awesome. Just the right thing for this time of year!

Happy New Year, Jackie!