Roses have been used for medicinal purposes since medieval times.
There are over 130 species of rose while the cultivars run into thousands. Roses are edible. You can use them in tea. However, you should note that not all varieties are sweet. A few are bitter (1).
Rose tea is an herbal beverage produced from the fragrant buds and petals of rose flowers.
Proponents of rose tea claim that it has tons of health benefits. However, not all of these benefits are supported by science.
This article provides a detailed review of the facts about rose tea, including its health and nutritional benefits, and uses.
Rose tea is caffeine-free
Most hot drinks are loaded with caffeine. These include hot chocolate, tea, and coffee.
The good news is that rose tea is caffeine-free. So, it could serve as a great substitute for other popular caffeinated beverages.
However, you shouldn’t forget that some rose teas are a unique blend of rose petals and caffeinated tea. So, if you want a 100% caffeine-free rose tea, then ensure that you go for the 100% rose petal tea.
Weight loss and hydration benefits
The primary component of rose tea is water. So, drinking a cup or two each day can cause a significant increase in your daily water intake.
So, you have to drink enough water every day. You can increase your water intake by eating foods that contain water, or by drinking clean water, coffee, teas, and other beverages.
Also, water facilitates weight loss by boosting your metabolism. Studies have shown that drinking up to 500ml (17 ounces) of water increases metabolism in the body by 30% (7).
Also, drinking adequate amounts of water has the potentials to prevent kidney stones (9).
Rose tea is rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that fight against the deleterious effects of free radicals. Free radicals are reactive molecules that can damage your cells and cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is in turn linked to premature aging and many health conditions (10).
Polyphenols are the major antioxidants in rose tea.
There’s also a lot of gallic acid in rose tea. Gallic acid makes up 10 – 55% of the phenol content of this tea. Studies have shown that it has antimicrobial, anticancer, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory effects (4).
There’s a huge quantity of anthocyanins in the tea. Anthocyanins make up 10% of the total phenol content of rose tea. Anthocyanins are colored pigments associated with good eye health, a healthy urinary tract, healthy aging, improved memory, and a reduced risk of certain cancers (4, 14, 15, 16, 17).
Quercetin and kaempferol are other examples of phenols that can boost the antioxidant activity in rose tea.
But then, one must understand that not all the antioxidants in rose can be extracted by hot water. The antioxidant activity in rose petals is 30 – 50% higher than that in rose tea (4).
It may ease menstrual pain
Most women are better off easing their pain with alternative methods instead of conventional pain medication (19).
For instance, the tea produced from the leaves or buds of Rosa gallica is used for the treatment of menstrual pain in Chinese medicine.
A particular study examined the effects of rose tea in Taiwanese students. 130 students were involved in the study. The participants drank two cups of tea every day for two weeks, beginning a week before their period and lasting through 6 menstrual cycles (19).
Students who took the tea experienced less pain compared to those who did not. The idea here is that rose tea may help in the treatment of menstrual pain (19).
But then, no definite conclusion can be drawn considering that the results are from a single study. There is a need for more in-depth research before any conclusions can be drawn.
How to make rose tea
Four species of rose are recognized as “safe” for producing teas. They are:
- R. gallica
- R. centifolia
- R. albs
- R. Damascena (20)
Rosa rugosa is used for the treatment of various ailments in Chinese medicine (21).
But these are not the only species from which tea can be produced. Other cultivars may be used to make teas, rose water, essential oils, extracts, powders, and liquors.
There’s nothing difficult about preparing rose tea. It is very simple.
You may use dried or fresh petals. Whichever you prefer, just ensure that they are free of pesticides. Avoid roses from nurseries or florists are they have been treated.
If you are preparing your tea from fresh petals, you will need at least 2 cups of petals, all washed. Just boil the petals with 700ml (3 cups) of water for 5 minutes. Once you are done, strain it into cups and sip off.
If you are using dried buds or petals, place a tablespoon of these in a cup. Steep for 10 – 20 minutes in boiling water. Depending on the brand, you may need to adjust the water temperature and the brewing time.
You can drink your tea plain or with some honey. It has a light, floral, and subtle flavor, and the taste may be sweet or bitter depending on the variety.
Rose tea is brewed from the buds and petals of the rose bush.
It helps to hydrate your body, is caffeine-free, loaded with antioxidants, and may ease menstrual pain.
There are many purported health benefits of rose tea. However, very few have solid scientific backing.
Either way, it is a refreshing and light drink that can be enjoyed alongside a healthy diet.
If there are no fresh petals in your neighborhood, you can buy rose petal tea online or at specialty stores.