It’s probably a bit less common to smudge with flower petals than herbs, but it’s something I’m getting more and more into, and if you’re into your smudging then I reckon you probably should too!
And what flower petal to try first? I’d recommend rose petals! But why, and what are the benefits of smudging with rose petals?
Well, having done it a few times now, I’d say there are at least 9 benefits of smudging with rose petals, which are:
- Stimulating love (a biggie, I think you’ll agree!)
- They have cleansing properties
- Aromatherapy benefits
- Air purification
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- They contain anti-oxidants
- Relaxation and stress relief
- Skin health
- Give your house that gorgeous scent!
Let’s dive into the 9 benefits of using rose petals in your smudge sticks so that you can do it too!
There has been a connection made between love and roses throughout history. I could include so many famous poems and quotations here, but let’s go for this gorgeous bit of verse from William Blake:
A flower was offered to me,
Such a flower as May never bore;
But I said ‘I’ve a pretty rose tree,’
And I passed the sweet flower o’er.
Then I went to my pretty rose tree,
To tend her by day and by night;
But my rose turned away with jealousy,
And her thorns were my only delight.
There is a link between roses and love in our collective consciousness and in our culture.
This link has even been identified recently through scientific research.
Gayathri Pandey and Joshua Tabak carried out research that showed there was positive evidence of the participants’ experiences of roses connecting mental to their mental understanding of love (Source)
Looking for a steamy environment in your home?! Light those rose petal smudge sticks!
2. Rose Petals Have Anti-Bacterial Properties
Rose petals have a wonderful freshness!
They make everything smell pure and vibrant. And did you know that they also contain natural anti-bacterial properties? Who’d have thought?!
They are a bit like flowery natural soap. They contain natural compounds that contain these anti-bacterial properties.
But don’t just take my word for it! The Journal of Medicinal Food found that rose petal extract actually stopped the following bacteria from growing:
- E. coli
3. Aromatherapy Benefits
Rose petals are a popular one in aromatherapy.
Well, it’s because they have many benefits, including:
- Reducing stress
- Reducing anxiety
- Creating a feeling of being uplifted
- Improving mood.
I also recently read a study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine that found that inhaling the scent of rose essential oil reduced anxiety in a group of women who were undergoing specific treatments.
4. Air Purification
Burning rose petals just smell so vibrant and fresh! (Have I said that before!)
They help to neutralize:
- Pollutants in the air
- Allergens floating in the air
There was a study that corroborated that burning smudge sticks improves air quality. (Source)
They beat cans of air-freshener hands down!
5. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
You may not have heard this, but rose petals have actually been used in medicine for centuries! One of their biggest benefits is that they have anti-inflammatory properties.
Rose petals contain a few different chemicals with anti-inflammatory properties, the big two being:
Rose petals have been traditionally used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes for centuries. Here are some benefits of rose petals supported by scientific research:
A study that was published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that rose petals extract ‘exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity.’ (Source)
It can potentially have positive effects on inflammatory illnesses, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Possibly even depression
6. Rose Petals Contain Anti-Oxidants
Here’s another bit of science for you – that rose petals contain anti-oxidants.
Anti-oxidants are really important chemicals that neutralize the effect of free-radicals.
In practical terms, there is research that anti-oxidants help to protect
- Against premature aging
- Against chronic disease
- Against inflammation
- Against issues with the immune system.
There are two compounds found in rose petals that make all this good stuff work. They are:
There was a study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology that I had a look at. (Source)
It found that rose petal extract exhibited a ‘high level of antioxidant activity.’
7. Relaxation And Stress Relief
This is definitely a biggie!
The scent of rose petals has been shown to have a calming effect on both the body and the mind!
The smell itself is just a calming one! It is delicate, beautiful, floral, light, and breezy.
You know how I love my scientific studies (lol!), but I recently read one in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. They found that inhaling the smell of rose oil did the following:
- Reduced anxiety
- Improved mood in female students
8. Skin Health
Just a quick one about skin health.
Rose petals are found in lots of moisturizers, and they have soothing properties for our skin.
The Journal of Medicinal Plants Research found that rose petal extract showed:
- Significant wound healing properties
- Anti-inflammatory properties in skin
- Demonstrated potential to be used in the treatment of skin disorders
That being said, clearly rose petals would have more impact on your skin if you applied them directly. Burning them will have a much-reduced effect.
9. Give Your House That Gorgeous Scent!
Let’s face it – there are not many more beautiful smells in the whole world than rose petals!
Throw those air fresheners away, and unleash the rose petal smudge sticks!
How To Make A Rose Petal Smudge Stick
Step 1 – Gather Rose Petals
Rose petal smudges are one of the harder smudge sticks to make, just because the petals are so small and are harder to keep in a sausage shape.
But this is how I do it:
Gather up some rose petals. You ideally want natural ones, and not petals that have had any chemicals on them (as this can release toxins when they burn).
Gather them into a sausage shape, about 6 inches long. This is one smudge stick.
Step 2 – Tie The Bundle
This is a bit fiddly, and you need quite a lot of string. I use cotton string because it burns well, and isn’t toxic.
Coil lots of string around the base of the rose petal smudge stick, and then start winding it around and around the petals, trying to keep the sausage shape.
You normally need lots of string, much more than if you make smudge sticks with longer herbs (like pine needles for instance).
When you get to the end, coil the string around the end a few times, and then tie it up.
Step 3 – Dry The Smudge Stick
The last step is to dry the stick out.
To do this, you want to hang it in a cupboard of some sort that is:
- Reasonably cool
Rose petals will take 2-3 weeks to dry out. They will feel dry and crispy to the touch.