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Since centuries, a component has been popularly used across the world for cosmetic, medicinal, religious and even culinary purposes. It’s a simple, natural, extremely beneficial and easily available substance which, if used regularly, has only good results to offer. Well, it is none other than 'Rose water’!
It is claimed that rose water was regularly used by Cleopatra, the Egyptian queen, massively famous for her beauty. She was known to bathe using rose water on a daily basis, and considered rose water an important component of her beauty regime.
Most of us would also have used and marvelled at this wonderful ingredient, especially for its beautifying qualities such as a clean, healthy, acne-free and glowing skin. Rose water, in simple terms, is a mix of rose petals and water, with numerous benefits not just for the beauty of the skin, but also to heal wounds or infections or as eye drops.
Benefits of rose water
• For improving the skin texture: Rose water is a brilliant choice for regular use on all skin types. It perfectly tones and hydrates the skin, balances the natural oil production, maintains the skin’s pH balance, improves blood circulation and leads to a clear, bright and glowing complexion. The presence of antioxidants makes the rose water protect the skin from damage, its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe itching caused by skin ailments such as eczema, promote anti-ageing and the antiseptic properties help clean wounds such as cuts or burns.
• For curing eyes-related issues: Being a cooling and soothing ingredient, rose water may be used as an eye drop for common eye-related issues such as dry eye, conjunctivitis, cataracts, and so on.
• For lovely hair: If applied and massed onto the scalp, rose water can improve the blood circulation and benefit the hair by making it healthy and flexible. It is also a good conditioner for the hair, since it has the capability of revitalizing the hair.
• For relieving headaches: If you are suffering with headache, rose water in combination with rose essential oil can be used for aromatherapy purposes. The vapour produced can be soothing and will relieve you from headache.
• In religious rituals: Sprinkling rose water during religious rituals or ceremonies is considered auspicious in many cultures.
• For cooking: A definite edible ingredient, rose water may be added to various recipes such as milkshake, ice-cream, pudding, pastries, yogurt, jams or jellies, fruit-based salads, cocktails and so on. It enhances both flavour and aroma in the recipes in a magical way.
How to prepare rose water at home?
The various benefits of rose water make it a must have in our homes. While we can always opt for buying it from the market, it is a wonderful idea to prepare it at home. The mixture of rose petals and water used at home would beyond doubt be pure, devoid of any chemicals and with more benefits.
There are two methods of preparing rose water, i.e., through simmering or by distilling. Let us find out about both:
• Rose petals (use freshly plucked roses): as many as you prefer
• Distilled water: sufficient quantity to cover the rose petals
1. Run the rose petals through lukewarm water to wash off any dirt, dust, bugs or residue.
2. Put the clean petals into a large pot.
3. Pour distilled water in the pot, enough to cover the rose petals. Excess water could make the rose water diluted, and you wouldn’t want that!
4. Let the water in the pot simmer on low-medium heat for some time. Be careful not to boil the water. Continue to simmer for around 25-30 minutes.
5. You would see steam rising, the water getting coloured and the rose petals floating on the surface. Strain the water, and throw away the used rose petals.
6. Your rose water is ready!
7. Pour the rose water in a glass jar or any other container, and refrigerate it for longer usage and freshness.
Rose petals: 5-6 cups
Distilled water: sufficient quantity to cover the rose petals
A neat and clean stone or a brick
A heat-tolerant glass bowl with a wide mouth and shallow base
A large pot with a lid
1. Take a large pot and keep the stone or brick inside it.
2. Keep the glass bowl on top of the stone or brick.
3. Put the rose petals inside the pot, while being careful about it.
4. Pour the distilled water, enough to cover the rose petals. Ensure that the water reaches the top of the stone or brick.
5. Invert the lid of the pot before placing the pot on the burner.
6. Put ice cubes on top of the lid, so that the steam gets collected on the surface of the lid and goes down to its centre to further drop in the bowl.
7. Keep adding more ice cubes as and when the previous ones melt
8. Boil the water, and after that, turn down the heat and let it simmer for 25-30 minutes
9. Once it cools down, store it in a glass container, and refrigerate.
Note: If you keep the rose water outside the fridge, e.g., in your bathroom or any other room, then there may be more chances of its freshness dying down sooner.
Out of the two methods, the distilling method is known to be full-proof with maximum benefits. But, as long as you are using pure ingredients, you can be assured that the end product will be pure as well, and with absolutely no side effects.