Everything’s Coming up Roses


I have been feeling a bit “under the weather” as we say here in the UK, since my return from Cyprus. It started with a sudden outbreak of cold sore eruptions ( herpes simplex) on my face starting with a mild cold but exacerbated by being exposed for several hours in the sun without shade, I suspect. Not in Cyprus but in sunny Sussex as our choir was rehearsing and then performing a concert in the middle of a field. The field was adjacent to a college so not in the middle of nowhere, just no trees. It was quite an experience as we were one of several choirs, many of them from local schools with a couple of adult choirs plus a few professional singers and a fabulous band, 500 plus people altogether. The outbreak on my face, mostly under and around my nose as well as around and on my eyelids, was very sore, my eyes itched and stung. I was wondering what I could apply that would be soothing as well as healing. I thought of Aloe Vera gel but that wouldn’t work for my eyes, maybe cucumber? Then I remembered a bottle of rosewater in my cupboard that my cousin Androula had distilled herself from her own roses in Treis Elies.

Roses are magical, the divine scent and delicate beauty have inspired poets uplifting the spirits and dazzling the senses, the heady perfume encapsulated as a perfume for eons. Roses have been used for centuries by women as a beauty treatment for the skin, rosewater is a fabulous face cleanser, cleansing the skin deeply. Rose petals sprinkled in the bath are the ultimate decadence or scattered on the bed and floor to give the ambiance of romance. But there is more to roses than just a pretty face, they have hidden depths and within those petals lie seriously effective healing properties which throughout history have been tried and tested  but now have also been scientifically proven. They are antiviral, antibacterial, antidepressant and anti-inflammatory among other things. These were the properties that I accidentally stumbled upon. I was looking for something pure and soothing which it blissfully was with the added bonus of also being curative. With the help of the rosewater my eyes were soothed and my face healed without scars, just inhaling the perfume lifted my spirits.

I wanted to boost my immune system as I felt the outbreak had sapped my strength a little so I then turned to another Cypriot prize product namely carob syrup. On my recent trip I bought a very good quality carob syrup in Omodos which has a wonderfully rich liquorice flavour that I love . This also doesn’t just taste great but is rich in calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium and phosphorus, as well as this I also started taking Sambucol which is an elderberry syrup, very rich in vitamin C with added zinc. So altogether I now smell divine and taste very fruity…….


2 thoughts on “Everything’s Coming up Roses

  1. Loved this account, sorry about the herpes. I get it cyclically just on my mouth, mostly when run down. How miserable. I agree with what you’ve written about roses and am so glad they helped. The carob syrup sounds yummy, will look for some.

    This post made me wonder if you wouldn’t like Charlotte Du Cann’s amazing book,’52 flowers that shook my world, a radical return to earth’. I’m just going through it again for my research for a writing project. This is someone who has immersed herself deeply in plant wisdom from every angle including hallucinogenic plants (not my path but she made me rethink my prejudices against that kind of use and respect those who do choose this way of knowing). Anyway, it is a confronting, powerful account of someone walking away from convention and re finding herself in relation to the earth. Lots of great plant lore in there too.
    hope you are recovered,

    • Oh Thanks Sarah for the book recommendation, I love plant lore and have a couple of books I turn too for information on a practical level. This one sounds a fascinating read. I knew a shaman who visited Peru and the tropical forest often with local shamans and partook of those hallucinogenic plants to take him on his journeys, all part of their learning and ‘seeing’ experience. I’m a bit sceptical of this route but I guess if it works for them.
      I’m on the mend thank you but feel like I have hit a of a dip health wise, old problems are rearing their heads again so I’m trying to take a more careful regard for myself, easier said than done.

      I hope you are well.

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