Rose Tea: Is It Good for You?

Roses are one of the oldest flowers in the world, and have been referenced in literature, music, and art for centuries. They’re beloved by gardeners as a hardy, long-lasting plant.

There are hundreds of rose varieties that are considered safe for human use. Roses are added to a range of products for both their fragrance and potential health benefits. Roses are also often used in the kitchen, especially in Middle Eastern, Indian, and Chinese cuisine. The aromatic flower is added to cakes, jams, and confections. 

Drinking rose petals in tea may have originated in China. Rose tea is an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), where it is used to regulate qi, or life energy. TCM considers rose tea a potential remedy for: 

Modern studies have offered some scientific evidence to support these claims, but more research is needed. 

Nutrition Information

One cup of dried rose contains:  

  • Calories: 0
  • Protein: 0 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams

Rose petals are a good source of:

Rose petals are also high in phytonutrients, plant compounds with antioxidant properties. Research shows that phytochemicals can help stop the formation of cancer cells and protect your body from cancer-like changes. Some scientists believe that getting enough of these in your diet can reduce the risk of cancer by up to 40%. 

Potential Health Benefits of Rose Tea

Drinking rose tea is a great source of vitamins and antioxidants. It is also free of caffeine, sugar, and calories. It contains Vitamins E and C, which are some of the best vitamins to promote healthy skin, especially when taken together. 

Research has found several other potential health benefits to drinking rose tea: 

Immune System Support

Rose tea contains high amounts of Vitamin C, an antioxidant vital to our body’s healing process and its ability to fight off infection. One study found that rose tea may also ease flu-like symptoms like coughing and congestion. However, further studies are needed to understand the effects on human’s immune systems.

Continued

Research also shows that rose tea’s aroma may reduce stress and anxiety. Stress is known to reduce the body’s immunity, increasing chances of getting sick. While studies are ongoing into the psychological benefits of rose for humans, inhaling your tea’s aroma before drinking it may help you to relax.

Lower Risk of Chronic Disease

Rose petals contain polyphenols, antioxidants that work to protect your body from cell damage. The polyphenols in rose tea have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cognitive diseases.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

One study found that the anti-inflammatory activity in powdered rose petals is as effective as medicines like aspirin or ibuprofen. Rose tea may also help prevent pain caused by inflammation from physical injury or conditions like arthritis. Additional research is required to understand if the anti-arthritic properties of roses are available to humans.

Because inflammation can cause weight gain over time, these properties may corroborate rose tea’s weight-loss claims. 

Menstrual Cramp Relief 

Rose tea’s anti-inflammatory effects and vitamin profile also help to reduce dysmenorrhea, or menstrual pain. One study found a significant reduction in period-related cramping, bloating, and pain among women who drank rose tea, and study participants also reported less anxiety and mood swings. 

Aids Digestion

One of the most common traditional uses of rose tea is to treat stomach issues. Modern research suggests that this may be due to rose tea’s ability to increase our liver’s bile production. This helps your body digest food easier, prevents constipation, and can improve nutrient absorption. 

Potential Risks of Rose Tea

While rose tea’s nutrition content may offer potential health benefits, you should consult with your doctor before adding it to your diet. It may cause problems for people with certain health conditions.

Consider the following before brewing a cup of rose tea: 

Allergies & Asthma

Some people have an allergy to the rose plant and should avoid products like rose tea. One study found that the rose hip allergens can lead to the development of asthma.

Medication Interaction

Rose tea may interact with certain medications, like blood thinners or antidepressants.

Pregnancy Concerns

There is no research into rose tea’s safety for pregnant women. 

High Vitamin C Content

Consuming too much Vitamin C in your diet can cause diarrhea, nausea, headaches, and heartburn

High quantities of Vitamin C can also cause kidney stones in some people. It can increase iron absorption as well, which can worsen symptoms for people with iron-related disorders

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on October 13, 2020

Sources

SOURCES: 

American Journal of Kidney Diseases: “Total Dietary and Supplemental Vitamin C Intake and Risk of Incident Kidney Stones.”

Antioxidants—A Risk-Benefit Analysis for Health: “Antioxidant Phytochemicals for the Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Diseases.”

Australian Family Physician: “An evidence based herbal medicine for inflammation and arthritis.”

Breastcancer.org: “Foods Containing Phytochemicals.”

Colorado State University: “Secretion of Bile and the Role of Bile Acids In Digestion.”

Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute: “Your Guide to Taking Warfarin.”

Harvard Medical School: “All about inflammation.”

Haynes, J. “History of Roses: Damask Roses.”

International Journal of Basic medical Sciences: “Pharmacological Effects of Rosa Damascena.”

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: “Rose hips: A new occupational allergen.”

Journal of Shanxi College of Traditional Chinese Medicine: “Anti-fatigue and sedative-hypnotic effect of evening tea with roses.”

Journal of Medicinal Food: “Antistress Effects of Rosa rugosa Thunb. on Total Sleep Deprivation-Induced Anxiety-Like Behavior and Cognitive Dysfunction in Rat: Possible Mechanism of Action of 5-HT6 Receptor Antagonist.”

Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health: “Rose tea for relief of primary dysmenorrhea in adolescents: a randomized controlled trial in Taiwan.”

Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research: “Antitussive Effect of Rosa damascena in Guinea pigs.”

Journal of Research, Extension, and Development: “Nutrient, Phytonutrient and Antioxidant Activity of the Dried Rose Petals.”

International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases: “Anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activity of aqueous extract of Rosa centifolia in experimental rat models.”

Mayo Clinic: “Is it possible to take too much vitamin C?”

Mayo Clinic: “Vitamin C.”

Oregon State University: “Vitamin C and Skin Health.”

Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority: “Rose Water.”

USDA National Nutrient database: “Dried Rose.”

© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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