With Valentine’s Day coming up, many of us are searching for the perfect gifts for our loved ones. While we debate how we can possibly express the uniqueness and beauty of our love through material items, we see the stores and businesses filled with the red and pink decorations covered with roses, hearts, and cupids. We know that roses are the most classic flower to show love, but have you ever wondered why roses are such a staple for Valentine’s Day?
Roses have a long history of being well loved for their beauty, fragrance, medicinal benefits, and cosmetic properties. There is evidence of roses being cherished throughout many ancient cultures from all around the world. The rose has a strong association with the goddess of love in Greek mythology, Aphrodite. According to legend, they grew from her tears and the blood of her lover Adonis. Cleopatra used rose petals during public appearances, so that she would smell like a goddess. Chinese Empress, Wu Zetian, used Roses in her bath everyday, and was known for her beauty and intelligence. Roses are also associated with the Virgin Mary in Christian tradition. Rose has a long reputation of symbolizing love and has been associated with many powerful women throughout history.
Valentine’s Day has been said to have come from a legend that Roman Emperor, Claudius II, stopped soldiers from marrying their loved ones because he believed that they should only love Rome. A bishop named Valentine would marry people in secret, and was eventually caught and executed on February 14th. Before his execution, he left a love letter for his sweetheart that was signed “From Your Valentine”, thus leading to today’s traditions of celebrating love on February 14th. (1)
With roses being strongly associated with love in many cultures, it is only natural that this would be the flower of choice for a holiday celebrating love. Gifting flowers became a common part of Valentine’s Day’s traditions around the 17th century, but held a slightly different meaning than we do now. Today, we may not think much more of receiving roses other than that they are beautiful and smell good and that it is a thoughtful gift. Traditionally, sending flowers was an old-fashioned custom to pass along non-verbal messages. Each flower had a single meaning, and people could tell stories through a bouquet. For example, Red roses represent love and romance, while pink roses represent love, gratitude, and appreciation. Chrysanthemum represents optimism and joy and lotus represents purity and enlightenment. When receiving a bouquet, people could understand the giver’s feelings towards them, simply by understanding the symbolism of flowers.
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Roses are so much more than just beautiful flowers that represent love. Roses have been used in hundreds of different ways for healing purposes. The practice of drinking rose petals is thought to have originated in Ancient China, as it is very common in Traditional Chinese medicine for the purpose of regulating qi. (2)
Regularly drinking rose tea can have a very positive effect on our body’s health. Roses are full of antioxidants which can slow damage to cells, helping with anti-aging and skin repair. It has lots of Vitamin C which is known to boost immune systems through stimulating the production of white blood cells. It is anti-inflammatory and soothing, as well as having a natural sedative property, making it excellent to regulate sleep. Take a look at our blog on the healing benefits of rose tea to learn more about its healing properties. The ritual of making this tea can be mentally healing as much as it is physically healing to our bodies. By using the ancient power of the rose and the natural element of water, we can connect deeply with the love that the rose represents and embrace it in our bodies. A ritual like this can help calm our minds through intentional focus.
Roses can be used to heal not only our insides, but our outside too! Rosewater has been used for thousands of years for beautifying purposes. Because roses are full of antioxidants, it has anti-aging abilities of tightening pores and combatting cell damage. It is also helpful for soothing razor burn and hydrating your skin. Cleansing our skin with rosewater also helps to balance our skin’s natural pH. Rosewater can be used as a toner, a face mask, a soothing bath tonic, and so much more. You can also charge your rose water with intentions of beautifying and healing.
Valentine’s Day Gift Guide
If you’re looking to spread more love with unique and thoughtful gifts this Valentine’s season, we have just the thing you are searching for. With these options, you can take a spin on the classic gift of roses, and share the same message through rose tea. Below are a few ideas that would be perfect gifts for the people you love most!
Rosy Ritual Set
Our Rosy Ritual Set is a perfect option for everyone. It is great for people that are being newly introduced to tea, long time tea fanatics, and anyone that has a love for handmade art! This set includes a box of Shangri-La Rose tea, a sustainable bamboo tong, and a flower cup, handmade in Brooklyn by ceramic artist Josephine Noel.
Daily Ritual Set
If you're looking for a gift that is sure to be a crowd favorite the Daily Ritual Set is the one for you. With a box of the Floral Tasting Collection Variety box, bamboo tongs, and the perfect glass cup, this set can satisfy anyone with a love for tea and flowers!
Shangri-La Rose Flower Tea
If you’re searching for a gift that shows love in a simple, yet unique way. Try a box of Shangri-La Rose tea. This is the perfect Valentine’s gift because it is as if you are gifting a traditional bouquet of roses, yet this bouquet has 27 servings of tea and incredible health benefits!
This is also a perfect gift for yourself if you’re hosting for Valentine’s this year and want to make unique treats that fit the theme of the holiday. You can make some romantic drinks for the event, like a Rose Hot Toddy or a Hot Rose Cacao. Maybe some Rose Salt/Rose Sugar or Clear Flower Ice to add a pop of color to the table. Or even some Simple Rose Syrup to add to anything from cocktails to dessert. We have many more recipes here for you to explore more options for your menu!
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The history and symbolism of this flower has lived on for centuries. From mythology to medicine, to art, to food, to love, roses are incredibly powerful and hold much more meaning than what is on the surface. Whether you are spending Valentine’s Day with your loved ones, or spending the day showing love to yourself, add some roses into your day to amplify this love.