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DIY Rose Petal Extract

My interest in roses, and maybe medicinal herbs in general, probably got started way back in my middle school years (this may sound unrelated to roses, but bear with me).  I did a report on the famous scientist and supposed predictor of the future, Nostradamus.

You may have heard of Nostradamus, and his famous book Les Propheties, which supposedly predicted future events. Why am I rambling on about Nostradamus? Because whether or not he predicted the future, he did indeed create something called a "rose pill," which was a lozenge he made using rose hips. These rose pills were used during the time of the plague, and helped many people, probably due to the high vitamin C content. I remember learning this as a kid, and finding it fascinating that something so simple as a rose plant could heal a case of the plague!

Many years have passed since that middle school report, but still, I like to experiment with plants and herbs. We moved a couple years ago to a farmhouse that has several rose bushes on the property:

One of our rose bushes, an old garden variety.

What kind of roses?

There are tons of rose varieties, from old heritage roses, to modern hybrids. In general, the modern hybrids seem to be best used for ornamental purposes, while wild and heritage roses have the best fragrance and medicinal value. No matter what kind of rose you can find, if you are going to use them for rose petal extract, be sure it hasn't been sprayed with any chemicals.

If you aren't sure what type of roses you have growing in your yard, or would like more information on breeds to assist in planting roses, there are several good websites worth taking a look at:

In general, roses are:

-used for their fragrance in perfumes and potpourris
-made into teas/infusions
-used in soaps and lotions
-made into extracts and tinctures
-used for their essential oils
-used for culinary purposes
-mood lifting
-skin toning/astringent
-an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals
-cleansing to the gallbladder and liver

Rose Petal Extract Uses and Benefits

Roses can be used in so many ways, from rose hip jelly to rose petal tea, but today, we are going to focus on Rose Petal Extract.  Rose petal extract is made by soaking rose petals in an alcohol solution to extract the alcohol soluble principles present in rose petals.

You can use rose petal extract for:

  • A skin toner
  • Perfume
  • Linen freshener
  • Medicine

Rose petal extract is particularly useful for:

  •  Skin care
  • Digestion issues and diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Heavy menstruation

Instructions for Making Rose Petal Extract

Rose petals infused in alcohol and water.
Make your own beautiful smelling rose petal extract.

You will want an abundant supply of rose petals to make this recipe. Choose a variety that is very fragrant. I usually tug on the petal of a flower, and if it comes off easily, I pull all the petals off, leaving the hip behind.

***Note:  If you plan to take your Rose Petal Extract internally, DO NOT use isopropyl alcohol.  Use vodka.***


1 cup alcohol (such as vodka, isopropyl, or witch hazel extract)
Rose petals

  • I used a half gallon sized jar, filled about 1/4 full of rose petals. Pour in the alcohol, and then fill the jar the rest of the way with water.

  • Allow the mixture to steep in a cool, dark place for a week. At this point, I usually like to filter out the spent petals, and add a couple more handful of new petals, allowing the mixture to steep again. If you do several changes of petals, you'll get a much more fragrant extract.

  • You can then filter the extract well, and store in a cool, dark place. Honestly, I don't know how long it keeps, because I use it up pretty fast.  Extracts tend to have a very long shelf life, however.


To Use It

  • You can simply put it in a spray bottle, and spritz it around the house, on your linens, in the car, etc...

  • If you'd like to spray it on your skin, you can add a splash of raw apple cider vinegar to it, and put it into a spray or squeeze bottle. Apply to the skin after bathing. It's very nice sprayed all over the body on a hot day.  Rose petal extract will give your skin a nice scent, without being overpowering.

  • To take the extract internally for headaches, digestive, or menstruation issues, adults should put 10 drops of the extract into a cup of water and drink.  This dose can be taken 3-4 times per day.  Remember, if you will taking the extract internally, you should steep your roses in vodka, not isopropyl alcohol.  Isopropyl alcohol is not safe for consumption.

If you make Rose Petal Extract, please let me know how it turns out in the comments!


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