In Kurt Vonnegut's 1965 novel "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater," the main character, millionaire Eliot Rosewater, leaves New York City and establishes the Rosewater Foundation in Rosewater, Ind., where he "attempts to dispense unlimited amounts of love and limited sums of money to anyone who will come to his office."
While rose water may not actually bring you affection or wealth, it may do many things for your health.
Rose water has been used as a medicine as far back as the 7th century in the Middle East, and now modern research is proving that these civilizations were onto something. Here are some of the suggested benefits:
• For skin and joint pain. Studies show that roses contain powerful anti-inflammatory substances, which, when applied topically, may help soothe irritated skin and prevent damage. Those same anti-inflammatory effects may help ease sore joints if you drink rosehip tea.
• For your brain. One study showed that rose extract in a petri dish stopped the plaques that form in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. Teas with rose water are available, but be sure to buy organic.
To reap the skin and joint benefits of rose, rinse 3 cups of pesticide-free petals (thorns can be highly inflammatory, so handle with care), then steep in just enough distilled hot water to cover the petals, and leave until petals lose their color.
Strain 1 tablespoon rosewater into 2-3 ounces water in a spray bottle. Spritz on skin.
For tea, buy it prepackaged or add a few drops (to taste) of rose water to a cup of green or black tea.
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