How to Make Rose Water at Home

Making your own body care products is an empowering activity. It allows you to be an artist, creating and blending ingredients to make a finished product that is tailored to your own body’s unique needs. I have a lovely recipe that I use to make my own floral waters and have been using it for years. I came across it in one of Rosemary Gladstar’s books. She is one of those people I like to refer to as an “herbal revivalist”. A truly gifted and intellectual herbalist, Rosemary helped bring plant wisdom and herbal awareness to the Western world through education and availability of high quality herbs and related products. Some examples of her contributions are Mountain Rose Herbs, Traditional Medicinals and The California School of Herbal Studies (one of my alma maters).

I will use roses as an example in this recipe, but you can use other plant material such as rose geranium leaves, calendula petals or lavender.
My rose bush is in bloom right now.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

Items you will need:
Canning pot or large pot with rounded lid
One brick
Quart-sized stainless steel or glass bowl
2-3 quarts of rose petals
Ice cubes or crushed ice (approximately 4-6 ice cube trays worth of ice or small bag from grocery store)
  1. Place canning pot on stove, put the brick in the center of the canning pot. Place bowl on top of brick. Add roses to the pot; add enough flowers to reach the top of the brick. Pour in just enough water to cover the roses. The water level should be just above the top of the brick.
  2. Place pot lid upside down on the pot, so it is inverted. Turn on the burner and bring the water to a rolling boil, then lower the heat to a slow and steady simmer. Add 2-3 trays or ice cubes in a bag on top of the lid. Now you have a home still. As the water boils, the steam rises, hits the top of the cold lid and condenses. As it condenses, it flows to the center of the lid and drops into the bowl. Add more ice cubes once the previous ones have melted.
  3. Every 20 minutes, quickly lift the lid and take out a tablespoon of the rose water. When you have a pint to a quart of water in the bowl and it smells strongly of roses, it is done. Be careful not too “cook” the rose petals.
  4. Pour rose water into a glass container and store in the refrigerator. You can use the rose water as a home and body spritzer or add it to other body care recipes.


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