This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Rose: a prickly bush; with oval serrated leaves, set in pairs along a middle rib, which is terminated by an odd one; producing large elegant flowers, whose cup is divided into five long segments, with a knob at the bottom, which becomes an umbilicated soft fruit full of hairy seeds.
1. Rosa damascena Pharm. Lond. Rosa pallida Pharm. Edinb. Rosa purpurea C. B. Rosa cenlisolia Linn. The damask rose: with double flowers, of the fine pale red called from them rose-colour.
The pleasant smell of damask roses is of a less perishable kind than that of many other odoriferous flowers, not being much diminished in drying, nor soon dissipated in keeping. They impart their odorous matter to watery liquors both by infusion and distillation: six pounds of the fresh roses impregnate, by distillation, a gallon or more of water strongly with their fine flavour. On distilling large quantities, there separates from the watery fluid a small portion of a fragrant butyraceous oil, which liquefies by heat and appears yellow, but concretes in the cold into a white mass: an hundred pounds of the flowers, according to the experiments of Tachenius and Hoffman, afford scarcely half an ounce of oil. The oil and water, used chiefly as perfumes and flavouring materials, are recommended by Hoffman as excellent cordials, for railing the strength and spirits, and allaying pain. They appear to be of a very mild nature, and not liable to irritate or heat the constitution; even the essen-tial oil discovering to the taste but little pungency.
Aq. rofae Ph. Lond.
- rofar. pallid. Ph. Ed.
These flowers contain likewise a bitterish sub-stance; which is extracted by water along with the odoriferous principle; which, after this last has been separated by distillation or evaporation, is found entire in the remaining decoction; and which appears to be of a gently purgative nature. The decoction, or a strong infusion of the flowers, made into a syrup with a proper quantity of sugar, proves an useful laxative for children, in doses of a spoonful: of the extract obtained by. infpiffating the decoction, from a scruple to a dram is said to be sufficient for adults. The college of London directs the syrup to be made, by pressing out the liquor remaining after the distillation of six pounds of damask roses, and boiling it down to three pints; then, after it has settled for a night, adding five pounds of fine sugar, and boiling the mixture to the weight of seven pounds and a half: a spoonful of this syrup appears to be equivalent to about three drams of the fresh flowers. The solutive matter of the flowers is combined also in the same manner, for the pur-poses of glysters, with brown sugar and honey: towards the end of the boiling down of the drained decoction, an ounce of cummin seeds, bruised a little and tied in a linen cloth, is added; and the liquor afterwards boiled with four pounds of brown sugar and two of honey.
Rectified spirit extracts both the odoriferous and the purgative matter of the damask rose, equally with water, or rather more completely. The spirit, distilled off from the filtered tincture, proves lightly impregnated with the fragrance of the flowers, and the infpiffated extract retains likewise a part of their flavour along with the bitterish matter. This extract, in quantity smaller, and in taste stronger, may be presumed to be more purgative, than that made with water.
Syrup, rofae Ph. Lond. - rofar. pallid. Ph. Ed.
2. Rosa rubra Pharm. Lond. & Edinb. Rosa rubra multiplex C. B. Rosa gallica Linn. The red rose: with double flowers of a deep red colour.
The red rose has very little of the fine flavour admired in the pale sort: to the taste, it is bitterish and subastringent. The astringency is greatest before the flowers have opened, and, in this state, they are chosen for medicinal use as a mild corroborant: the full-blown flowers are probably as laxative as those of the foregoing species, for Poterius relates, that he found a dram of powdered red roses occasion three or four stools, and this not in a few instances, but constantly, in an extensive practice, for several years. The astringency of the buds is improved by hasty exficcation in a gentle heat: by flow drying, both the astringency and the colour are impaired.
The fresh buds, clipt from the white heels, and beaten with thrice their weight of fine sugar, form an agreeable and useful conserve; which is given in doses of a dram or two, dissolved in warm milk, in weaknesses of the stomach, coughs, and phthisical complaints. Instances are mentioned in the German ephe-merides, and in Riverius's praxis, of very dangerous phthisical disorders being cured by the continued use of this medicine: in one of these cases, twenty pounds of the conserve were taken in the space of a month, and in another upwards of thirty pounds. Mixtures of the roses with a larger proportion of sugar are made in the shops into lozenges: one part of the buds clipt from the heels and hastily dried, and twelve parts of fine sugar, are separately reduced into powder, then mixed, and moistened with so much water as will render them of a due consistence for being formed: or the conserve is mixed with as much fresh sugar as is sufficient to bring it to a like consistence, that is, about thrice its own weight.
Conferva ro-farum Ph. Lond. & Ed.
These flowers give out their virtue both to water and rectified spirit, and tinge the former of a fine red colour, but the latter of a very pale one: the extract obtained by infpiffating the watery infusion, is moderately austere, bitterish, and subsaline; the spirituous extract is considerably stronger both in astringency and bitterness. In the shops, seven ounces of the dried rose-buds are infused in five pounds of boiling water; and the infusion made into a syrup with six pounds of fine sugar †, or boiled to a syrupy consistence with seven ‡ pounds of clarified honey: the syrup is valued chiefly for its grate-fulness and fine red colour: the mixture with honey is used as a mild cooling detergent, par-ticularly in gargarisms for inflammations and ulcerations of the mouth and tonsils. The infu-sions acidulated with a little vitriolic acid, and sweetened with sugar, make a grateful, cooling, restringent julep, which is sometimes directed in hectic cases and hemorrhagies, and along with boluses or electuaries of Peruvian bark, and sometimes is used as a gargarism: the college of London orders two pints and a half of boiling water, mixed with three drams of dilute vitriolic acid to be poured on half an ounce of the fresh buds, and an ounce and an half of fine sugar to be dissolved in the strained infusion: that of Edinburgh orders two pounds and a half of water, and half a dram of the acid, to half an ounce of the dry buds and an ounce of sugar.
† Syrup. e rosis ficcis Ph. Ed.
Mel. rosae ‡Ph. Lond.
Infuf, rosae ph. Lond.
3. Cynosbatus Pharm. Laid. Rosa silvestris vulgaris flore odorato incarnato C. B. Rosa silvestris inodora feu canina Park. Cynorrhodon. Rosa canina Linn. Dog-rose, wild briar, hipp-tree: with single pentapetalous flowers, of a whitish colour mixed with various shades of red. It is one of the largest plants of the rose kind; grows wild in hedges; and flowers, as the garden sorts, in June.
The flowers of this species, of an agreeable but weak smell, and in taste bitterish and rough-ish, are said to have a greater degree of laxative virtue than those of the damask rose, together with a mild corroborating or restringent quality. The fruit, the only part of the dog-rose made use of in medicine among us, is agreeably dulco-acid, and stands recommended as a cooling restringent, in bilious fluxes, sharpness of urine, and hot indispositions of the stomach: the fresh pulp is made in the shops into a conserve, by mixing three ounces of it with five of fine sugar. The pulp should be separated with great care from the rough prickly matter which incloses the seeds; a small quantity of which, retained in the conserve, is apt to occasion an uneasiness at the stomach, pruritus about the anus, and sometimes vomiting.
Infufum vulgo Tinct. rosarum Ph. Ed,
Conf. cynof-bati Ph. Lond.