English: Rose flowers

Chinese: 玫瑰花

Parts used: Dried flower bud

TCM category: Herbs that regulate Qi

TCM nature: Warm

TCM taste(s): BitterSweet

Organ affinity: Liver Spleen

Scientific name: Rosa rugosa

Other names: Rugosa rose, Beach rose, Japanese rose, Ramanas rose

Use of Mei Gui Hua (rose flowers) in TCM

Please note that you should never self-prescribe TCM ingredients. A TCM ingredient is almost never eaten on its own but as part of a formula containing several ingredients that act together. Please consult a professional TCM practitioner, they will be best able to guide you.

Preparation: After harvest the buds are open and dried quickly under a low fire. The buds are first hung upside down so the petals dry first and they are then turned around so the rest dries too.

Dosage: 1 - 6 grams

Main actions according to TCM*: Regulates Qi and reduces Stagnation of the chest and Liver. Removes Blood Stagnation.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which Mei Gui Hua may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Abdominal pain Loss of appetite Vomiting Irregular menstruation Depression

Key TCM concepts behind Mei Gui Hua's properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Mei Gui Hua belongs to the 'Herbs that regulate Qi' category. Herbs in this category typically treat a TCM condition called 'Qi Stagnation'. Concretely it means that Qi is blocked in the body's Organs and Meridians, most typically the Stomach, Liver, and to a lesser extent, the Lungs. In modern medicine terms, Qi Stagnation often translates into psychological consequences such as depression, irritability or mood swings. It's also frequently associated with conditions such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menopausal symptoms, the development of breast swellings as well as various digestive disorders.

Furthermore Mei Gui Hua is Warm in nature. This means that Mei Gui Hua tends to help people who have too much 'Cold' in their body, although with less effect than a plant that would be Hot in nature. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Those who have too much Cold in their body are said to either have a Yin Excess (because Yin is Cold in nature) or a Yang Deficiency (Yang is Hot in Nature). Depending on your condition Mei Gui Hua can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.

Mei Gui Hua also tastes Bitter and Sweet. The so-called 'Five Phases' theory in Chinese Medicine states that the taste of TCM ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body. Bitter ingredients like Mei Gui Hua tends to have a cleansing action on the body by clearing Heat, drying Dampness and promoting elimination via urination or bowel movements. On the other hand Sweet ingredients tend to slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body. They also have a tonic effect because they replenish Qi and Blood.

The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such Mei Gui Hua is thought to target the Liver and the Spleen. In TCM the Liver is often referred as the body's "general" because it is in charge of regulating the movements of Qi and the Body Fluids. It also takes a leading role in balancing our emotions. The Spleen on the other hand assists with digestion, Blood coagulation and Fluids metabolism in the body.

Research on Mei Gui Hua

Rose flowers contain both gallic acid derivatives and polysaccharides as major antioxidant principles.1


1. TB Ng, JS He, SM Niu, ZF Pi, W Shao et al. (2004). "A gallic acid derivative and polysaccharides with antioxidative activity from rose (Rosa rugosa) flowers". Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. Volume 56, Issue 4, Pages 537-545.

Use of Mei Gui Hua as food

Mei Gui Hua is also eaten as food. It is used as an ingredient in dishes such as Rose Petal Jam or White Chocolate and Rose Infused Cheesecake.