Jun 182008

Rose vinegar is supremely easy to make and has about a million uses. Here’s how you make it: get yourself a jar, fill it about halfway with dried Rose petal or leaves, or all the way up with fresh petals and/or leaves. Fill to top with a high quality apple cider vinegar. Let infuse for at least two weeks, and preferably six weeks. A plastic lid will prevent the Rose vinegar from eating through the normal metal canning lids (turns your vinegar black too, very unpleasant). Your vinegar will turn a lovely shade of reddish pink to brilliant ruby if you use colorful petals (dunno how yellow comes out it, I’ve never used them).

A cloth can be soaked in this lovely preparation (dilute to 1 part vinegar to about 7-10 parts water) can be used placed on the forehead for headaches (especially heat caused headaches), wrapped around a sprained ankle or used to wash itchy bug bites and heat rashes. It excels at pulling heat from an inflamed area in a very short time. It is especially powerful at rapidly quenching the redness and pain from a sunburn in to time flat. In fact a medium sunburn, if caught within the first 24 hours, can be nearly erased in three or four applications of vinegar over a period of six hours or so. Even where there is threatening sun poisoning and blistering skin, it can greatly ease the pain and lessen the general trauma to the body. While not a replacement for emergency care in severe burns, it is nearly always incredibly helpful.


 Sunburn Treatment

  • First, do yourself a favor and don’t smother your sunburn in salve or oil. It just holds the heat in and worsens it, no matter how healing the herbs contained therein may be.
  • Depending on the size of the burn, pour about 1/3 a cup of Rose Vinegar into a bowl, then add several cups of water and mix thoroughly.
  • Get a soft, absorbent cloth and dip into the liquid. Gently wring it out, being sure the cloth is still quite wet. You may want to use very large cloths/towels if the area burned is very large.
  • Place the cloths over the affected areas, it will very cold at first but the cloth will rapidly become hot. Keep re-dipping and wringing as soon as the cloth gets warm. Depending on the severity of the burn, I usually re-apply at least a dozen times during the first session.
  • Let the skin airdry. For a medium burns, I repeat the application about once every two hours. For severe burns, every hour. For light burns, as often as is needed.
  • Before bed, a topical application of fresh Aloe Vera gel can be applied (from the plant, not weird preserved stuff from a bottle) to the area.
  • Keep up the treatment until the area no longer feels hot to the touch. If the burns are very severe and there is the possibility (or existence) of infection, dress the burns with Rose and/or Beebalm honey between vinegar applications.
  • Once the area has cooled off (and stays that way) it’s ok to use a healing salve or cream like Rose, Alder and Elderflower to speed the skin’s complete recovery.

If there’s no Rose vinegar on hand, plain or similarly herbal infused (Elderflower, Chickweed, Alder, Plantain) apple cider may be used.

This is such an effective treatment that I wouldn’t dream of traveling without it or not having several quart jars of it in my pantry and medicine chest.

  10 Responses to “Rose Vinegar: My Favorite Sunburn Soother”

  1. I’ve never tried rose vinegar. I use plain vinegar on a sunburn and it really helps take the heat out and turn it into a tan rather than peeling. for years, I used aloe for burns and they would peel, leaving me just as white and defenseless as before. Vinegar works better :D.

  2. Thank you for this recipe! Perfect timing as summer is on the cusp of it’s beginning and I saw my first wild rose bloom today! Sounds wonderful.

  3. for that two to four weeks, should the dried rose petals infuse the apple cider vinigar in the fridg or not in the fridge..about what temp are we looking at? and after straining should it be stored in fridg or not, and for how long does it keep? thanks

    • Mica, that is vinegar at room temperature out of sunlight, in a pantry or cabinet would work well. It’ll keep at least a year, probably two, but much depends on your climate and environment.

  4. This is great! I am very pale and come summer time only have two shades – white and red! No matter how much sunscreen I put on or how covered I am, something, somewhere, turns a vicious red. Apple cider vinegar is a staple in my home (I use it a lot for allergies) – so I will definitely be making this to gear up for summer months. Thank you!

  5. WONDERFUL! My family went out yesterday and everyone got sunburned. We came straight home and me not really knowing what to do with 6 burned babes. Stared with the reddest first for a nice long soak in the tub filled with cool water and about a quart chickweed infusion. while they started the soaking I started the searching. I’ve been following you for a while now and found this article. I have some Chickweed vinegar and used that in place of the rose vinegar. VIOLA! All but one woke this morning with Not a red mark on them! It was awesome! And the One that was red has one little spot on his ear that has a little blister on it, Pretty sure if we’d caught it sooner it would have not been so bad. Thank You Kiva for sharing!

  6. […] vinegar are two other favorites of mine. Kiva taught me about the wonderfully healing nature of rose petal vinegar. Along with fresh aloe gel scraped from my aloe plants, rose vinegar is my go-to for sunburn […]

  7. I had a severe sunburn on my white legs last week. It has been years since these gams have been exposed to sunlight. The skin swelled up with a bright pink/red color. I made the rose-vinegar last year and diluted as you instructed. I was hoping it would still work and it did! With only two applications, it was all good. No pain whatsoever, healed over without blistering. With the heat in the skin, the vinegar dissipated quickly without any smell. Thank you so much for this post and the easy to follow instructions!

  8. I have this macerating as well . Letting it go the full six weeks .. will be ready to decant on March 28 !

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