Saturday, May 30, 2015
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Medicinal Properties of “The Rose”
Medicinal and Magical Properties of “The Rose”
Written and Edited By Charlie Farricielli
Wild roses of many species (Oginiminaga wunj rose berries, in Ojibwe) are abundant on the western prairies, especially when water is anywhere nearby. They like sun. The ones I’ve seen in North and South Dakota all have pinkish blossoms, like this drawing, but I’ve heard there are white, yellowish, and pale reddish-brown ones also. These roses, blossoming on thorny briar tangles, flower through June and begin to set their haws, hips or berries, which are ripe by early fall.
Rose hips have been an important food for all Native tribes where any kind of roses can be found. They are extremely high in vitamin C, much more so than oranges, for example. Dried, they keep well, and will always be available in winter. Most health food co-ops sell them (for $25/lb or so, another economic opportunity for tribal youth in late summers).
Dried rose hips need to be boiled about 10 minutes to make a tea of them; just pouring hot water over them results in a fairly tasteless brew. Use 2 tablespoons per pint of water, boil covered. The hips must expand, split, and let the water get at the soft seeds within. The resulting tea may be pinkish, depending on the type of roses whose berries are used. The hot tea is acid-tasting, but not as sharp as lemon juice. Some like it sweetened. A half-teaspoon of dried mint may be added to give it a different flavor. Purchased rosehips for tea you’ll find only the hardened dried shell of the berry. Boil that 15 minutes for your tea.
Native women didn’t brew a tea and throw away the cooked berries. These were used in soups and stews. The “leftovers” cooked out in a largish batch of rose-hip tea (the berries expand a lot) are a good dinner vegetable, with butter and salt. There is still a lot of remaining food value in the cooked berries. At $25/lb who wants to throw them away?
During World War II, when the government urged householders to grow food in victory gardens as part of the war effort, rose hips were stressed as a high-C food. At that time, there were plenty of recipes around for eating the actual berries, as “dinner vegetables” and as various kinds of preserves and jams. But they have gone out of fashion now, and the government would prefer you to buy ascorbic acid, for the quite inadequate C that it states as minimum daily requirement. (The body uses or excretes vitamin C; it is not stored. It is water-soluble, and no harm is done by “overdosing” if there is such a thing. All kinds of stresses appareently increase the need. Mega-amounts seem to promote good health and fight many diseases and effects of aging in a great variety of ways.)
May we recommend this “Organic Rose Hip Product”
It is now known that rose hips contain biologically valuable bioflavinoids. Citrus fruits — usually cited as the best natural source of vitamin C — have them too, but in the bitter white under-peel that is usually not eaten. Of course, you can buy bioflavinoid pills. A curious thing — when I was reading and researching for these plant pages, I looked at both “balanced nutritious meals, not pills” nutritionists’ books and at books by the kind of dieticians who want you to swallow $100-worth of vitamin and mineral diet supplements every day. Both types give long (meals) or short (pills) food lists for foods that are good sources for various dietary requirements. Nobody mentioned rose hips.
Yet they are quite popular among yuppie health co-op food buyers. By hanging around the big herb area at the neighborhood co-op I belong to and questioning people, I found that rose hips among these people are used only for tea — no one considered eating the berries! They were quite surprised when I mentioned it could be done.
Recently, I pulled the following table from the powerful AGIS ethnobotanical database of Native traditional plant food phytochemicals. It’s a chemical analysis, and doesn’t directly compare with USDA food nutrient analyses — no real way to compare the parts-peer-million reported with minimum daily requirements of vitamins and minerals in a certain amount of rose hip tea or cooked rose hips. Too, I think the analysis is old. The table generator does not pull a great manu minerals and compounds that nutritionists have found are important — and that are retrieved for other plants in this database.
What the table below shows is that rosehips are extremely high in vitamin C (ascorbic acid), have some beta carotene (plant form of Vitamin A), bioflavinoids, and considerable pectin — soluble form of fiber, which helps to prevent intestinal cancers. lowers saturated fats and triglycerides, helps to control blood pressure and good for the heart. But this table does not state the biochemical analysis in a way that is readily translatable into human nutrition. Disappointingly, it appears the fantastic phytochemicals database has been prepared more with the needs of the medical/chemical industry — looking for new sources for salable drugs and food supplements — in mind than of people (such as Native groups) interested in these plants for non-technical practical uses.
More Studies and Properties of the Magical Rose Hip
The rose has always been valued for its beauty and fragrance. Cultivated for thousands of years, roses are an ancient symbol of love and beauty. The ancient Greeks and Romans identified the rose with their goddesses of love, Aphrodite and Venus. Today, pink and red roses are commonly given as expressions of love and admiration. Rose cultivation took off in Europe in the 1800′s with the introduction of roses from China that had an amazing ability to bloom repeatedly throughout the summer and into late autumn. Rose bushes have become one of the most popular garden shrubs bearing flowers in a variety of colors -red, white, pink, yellow, orange, and burgundy. Currently, there are thousands of rose varieties and hybrids that have been developed for their bloom shape and color, size, fragrance, and some even for their lack of thorns.
Since earliest times roses were important
in hand lotions, cosmetics, and perfumes. Today, almost all women’s perfumes and 40 percent of men’s fragrances contain rose oil. Rose perfumes are made by steam-distilling the crushed rose petals. About 60,000 flowers are required to produce 30 grams (1 oz) of rose oil, a yellowish-grey liquid. Damask roses are typically used, and the main fragrant constituents of rose oil are the terpenoids, geraniol and citronellol. Today, about 70 to 80% of rose oil comes from Bulgaria, while the balance is mainly from Iran and Germany.
In the perfume industry in France, the variety of rose used is Rosa. x centifolia. The oil is popular in aromatherapy and is said to have mild sedative activity and is used to treat anxiety and depression. Rose oil also predominates in the anointing oil used in the coronation of British monarchs. Rose water, made from rose oil, is used to flavor candy, desserts, and syrups, and is also used to treat eye irritations.
In addition to producing oil, rose petals are commonly used in potpourris, and can be added to salads, jellies and jams. The dried petals of the rose varieties, Rosa gallica and R. x centifolia, which are rich in astringent tannins, are used in mouth rinses to treat mild inflammations.
Rose hips are the berry-like fruits of the rose bush left behind after the bloom has died. They are typically red or orange, but may also be dark purple to black in some species. Although nearly all rose bushes produce rose hips, the tastiest for eating purposes come from the Rugusa Rose. Rose hips have a tangy, fruity flavor similar to that of cranberries. The fruits are best harvested after the first frost, which makes them turn bright red and slightly soft.
There are many culinary uses for rose hips. They can be used fresh, dried, or preserved. Rose hips can be used in apple sauce, soups and stews, syrups, puddings, marmalade, tarts, breads, and pie, or made into a jam or jelly. Each hip comprises an outer fleshy layer which may contain up to 150 seeds embedded in a matrix of fine hairs. The irritating hairs should be removed before using the rose hips in a recipe
Rich in Vitamin C
Rose hips of some species, especially the Dog Rose (Rosa canina) and Rugosa Rose (Rosa rugosa), are a rich source of vitamin C. With one to two percent vitamin C, by dry weight, rose hips have a higher content than citrus fruit. During World War II when imports of citrus products to Great Britain were limited, tons of rose hips were harvested there from the wild to make rose hip syrup as a vitamin C supplement for children.
In addition to their culinary uses, roses were also valued for their medicinal properties. In AD 77 the Roman writer Pliny recorded 32 disorders that responded to treatment with rose preparations. Medieval herbals contained many entries that tell of the restorative properties of rose preparations.
The anti-inflammatory properties of rose hips have recently been shown to be useful in the treatment of patients suffering from knee or hip osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease affecting over 20 million Americans. It is characterized by the breakdown of cartilage in the joint, allowing bones to rub against each other, causing pain and loss of movement.
Scientists in Denmark reported that patients who daily consumed standardized rose hip powder (made from dog rose) experienced significantly less joint stiffness and pain, and an improved general well-being and mood after 3 to 4 months of treatment. The use of rose hip powder also enabled the patients to considerably reduce their standard pain medication. Rosehips contain high levels of antioxidant flavonoids with known anti-inflammatory properties.
We Recommend this High Potency Organic Product
Rose hips also contain carotenoid pigments, plant sterols, tocotrienols and a very high level of anthocyanins, catechins and other polyphenolics, known phytochemicals to protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD). They also contain up to 5 % by weight of pectin, a soluble fiber that protects against CVD. In clinical trials, rose hips were seen to reduce C-reactive protein levels, associated with a lower risk of CVD.
The rose hips of Dog Rose are a traditional diuretic and laxative. The rose hips are useful in the treatment of influenza-like infections, diarrhea, and various urinary tract disorders. No side effects are known when rose hips are used in the normal designated amounts.
Rosehips are also commonly used to make herbal teas, by boiling the dried or crushed rose hips for10 minutes. About 2 tablespoons of berries are used per pint of water. A half-teaspoon of dried mint may be added to give a different flavor, or the acid-tasting tea may be sweetened. Rose hip tea may also be improved by blending with hibiscus flowers.
The rose hips or fruits of different species of the rose plant have always had a significant place in natural medicine, as they are very rich in vitamin C content. The color of these rose hips varies from dark red to bright scarlet and their shapes differ too. While some of the rose hips may be ovoid in appearance, there are others that are pear-shaped. Basically, the rose hips are collected from the variety of rose plant called the dog rose or Rosa canina. However, herbalists prefer the larger rose hips of the Japanese rose called R. rugosa. Even other varieties of the rose plant, including R acicularis as well as R. cinnamomea, are also valued greatly. Incidentally, all these different varieties of rose plants belong to the Rosaceae family.
As mentioned earlier, the rose hips or the fruits of the different varieties of the rose plants enclose high quantity of vitamin C and hence are of great value to the practitioners of herbal medicine. In fact, the rose hips are used to prepare teas, purees, extracts, marmalades and even soups and all these are consumed as nourishments as they contain lots of vitamin C. Extracts from the rose hips are generally included in several natural vitamin mixtures like tablets, capsules, syrups and many other similar things. Interestingly, manufacturers of most such vitamin amalgams are always careful about never mentioning the proportion of vitamin obtained from rose hips and from artificial ascorbic acid. The rose hips are known to possess properties that help in preventing as well as healing scurvy (a disease caused by vitamin deficiency). In addition, the rose hips also have gentle laxative and diuretic effects which help in the movement of bowels and increasing the urine outflow from the body respectively.
Chemical analysis of the rose hips has shown that they contain 0.5 to 1.7 per cent vitamin C. However, the real content of vitamin C in the commercially available dried rose fruits varies depending on the accurate botanical source of the plant from which the rose hips have been acquired. For instance, the quantity of vitamin C present in these commercially available dried rose hips is influenced by factors like the place where the rose plant was grown, the time of harvesting the rose hips, the manner in which the fruits were dried, where and how the dehydrated rose hips were stored and other things like these. It has been often found that many commercial varieties of the rose plant material contain little or no traces of vitamin C at all. Even though we may take it for granted that the commercial varieties of the rose hips available in the market possess approximately one per cent of vitamin C on an average and the entire vitamin is available in the end product, at least one proposal does not seem to be convincing. As the present cost of vitamin C acquired from the rose hips is at least 25 times more than the artificial product, it is not feasible for the manufacturers to add enough of the natural substance in their products.
In addition to substantial proportions of vitamin C, the rose hips possess several other chemical amalgams which comprise 11 per cent of pectin and three per cent of a blend of malic and citric acids. Researchers are of the view that the presence of malic acid and citric acid contributes to the rose hips’ laxative and diuretic effects. As a consequence, physicians frequently recommend the use of rose hips or preparations with it to treat constipation and urinary problems.
Over the centuries, gardeners across the globe have admired and loved the rose flowers that are undoubtedly elegant as well as aromatic. At the same time, the gardeners have also held the hips or the fruits of the rose plant in high esteem for its numerous medicinal benefits. The rose hips vary from oval to round to pear-shape in appearance and they appear either in the latter part of summer or during the fall. Interestingly, in reality, the rose hips are not fruits, but receptacles or containers that enclose the actual fruits of the rose plant. The actual rose fruit is known as ‘seeds’ or ‘achenes’.
Long ago, people thought the rose hips to be sacred. This is corroborated from the fact that during the middle Ages, the rosary of the Catholics was made from rose hips and hence they were called rosary. These rosaries were used to count the prayers as they were also being said. Even today, the beads of the rosary used by the Catholics resemble the rose hips and like the fruits of different species of the rose plant, these modern-day beads are also smooth and elongated in appearance.
Here is an important point to note. Compared to the hybrids, it is generally easier to take care of the different original species of the rose plant. In addition, the original species of the rose also generate more tender and fleshy hips that are best for consumption. If you intend to use the rose for culinary as well as decorative purposes, you should go for the original species of the rose and cultivate them in your garden. On the other hand, if you fancy the climbing variety of the rose and also want them to fruit generously, never ever trim or prune the plants soon after their blossoming season in summer.
It may be mentioned here that if not harvested, the rose hips generally remain on the plant all through the early part of the winter or till the birds, rabbits and field rodents have either eaten them up or stored them somewhere for future use. Owing to the high intensity of ascorbic acid present in them, the rose hips stimulating tart taste that is very much fruit-like. In fact, fresh rose hips enclose as much as 60 times the quantity of vitamin C contained in the oranges and the rugosa roses. The rugosa rose bears comparatively large round shaped fruits and are known to contain rich proportions of vitamin C.
In addition to being a beautiful and aromatic flower, the rose is also beneficial as remedies for several disorders. The leaves as well as the petals of the rose plant provide a comforting effect and if ingested as a tea, can diminish body temperature during high fevers. The tea prepared with rose petals and leaves is also effective in cleansing toxins and heat from the body, particularly when they give rise to rashes on the skin and inflammatory (swelling and irritation) problems. Several researched have shown that the rose also possesses properties that increases the body’s immunity and helps to restrict all kinds of infections from becoming larger problems. This is possible owing to the rose’s cleansing or purification properties.
Infusion prepared with rose petals may be used to alleviate cold and flu symptoms. At the same time, the infusion is effective in treating sore throats, runny nose as well as congested bronchial tracts. On the other hand, infusion or syrup prepared with rose hips is beneficial in reinforcing the lungs to combat all kinds of infections and is especially useful for those who suffer from chest problems. At the same time, roses are also effective in combating infections in the digestive system and restoring the normal and essential bacteria in the intestines. The petals and seeds of the rose have a diuretic effect and are beneficial in relieving excessive fluids from the urinary bladder. This way, they also help in getting rid of the waste and toxic substances in the body through the kidneys. Hence, rose is also considered to be an effective cleanser and purifier.
Like the rose hips, the petals of the rose flowers also have numerous remedial uses. For instance, the rose petals are effective in relieving congestion in the female reproductive system. In addition, the rose petals may also be used to treat the excessive accumulation of fluid in the urinary tract and thereby alleviate pains and, in women, heavy periods. Physicians also recommend the use of rose petals to treat erratic menstrual periods, infertility as well as to perk up sexual desire in individuals.
Infusion prepared from the rose petals acts as a useful astringent and is effective for treating diarrhea, enteritis and dysentery. It may be noted here that tea prepared from rose petals may be used as a laxative to clear bowel movement. At the same time, the rose petal tea is also an effective medication for the liver and enhances flow of bile, invigorates as well as purifies the liver and the gallbladder. It also helps in alleviating problems related with lethargic liver like headaches and constipation.
Rose hips as well as the petals of the rose flowers possess inspiring as well as reconditioning affects on the nervous system. They are also capable of alleviating the problems of insomnia, do away with depression, drive out fatigue and also offer comfort in conditions such as tetchiness.
Different parts of the rose plant are useful for different purposes and hence they have different applications. The rose hips or fruits of the rose plant, flowers and even the petals are beneficial in some way or the other and used by people as tincture, syrup, essential oil, cream, lotion, rosewater, massage oil, gargle and decoction.
rose hips – R. canina:The rose hips (R.canina) or the fruits of the plant are used as tincture as well as syrup to treat different ailments.
TINCTURE: The tincture prepared from rose hips (R. canina) are ingested as an astringent (a medicine the draws affected tissues closer) to treat diarrhea, alleviate colic or stomach pains and is also blended with cough medicines
SYRUP: The syrup prepared from the rose hips (R. canina) is used to provide flavor to other medicines, mostly the bitter and bland ones. The syrup is also blended in cough mixtures or may be ingested as a rich source of vitamin C.
Rose hips – R. laevigata:
Medications prepared with rose hips (R. laevigata) are normally ingested to treat stomach disorders. They may be applied as decoction.
A decoction prepared with rose hips (R. laevigata) may be blended with other herbs like dang shen, bai zhu and Shan Yao and ingested to treat insistent diarrhea that is accompanied with stomach flaw.
The essential oil (R. centifolia / R. damascene) extracted from the rose hips or the fruits of the rose plant are basically beneficial to treat skin and stomach conditions. This oil is normally used externally and applied as a cream, lotion, oil and massage oil.
CREAM: A few drops of the oil extracted from rose hips may be added to creams to heal parched or irritating skin.
LOTION: One ml of the tincture prepared with another herb lady’s mantle may be blended with 10 ml of rosewater to treat itching in the vagina. Use the same blend to prepare a cream by following a standard base. Blend the rosewater with equivalent proportion of purified witch hazel and use it as a comforting and moisturizing lotion to treat skin that is inclined to be affected by pimples or acne.
MASSAGE OIL: To avail relief from anxiety and fatigue add approximately two ml of rose oil to 20 ml of almond or wheat germ oil and massage the same on the forehead and other parts of the body. The same blend may be used to alleviate lethargic digestion.
Flowers – R. rugosa:
The rose flowers (R. rugosa) are helpful for treating menstrual and liver disorders and may be ingested as a decoction.The petals of the rose flower (R. gallica) are beneficial in treating menstruation and stomach disorders. A tincture prepared with them may be used as a gargle for throat infections.
GARGLE: When the tincture prepared with rose petals is diluted with warm water, it may be used as a gargle to heal aching throats. The tincture may also be blended with another herb sage for similar application.
4 cups bone-dry rose petals
• 2 cups dried rose leaves
• 2 Tbs. ground cinnamon
• 3 cups dried lavender buds
• 1/3 cup orris root powder
• 2 Tbs. ground all-spice
• 1/4 cup ground cloves
• 2 ground tonka beans
• 6 drops oil of roses
• 3 drops oil of lavender
Combine all the dry ingredients, mix well, and add the oils, a drop at a time, mixing as you work. Seal into a jar, and cure for 6 weeks in a dry, dark, warm place that is well ventilated. Shake the jar daily. When cured, turn the potpourri into a decorative container with a tightly stopper lid. Open only when the potpourri is in use.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Mother's Day is one of the best ways to make every mom feel special, loved and cared for. A day dedicated to motherhood, it gives a child umpteen opportunity to express to his/her mom, as to how special and precious she is for him/her. However, did you know that there are numerous fun facts that are associated with the day? If no, then this would be the best way to surprise your mom on Mother's Day. Narrate to her some astonishing facts that she would not have known otherwise. To know about the various facts, trivia and traditions of Mother's Day, read through the following lines.
Mother's Day Trivia
- The names of Chinese family often begin with a sign that means "mother". It's a nice way of honoring their moms, since a long time.
- The ancient Greeks celebrated Mother's Day in spring, like we do. They used to honor Rhea, "mother of the gods" with honey-cakes and fine drinks and flowers at dawn.
- Mother Shipton was a Prophetess in Britain, 500 years ago. She could see the future and predicted that another Queen Elizabeth would sit on the throne of England. (QE II)
- Japan's Imperial family traces their descent from Omikami Amaterasu, the Mother of the World.
- Julia Ward Howe wrote the Battle Hymm of the Republic and was a staunch fighter for women's rights. She staged an unusual protest for peace in Boston, by celebrating a special day for mothers. Julia wanted to call attention to the need for peace by pointing out mothers who were left alone in the world without their sons and husbands after the bloody Franco-Prussian War.
- Hindu scripture credits the Great Mother, Kali Ma, with the invention of writing through alphabets, pictographs and beautiful sacred images.
- Mother Goose is one of the most popular of all children's entertainers. Her books and stories have been loved for many generations.
- Native American Indian women have long been honored with the name, "Life of the Nation" for their gift of motherhood to the tribes.
- Ancient Egyptians believed that "Bast" was the mother of all cats on Earth, and that cats were sacred animals.
- Buddha honored mothers when he said, "As a mother, even at the risk of her own life, loves and protects her child, so let a man cultivate love without measure toward the whole world."
- In the Bible, Eve is credited with being the "Mother of All the Living."
- During the 1600's, England celebrated a day called "Mothering Sunday." Servants would go home to see their families, bringing cakes and sweets to their moms. This custom was called "going a-mothering". Each mother would recieve a simnel-cake (Latin for "fine flour) and mother's would give a blessing to their children.
- Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia began the campaign that brought about the official observance of Mother's Day in the United states. Her mother died, and Anna wanted all mothers to be remembered. She asked that white carnations be the official mother's day symbol. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed the orders that made Mother's Day a national holiday.
- Just nine years later, Anna filed a lawsuit in an effort to stop the over- commercialization of Mother's Day. She lost her fight. Now, cards, letters, candy and dinners out mark Mother's Day for most families. Anna had hoped for a day of reflection and quiet prayer by families, thanking God for all that mothers had done.
- Mother Earth is also known as "Terra Firma". That title is a Latin translation of some lines from one of the Greek poet, Homer's, greatest poems.
- In Yugoslavia on "Materitse," "Materice," or Mother's Day, the children tie up their mother, releasing her only when she has paid them with sweets or other goodies.
- In France children Mother's Day is refered to as Fete des Meres. It provides children and adults to honour their mothers and give her gifts and treats. Mother's Day is celebrated on the last Sunday in May. It is treated more like a family birthday. Everyone in the family gathers for a special meal.
- In Europe, people on Mother's Day honor their mothers as well as the church. They respect the "Mother Church" - the spiritual power that gave them life and protected them from harm. The church festival got blended with the Mothering Sunday celebration.
- In Spain Mother's Day is celebrated on 8th December. It is closely associated with Mother Mary - the mother of Jesus. On this children send special cards, chocolates, flowers and other presents to their mothers. But many children make their own presents for their mothers.
- In Sweden Mother's Day is on the last Sunday in May and is a family holiday. The Swedish Red Cross sells small plastic flowers on the days leading up to Mother's Day. The money raised from the sale of the flowers is used to help needy mothers and their children.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Writing a Love Letter
Writing a love letter shouldn't be that difficult. All you have to do is open your heart and let the words flow, right? But finding the right words to profess your undying love can be a daunting task. Here are some simple tips to help you get those romantic feelings down on paper.
1. Set the mood. Just as you would want a private place to have an intimate conversation, you should also have a quiet place to write your love letter. Don't attempt to do it while sitting in the middle of a lunchroom or while bouncing along on the bus on your way home from work. Find a quiet place, put on some romantic music to put you in the right frame of mind, and relax.
2. Use the proper tools. Your love letter is a personal message to someone special, so your method of writing it should also be special. Forget the computer. For this endeavor, you'll need to hark back to the old days of pen and paper. It doesn't matter if your handwriting is imperfect; it's more personal than 10 pt Arial font on a sheet of computer paper. Get some nice stationery and a matching envelope from your local office supply store or look online!
3. Open with a romantic salutation. "Dear [Jane or John]" is too common to start a heartfelt love letter. Choose something more loving, such as "My dearest Jane" or "My darling John." You can also start with a loving salutation that doesn't include your significant other's name, such as "To My True Love" or "To My One and Only." If you have a pet nickname, that's a good option, too, as it sets an intimate mood for the rest of your letter.
4. Tell your loved one why you're writing. You may want to start out by saying, "I've been thinking of you nonstop since..." or "I thought of you today when... " or "I have been wanting to tell you this for a long time..."
5. Express your love. Tell your significant other why you love him or her. There are many ways to do this. You might want to recall the first time you knew you were in love with this person, or list some of the things you love about him or her. You can also explain how you feel when you're together, and include your hopes or plans for your future together.
6. Include a romantic quote. Love is such an overwhelming emotion, it's hard to explain all the wonderful things about it in a simple letter. So borrow some words from a professional wordsmith. A romantic quote can sum up a plethora of feelings in just a few phrases.
7. End with a romantic closing. "Sincerely yours" or "Best wishes" are fine valedictions for an everyday letter to a friend, but a love letter needs something more heartfelt. Try closing with a phrase such as "All my love," "Yours forever" or "Your Loving [Girlfriend, Boyfriend, Husband, Wife, etc.]" and then sign your name.
8. Present your letter to your loved one. Find a romantic way to present your letter. Lay it on the pillow with a long-stemmed rose, send it in a bottle, or go out for a romantic walk or intimate dinner.
A Romantic Love Letter by John Keats to Fanny Brawne
Keats and Brawne were introduced to each other in 1818 in Hampstead. Keats who was twenty-three at that time fell in love with the sixteen-year-old Brawne.
He started writing her love letters that reflected the amount of love he had for her. He quoted in one of his letters “I have been astonished that men could die martyrs of religion. I have shuddered at it”. The famous poet died at the age of 25. His last poem is named as “Fanny”, written in the memoirs of the love of his life.
My Dearest Girl,
I have been a walk this morning with a book in my hand, but as usual, I have been occupied with nothing but you: I wish I could say in an agreeable manner. I am tormented day and night. They talk of my going to Italy. ‘Tis certain I shall never recover if I am to be so long separate from you: yet with all this devotion to you I cannot persuade myself into any confidence of you….
You are to me an object intensely desirable — the air I breathe in a room empty of you in unhealthy. I am not the same to you — no — you can wait — you have a thousand activities — you can be happy without me. Any party, anything to fill up the day has been enough.
How have you pass’d this month? Who have you smil’d with? All this may seem savage in me. You do not feel as I do — you do not know what it is to love — one day you may — your time is not come….
I cannot live without you, and not only you but chaste you; virtuous you. The Sun rises and sets, the day passes, and you follow the bent of your inclination to a certain extent — you have no conception of the quantity of miserable feeling that passes through me in a day — Be serious! Love is not a plaything — and again do not write unless you can do it with a crystal conscience. I would sooner die for want of you than —
Yours for ever
Romantic Love Letter from Beethoven to the Immortal Beloved
Beethoven, one of the greatest musicians was ever born, is the reflection was true inspiration. During his early days, he worked as a musician at Bonn court orchestra. Within few years, he moved to Vienna to learn music from Mozart. Later, after his mother’s death he started taking musical lessons from Haydn, Albrechtsberger, Schenck and Salieri. Soon he earned a lot of fame, which took him to places for public performances. In 1798, he realized he was suffering from hearing disorder. By 1820, he became completely deaf and succumbed into writing "conversation notebooks".
Evening, Monday, July 6
You are suffering, my dearest creature - only now have I learned that letters must be posted very early in the morning on Mondays to Thursdays - the only days on which the mail-coach goes from here to K. - You are suffering - Ah, wherever I am, there you are also - I will arrange it with you and me that I can live with you. What a life!!! thus!!! without you - pursued by the goodness of mankind hither and thither - which I as little want to deserve as I deserve it - Humility of man towards man - it pains me - and when I consider myself in relation to the universe, what am I and what is He - whom we call the greatest - and yet - herein lies the divine in man - I weep when I reflect that you will probably not receive the first report from me until Saturday - Much as you love me - I love you more - But do not ever conceal yourself from me - good night - As I am taking the baths I must go to bed - Oh God - so near! so far! Is not our love truly a heavenly structure, and also as firm as the vault of heaven?
Romantic Love Letter by Lewis Carroll to May Mileham
“7 Lushington Road, Eastbourne
Thank you very much indeed for the peaches. They were delicious. Eating one was almost as nice as kissing you; Of course not quite; I think, if I had to give the exact measurement, I should say three – quarters as nice; We are having such a lovely time here; and the sands are beautiful. I only wish I could some day come across you, washing your pocket -handkerchief in a pool among the rocks? But I wander on the beach, and look for you, in vain; and then I say, Where is May? And the stupid boatmen reply, It isn’t May, sir? It’s September?’ But it doesn’t comfort me.
Always your Loving C.L.D.”
Romantic Love Letter by Lord Byron to Annabella Milbanke
Lord Byron began courtship with Anne Isabella Milbanke, whom he married later on. After some initial refusals, Milbanke finally decided to marry Byron. Soon enough she was ill treated by the great poet that followed into a separation. They had a private wedding ceremony at Seaham Hall in County Durham on January 2, 1815. Byron after their wedding went into severe financial crisis and started growing more and more upset day by day.
“November 16, 1814
My Heart -
We are thus far separated - but after all one mile is as bad as a thousand, - which is a great consolation to one who must travel six hundred before he meets you again. If it will give you any satisfaction - I am as comfortless as a pilgrim with peas in his shoes - and as cold as Charity - Chastity or any other Virtue.”
Famous Love Letter by Victor Hugo to Adele Foucher
Victor Hugo fell in love with Adele Foucher, during his early teen age. There was not much support from his family, especially from his mother. After his mother’s death, he married Foucher. They were deeply in love and raised 5 children.
When two souls, which have sought each other for, however long in the throng, have finally found each other ...a union, fiery and pure as they themselves are... begins on earth and continues forever in heaven.
This union is love, true love... a religion, which deifies the loved one, whose life comes from devotion and passion, and for which the greatest sacrifices are the sweetest delights.
This is the love, which you inspire in me... Your soul is made to love with the purity and passion of angels; but perhaps it can only love another angel, in which case I must tremble with apprehension.
Victor Hugo (1821)”
Famous Love Letter by James Joyce to Nora Barnacle
James Joyce was romantically involved with Nora Barnacle, whom he finally married. Time and again many of his writings suggest that Nora was his biggest inspiration and closest companion. They began their courtship soon after they met, and finally got married in 1931. Although there was a lot of differences in them, yet they stayed together. In some of her writings, Nora has tagged Joyce as a weak man
15 August, 1904
My dear Nora,
It has just struck me. I came in at half past eleven. Since then I have been sitting in an easy chair like a fool. I could do nothing. I hear nothing but your voice. I am like a fool hearing you call me 'Dear.' I offended two men today by leaving them coolly. I wanted to hear your voice, not theirs.
When I am with you, I leave aside my contemptuous, suspicious nature. I wish I felt your head on my shoulder. I think I will go to bed.
I have been a half-hour writing this thing. Will you write something to me? I hope you will. How am I to sign myself? I won't sign anything at all, because I don't know what to sign 5.
Deeper Steps to a Perfect Love Letter
Love can be expressed in a thousand different ways. Romantic gifts, cozy moments together, candlelit dinners, beautiful poems—all of these are ways that people have found to show their love for one another. But if your significant other isn’t nearby, it can sometimes be hard to contain the torrent of emotion that builds up within you. Or you might want to tell them how you feel, but the words just stick in your throat. This is exactly the situation that the love letter was invented for! So just sit down with a pen and paper or in front of your computer, and compose a message that is sure to melt their heart.
1. Say how much you miss them.
Love letters began to get popular back in the days when two lovers who were separated from each other had no other form of communication. Even today, love notes or even love emails are usually written to let the other person know how deeply they’re being missed.
Example: (from a letter by Lord Byron) My Heart—We are thus far separated—but after all one mile is as bad as a thousand—which is a great consolation to one who must travel six hundred before he meets you again.
2. Mention what you love about them.
This is the obvious part! Tell your significant other what it is about them that causes you to love them so much. Compliment their qualities, and say how badly you need them in your life.
Example: (from a letter by James Joyce) When I am with you, I leave aside my contemptuous, suspicious nature. I wish I felt your head on my shoulder.
3. Share your fondest memories.
It’s a great idea to remind your loved one of the times you’ve spent together, so that you can both look forward to seeing one another again. Pick an intimate moment that was shared between the two of you, and mention it lovingly.
Example: (from a letter by Lewis Carroll) Thank you very much indeed for the peaches…Eating one was almost as nice as kissing you; Of course not quite; I think, if I had to give the exact measurement, I should say three-quarters as nice.
4. Express your deepest feelings.
The advantage of a letter is that you can pour your heart out onto the page. Any words that you might find difficult to say in person can be expressed here. Use this opportunity to tell your boyfriend or girlfriend how you really feel.
Example: (from a letter by Victor Hugo) This union is love, true love…a religion, which deifies the loved one, whose life comes from devotion and passion, and for which the greatest sacrifices are the sweetest delights.
5. Look forward to the future.
Try not to end your love letter on a sad or painful note. Remember that you will soon see your loved one again, and let them know how happy this makes you. At the end of the letter, tell them how much you’re looking forward to seeing them.
Example: (from a letter by Beethoven) Ah, wherever I am, there you are also—I will arrange it with you and me that I can live with you.
What a life!!! Thus!!! myself.”
How Not to Write A Love Letter (15 Ways)
If, in the past, you sat down, took pen (never pencil) in hand, and wrote a love letter to the object (person) of your affection and that person never responded, or has disappeared entirely, there may be a reason. In fact there may be 15 reasons.
There are certain things that you just should not do or write in a love letter.
You should not (or never):
- Send a love letter email - This would feel like a cheesy form letter. Are you writing everybody in the hopes of getting a response from somebody? It takes no effort at all to change "Dear Somebody" to "Dear Everybody" - with just the push of the delete button. Besides, a handwritten letter says a lot about you, literally. A graphologist* can take one look at your love letter and gather quite a bit of information. You want your sincerity to shine through!
- Be an illiterate - No one, let me repeat this, no one wants an idiot. Saying foolish things aloud is bad enough but then to immortalize them on paper - big mistake. There is nothing wrong with coming across as educated, intelligent, bright, smart, literate, etc. If you doubt your spelling abilities then write an email first, spell check it - then handwrite your love letter. Better to err on the side of being mistaken for someone intelligent rather than an idiot.
- Write page after page after page - Too boring and tedious. No one wants to keep reading and reading and reading - until you finally get to the point. Less is more and shows you have substance - and can show it on one page.
- Say "I" "I" "I" - This makes it appear as if it is all about you, and you want this relationship for your benefit. Remember, love is supposed to be about sharing in a relationship. Not "I" -ing it to death.
- Use computer paper, loose-leaf paper, or a brown paper bag - At best this would show a terrible lack of imagination. At worst it would show the height of shocking cheapness. Take the time to purchase some good paper or at least colored paper. Even weak writing looks better on good stationery. But no clowns or well-known cartoon characters. It may come across as a personal comment about your character - or the person you are writing.
- Sprinkle the letter with perfume, or cologne - This is an old, tiresome, unromantic, unimaginative, overdone, rather desperate idea. It would seem as if you could not sit down and dash off a sincere letter of heart-felt love and affection. Instead you had to go find some chemical laced concoction and fool around with it. If the object of your affection has allergies - you probably won't see that person ever again - and be hated in the process.
- Send a love letter to a man if you are a woman - Sooooo very easily misconstrued. He may read your love letter as a contract to share your apartment, good credit, bedroom, bed, food, etc. with him because...well because you put it in writing. Let him write you a hand-written love letter. Even an amateur graphologist* can figure out a lot about a person from his handwriting - and you need to know who you are dealing with. Talk may be cheap but writing shows some investment.
- Propose marriage - Cowardly. The eyes, and body language will tell your true intentions.
- Write more than one - Don't keep dashing off letter after letter. Make your point in one beautiful, thoughtful, well-written love letter - on good stationery, written with a pen that does not skip or leak. If you get a response then take your time and write another. In the interim you are supposed to plan picnics and arrange dinner dates and so on. Your next love letter can refer to those happily shared moments - which you have created.
- Make an attempt at poetry - No, never. Don't think that just because you can rhyme love with glove and dove and above makes you a poet. Poetry is a true beautiful art. Bad poetry is frightening. You may refer to the writings of a true poet but that shouldn't be in your first letter. In your first love letter, your lovely and sincere writing should shine through, not the writing of a dead poet.
- Write "You" "You" "You" - Sounds too much like you are looking for a servant and are creating a list of all the things your servant will do (aka a control freak monster).
- Promise the moon and the stars and a rainbow - This is quite lovely and you can write about such, but it should be followed with something realistic, something concrete like: If our date starts at eight, just know, I will never be late (there's a little rhyme for you - and promised punctuality gets a gold star).
- Start a relationship with a love letter - If you hardly know the person, a love letter is always inappropriate. You cannot possibly love a person who you see on the subway, or walks past your house once a week, or gets on the elevator with you. Don't confuse lust with love. Love letters are a continuation of something positive, something that is already happening. A love letter to someone you hardly know comes across as stalking. Creepy stuff.
- Doodle all around the edges - No. Just say 'no' to doodling all around the edges or anywhere else.
- Sign off with "Luv Ya" or "Your Boo" - If you cannot sign off with your real name, you will come across as someone in a committed relationship - with someone else - who is prepared to say somewhere down the line, "See hon, I didn't write that. That person over there is not the object of my affection. That love letter, or whatever it is, doesn't have my name on it."
The best thing(s) to do is:
Keep it short, sweet, simple, and sincere.
Fragments of friendship, made by women in the Victorian Era, used their ingenuity and clever hands to fashion objects to give away including the letters they so carefully wrote. Many would take care to turn an ordinary envelope into a work of art with illustrations and or painted script, and even addresses rendered with intricate pin pricks. And Sealing wax was a favorite way to protect the contents of the envelope.
There were suitors known as faint-hearted lovers who couldn't muster a proposal. According to The Lover's Casket, an etiquette book that strictly covered courting techniques, had indeed said that the suitor could write his proposal by letter if he could not bring himself to say the words.
The Lovers Letter Writer, a popular 19th-century English manual, supplied the answers to correct letter writing. Covering love, courtship, marriage, friendship, relationships and business. In all, there were 66 examples. The samples covered every conceivable social need along with a handy formula for a cryptogram meant to be read between the lines.
This example of a cryptogram was headed Female Ingenuity and was used by a newly married young lady who was obliged to show her husband all the letters she wrote.
I cannot be satisfied, my dearest friend;
blest as I am in the matrimonial state,
unless I pour into your friendly bosom,
which has ever been in unison with mine,
the various sensations which swell
with the liveliest emotions of pleasure,
my almost bursting heart. I tell you my dear
husband is the most amiable of men.
I have now been married seven weeks, and
have found the least reason to
repent the day that joined us.
My husband is
in person and manners far from resembling
ugly, cross, old, disagreeable and jealous
monsters, who think by confining to secure a wife;
it is his maxim to treat,
as a bosom friend and confidant, and not
as a plaything or menial slave, the woman
chosen to be his companion. Neither party,
he says should always obey implicitly;
but each yield to the other by turns.
The letter's message was:
I cannot be satisfied, my dearest friend,
unless I pour into your friendly bosom,
the various sensations which swell
my almost bursting heart. I tell you my dear
I have now been married seven weeks, and
repent the day that joined us.
My husband is
ugly, cross, old, disagreeable and jealous.
It is his maxim to treat
as a plaything or menial slave; the woman
he says, should always obey implicitly.
Another sample is to be used by a lady in answer to a letter in which her suitor intimates his wish to discontinue acquaintance. A lady should permit a suitor to withdraw, but not without having the last word.
I acknowledge the receipt of your last letter, which now lies before me, and in which you convey the intimation, that the position which, for some time past we have regarded each other, must henceforth be abandoned. Until the receipt of this letter, I had regarded you in the light of my future husband; you were, therefore, as you have reason to know, so completely the possessor of my affections, that I looked with indifference upon every other suitor. The remembrance of you never failed to give a fresh zest to the pleasures of life, and you were in my thoughts at the very moment in which I received your letter.
But deem me not so devoid of proper pride as to wish you to revoke your determination, from which I will not attempt to dissuade you, whether you may have made it in coll deliberation, or in precipitate haste. Sir, I shall endeavor to banish you from my affections, as readily and completely as you have banished me; and all that I shall now require from you is this, that you will return to me whatever letters you may have of mine, and which I may have written under a foolish confidence in your attachment, and when you were accredited as the future husband of,
Yours as may be,
"Please never stop writing me letters-they always manage to make me feel like my higher self," poet Elizabeth Bishop once implored a friend." In this age of electronic correspondence, letter writing is much more personal or romantic than convenient email. And in an age that valued sentiment and friendship, creating souvenirs to be exchanged was part of the ceremony and the excitement, a reminder forever of the beauty found in the circle of love and friendship.
Find a quiet corner, your very own private domain. "I have everything I need…a page, a pen, and memory raining down on me in sleeves," wrote Harriet Doerr. Take up a clean page and write, but pay close attention to details, no scribbling here please. Calligraphy has always been a form of expressive handwriting. No matter which style you choose, remember that it's not just what you write, but how it is written.
The page itself may be decorated, or plain parchment will do. Get creative. Let your inner self decide what would be a proper expression of your feelings. Perhaps a pink satin ribbon weaved up along one side, through incisions in the page, and tied with a bow towards the top will do. Or by chance you've found the perfect commercial stationary to express your feelings.
And don't forget about the envelope. One shouldn't go to the trouble of creating a beautiful and or sentiment correspondence without considering the envelope. Have it match the stationary or have it stand on it's own. Maybe it could be something as simple as a satin ribbon threaded through slits on the flap and tied in a bow. Or decorate using rubber stamps.
You may decide to ensure the safety of your sentiment by using sealing wax on the flap. I find it best to heat the wax in a spoon and drip the wax onto the flap of the envelope.
No matter who you take the time to write-it is the thoughtful touch that makes your written message seem all the more sincere.
Blend approximately 100 drops of essential oil (suggested oils are rose or lavender) with a teaspoon of vodka.
Add the mixture, a little at a time, to 2 ounces of ink (deep colors work best).
Stir and ready to use.
Oh! nature's noblest gift--my grey goose quill;
Slave of my thoughts, obedient to my will.
Torn from thy parent bird to form a pen.
That mighty instrument of little men!
Write to me a letter
etched by Sunday morning
centered in a room where
returning robins sing
of the sea-swung
palms and beaches of
Florida. Your chosen words
will glint beyond
their stony use and point
to the history we sense in night, that lore
drunk on nocturnal
breezes (the polyphony of sleep)
when cricket chords mesmerize
wall shadows stretched
tight from your feet
until they forget to be faithful to your body.
When your letter arrives,
I will memorize your words, rendering
your syntax so finely all will be forgotten except
your dancing beyond the ink-stains,
a game of pretend really,
as if you were always
in this room.