Discover the popular global ingredient that has been praised for its anxiety-relieving properties for centuries.

Lauren Wicks

Rose water has surged in popularity in the states as a popular skincare ingredient for cult-favorite facial sprays and creams—Trader Joe's even has its own Rose Water Spray! If you've tried one of these sprays, it can be so relaxing to simply mist your face with a little rose water on a hot summer's day or a stuffy plane. However, this ingredient is nothing new to other parts of the globe, where it has been used in culinary and cosmetic ventures for centuries to relieve inflammation and anxiety.

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This generations-old medicinal ingredient and flavoring agent also has some modern science backing up its supposed anxiety- and inflammation-relieving properties. A 2017 study out of Tehran University of Medical Sciences found rose offers physical and psychological relaxation, anti-anxiety properties and pain relief. Additional studies have discovered it's full of antioxidants, helps heal wounds and can even relieve headaches.

Related: Too Much Stress? How It's Hurting Your Health in Surprising Ways

Rose water is used in a wide array of sweet and savory dishes—from complimenting vanilla in sugary treats to amplifying exotic spices like cardamom and saffron at dinnertime. You'll often find rose water paired with pistachios in delicious baked goods and with bitter aperitifs for boozy bliss. Try it out in our Rose Mojito!

Rose water is created simply by steeping rose petals in water—but you'll likely want to purchase rose water as-is, or use dried petals over a bouquet from your local grocery store to make this fragrant concoction. Oftentimes flowers found in grocery stores, drug stores and bodegas are contaminated with pesticides and other funky things you don't want to ingest. You may be able to find rose water in the international section of your supermarket, but if not, try a natural grocer, ethnic market or just Amazon Prime it.

Related: 7 Foods for Stress Relief

Rose jam is one of the most common ways to enjoy the mental health benefits of this amazing ingredients in the Middle East, and we have our own delicious version with fresh raspberries. And if you're not a fan of rose's pungent, aromatic flavor, try it in our Rose Oatmeal Milk Bath recipe for a day at the spa (in the comfort of your own home).

Rose water may be an acquired taste, but one of our staffers finds its aromatic taste comforting and nostalgic, as she grew up enjoying it in chickpea flour cookies and gelato. We advise you experiment with this flavorful ingredient, and even if you don't find a recipe you like, the smell will likely ease your stress in the process!

Related: How to Reduce Anxiety: Best Science-Backed Foods & Tips

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