A rose by any other name would… have more health benefits? Say hello to rose of Jericho, also known as:
- Anastatica hierochuntica
- hand of Fatima
- Maryam’s flower
- resurrection fern or resurrection plant
That last one comes from the plant’s sneaky ability to unfold and perk up after looking dead for days. This magical little herb has been used across cultures and religions to treat health ailments and induce labor.
Like many other plants, rose of Jericho *is* full of healthy plant compounds:
- Chlorogenic acid. This might play a role in reducing blood pressure.
- Quercetin. Known to reduce painful inflammation at 500-milligram doses (rose of Jericho contains <50 milligram per gram)
- Kaempferol. A safe, effective compound for soothing inflammation.
- Luteolin. Hello, antioxidant that may offer anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects!
That’s all great, but containing healthy compounds isn’t the same as providing truly healing benefits. Still, fans use it for three primary health purposes.
- Anti-aging, baby. Plants contain antioxidants. And antioxidants = anti-aging, right? Not so fast. Jericho roses contain antioxidants, but there’s no actual evidence that slapping it on your face will soften fine lines.
- Disease-fighting powers. All those anti-inflammatory, anticancer plant compounds above? They’re great at helping with problems like painful arthritis, general inflammation, unhealthy blood sugar levels, and more. Some folks sip rose of Jericho tea to fight disease.
- More uterine blood flow. For years, rose of Jericho tonics have been used to speed up the flow, which is thought to soothe cramps and speed up childbirth.
Here’s how to give rose of Jericho a whirl, as a natural remedy, or on your skin.
Rose of Jericho comes in many forms:
- botanical oil for the skin
- herbal tea (dried flowers from the rose of Jericho plant)
- oral capsules
Rose of Jericho is an uncommon ingredient, and only anecdotal evidence suggests using it in these forms.
Pro tip: It’s important to note that many products that claim to contain rose of Jericho actually contain false rose of Jericho (Selaginella lepidophylla). For the real version, look for Anastatica hierochuntica or A. hierochuntica on the label.
When your space needs a pick-me-up…
TBH, the most common use for rose of Jericho is pretty basic: decoration. In some cultures and religions, it’s used to rid your space of negative energy. Think of its presence as smoke-free “smudging.”
Some common beliefs about rose of Jericho:
- It’ll help “resurrect” parts of your life. (Ahem, pandemic stole anyone else’s sex drive?)
- It’ll attract good luck and fortune.
- It’ll protect you from negative vibes.
When you want the health perks
When used medicinally, rose of Jericho is prepared as a tea or tonic.
There aren’t many pre-made resurrection plant teas on the market, so most peeps make their own by steeping tiny bundles of dried rose of Jericho.
Prep rose of Jericho tonic just like most herbal teas.
- Boil water.
- Plop a dried flower or tea strainer of 1 tablespoon dried leaves into the water.
- Steep for about 5 minutes.
If you’re concerned about an allergic reaction or adverse side effects, start with a smaller amount.
The tea on herbal teas
Like many herbal teas, there just isn’t much research on the perks and side effects of rose of Jericho tea. So proceed with caution.
Experts warn pregnant people against drinking rose of Jericho tea because it may overstimulate the uterus and lead to low blood sugar levels in pregnant people, which could lead to dangerous complications.
When your skin needs a glow-up
Want to smooth your wrinkles with a rose of Jericho mask? That’s easier said than done.
Not many skin companies have latched on to rose of Jericho as an anti-aging agent, and there’s no evidence-backed recipe for a DIY application. So if you want to give it a whirl, start small and proceed with caution.
Heads up: Some products labeled as rose of Jericho use a similar but different plant. Authentic products will contain Anastatica hierochuntica or A. hierochuntica.
Counterfeit rose of Jericho is labeled as Selaginella lepidophylla.
Anecdotally, rose of Jericho seems safe when applied to unbroken skin. You should be fine as long as you’re not rubbing it into open wounds.
Ingesting rose of Jericho is another story. Talk with your doc before sipping it for:
If you’re on prescription meds, talk to your doctor before experimenting with any herbal remedies. There’s not enough research to identify all possible interactions, and you don’t want to cancel out the effects of your ‘scripts.
Interested in consuming rose of Jericho? Run it past your doctor first. If you’re pregnant, avoid it altogether.
Tried rose of Jericho to induce labor? Read this!
If you already drank a cuppa to trigger childbirth, call your doctor. Tell them about the tea (and any other herbal remedies) because it could interfere with the meds they’ll give you during labor.
For years, rose of Jericho has symbolized resurrection for folks who practice religions like Christianity, Santeria, and Hoodoo. Sometimes its oils are even added to holy water.
Here’s why: When the resurrection fern doesn’t get enough water, this little flowering herb dries and closes up so that it looks like a tumbleweed. There are rumors that it can survive in anything from a desert to a drawer for years. But when the plant is watered again, it reopens and revives within hours.
Despite the obvious resurrection symbolism, there’s no evidence that the plant can heal or bring anyone back from the dead.
You can find dried rose of Jericho plants online or at your local health food or herb store. Some individual Etsy or eBay sellers also offer dried rose of Jericho.
Just be wary of any sellers who claim their plants cure medical conditions.
It’s called a resurrection plant, but that doesn’t mean you *can’t* kill it! Rose of Jericho thrives in a dry environment, so avoid overwatering (hello, root rot).
Some tips from plant parents around the interwebz:
- Place your rose of Jericho on top of a bowl of wet soil or gravel. No actual planting required!
- Give it plenty of sunlight.
- Let it dry out once in a while (yep, really).
Rose of Jericho is also known as the resurrection plant because it can bloom after being completely dried up and brittle. Because of this neat feature, some people relate its presence to:
Traditional medicine practitioners claim that rose of Jericho can treat diabetes, arthritis, cramps, and other inflammatory conditions. It’s also used to induce labor, though medical experts do *not* recommend this for safety reasons.
There’s not much evidence to support all the health claims about rose of Jericho. To be safe, talk to your doctor if you’re interested in sipping it for general wellness. Avoid it altogether if you’re pregnant.