Rose of Jericho is an ancient herb known for its ability to “come back to life” after appearing to dry out and die.
People use it widely in the Middle East, various parts of Europe, and beyond as a traditional medicine to help with many health conditions. These include menstrual cramps, childbirth, arthritis pain, and metabolic and respiratory disorders, such as diabetes and bronchitis (
People also use it in religious and spiritual practices — sometimes in holy water — to protect against illness and negative energy. Despite the plant’s many purported benefits, critics argue there’s little research to back up these claims.
This article uncovers the scientific research behind rose of Jericho, including its benefits, safety, and how to use it.
People call rose of Jericho (Anastatica hierochuntica) by many names, such as Jericho rose, resurrection flower, resurrection fern, resurrection plant, Kaff Maryam, Maryam’s flower, hand of Maria, and hand of Fatima.
People frequently mistake it for a similar plant, Selaginella lepidophylla, which is also called rose of Jericho. However, this plant is native to the Chihuahuan Desert located in the United States and Mexico. People sometimes call it the “false” rose of Jericho.
The original rose of Jericho is a small, flowering plant that grows up to 12 inches (30 cm). Interestingly, people also consider it to be a tumbleweed due to its incredible resistance to drying out. In fact, it can survive in extremely dry climates.
When exposed to desert-like environments with little moisture, rose of Jericho curls into a dry ball similar to a tumbleweed. In this form, it hibernates to protect its flowers on the inside. It does this until it receives water.
This repeating process of hibernation has earned rose of Jericho the name “resurrection plant.” It symbolizes transformation, renewal, and prosperity to people of many faiths, such as Christianity, Santeria, and Hoodoo.
People usually prepare it as a tea using its seeds or dried leaves and flowers. Furthermore, you can purchase it as an oil or prepared to make holy water (
Rose of Jericho is an ancient herb symbolic in many cultures and religions. People use it as a traditional medicine to treat various health issues, such as menstrual cramps, pain, and diabetes, as well as to induce labor.
There are many health-related claims about rose of Jericho but little research on the plant and its purported benefits.
It contains disease-fighting plant compounds known as flavonoids. In particular, it’s rich in chlorogenic acid, quercetin, kaempferol, and luteolin, which studies say may reduce inflammation, arthritis pain, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels (
Despite this, researchers don’t have enough evidence to say whether rose of Jericho tea or its other forms contain enough of these compounds to provide a therapeutic benefit. Scientists need to do more research on the effects of rose of Jericho in humans.
For example, most studies on quercetin have shown it can have benefits with doses of 500 mg and more. However, rose of Jericho contains less than 50 mg of quercetin per gram, so it may not be a good source of this compound (
Along with this, some people think rose of Jericho has antiaging benefits due to its high antioxidant content. However, there’s no research available to support its use in skin care products or home skin treatments.
Finally, rose of Jericho is famous for its use as an emmenagogue — a herb used to promote blood flow in the uterus.
A study in 460 Malaysian women found that 66 percent said they used rose of Jericho during pregnancy, most often to facilitate labor. However, the study didn’t look into whether rose of Jericho actually worked for this purpose (
Due to the unknown risks of taking rose of Jericho during pregnancy, it’s best to avoid it.
Thus, scientists need to do much more research on the potential health benefits of rose of Jericho.
Despite the many health claims about rose of Jericho, there is little research to support its use in treating any health condition. People who are pregnant should avoid it.
People most commonly use rose of Jericho as a decorative plant and in various spiritual ceremonies. Many believe it:
- “resurrects” areas of your life
- brings good fortune
- protects you from negative energy or situations
In traditional medicine, people most commonly consume it in tea form.
Few commercial products are available. That’s why most people prepare it at home by purchasing dried rose of Jericho “flowers,” which are actually small bundles of the plant.
Some anecdotal sources state you can add 1 tablespoon (around 2 grams) of dried leaves or flowers to boiled water and allow it to steep for around 5 minutes. However, you may wish to use smaller amounts at first.
Few skin care companies sell products that contain rose of Jericho, which may make it difficult to source as a skin treatment. Plus, there’s no reliable guidance on preparing any at-home skin care remedies.
It is important to note that many products containing rose of Jericho actually contain false rose of Jericho (Selaginella lepidophylla). So, if you’re looking for the real version, look for Anastatica hierochuntica or A. hierochuntica on the product label.
People most commonly purchase rose of Jericho as dried leaves or flowers and prepare it as a tea. However, be sure the label says Anastatica hierochuntica or A. hierochuntica if you’re looking for true rose of Jericho.
To date, scientists haven’t done much research about the safety of rose of Jericho, whether ingested orally or applied to skin.
Applying rose of Jericho directly to your skin has no known risks, but it’s best to avoid applying it to any open cuts or wounds.
If you have diabetes, low blood pressure, high blood pressure, or other metabolic conditions, make sure to speak with a healthcare professional before taking rose of Jericho to lower blood sugar and blood pressure.
Furthermore, rose of Jericho is a traditional method for inducing labor, so you should consult with your doctor before supplementing. There’s not enough evidence about its safety as of now.
If you have already taken rose of Jericho to induce labor, always tell your healthcare provider. It’s possible it may interfere with medications you receive during labor. Unfortunately, there’s no research available on its potential medication interactions (
If you’re interested in taking rose of Jericho, speak with your doctor first, particularly if you’re pregnant or have a health condition.
Use caution if taking rose of Jericho during pregnancy due to insufficient research on its safety, and since anecdotal sources say it may induce labor. If you’re taking medication or have a medical condition, speak with a healthcare professional first.
Rose of Jericho is known as the resurrection plant for its ability to revive itself after long periods of dryness. Many cultures and religions consider it a symbol of:
- good fortune
- positive energy
People also use it in traditional medicine as a remedy for diabetes, respiratory issues, arthritis, and menstrual cramps, as well as to induce labor.
Despite the many health claims about it, there’s little research to support its use in treating or curing illness and disease.
Due to its unknown safety and potential ability to induce labor, people who are pregnant should avoid it. However, if you’re looking to induce labor, there are other natural methods you could try.
If you’re taking medications or have a medical conditions like diabetes, you should also avoid it.
If you’re interested in trying rose of Jericho, always speak with your doctor first to make sure it’s safe for you.