Nicknamed “the resurrection plant,” this vitality-boosting super botanical is magic in a bottle.
– KEYS SOULCARE
Don’t let the name “rose of Jericho” fool you: to the naked eye, this relative of the mustard plant spends more time resembling a modest gray tumbleweed than anything you’d ever want in a fresh bouquet.
But, if you moisten its roots and give it a little time to rest, what happens next will blow your mind. Read on for the beautiful backstory behind one of our favorite ingredients.
Not Just Another Rose
Native to Saharan Asia, northeast Africa, and the Middle East, rose of Jericho (aka Anastatica hierochuntica) is known throughout the wellness and beauty worlds as “The Resurrection Plant.” It has the ability to lie dormant for years and then resurrect itself — bursting into foot-wide plants covered in tiny white blooms — when exposed to a little moisture.
(Note to greenthumbs: This shouldn’t be mistaken for the similar-behaving, Central American “False rose of Jericho” which is rumored to predate the dinosaurs.)
The plant world “magic” behind rose of Jericho can be credited to trehalose, a plant-based sugar that allows it to slow and effectively “freeze” its cellular metabolism in the wake of unhealthy conditions. And, once it’s exposed to a more ideal situation, it’ll restart, bloom, and spread seeds. (For your scrolling pleasure, check out this gorgeous, in-the-wild timelapse video to see what we mean.)
“It springs back to life with the first drop of water,” says Keys Soulcare consulting dermatologist (and rose of Jericho fan) Renée Snyder, M.D.
If you think its transformation is magical, just wait until you hear how it’s used around the world.
Rose of Jericho’s time-defying ability to regenerate again and again (and again) has made it a popular spiritual symbol and intergenerational gift in religious communities ranging from Santeria and Yuroba to Catholicism. (Hoodoo practitioners, for example, recommend submerging five coins in a bowl with a blooming rose of Jericho to invite prosperity.)
In fact, rose of Jericho has also been a focal point of celebrations and ceremonies around the world that celebrate renewal and remembrance.
“ [Its use] runs parallel to the way we understand life, love, and rebirth: The rose of Jericho is known to bring in protection and good luck, as well as to help balance negative energies in our lives,” says Jenelle Kim, master herbalist and doctor of Chinese medicine.
Oh, and did we mention it’s used in teas and incenses to ease colds, alleviate throats, and even aid in childbirth? Mic drop.
How It Shows Up In Keys Soulcare
The one place we love to find rose of Jericho? Skincare products, obviously. When added to our beauty products, rose of Jericho keeps our skin ultra-nourished by improving water retention and preventing moisture loss. (See you later, dry patches.) Our own Dr. Snyder made a point to infuse its on-the-spot regenerative properties — and energetic goodness — into our Reviving Aura Mist and Comforting Balm. (According to Snyder, who’s washing her hands even more often than most of us already are, our moisture-protecting balm has been a game-changer during the pandemic.)
We’re thrilled to keep sharing our ingredient learnings (and the offerings that come from them!) with you. Have questions or ideas for what we should delve into next? Share them in the comments.