By Alyson Gaioni
Rosehips, Rosa spp
Taking a hike through the mountains this November you are bound to see yummy Rosehips all around you. The fruit of the Rose plant, Rosehips are best harvested in the autumn, right after the first frost. You'll know the time is right when the hips have turned a beautiful, transparent red. Be sure the seeds and fine brittle hairs are removed if harvesting them yourself.
Rosehips make a delicious, mildly sweet tea and are one of the best natural sources of vitamin C that you can find. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant with many disease fighting abilities, and Rosehips can be used whenever vitamin C is called for. It is a great herb to stock up on in the fall and winter months as it helps your body's defense against infections and colds.
Rosehips also contain bioflavonoids, which are bitter compounds that enhance your body's absorption of vitamin C and strengthen connective tissue. These properties make Rosehips great for decreasing capillary fragility. In addition, they contain astringent principles which help to shrink up inflamed tissue and reduce bogginess in the body.
This beautiful plant also makes a nice spring tonic tea, aiding with recovery from general debility and exhaustion.
Preparations & Applications
Decoction: Put 1 tablespoon of Rosehips in a cup of water, bring to a boil, and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Strain and enjoy!
Syrup: Take 1 teaspoon of syrup as a daily tonic to ward off wintertime ailments. See recipe below.
Other: Grind your Rosehips into a meal and add to cereals, muffins, breads, etc.
Delicious and refreshing, this tea blend is very high in vitamin C and bioflavonoids.
2 parts Rosehips
2 parts Raspberry leaf
1 part Lemongrass
1/4 part Hibiscus
Add 1 tablespoon of tea blend to a cup of almost boiling water, cover, and let steep 10-15 minutes.
Simple Rosehip Syrup
2 ounces Rosehips
1 cup honey
1 quart cold water
Bottle for storage
Add your Rosehips to the cold water in a medium sized saucepan. Over low heat, simmer the liquid down to 1 pint. This will leave you with a concentrated, thick tea. Strain the Rosehips from the liquid, and pour the liquid back into the saucepan. Add honey to the saucepan and warm just until the honey and thick tea can mix well. Remove from heat and bottle. Adding a small amount of brandy will help to preserve the syrup. This should last for several weeks in the refrigerator, longer if the brandy is added.
Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar
The New Holistic Herbal by David Hoffman
Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West by Michael Moore
Nutritional Herbology by Mark Pedersen