This evening, Lucy and I took our time on our walk and I picked rosehips. I always know that summer is nearly over and autumn is just beginning when the wild rose bushes are covered with the small, scarlet fruit. Usually it is best to harvest rosehips after the first frost when they are sweetest, but I had noticed that the deep red fruits were beginning to dry out and wrinkle so I thought I had better pick them sooner rather than later.
Rose hips contain iron, calcium, phosphorus and flavinoids. They are richer than oranges in vitamin C. In fact, according to Beverley Gray, 3 rosehips contain the same amount of vitamin C as an orange. It is not surprising to learn that during the Second World War, British soldiers gathered huge quantities of rosehips when they could no longer import citrus fruits.
Be careful not to eat the seeds as they are covered with fine, silvery hairs which can cause digestive problems if ingested. Cut the hips in half and scrape clean.
Rosehips can be used whole in teas and syrups (crush the fruit then steep in hot water for 15-20 minutes, then strain the liquid), or made into jams and jellies. They can also be dried (cut in half and remove seeds first) then later ground into a powder and added to other wild tea blends.
Dried seedless rose hips make a delicious and easy-to-prepare jam. Simply cover them with fresh apple juice and let them soak overnight. The next day, the jam will be ready to eat. Cinnamon and other spices can add more flavor, but the jam is quite good as it is. ~ Rosemary Gladstar
- treat anemia
- treat menstrual cramping (antispasmodic)
- for bladder or kidney irritations (antibacterial)
- excellent heart tonic (bioflavinoids)
- to strengthens capillaries and treat varicose veins and hemorrhoids (bioflavinoids)
- help regulate blood circulation
- relieve teething symptoms (give 4 to drops of the syrup every hour for infants)
Rosehip seed oil is available commercially and is very high in essential fatty acids. According to Stephanie Tourles, this makes it “ideal for mature, environmentally-damaged, prematurely aged and devitalized skin”. Add the oil to you homemade creams and lotions.
Pop in tomorrow and I’ll share my rosehip jelly recipe. I may also try Beverley Gray’s recipe for rosehip syrup with brandy. See you then!
Bennett, J. (1991). Berries. Camden House: Camden East, ON.
Gladstar, R. (2001). Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 teas, tonics, oils, salves, tinctures, and other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family. Storey Publishing, North Adams, MA.
Gray, B. (2011). The boreal herbal: wild food and medicine plants of the north; a guide to harvesting, preserving, and preparing. Aroma Borealis Press: Whitehorse, Yukon.
Stewart, H. (1981). Drink in the wild. Douglas & McIntyre: Vancouver, BC.
Tourles, S. (20070. Organic body care recipes: 175 homemade herbal formulas for glowing skin & vibrant self. Storey Publishing: North Adams, MA.