Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Using Rose Hips in Winter

Everyone tends to go with the old remedy of increased vitamin C as a way to stave off seasonal illnesses and colds.  I believe in this as well, but what you may not know is that citrus is nice but Rose hips are the largest source of Vitamin C by volume and are simple and easy to use in your seasonal cures.

Roses, traditional non-hybrid roses, develop a seed pod just at the base of the flower.  These red balls are known as "hips" and yes the seeds are in them.  Rose Hips make a wonderful tea.  They are high in Vitamin C, also contain vitamins A, B, D, K, E, and flavinoids (antioxidants), and prevent bladder infections, ease headaches and dizziness. 

I usually wait until frost before I harvest my rose hips, so with frost not coming until 11/11/11 this year, I am still out cutting hips in December.  I find the best way to let them dry is on the plant, rather than indoors on a screen. To many times they mold which made me decide to let mother nature do her thing and gather the dried hips instead.

Once you gather the hips you need to crush them. And sift out the prickly bits that exist inside with the seeds.  I find they irritate my skin and they float to the top of my tea so I prefer to remove them.  You can buy sifted rose hips if you do not wish to do this rather labor intensive job yourself.

Many of the medicinal herbs listed here I grow only for personal consumption because I do not try to diagnose or treat illnesses for anyone but myself.  However, these are tried recipes and certain can assist you with seasonal ailments when taken in moderation and in consultation with a professional.

Basic Rose Hip Tea

Pour 1 cup of boiling water
Rosy Bite Tea Leaves
over 2 heaping teaspoons of chopped rose hips

You can use rose hips with or without their seeds. Steep the herbal tea, covered, for 15 minutes and strain. Sweeten the refreshing, slightly sour tea with honey, if desired. Drink the tea lukewarm at bedtime for maximum effectiveness. The tea can be also be added to soups and stews to boost their tartness and vitamin C content.

I use rose hips in two of my favorite iced tea and hot tea blends.  With rose petals, hibiscus and sage I make a rose hip tea called Rose Blush that is good hot or cold and when mixed with honey and a bit of whiskey is great for seasonal ailments.  The other I call Rosy Bite because the tart nature of the rose hips is blended with Hibiscus.

Rose Hip Wine Helps Circulation

Rose hip wine stimulates the appetite and increases blood flow. Steep 3 ounces of dried rose hips in 1 quart of strong, dry red wine for 2 weeks. Filter the wine. Drink 2 small glasses per day. Who can beat that prescription!

Medicinal Tea Mixture for Cold Prevention & Relief

1 1/2 ounces rose hips
3/4 ounce marshmallow root
3/4 ounce mullein flowers and leaves

This tea stimulates the immune system. When you have a cold or flu, the tea loosens bronchial mucus and makes coughs more productive. For a cup of tea, use 1 cup of water and 2 teaspoons of the tea blend.

Herbal Tea Mixture for Abdominal Cramps and Mild Diarrhea

1 ounce rose hips
3/4 ounce peppermint leaves
3/4 ounce lemon balm leaves
3/4 ounce blackberry leaves

This tea regulates bile flow and relieves intestinal cramping and mild diarrhea. It is also a first-aid remedy for queasiness and nausea. Use 1 cup of water to 2 teaspoons of the tea blend.

Medicinal Tea to Relieve Gout & Kidney Gravel

1 1/2 ounces rose hips
3/4 ounce nettle leaves
3/4 ounce goldenrod leaves
3/4 ounce horsetail leaves

This tea flushes gravel from the kidneys, combats chronic urinary-tract infections and helps eliminate uric acid assisting gout patients. For each cup of tea use 1 cup of boiling water and 2 teaspoons of the tea mixture. Strain and enjoy!


  1. Great post! I love Rosehip tea! I drink it quite often, especially for the health benefits you mentioned!

    I also discovered that drinking Rosehip tea on a daily basis helps the reproductive system. It is rich in iron, which is quite important during pregnancy and after birth.

    It also helps replace blood lost during the menstrual period and regulates hormone levels and eases menstrual pain.


  2. A couple of months ago a friend who lives in Sweden complained of a bad cold and was wishing to be home where Mom would make him Rose Hip Soup for a treat. It sounded yummy and intriguing... but I couldn't find any locally and Amazon.com was out of stock so that left me looking for a recipe to make my own. Here's a link to my blog post about this unique Swedish treat given to help you feel better when the cold bug bites.



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