Monday, May 14, 2012

Rose Hips & Rose Hip Tea

Here is a little extra for you, you can also make Rose Hip Wine. This wine concoction will aid circulation.  It is also known to stimulate the appetite. 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!

In this week of celebrating Roses I thought I should also speak about Rose Hips.  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. 

You can grow the non-hybrid roses and harvest your own hips, or you can obtain hips from local growers or freinds.  I usually wait until frost before I harvest my rose hips. I find the best way to let them dry is on the plant, rather than indoors on a screen. So many times they would mold indoors which made me decide to let mother nature do her thing and gather the dried hips instead.

To prepare Rose Hips:  
1. Collect hips from only wild roses or untreated roses that have not been sprayed. Leave the flowers on the rose bush.
2. Clip off the red fruits at the end of the blossom and spread rose hips out to dry. As the rose petals dry, the fruit of the flower matures to a red or orange bulb. 
4. After the petals are completely dry, store them in an airtight container.
To make Rose Hip Tea:  
1. You can use fresh or dried rose hips for tea. If you're using fresh hips, you’ll need about twice as many. The seeds inside the hip have an irritating, hairy covering. Trust me—you must remove those aggravating little hairs inside the hip. To do so, hold the hip securely, slice it in half, and remove the inner seeds. Use a knife or a pair of little herb scissors to do this.
2. For fresh rose hip tea, steep about 12 to 16 hips in a cup of boiling water for about 10 to 15 minutes. For dried rose hip tea, steep about 6 to 8 hips in a cup of boiling water for about 10 to 15 minutes. Strain the tea.
3. Sweeten to taste using stevia, sugar or sweetener. The flavor of honey may overpower this astringent rosy tea.

Note: Do not use aluminum pansor tea pots to craft rose hip tea. The tea will react to the aluminum and destroy the vitamin C.

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