Friday, October 9, 2015

Foraging & Harvesting Rose Hips for Your Medicinal Pantry


"During World War II, rose hips were collected by British children and sold to pharmacists to be made into syrup... They contain vitamins A, C and K, plus the B vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin."
~ James Wong, Grow Your Own Drugs

I had always assumed that the only way to procure rose hips (besides purchasing) was to have access to wild roses. When I planted our rose vine, my intention was solely cosmetic. However, I have since learned that all fruit from the rose plants are edible and contain medicinal benefits. The key, is to not snip off the blossoms! Yes, that beloved practice called "deadheading" must come to an end as this is where the hips will develop. The rose hip, which is actually the "fruit" of the rose, are extremely rich in vitamin C (one of the richest sources in fact!). The perfect and providential thing, is that they are ripe and ready when the cold and flu season hits, making them an excellent preventative and tonic right when you need them!
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Our Climbing Rose in the Summer

The beauty of the dog rose and other such wild varieties is that they are laden with fruit while my climbing rose produced a very small amount. Also, the flavors will vary. Some species will be quite tasty while some will require a bit of help from honey. Whatever the case, free medicinal fruit is free fruit and I happily picked my meager two cups.

The Remaining Rose Hips

You will find the rose hips ready between September and November. However, the best time to harvest is after the first frost (or late autumn if you don't get frost), when they are the sweetest. The fruit should be slightly soft and having a red or orange color. Just make sure that the rose hips you harvest are free of chemical sprays and pesticides. If you don't have access to rose hips, you can always purchase the dried herb.


The fruit can conveniently be frozen for the future. Simply wash the hips and place them in a freezer container or ziplock until you are ready to use them. 


I have also read that you can dry them by laying them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper (once they are washed and patted dry) for a few weeks. They should come out looking wrinkly like our picture above.


Rose hips can be made into vitamin-C rich syrups, jams, jelly, herbal teas, cordials and tinctures. We will be sharing some recipes shortly as a part of our "Home Apothecary Series" and Building Up Your Pantry Series. We hope to have you share your recipes when we host our "rose hips link up" within the next month or so. In the meantime, happy foraging!


This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2sdaysTitus 2 TuesdaysRoses of InspirationTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays, Wildcrafting WednesdayCoffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadFrom the Farm Blog HopFarmgirl FridayFront Porch Friday Blog HopAwesome Life Friday Link UpSimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these.


41 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tip about when to harvest! I have quite a few! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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  2. I wonder - what do you do with the itchy seeds inside the rosehips after they are dried/preserved? Do you use them as well? I always thought you'd have to remove the seeds before you could use the fruit for tea etc. ?

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    1. Hi there! Some people do remove them first but we simply pour through a fine strainer before we drink the tea and tinctures, etc...

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  3. So far, I've resisted the temptation to gather all the rose hips in the garden, but it's not easy. ;)
    I have wild roses that I rooted and planted in our yard so I have plenty to use for Goodman and myself in teas this winter. I have to say the ones on our hybrid Knockout roses are huge and tempting, too, but I won't be harvesting them as I'm sure they would not be as good for us since they're hybrids. Looking forward to the recipes you'll be sharing.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. I think you can drink the hybrids, they just won't be as tasty (and perhaps not as strong medicinally)... Have a wonderful weekend!

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  4. I've never stopped to think about where rose hips actually come from or what they look like - this post was really interesting!

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment here today Lisa ;)

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  5. I have wondered about combining rose hips with elderberries in a syrup. It seems to me that they would complement each other medicinally. What do you think?

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  6. Rose hips have so many powers, they're incredible gifts from Nature !
    Our climate allows us to pick them up in January and we use them to prepare a marmalade we eat every morning during the Winter as a kind of medicine to protect ourselves from the seasonal illnesses, and I also prepare a liqueur which, diluted with water, we use as a syrup for cough.

    Thank you darling friend for your always so precious advices, have a blessed end of the week,
    sending dear love
    Dany

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    1. Ah, thank you for sharing Dany! I am very curious about your marmalade recipe! :)

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  7. Thanks for a very timely post! In homeschool, my daughter just watched "1940's House" - a reality documentary about living in Britain during WWII. She was curious about the "Rosehip Syrup" they mentioned - but I couldn't tell her much more than that it was a good source of Vitamin C. Now - thanks to your article - we both know a lot more than we did! : )

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    1. Wonderful! I love those reality documentaries on history. I hope to share a rose hip syrup recipe soon :)

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  8. I harvested a meager (almost) 1 cup of wild rose hips just this past week. They were already starting to dry and shrivel on the plant, so I figured I had better get them before they disappeared, because I hear mice eat them! When I foraged a couple of years ago, I got several cups of hips, but I assume the meager pickings this year was due to our ongoing drought. I did uproot several of the wild rose plants and put them into a planter. Hopefully, next year with plenty of nurturing and water, I will have an ample harvest! BTW - while foraging for rose hips, I found an elderberry bush full of berries! Serendipity!

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    1. Wow, wonderful story!! Finding the elderberry would be a delight indeed!!! I still have my eyes open for local prospects but no such opportunity yet... May your new planted rose hips prosper :)

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  9. Thanks for sharing Jes! Can't wait to see your plans for the rosehips.

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    1. Thank you! I am hoping it will be fun and useful! :)

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  10. I have know about rose hips for sometime now. But you have given me some info. I will be waiting for the recipes to come. God bless

    Kelly

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    1. Thank you Kelly for taking the time to share here today :)

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  11. This is good to know Jes. I am very fond of rose hip oil. Rose everything actually. Have you made rose petal jam or jelly? I have seen this but cant quite imagine. One thing I do is sugar rose petals as cake decorations. And sugar rose buds. They look like crystal art!
    Another is I dry tiny rose buds and add them to a pink ribbon around my coconut ice at Christmas.
    Now I need to try using the rosehips. We do have a fair few roses in our garden and the idea of all that vitamin C I love.
    Many thanks, Annabel.xxx

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    1. I haven't made the rose petal jam and jelly yet... but there are so many things to make on the list!!! By the time I am 100 I hope to accomplish it all! Your projects sound lovely :)

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  12. Those roses are beautiful! I love your blog alot.
    I hope you check out my blog and please follow by email. creatingpreciousmoments.blogspot.com
    Also, check out my shop! I would love to make a shell candle for you. :) ashleysyarnworks.blogspot.com

    Love,
    Ashley

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    1. Thank you Ashley for introducing yourself :)

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  13. JES, what a fascinating post! I remember well a rosehip syrup that the Midwives used to recommend for babies as a matter of routine back in the 70s. It was called Delrosa and was the prettiest shade of pink. Sadly it's no longer available, probably because of the sugar content! Thankyou for another great informative post. Love, Mimi xxx

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    1. I am thinking you are right! Thank you for sharing Mimi! :)

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  14. I just learned about rose hips this past year. I have not done anything with them yet so I appreciate you sharing this information. Best wishes!

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    1. Glad this was helpful! Thank you for sharing :)

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  15. We use to pick rose hips all the time and now we don't get to the mountains often enough to pick them. We always dried them for teas. I had no idea you could make syrups and jellies with them. I think I need to convince my hubby into taking me on a rose hip journey! Thanks for all the tips! Very helpful!

    Have a great week!
    Hugs, Amy

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    1. Oh, I would love to go picking in the mountains! That sounds like so much fun! Thank you for sharing Amy :)

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  16. Jes, I never knew any of this! It's incredible! How are the rose hips used cosmetically? Do you just cut them open and apply the oil to your face? I have 100% pure organic rose hip oil which I brought from the chemist, but if I can grow and prepare my own, I would love that! My parents also have a lot of established roses in their garden that I may be able to pick from too! I'm really interested in knowing more about this process! Thanks so much for sharing Jes!

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    1. Hi Elisha, I am not sure about the rose hip oil process but that would be something to look into! Thanks for the idea! :)

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  17. Great informative post. I love rose hips for decorating. I didn't realize their other benefits.
    Thanks for sharing this!

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  18. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, JES. We used to have lots of these on our farm when I was a kid. Sometimes we'd make tea or jelly with them. So interesting (and fun) to learn how to use what grows wild.

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  19. Morning JES

    Rose hip jelly is a favorite, I haven't made it but you have inspired me to give it a try.

    Hugs,
    Linda

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  20. I can't wait to get the recipes. I have rosehips that I've dried and now I need more ways to use them! :-)
    Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop. I hope we see you there again today.

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  21. A great post. I will pin it. Thanks for sharing.

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  22. Can I use the hips from multiflora roses?

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  23. I really don't understand much about rosehips other than they are healthy and grow on rose bushes? I only have 2 small bushes and ave never seen any hips on them.

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    1. Hi there, the common practice of deadheading will remove them. Perhaps this is the problem? Hope this helps! JES :)

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