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September 22, 2018

Wild Rose Hips

Wild Rose Hips

Better known by its common names, the Wild Rose or the Prickly Rose, Rosa acicularis is a member of the rose family (Rosaceae).

Each year in the fall, when the flower of the Wild Rose begins to wither, it turns into a small oval shaped hard seed container called a "rose hip" which is also considered the fruit of the plant.

Small animals such as squirrels and birds are attracted to the hips.  Larger animals too such as deer, moose, rabbits, coyotes and even bears are known to eat the rose hips.

Rose hips may be used fresh or dried.  To prepare them for use, examine the hips closely and discard any with discoloration then rinse in cold water.  To dry the hips, spread them out on a cookie sheet, cardboard or wax paper.  It takes a couple of weeks for them to dry.  When dry, they will be darker in color, hard, and some may have wrinkles.  Remove any stems or remaining blossom ends.  Store the dried hips in sealed jars in a dark location.

Vitamin C Content

Wild Rose hips are known for their high vitamin C content and are used to make syrup, jelly, jams, and marmalades.  During this process, the hips are peeled of their skins and mashed into a pulp with seeds removed.

Rose hips were used during World War II by the British to make Rose Hip Syrup as a source of Vitamin C due to a lack of fresh citrus fruit available because of Navel blockades.

As well as vitamin C, Wild Rose hips also contain vitamins D and E, essential fatty acids and antioxidant flavonoids.  They are also known to be a good source of iron.

Wild Rose Hip Tea

The hips of the Wild Rose are also gathered for the preparation of rose hip tea.  Even the leaves and flowers can also be used to make tea.  Wild Rose hips have an apple-like flavor.

Wild Rose hips can be brewed into tea either using fresh or dried hips.  All it takes is a few teaspoons of hips brewed in a cup of hot water for about 10-15 minutes.  You can add honey or a slice of lemon for extra flavor.

Medicinal Uses

Wild Rose hips can be dried, crushed and made into health tablets.  As a herbal remedy, rose hips are attributed with treating many health ailments including;

  • sore throats
  • infections of the digestive tract
  • cleanses the liver and gall bladder and promotes bile flow
  • as a laxative
  • relieves fluid retention
  • treats Rheumatoid arthritis
  • prevents urinary bladder infections
  • dizziness and headaches
  • assists in weight loss
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