How to Make Wild Rose Hips Tea
Wild Rose Hips Tea
How do You Rate Home Made Rose Hip Tea?
When the roses of a wild rose bush, (Dog Rose) end their flowering, the fruit that grows on the rose bush is a lovely bright red ball. Some wild roses bushes have more red fruits than others, some have more one year and less the next, but wild roses all produce these beautiful ripe fruits - called hips.
We have the most beautiful wild dog rose growing in our garden and this year it produced hundreds of lovely hips. An Eastern European guest that was staying with us told me how her mother always made tea from the rose hips growing around the countryside where she grew up - as she plucked a dried one off the bush and removed its seeds.
"You pick them, dry them, take out their seeds and there you are".
Dog Rose Bush with Hips
Dog Rose Bush in Flower
Picking the Rose Hips off The Dog Rose Bush
How to Harvest Rose Hips
It couldn't be simpler.
Pick your rose hips off the bush when they are red. Some may have already turned dark. It's fine to pick both the red and the darker ones. My rose hips, which come from a Dog Rose bush, which flowered late May, (see above picture) are ready at the end of September.
They look too dark by the end of the first week of October. You can tell when the bush begins to look tired, the leaves begin to tinge, the hips turn darker one by one.
Drying Rose Hips
How to Dry Rose Hips
Put the hips on some clean card in a dry place, such as a barn, store room or garden shed.
They don't need sunlight to dry, so best to keep them in a darkish place.
I don't think a garage is ideal because of the poisonous fumes from a car!
After about a week when you shake the hips, you should hear the seeds inside and this means that they have dried and are ready to be de-seeded.
De-seeding is the laborious task. You split the hip open with your fingers and remove all the seeds, leaving the hip clear of everything. Those hips have an indigestible itchy hair attached to them.
Discard the damaged looking hips.
Itching powder is made from the itchy seeds!
Dried Rose Hips
How to Make Wild Rose Hips Tea
To make a vitamin C rich cup of wild rose hip tea using cold water:
- Put one heaped tablespoon of dried rose hips in a pot or mug.
- Add a cup of cold water.
- Steep and strain
If you prefer a hot wild hip tea, then simply
- Nearly boil a cup of water
- Pour it over a tablespoon of dried wild rose hips
- Leave to stand about five minutes
- Strain and enjoy
Making Rose Hip Tea from Rose Hips
Pretty Tea Pot
Pretty Rose Mugs
Rose Hip Benefits
Rose hips are one of the highest Vitamin C plants available; so they are an effective prevention against colds and flu. They also contain Vitamin A and B.
A study of the strong antioxidant properties (lycopene) of the rose hips claims that the anti inflammatory properties and the anti-oxidants of a preparation made from the hips are beneficial to patients suffering rheumatoid arthritis.
Apart from the findings above and on a personal note, it makes such a refreshing drink, hot or cold and it feels so comforting to know where the rose hips come from that it makes you feel that it's very, very good for you! And that must count for something, mustn't it?
I particularly love my rose hips because they come from a bush I planted when my father died. I planted two bushes in his loving memory- one for each of my sons.
One bush has always produced fabulous red roses while my Dog Rose has given me hips.
Laden with significance, meaning and connection to me is that this September I had a bumper crop of rose hips from the rose hips bush that belongs to the son who has just had a second baby.
There is a lot more happiness involved in sipping a cup of wild rose hip tea made from home grown roses hips, with so much story in them! Mmmmmmm.
© 2012 Penelope Hart