Thursday, November 12, 2009


I’m always thrilled when I see a wild rose bush in bloom. There aren’t many things more beautiful in the heat of the summer and their fragrance is simply heavenly! It seems disappointing, though, that within a few days the blossoms fall away; leaving what appears to be nothing but an unattractive barren bush. However, around mid-October, if you look carefully you will notice that the delicate petals seem to have sacrificially made room for a beautiful display of bright red “berries” called “rose hips”.

Rose hips are considered a fruit and are related to apples. While it is said that they contain Vitamins D and E, essential fatty acids and antioxidants, the greatest value of these precious jewels is their extremly high Vitamin C content. In fact, it is recorded that during World War II, when German submarines were sinking many of the commerical ships used to import citrus fruits the people from England harvested and made syrup from wild rose hips in order to obtain adequate amounts of Vitamin C.

While there is always the option of purchasing rose hips
sometimes for a whopping $25/lb,
with the magnitude of viral colds and debilitating influenzas
going around these days,
1700-2000 mg of unadulterated Vitamin C per 100 g of dried rose hips
free for the pickin’ doesn’t sound like a bad deal.

I desired to take advantage of this precious gift; yet, I was concerned that heating the rose hips would destroy their vitamin C and that my harvesting and preserving efforts would be wasted. While rose hips do contain an enzyme which causes them to oxidize when they are broken open and left at room temperature, I discovered that this enzyme is destroyed and the antioxidant activity and levels of Vitamin C maintained when rose hips are boiled for 10 minutes!

Loaded with this information, I set out to learn how hips are harvested and how the Englishmen made this syrup. Here’s what I’ve discovered:

• Harvest rose hips just after the first frost when they are most nutritious.
• Use of metal pans or utensils when preparing the rose hips will cause loss of vitamin C. Therefore, glass pans and wooden utensils are better choices.

ROSE HIP SYRUP• Clean 4 cups fresh hips with filtered rather than chlorinated water.
• In a glass pan, boil hips in 2 cups water 20 minutes with lid on or until tender and easily mashed.
• Strain juice through fine sieve or jelly bag.
• Return pulp to pan. Add enough water to cover fruit. With lid on, boil 10 minutes.
• Strain this and add to first juices.
• Add 1 cup sugar to rosehip juice boil, 5 minutes to right consistency
• Bottle while hot.
This syrup can be taken alone, added to beverages or used on pancakes, muffins etc.

DRIED WHOLE, rose hips can also be stored in a dark cool place without losing much nutritional value.

• Bring one pint filtered water to boiling
• Add 2 tablespoons dried rose hips
• Cover and boil 10 minutes.
Some enjoy the slightly tart tasting tea with a bit of sweetener. Oh, yes! Don’t throw out the boiled berries! They are still very nutritious and can be added to soups, stews, etc.
• Grind dried hips to a fine powder.
• 1 tablespoon can be added to breads and cakes, etc. for added flavor and nutritional value. It can also be added to wild game recipes to eliminate the wild taste.

I’m sure this is only the tip of the iceberg on the many blessings which rose hips have to offer us. I’m anxious to learn more.



All content of this article is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. The author sells no hard products and earns no money from the recommendation of products. The information herein is presented for educational and commentary purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice from any licensed practitioner. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. This is best left to the Creator of the universe. In all health-related situations, “qualified healthcare professionals” should always be consulted. The author deems THE GREAT PHYSICIAN to be most qualified. The author assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material.

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