~ Rosehips ~
Right now it's Rosehip season! As we experience our first frosts, the Vitamins in the hips are concentrated, making this the best time to gather ripened hips. The 'rosehip' is simply the seed that forms on a Rose plant after flowering, you'll find it on any rose in your garden, and all Rose flowers & hips are edible. Just be wary, most ornamental & commercial rose plants are heavily sprayed, so best to stick to plants you know well.
Rosehips are full of vitamins, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin C and B-carotene, a form of vitamin A. They're a rich source of Vitamin C, containing as much as 2000mg per 100g of fruit (hips) which makes them beneficial to those suffering from colds, flu or recovering from infection. This is the perfect time of year to be sipping our Rosehip tea and getting a good dose of Vitamin C before winter.
During World War II fruit imports weren't making it into the UK so the govt developed a rosehip syrup to supply Vitamin C to the population. Subsequently 1,000 tons of wild rosehips were gathered, and children were given rosehip syrup during throughout winter in the 40's-60's.
The delicious, fruity, mildly astringent taste of rosehips make a delicious herbal tea. For medicinal purposes & to extract the most vitamin C content, it’s best to infuse your ground rosehips in hot (not boiling) water overnight. Strain before drinking as the hips are full of tiny little hairs that will scratch your throat.
Rosa Rugosa and Rosa Canina (Dog Rose) are the most cherished varities for their vitamin content & medicinal properties. But you can use all sprayfree hips.
Roses have been a symbol of love, beauty & royalty for thousands of years, with connotations of love, death, divination & secrecy. It's thought that they were first cultivated in Persia & China, and have been found in artwork dating back to the 5th century BC in Egyptian tombs.
The word 'rosary' from the Christian traditions derives from the latin 'rosarium': a garland of roses.
During Roman times, a Rose would be hung from the ceiling over the dinner table to indicate that matters discussed must be kept strictly confidential, and the phrase 'sub rosa' (beneath the rose) became common. In fact many confessional booths are still adorned with roses.
In France the Briar Rose is known as the 'Sorcerers Rose', or 'Rose du Diable' (Devils Rose), as apparently the Devil himself planted it in an attempt to form a ladder back to Heaven.
I use wild rosehips in my popular Rosehip Facial oil & also the Rosehip & Calendula Facial moisturiser, which nourishes & moisturises by penetrating deeper into the skins layers. Rosehip oil is well known for brightening & firming the skin, fading scars & reducing wrinkles by assisting with the skins renewal and repair. These are my two best selling Botanical Skincare offerings, and you'll find a recently bottled fresh batch on my website.
You'll find my article about Rosehips in this months issue of the NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine, along with an easy to prepare Rosehip Syrup recipe.