We have finally had our first frost here on Vancouver Island so that means time to harvest Rose Hips! This year our weather was a little wacky, much hotter then usual and it seemed to have made the hips in their prime earlier then the frost but the truth is the frost helps to break down the fibres that make these hips such hard little balls change into a juicy delicious berry like bubble of Vitamin C. You can harvest the hips of any type of Rose, I like to choose wild roses but even they come in many varieties that range from little ovals to big plump circles. These form after the petals fall off the Rose bush here for these wild roses after a short life as a beautiful and fragrant flower usually blooming sometime in May and falling off due to wind and rain sometime in June. I wrote a post about the flowers that you can find here.
I have mentioned many times before about how amazing nature works to give us the things we need when we need them. Like these little powerhouses that have 50 times the amount of Vitamin C of an orange and are ready to harvest just when we need the immunity boost and help of that Vitamin C! You can eat these raw, blend them in a smoothie, simmer them gently, or steep in a tea; some people even make sauces or jellies; I am not sure how much of the Vitamin C is maintained in the sauces and jellies though they are quite delicious.
Rose hips are high in antioxidants helping to fight free radicals, cardiovascular disease, cancer and to keep us looking and feeling youthful.
Rose Hips are also rich in Vitamin A which aid the immune system, particularly for fighting off infections and viruses. Vitamin A is also great for the skin as it nourishes and helps to keep elasticity to prevent wrinkles and help those that are there to fade away. It also works to regenerate new skin cells healing wounds and scars. Not only will a tea benefit the skin, but also made as an oil or salve it makes a great combination of astringent and moisturizing, and will work to repair skin cells and heal scars, this can be particularly beneficial for those who suffer from acne and have scars and marks left behind.
I love to gently steep slightly chopped Rose Hips in coconut oil as when it chills down it hardens naturally and there is no need to add beeswax. I also love simple preparations, our bodies know how to use and benefit from simple, natural remedies where each component serves a purpose.
When you are out harvesting Rose Hips it is not important the variety of Rose but it is important to be sure that they were never sprayed with pesticides and to preferably keep the dried hips in a glass jar, or at least not a metal tin, as the metal and fruit acids do not mix well.