Rose Hip Delight

happy harvestersAutumn here is always so colourfully punctuated by the brilliant red orbs of the rose hips as they hang themselves out for the picking.  In the early summer, we spent an afternoon with Ange delicately lifting off the fragrant petals of the roses, being careful to leave the centers, which now have plumped up with seeds on the almost leafless brambles.  On the west coast, we get far more rain than frosts, and so collecting rose hips before they get too soaked and rotten is a better bet than waiting for a first frost.  With the seven of us, we collected almost ten cups in an hour, and then came back to our house to cook them into a syrup for use during the winter.  Cedar particularly liked the thorns, and we discussed the energies of protection that surround the rose and it’s ability to defend us from illness and disease.

The hips of the rose (rosa canina and related species… here we have the nootka rose or rosa nutkana) are loaded primarily with vitamin C, many times the amount found in citrus fruit when measured gram for gram.  Vitamin C is a noted antioxidant with disease fighting abilities.

“The astringency of rose hips can help relieve dysentery and diarrhoea. In addition, the various flavonoids, coupled with the Vitamin C, have potent antioxidant action and help protect the body from numerous internal and external stresses. The high vitamin C content of rose hips will therefore be extremely useful in preventing and fighting infections, colds, flu, and pneumonia, (syrup is the classic way to preserve hips).

Vitamin C and bio-flavonoid molecules are always combined together in nature. This is how our bodies experience Vitamin C when eating fruits. Rose hips are rich in this vital chemical complex, known to strengthen body tissues and help to build and maintain a healthy vascular system, preventing damage to fragile capillaries.”  Christopher Hope

Rose hip syrup was exactly our plan for the day.  We simmered 4 cups of hips in 8 cups of water for a few hours, until the hips were soft enough to mash and the water quantity had diminished by a few cups.  After mashing everything in the pot, we then poured the contents through cheese cloth, collecting the liquid in a bowl, and then we squeezed every precious drop out of the pulp.  It was a beautiful deep red with a tinge of orange.  We then added about a cup of honey to sweeten it to our liking, which helps to preserve the syrup while adding the medicinal benefits of the honey to the elixir.

Traditionally, before the invention of the fridge, a lot more honey would be added as a preservative, making it more of a thick syrup.  Our syrup is more like a decoction that will last three months in the fridge.  We have enjoyed it by the spoonful, mixed in with our smoothies, or added to warmed up spiced apple cider.  We did try to cut some of the hip open and scrape out the seeds and the fine hairs inside so we could dry the outside part for making tea.  The hairs can be irritating to the throat, (and to the bottom end on their way out), so it is especially important to remove the seeds and hairs before drying.  We found the task to be time consuming and tedious, so we didn’t do too much of it.  I think the syrup will be a more widely used and appreciated preparation of this years’ rose hips.  Thanks again, Ange, for leading us through this simple and warming process of preparing the beautiful rose hips!

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Richard Reese
    Nov 06, 2013 @ 01:16:21


    Your blog is so compelling !! There is a bush full of rose hips here on the blackberry slope near my house in Seattle that is full of large rose hips

    When I went to your site to read a bit the weirdest ad showed up and I would like to gift to you the upgrade to take ads off the site. It costs $ 30 a year (if I got that wrong and it is per month then I can’t do it) but if it is $ 30 a year I will reimburse you for that cost. Pay for it, then let me know and I will send you the reimbursement.

    My brother is very close to dying, still lucid but his body is slipping away. It thrills him when I sing to him and we sing some stuff together at times, especially some of the songs Pete Seeger used to sing….How Can I Keep from Singing, This Land is YOur Land….etc…He and I used to watch Hootenanny on the old black and white TV back in the early sixties.



    On Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 4:32 PM, Inspirational Village wrote:

    > inspirationalvillage posted: “Autumn here is always so colourfully > punctuated by the brilliant red orbs of the rose hips as they hang > themselves out for the picking. In the early summer, we spent an afternoon > with Ange delicately lifting off the fragrant petals of the roses, being > ca”


    • inspirationalvillage
      Nov 09, 2013 @ 21:25:15

      Hi Cedar! Just got a notice while I was writing that post about the availability for me to buy my space back from advertisers. Thought it was a ridiculous concept, but there you go, I am not excited about anyone seeing ads on my blog. I guess at a certain amount of traffic, ad space gets sold out and I am using the blog space for free. Thanks for your offer! I was planning on going ahead and doing that anyways! You are in Seattle? Love to you and your brother at this fragile and precious time. Wendi


  2. Kath
    Nov 07, 2013 @ 03:12:09

    I never see ads on Wendy’s site – I wonder if it is your computer rather than her site? Or that I am on a Mac? Lovely offer anyway kind soul


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