Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Rose Hips

Ya know what is pretty darn fabulous?? Being able to go out into your own backyard and pick rose hips! Honestly, I forgot to even pick them at first because I was totally in the mode that I had to go somewhere to gather things. I mentioned to James that I was having a hard time finding lots of rose hips and he just gave me a funny look and said, "Uh, have you picked the ones in our yard??" 

Nope. Sure hadn't! But I got right on that boat and picked those babies. 

We have such a funny backyard. Instead of grass there is moss in places, and on two sides of the yard there is a tiny section of "wooded" area with trees and rose plants. The only thing that would make it way better would be not having neighbors RIGHT by the fence. And then there's the dog that they let bark at 2 in the morning. Not cool people. 

Wow. This post is about rose hips. Not yappy dogs and moss in my backyard!

So here we go, all about rose hips!  

Rosa acicularis (In Alaska)


  • Antimicrobial
  • Antiscorbutic
  • Astringent
  • Antiinflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Diuretic
  • High in:
    • vitamin C
    • potassium
    • niacin
  • Also contains:
    • calcium
    • magnesium
    • vitamin A
    • vitamin E
    • zinc
    • various other vitamins & minerals
  • High in bioflavonoids
  • High in lycopene 

Helps With:

Scurvy! Haha, but seriously. They are really high in vitamin C. Three rose hips contain as much vitamin C as one orange. The only bummer is, 40% of the vitamin C is lost during the drying process. But, that's still quite a bit of vitamin C! And apparently the Rosa acicularis rose has the highest content of vitamin C in the world at 7.1%. 

Due to the high amount of bioflavonoids, rose hips make an excellent tonic for the heart and entire circulatory system. Including helping to heal varicose veins and strengthening the capillaries. 

Bioflavonoids are known as a super antioxidant (along with being antiinflammatory) and are extremely beneficial in combating arthritis and even Alzheimer's disease.

Boosting the immune system. Rose hips high vitamin C content, along with all the other vitamins and mineral make it a great herb to take during cold and flu season.

Side Notes:

The small hairs that are found on the seeds can be mildly irritating to some people. In that case, removing the seeds is ideal. (I personally don't worry about it, but it's worth mentioning.)

Harvesting the rose hips after the first frost, when the hips are bright red is best. However, in places where it does not freeze, pick them when they are firm and bright red. 

To extract the most vitamin C out of the hips, make a tea by pouring boiling water over them and allowing the to infuse for a minimum of 10 minutes. 

This article is talking about wild rose hips. Not the ones found in your garden.

Getting More Rose Hips:
  • Make a tea with the hips (in a combination or alone)
  • Put some hips into a tincture
  • Make rose hip syrup
  • Make rose hip honey
  • Eat them right off the bush (not too many as they can have a laxative effect due to the vitamin C!) :)
  • Make rose hip jam


In order to protect myself from people who might take any information I have written out of context or use it in any way I do not intend...I must say the following: I am NOT a doctor. I take no responsibility for what you do or not do with any information I have written. My opinions and writings should not take the place of a  doctor...consult one of those if you need medical advice. Pretty much...please use common sense and I strongly suggest you do your own research as well. It's empowering!


  1. The rose hips here are looking pretty good this year and I have been thinking about picking them. Since we have not yet had our ffirst freeze, maybe I should wait? I still have a few left from what I dried last year (oops, guess I forgot to use them much!) One question I have about using them in tea: to get more Vitamin C and other goodness, should they be slightly mashed while the tea is steeping? They just look so "whole" and I wonder how much of the goodness is getting into the tea.

  2. Waiting till it frosts is up to you. I personally didn't wait, because by then it would have been way too cold up here. I believe the reasoning is, they will be sweeter if you wait. And I don't think it's necessary to crush them, since alot of the nutrients are in the "shell". Some people even remove the seeds because of the little hairs on the seeds which, I guess, can cause irritation. I just throw 'em in whole and make sure the water is boiling. But hey, if you want to experiment and let me know if you think there is a difference I'd be curious!


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