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Spilling The Tea About Wild Rose Hips

Updated: Dec 4, 2022

We all know roses...but what about their hips?? I've heard they don't lie...haha, sorry, don't leave please keep reading!

Roses.....and their hips.

Roses come in alll shapes, sizes and a gorgeous array of colors. But among the beautiful rose flowers, and thorns lies the very beneficial bulbous hips.

Glowing bright hues of oranges & reds, these hard little bulbs are left behind after the petals of the rose flower have come & gone. Usually late summer all the way through winter.

The hips have been used medicinally for centuries as it's amazing source of vitamin c and a million bajillion other good things that I will not claim to know...But I do know about the vitamin c. Which is why I choose to forage and utilize the little beauties.

I gather all these little babies up CAREFULLY to avoid the pricks...or the...uhhh..thorns I mean.

I take no more than I think I can use during the winter. We leave the rest for the animals...& other wild things!

Can you eat these raw?? Yes if you HAVE to...but inside are tiny (edible) seeds...covered in little itchy hairs that will irritate the heck out of your throat. So, take care if you do!

I take the beauties home and clean them up nice...(I get them from a clean place, but still) clean them up nice!

*Now I think this is a good place to stop and make a disclaimer.

I forage these rose hips and a lot of other wild edibles on family land. I have spent years here learning what is and what isn't okay to ingest & touch. Please do your own research and do not go by my photos alone. Chances are there's other plants intertwined into them making identification difficult. For example, in the photo to the left, the hips were snagged by a grape vine!

After their bath, I put them into the dehydrator for about 14-18 hours @ 98 degrees. (I use this one.) Doing it at this low of a temperature may require a longer drying time, but it also ensures the hips retain most of their beneficial properties, which is pretty much the entire point of eating a plant you found outside.

After the hips are completely dry, there are 2 options here;

You can store them as is and use them whole or to grind fresh -or- you can coarsely grind the dried hips now and put them into a sieve to shake out all the tiny fibrous hairs. The dry hips should then be kept in an air tight container, away from direct sunlight.

When you go the sieve route, just make sure to do this carefully as the little hairs are very irritating. Not harmful, just irritating. My next level "fear of discomfort" has me straining the next step through a coffee filter, because no matter what, you will miss a few.

So, why even collect rose hips??

I use them for tea in the winter months! All that vitamin c goodness.

  1. Start by cleaning and processing the rose hips as mentioned above. (whole or crushed, but remember the hairs!)

  2. Boil a pot of water and pour the hot water over the dried rose hips.

  3. Let the tea steep for about 15 minutes covered, and then strain out the pulp.

**I have found that straining the steeped rose hips through a clean coffee filter or a jelly bag worked the best to remove any of the small hairs that may be left behind in the during the sieve process

And that's the tea, err how to make the tea rather!

I'm no expert, nor do I claim to ever be. So please do your own research first!!

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