Rose hips are a wonderful and versatile food. They can be used for the creation of herbal tea, jam, jelly, syrup, beverages, pies, bread and marmalade to name a few tasty treats. Rose hips also contain the vitamins A, K, E, Niacin, Riboflavin, B6, as well as minerals Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. I also appreciate the versatility of this syrup, as it can be used for a vitamin C boost and also be used a flavoring for milk, puddings, ice-cream or almost any sweet, or diluted as a drink.
Vitamin C helps prevent infections because it strengthens resistance by boosting production of immune cells. It is also effective in fighting infection because it is so rapidly absorbed. Metabolism as well as immunity relies on vitamin C, as does adrenal function. Tissue repair also requires vitamin c, making it essential for wound healing.
According to herbalist David Hoffmann in his book “The New Holistic Herbal,” rose hips are one of the best sources of vitamin C, which will help treat infections and boost the body’s immune system. Vitamin C is an antioxidant as it scavenges free radicals that are harmful to all cells in the body.
For this recipe you can use fresh organic rose hips, if you have access to them, but I prefer the convenience of organic dried chopped rosehips, that way I can enjoy them any time of year. Dried rosehips are available in many natural grocery markets or local herb shops. If you can’t find them locally my favorite resource for bulk herbs is Mountain Rose Herbs.
Rose Hip Syrup
2 ounces dried rose hips
1 quart filtered water
1 cup of honey
Fine mesh strainer
1. In a saucepan add two ounces of rose hips to one quart of cold water. Over low heat simmer the liquid down to one pint. Thick will leave you with a very thick and concentrated tea.
2. Strain the rose hips from the liquid. Compost the rose hips. Pour the strained liquid back into the saucepan.
3. To the pint of concentrated tea, add one cup of honey.
4. Warm the honey and tea and stir gently till combined. I don’t like to cook the honey as this will destroy all of the beneficial enzymes.
5. Label and date your syrup.
Syrup will keep several months if kept refrigerated.
Items mentioned in this article:
The New Holistic Herbal by David Hoffman University of Vermont Extension Department of Plant and Soil Science
Cabrillo College, Ohlone Medicine http://www.cabrillo.edu/~crsmith/OhloneMed.html
University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin C http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/vitamin-c-000339.htm