How to prepare rose hips for tea?

Last Updated on March 15, 2019

Once a very popular forageable food item, rose hips or rose haw are an excellent choice for anyone wanting start foraging. Women and children were encouraged to harvest these wild fruits, and grew roses in early kitchen gardens for easy access. Rose hips are fantastic when used in jelly, tea, or infused into oils and vinegar’s.

They are a great source of natural Vitamin C and according to Marian Munro the Curator of Botany at the Nova Scotia Museum, rose hips have up to 25 times the amount of Vitamin C than oranges! Rose hips are also very rich in Vitamins E, K, and B, and act as an antioxidant. This makes rose hips ideal for use in herbal remedies, and eaten as a wild foraged food in winter.

When To Harvest Rose Hips

Rose hips are the edible seed pod, (also called fruit) of the rose plant. While all seed pods are technically edible, the wild roses native to Atlantic Canada, specifically Rosa virginiana and the now commonly cultivated Rosa rugosa are ideal for foraging. The rose hips found on the wild species are generally smaller and more oblong than the large round fruit found on the cultivated varieties. The Rosa rugosa species is native to Eastern Asia and Siberia, where it likes to grow in coastal areas, and does especially well in sandy locations such as sand dunes.

The rose hip (seed pod) forms in late summer and early fall after the roses have bloomed. As such, if you have a wild rose bush on your property, refrain from dead-heading the spent flowers otherwise the seed pods won’t form. The best time of year to forage for rose hips is after the first frost. The cold snap increases the natural sugar content in the fruit, making them sweeter.

Notice the size difference in the wild rose hips and the rosa rugosa varieties!

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When foraging for rose hips, bring thick leather gloves to avoid getting pricked by the many thorns these rambling shrubs are full of! The rose hip itself can simply be “picked” off the stem once it is firm, and fully colored. Generally red or orange in color, avoid foraging for rose hips that are shriveled or have signs of insect or bird damage.

I have to be honest, I think I got out a little late to harvest my hips! Many of the fruits had already lost all of the dried leaf petals, and the rose hips seemed to have fallen victim to some kind of worm. Whether this is normal or not I am not yet sure, but I will update this post as soon as I find out. In the meantime, I trimmed and split all of the foraged rose hips and discarded any with signs of wormy activity.

How To Use Rose Hips

Rose hips are best used fresh to make full use of the many vitamins naturally present in the fruit. You can also store rose hips for long term storage, by drying them, and then keeping them in a dry, dark, and cool location. Traditionally, rose hips were used in teas as a cure for scurvy and other ailments. The roots and leaves of the rose plant were also used in teas to prevent colds and flu.

Once you have picked the rose hips, wash them, and either let them air dry or you can pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.Trim off the tops and bottoms if you plan on drying the rose hips for later use, and lay them out in the sun to dry. They will shrivel up and darken in color as they dry. Once hard and fully dried, store the rose hips in glass jars as you would tea.

You can also use a dehydrator as I did to speed up the drying process. My Salton VitaPro Dehydrator (affiliate link) did a fantastic job and dried the hips in 8 hours (overnight). If you’re worrying about all those little seeds at this point, no need! You can scoop them out if you want,(though I found this to be extremely tedious), or leave them in. If making tea, you will already be straining the pulp out. If you plan on making a syrup or using the hips in another recipe, you will need to re-hydrate the dried fruits, and then mash and strain the pulp through a fine mesh sieve before use.

If you plan on using the rose hips fresh, simply wash them to remove any dirt or insects, and follow your recipe as directed. Again, you will most likely want to use the hips whole, then mash and strain the pulp through a sieve. Since I wasn’t able to harvest enough rose hips to make multiple recipes besides the tea, I thought I’d still provide you with some pretty cool and easy to make recipe ideas!

Fermented Rose Hip Soda

Rose Hip Vinegar

Apple & Rose Hip Jelly

Rose Hip Jam

Wild Rose Hip Tea

So if you did go out and forage some tasty little rose hips and want to make something quick and easy, this wild rose hip tea is the ideal recipe to try. It gives you a great benchmark for what the rose hips taste like, and if going out to pick more for use in other recipes is your cup of tea (no pun intended).

  1. Start by cleaning and processing the rose hips as mentioned above.
  2. Boil a pot of water and pour the hot water over the rose hips. If using fresh rose hips, use 1/4 cup of hips to 1 cup of water. If using dried rose hips, crush them up and use 1 heaping tablespoon per cup of water.
  3. Let the tea steep for 15 minutes covered, and then strain out the pulp.

I found that straining the rose hips through a clean coffee filter worked the best to remove any of the small hairs present in the hips.

The tea is chalk full of vitamins as mentioned above, and while I found it to be a little tart and at first unusual in flavor, the taste quickly grows on you. Try brewing a cup of wild rose hip tea with a few mint leaves and some honey. That combo is my favorite so far!

Other Wild Foraged Herbal Teas

Spruce Tea

Chaga Tea

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5 from 2 votes A tart and slightly fruity tea made with foraged wild rose hips, this drink is excellent for use in combating colds and flus due to it’s high Vitamin C content. Course Drink Cuisine Canadian Keyword are rose hips edible?, what are the benefits of rose hip tea? Cook Time 15 minutes Total Time 15 minutes Servings 1 cup of Wild Rose Hip tea Calories 51.4kcal Author Markus Mueller | Earth, Food, and Fire


  • 1/4 cup fresh rose hips


  • 1 heaping tablespoon dried crushed rose hips
  • 4 fresh mint leaves optional
  • 1 teaspoon honey optional


  • Forage for rose hips and process them as described in the post above.
  • Boil a pot of water.
  • Pour the hot water over the fresh or dried rose hips (and herbs if using).
  • Let the wild rose hip tea steep for 15 minutes covered.
  • Strain the tea through a fine mesh filter to remove the seeds and any pulp present.
  • Sweeten the tea with some honey if desired.


Time spent foraging for the rose hips is not reflected in the recipe! Only the amount of time required to steep! Use fresh or dried rose hips for your tea!

Quick And Easy Homemade Rosehip Tea Recipe

Rosehip tea is a delicious fruity drink that can satisfy a sweet tooth and boost immunity. This healthy fruit is packed with healthy compounds that make it as tasty as it is good for you. It�s been used for centuries by the Turkish and Chinese as an herbal medicine and a meal-time tea.

Brewing rosehip tea is quick and easy whether you choose to use tea bags or fresh fruits. With this guide, you�ll discover how to make rosehip tea using fruits from rose plants in your garden or in your neck of the woods.

What Is Rosehip Tea?

Pair fresh or dried rosehips with our Egyptian Hibiscus Petal Tea for sweet and floral flavor.

Rosehip tea is an herbal tisane made from the fruit of the rose plant. Rose hips are typically vibrant red or orange in color, but they may also be black or deep purple depending on the rose species.

The rose hips grow after the flowers of rose bushes are pollinated. Rosehips can be found on wild rose plants as well as cultivated home garden varieties. Some species such as Rosa rugosa grow best in sand dunes along coastal areas, while other North American species grow better in mountainous regions.

These wild fruits emerge in spring and early summer and remain on the plant until autumn or early winter. The fruits are packed with natural vitamins including vitamin C, which can help boost the immune system and streamline digestion.

The plants—and the tea from its fruit—are popular across the world from California to Switzerland. Rose hips are commonly used in beauty products such as face creams and lotions. They can also be used to make homemade rosehip jam or rose hip jelly. This fruit can also be used to bake breads and pies and are used to make wine, syrups, and soup.

Rosehip tea is frequently blended with hibiscus flowers or mint leaves when making tea. It’s a fruity tea with tangy and sweet flavors that are reminiscent of green apples and ripe plums. Rose hips tea can be brewed as an iced tea or a hot tea. It’s typically packaged using dried rosehips and rarely contains any rose petals. You can also find pre-made rosehip tea bags at grocery stores for quick and easy brewing.

Tips For Making Rosehip Tea

Our delicious Organic Rosehip Tea is easy to brew and delivers a punch of flavor.

You can make dried rosehip tea by using the fruits right from your garden. Start by harvesting the fruits when they are firm and colorful. Avoid harvesting fruits that are picked over by insects or shriveled. You can also harvest rose petals and set the spent flowers aside to make rose petal tea. Rinse them in the sink and let them air dry. Once they are dry, you can start the official drying process.

Carefully trim the top of the fruit and remove any leaves from the fruit. Spread them on a large baking sheet and set them in direct sunlight to dry. The drying process will take anywhere from several hours to a few days depending on humidity and temperature. Once the fruits are deep black or purple and hard to the touch, you can store the loose leaf tea in an airtight container.

Always use spring or filtered water when brewing herbal teas. Tap water contains chemicals that can alter the delicate flavor profile and distilled water won�t develop flavors at all. Also make sure to harvest rose hips from rose plants that are free from chemical contamination such as fertilizer. Don�t harvest rose hips in areas that may be contaminated by pollution including busy roadways.

Rose Hip Tea Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons Cup & Leaf Organic Rosehip Tea
  • 2 tablespoons hibiscus flowers
  • 2 cups water
  • A little honey (OPTIONAL)


1. Bring water to a rapid boil in a pot on the stove.

2. Turn down the heat and add the dried rosehips and hibiscus flowers to the boiling water.

3. Let the tea steep for 10 to 15 minutes with a lid covering the pot.

4. Use a fine mesh sieve to strain the dried leaves from the hot water.

5. Pour the tea concentrate into tea cups and serve with a dash of honey or a sprig of mint.

Rosehip tea is one of the easiest wild foods to forage for and harvest. The rose plant is easily recognizable and hardy enough to grow in numerous different locales. Grow a few bushes in your own yard and brew delicious rosehip tea. The cook time is only 10 to 15 minutes, so you can sip this sweet and tart elixir in no time.

Rose Hip Recipes and More

You can also freeze fresh hips in plastic bags after washing them and cutting off the ends.

To extract the juice of rose hips for use in jams and jellies, wash the hips, remove the blossom ends and stems, and simmer them in water to cover for 15 minutes. Steep, covered, for 24 hours, then strain. Use the strained juice immediately or freeze it for as long as a year.

Preparing dried rose hips

Dried rose hips, found in health food stores, are either whole or cut-and-sifted (dried seeded). All store-bought rose hips contain pits, which must be discarded. The pit bits left in cut-and-sifted rose hips look like small apple seeds. Those in whole dried rose hips are harder to remove because the pulp is stuck to them. Don’t bother to pick them out if you will be straining the mixture later anyway. For other recipes, first simmer the hips briefly until tender or pour boiling water over them and steep for at least 15 minutes; then press the pulp through a food mill.

When using whole hips that have been simmered and seeded in recipes, measure the proper amount after simmering but before seeding.

Drying rose hips

Wash large hips, cut off blossom and stem ends, cut in half, remove the seeds, spread the seeded hips on trays, and dry in an oven or dehydrator set at 110°F until the hips are hard and brittle. Dry small hips whole or sliced but without removing the seeds. When thoroughly dry, store the hips in airtight jars. (If not dry enough, they will mold and must be thrown out.)

When ready to use the hips, cover them with water and simmer until soft. Strain out any seeds and use the pulp to make jam or jelly, alone or with fruit such as apples or cranberries.

—Adapted with permission from The Encyclopedia of Country Living, by Carla Emery (Sasquatch Books, 1994).


Rachel Albert-Matesz of Toledo, Ohio, ­teaches whole-foods classes and writes about food and nutrition.David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images

Rose hips are an edible part of a rose bush. They look like little berries and appear once the bloom dies. They are comparable to the taste of a cranberry. Not only are rose hips tasty, they are also good for you. They are believed to help with inflammation and are used as a laxative. You can add them to many dishes and make a jam or a tea out of them. If you want to experience the benefits of rose hips for yourself, you can easily make your own rose hip jam or tea at home.

Preparing rose hips

Pluck your rose hips. They should be picked once they are a vibrant orange or red. Wait until after the first frost of fall to ensure the rose hips are sweet.

Use scissors to cut off the stems. Also, cut off the dead blossoms.

Use a knife to cut the rose hips in half. Use your fingers to remove and discard the seeds.

Wash the inside and outside of the rose hips well with cold running water before using them.

Rose hip jam

Place one pound of prepared rose hips into a large saucepan. Add one cup of tap water and place over medium-high heat. Bring the water to a boil.

Place a lid on the saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium and allow the water to simmer for the next 20 minutes. Check the water periodically and add more if it seems to be evaporating. The rose hips should be mostly submerged. After 20 minutes they should be soft.

Use a strainer to drain the water from the rose hips. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press them through the strainer back into the large saucepan. This will remove any seeds you missed in preparation and break up the larger pieces.

Pour one pound of sugar to the pressed rose hips and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Taste your mixture to see if more sugar is needed. Add more to taste, if necessary. Place the saucepan back over medium heat and allow the mixture to simmer and reduce. You are looking for a jelly consistency.

Place your prepared jam into mason jars. Sterilize the jars first by boiling them in a pot of water for five minutes to kill any germs. Place the lid and rings on the jars and store your jam in the refrigerator.

Rose hip tea

Place two cups of cool tap water into a medium saucepan. Add four to six rose hips to the pan. This will be eight to twelve rose hips halves.

Place the saucepan over medium heat. Bring the water to a boil.

Allow the water and rose hips to boil for 30 minutes for a stronger tea or less if you want your tea weak.

Pour your tea through a mesh strainer and into a mug to remove the solid pieces.

Sweeten your tea as you like.

The latest addition to my breakfast of chocolate pudding is wild rose hips. They are in season now, you will find them growing all over the place, a local, highly nutritious superfood.

First, gently squeeze the rose hip to check if it is ripe. If it is firm then it’s not ripe, you want to feel for the softness and only very gentle force to pull it from the plant.

Rose hips are full of seeds which can be hairy and irritating when ingested, although I find that when they are properly ripe they don’t cause problems. There is a technique to getting the seeds out – hold the hip in between thumb and finger with one hand, and with the other, gently break the skin around the closed end of the fruit then pull while squeezing with the other hand – if successful all the seeds will come out in a clump. The seeds are edible, they are high in vitamin E, just some of them are very hard.

Rose hips are amazingly high in Vitamin C, according to Wikipedia, rose hips have 2000 mg per 100g compared to oranges with 50 mg and dried goji berries with 73 mg. I just recently found out that most animals can make their own vitamin C within their bodies, humans along with the other primates are some of the only creatures who don’t have this ability and have to rely on food for their vitamin C supply.

It starts to get interesting when we look at how much vitamin C other animals make. According to this article by Bill Sardi “A 160-pound goat produces about 13,000 milligrams per day” and “A dog or cat will produce about 40 milligrams of vitamin C per kilogram of body weight per day, or the equivalent of 2800 mg per day if these animals were about the same size as humans.” Compare this with the RDA of 90 mg and you begin to think that something might be wrong. The Vitamin C Foundation suggest that humans might need 5000 mg per day. In the Sardi article, it is suggested that this kind of dose of vitamin C can increase our lifespan and health.

So it all starts to fit together, by eating a raw food diet you would generally be getting a lot more vitamin C than the RDA, but maybe we need even more than that. I did a rough estimate of one day’s vitamin C intake for myself and it came out at around 500 mg, nowhere near the suggested 5000 mg. But adding 100g of rose hips per day could take that up to 2500 mg, so that’s what I aim to do while they are free and in season.

Rose Hips

Rose Hips are a valuable source of vitamin C, containing as much as 20 times more vitamin C than oranges. They are also an excellent antioxidant.

Rose Hips

If you suffer from the pain and stiffness of chronic osteoarthritis, there’s good news. Studies suggest you may find some comfort from using a natural supplement known as rose hip to treat the symptoms. This fruit, derived from the rose plant, is not only an excellent source of vitamin C but studies show that it may reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis and help sore, achy joints function better.

Rose hip has long been used as an ingredient for herbal tea and is sometimes enjoyed in syrups, jellies, and even wine. This dark red fruit is certainly no stranger to the world of alternative medicine and could be described as a nutritional superstar with its high iron and vitamin content. It has an antioxidant potential even greater than that of blueberries. It’s also a good source of flavonoids, the phytonutrients that have received so much attention for their beneficial health properties.

Harvesting rose hips is very straightforward. They should always be removed from the stem of the rose plant. (Do not remove the rose once it has died off or you will not have any Rose Hips) Rose hips ripen after they are touched by the first fall frost this is when they are the sweetest. At the time of harvest, hips should be firm with a little give in texture and bright red or orange in color. If any of the hips on the plant are shriveled or are not the right color, do not collect them; they will not go to waste, as they will provide a great treat for the birds, rabbits, squirrels, and deer in the area. The color of rose hips varies, but in general, orange hips are not quite ripe, and deep red hips are overripe. Overripe hips are sweet, but have lost much of their vitamin C.

Rose hips will have the most nutritional value when used immediately after harvesting. To prepare rose hips for tea, cut off the bloom stem, cut the hip in half, and scrape out the seeds and hairy pith. This can be very tedious with tiny hips, so you may want to save the smallest hips for jellies. Rose hips used for jellies don’t need to be seeded or scraped. A half and half mixture of rose hip juice and apple juice makes a tasty jelly.

After some Frost

Preparing rose hips is also simple; however, make sure that they are prepared as quickly as possible after being harvested, as waiting to do so will compromise a lot of their nutritional value. Once they have been collected from the rose plant they can be used whole, but they have seeds inside of them that have a hairy surface and can cause irritation if eaten. If the rose hips are to be incorporated into anything other than a jam, jellies or juice it is recommended that the insides of the hips are removed before further preparations are conducted. Unless you are drying them for teas. (Further on are the instructions for drying the Rose Hips) To remove the seeds, trim the ends of the hips and then cut them in half using scissors (the hips will be too small to accurately trim and slice with a knife). Then remove seeds, rinse the hips in cold water, and drain them thoroughly.

Lots of Seeds

After the rose hips have been drained, they should air dry to remove any additional exterior moisture. Once the rose hips are trimmed and ready for use, they can either be prepared fresh or dried.
Rose hips are great to use in jellies, sauces, soups, seasonings, or tea. If the recipe in use calls for them to be cooked, do not use aluminum pots, pans, or utensils, as it will deplete the vitamin C levels and alter the color of the rose hips.

Vitamin C is an important part of a balanced diet, and rose hips are a wonderful source of Vitamin C. Anyone looking for a natural, delicious, and easy to prepare source of this important vitamin will benefit from harvesting his/her own rose hips and from the beautiful roses that will grow in the process!

Rose Hip Tea:

Grind approximately 3-4 cups of rose hips. Boil in 2-3 cups of water for 20 minutes. Strain the liquid to remove the pulp. It’s delicious hot or cold.

  • When Using Dried: 2 tsp per cup of boiling water, steep for 10 to 15 minutes.

Tip: Don’t throw them out once they’ve been used to make tea, eat them after you’re done drinking the tea or add to soups or serve as a side at the supper table. They still have a lot of nutritional value even after they’ve been used in teas.

Rose Hip Tea

Rose Hip Marmalade:

Use a glass or enamel pan for this recipe.

Clean rose hips and soak in cold water for two hours.

Simmer in water for two hours.

Strain and reserve liquid for jellies or other recipes.

Measure the mash, and add 1 cup of brown sugar for each cup of mash.

Boil down to a thick consistency.

Pour into sterilized jars and seal.

Rose Hip Juice:

To prepare rose hip juice for use in many things, just snap the stems and tails off the rose hips and cook in enough water to almost cover them. Cook until well softened. Put through a sieve. Cook again in less water and again put through a sieve. Repeat once more. Then discard remaining seeds and skins and drain the rest overnight through a jelly bag or several layers of cheesecloth.

The juice can be made into syrup or just stored in the refrigerator in a covered jar, to use from time to time in various recipes that would benefit from the addition of vitamin C. The pulp can be used in jam or jelly to augment the quantity where you are a bit short and to add vitamin C.

Use rose hip juice in any syrup, jam or jelly in place of water – at least partly. It doesn’t have much taste, so it can be used in many different things to add that all-important vitamin C.

One use for the pulp is to spread it thinly on cookie sheets and dry it in a low oven, with the oven door slightly open to allow moisture to escape. When completely dry, break the sheet of puree into smaller pieces and pulverize with a rolling pin. The resulting powder is delicious sprinkled on cereal or beverages, or used in place of a little flour in many recipes.

Candied Rose Hips:

Snap off the stems and tail of the wild rose hips you have collected. Discard any imperfect ones. Insects like rose hips too, so sort them with care. Split the hips open. With a teaspoon turned over, force the seeds out of the hips. Scrape out any extraneous membrane from the inside. Cover with cold water in a saucepan and bring to the boiling point. Reduce the heat and simmer slowly for 10 minutes. Drain well.

Cook to the boiling point 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, and 1 or 2 pieces of crystallized ginger. Add the drained rose hip pieces (not more than a cupful at a time). Cook slowly until the hips just begin to appear translucent. Using a skimmer, remove the hips from the syrup and spread them on a platter to cool. If you have more hips, cook them in the same way until all are cooked, but never add more than a cupful at a time.

When cool, roll the hips in granulated sugar and spread thinly on waxed paper to dry. These make a healthful snack for the kids. They should be stored in an airtight, childproof glass container.

Rose Hip Candy:

Gather rose hips, grind into a paste, mix with butter, and add sugar to sweeten. Shape into balls, put a stick into the balls, and roast them over hot coals and enjoy them as a treat on your camping trips.

Rose Hip Syrup:

3 pounds rose hips (ripe)
1 cup honey

Wash hips, remove stems and ends. Use a stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Simmer 15 minutes or until tender. Mash with a wooden spoon. Simmer another 8 minutes.

Pour into several layers cheesecloth and allow to drip over night into ceramic bowl. Squeeze out leftovers. Return juice to saucepan, add honey, and blend well. Bring to boil; boil for 1 minute. Pour into jars and seal. Process in hot water bath for 15 minutes at 5,000 feet.

Rose Hip and Rhubarb Jam:

Use slightly under-ripe rose hips. Cut in half and remove seeds with tip of knife.

1 cup rose hips
1 cup water
4 cups diced rhubarb
1/2 teaspoon salt

Boil rapidly 2 minutes and add:
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind

Boil rapidly 2 minutes. Seal in sterilized jars. Process in hot water bath for 15 minutes at 5,000 feet.

Rose Hip Ball

Rose Hip Catsup:

4 quarts ripe berries (red and ripe)
1 clove garlic
2 medium sized onions
1 cup water (or more if necessary)

Boil these ingredients until they are soft. Strain them. Add 3/4 cup of brown sugar. Tie in a bag and add:

1/2 TBS whole allspice
1/2 TBS mace
1/2 TBS whole cloves
1/2 TBS celery seed
2 inch stick cinnamon

Boil these ingredients quickly. Add 1 cup vinegar, cayenne, salt, if desired. Boil catsup 10 minutes longer. Bottle it at once. Seal the bottles with wax. The flavor of this catsup is excellent.

How To Dry Rose Hips:

Collect quantities to be dried or made into teas, jellies, juice, pickles, etc., for winter use.

The process is very easy and similar to air drying flowers, follow these directions:

  • Sort out the imperfect ones and rinse the batch. Carefully pat dry.
  • Line a cookie sheet with a screen, or a sheet of cardboard, or parchment or wax paper and spread them across in a single layer.
  • Leave in a dark, well ventilated area for a few weeks, they’ll be ready when they are hard, wrinkly and darker in color.
  • You can also do this in the oven on the lowest setting or use a dehydrator.

You can dry them whole or you can cut and seed first (directions below). If mainly using for teas, leaving whole is fine.

Storage: Seal in airtight containers or glass jars, store away from direct light.

How To Remove Hairs & Seeds:

It is desirable that the hairs and seeds be removed before consuming. The fine hairs associated with the seeds are unpleasant in the mouth and have an irritating action. A few different methods are used, try one of the following:

  • Cut in half and shake out seeds, this takes the longest time;
  • Cover with water and simmer, then rub through a sieve using the puree;
  • Simmer whole Rose Hips in more than enough water to cover, then merely strain. Bottle the juice. Add sugar if desired and process 45 mins. This juice contains Vitamin C and may be added to sauces, soups (not cream soup), puddings, beverages and many other foods.

Did You Know: Women and children were encouraged to gather them during World War II when food supplies were low, the Vitamin C they provided were a much needed source of nutrition and was highly valued over the winter months.’

Happy Picking and enjoy all the benefits that this plant has to offer from the Wild 🙂

Fall and winter are the perfect times to go foraging for rose hips. During this time, the leaves have fallen off the rose plants so the rose hips are easy to see. We harvested wild rose hips while out in the mountains and we also harvested rose hips from the domestic rose bushes on our property. They’re a free, all natural source of Vitamin C with so many different uses!

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Identifying Rose Hips

A rosehip is the fruit of the rose bush. After the rose bush is done blooming and the flower petals have fallen off, the rose hip is what is left hanging on the bush. Rose hips are easy to spot because of their lovely orange to red color. By late fall when nothing else is blooming and most other berries are long past harvest time, you can’t miss the brightly colored orange and red rose hips.

A rose hip is unique because of the shape of its bottom. It basically looks like a red berry with a few feathery wisps coming out the bottom.

Rose hips vary in size but average about 1/4″ to 1 1/4″. We noticed that the wild rose hips are smaller whereas the rose hips from the bushes on our property are noticeably larger. Here is a picture of the rose hips from the rose bushes on our property that were twice the size of the wild rose hips we harvested.

When harvesting rose hips, it is good idea to wear leather gloves. The wild rose bushes that grow out here in Montana have small thorns on the branches just like the domesticated rose bushes on our property. If you wear a pair of leather gloves it will help protect your fingers from getting pricked by thorns and also helps the picking go faster. I’ve read that it is best to wait until after the first frost to harvest rose hips. They are easy to remove from the plant but the most challenging part of foraging for them is picking them without getting pricked by a thorn!

Drying Rose Hips

Rose hips can easily be dried by letting them sit out for a week or two. I placed a dish towel on top of a metal cookie sheet then sat the cookie sheet in the mud room with all our boxes of green tomatoes that needed to ripen. I actually forgot about them so they sat out for a few weeks so were good and dry! At this point, you can easily remove any of the dried leafy wisps from the bottom. Then place them in a jar with a lid and store them out of direct sunlight.

Health Benefits of Rose Hips

The main reason I wanted to harvest rose hips was for the natural vitamin C content. During cold and flu season, I prefer to boost our family’s immune system by natural forms of Vitamin C rather than having to take a Vitamin C supplement.We use our homemade elderberry syrup but I also wanted to have other natural sources of Vitamin C to boost our immune systems. I’ve read that wild rose hips have a higher concentration of Vitamin C than domesticated rose bushes. Either way, they still have Vitamin C so we harvested both. According to our favorite wild edibles identification book, rose hips also contain vitamins A, B, E and K.

Recipes for Rose Hips

There are many uses for rose hips. One thing to note is that you shouldn’t eat them raw.

The book Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Rockies noted that “The dry inner seeds are not palatable and their sliver-like hairs can irritate the digestive tract and cause ‘itchy bum’. All members of the Rose family have cyanide-like compounds in their seeds, destroyed by drying and cooking.”

  • Rosehip tea: We use whole rose hips so there is no need to remove the seeds. If you cut your rose hips, you’ll need to remove the seeds so you don’t get digestive issues! Use about two heaping teaspoons of rose hips per cup of water. To make rose hip tea, pour boiling water over the rose hips and let them sit 10-15 minutes. Strain out the rose hips. I like to add some of our own raw honey to sweeten the tea a bit and add more health benefits from the raw honey.
  • Rosehip jam and Rosehip syrup
  • How to Make Rose Hip and Apple Jelly
  • Strawberry Rose Hips Jam
  • Rose Hip Jam
  • Hedgerow Jelly Recipe
  • Rose Hip Chutney
  • Autumn Pear and Rose Hip Compote
  • Rose Hip Vinegar
  • Rose Hip Ketchup
  • Homemade Rose Hip Oil
  • Rose Hip Leather
  • Rose Hip Soup
  • Mini Rose Hip Graham Crackers
  • How to Make Fermented Rose Hip Soda
  • Bottled Roses Kombucha
  • Rose Hip Wine Recipe
  • Candied Rose Hips
  • Rose Hip Ripple Ice Cream
  • Rose Hip Christmas Truffles
  • Chocolate Elderberry and Rose Hip Ice Cream
  • Rose Hip Truffles
  • Elderberry and Rose Hip Gummies
  • How to Make Raw Medicinal Honey with Ginger and Rose Hips
  • Immune Boosting Elderberry and Rose Hips Tonic
  • Elderberry and Rose Hip Syrup

We’re hoping to harvest more rose hips throughout the winter so we’ll have enough to make more rosehip goodies!

What are your favorite ways to use rose hips?

This post shared on The Homestead Barn Hop

By Gail Butler

Issue #95 • September/October, 2005

Vitamin C-rich rose hips can be found in dried form in most health food stores, but why not gather your own? You’ll save money and you’ll know where they came from and the conditions in which they grew. Furthermore, you’ll be adding to your own self-sufficiency by locating and gathering a nutrient-dense food source to nourish yourself and your family.

Growing along the main irrigation canal in the small farming community where I live are hedgerows of wild roses. In spring they produce lovely pink blossoms. As the petals fade, a green hip, or hypanthium, begins to swell at each blossom’s base. From mid-September into October when they are fully red and ripe, and before frost tinges their foliage with autumn color making the hips harder to see, I gather bagfuls for making soup, wine, syrup, jelly, and tea.

Most wild roses will have four- or five-petal blossoms that are either white, yellow, or pink. Five-petal pink blossoms cover the wild roses in my area in spring.

If you live, as I do, in a temperature zone that’s too cold to grow citrus fruit, rose hips are an excellent alternative food source of Vitamin C. All roses are edible, but we are most familiar with the rose’s tasty cousins”fruits such as plums, apples, blackberries, and raspberries”all of which have small, rose-like white or pink flowers before setting fruit. A rose hip is merely the fruit of the rose plant.

Unlike their popular fruiting cousins, rose hips don’t have much flesh beneath their skins. Instead, they are filled with tiny seeds covered with silky hairs. The skin of the hip, often tasting like an apple, is where most of the food value and nutrition lies.

Nutritional powerhouses

Known mostly for beauty in the garden and as a floral declaration of love, roses don’t usually come to mind when we think of either food or nutrition. Yet, all parts of the rose, and especially the hips, are storehouses of Vitamin C and other important nutrients.

Compare the nutritional content of oranges to rose hips and you will find that rose hips contain 25 percent more iron, 20 to 40 percent more Vitamin C (depending upon variety), 25 times the Vitamin A, and 28 percent more calcium.

Dry rose hips on an old cookie sheet for a couple of weeks until completely dry. When ready to store, they should be darker than their fresh counterparts, hard, and semi-wrinkley.

In addition, rose hips are a rich source of bioflavanoids, pectin, Vitamin E, selenium, manganese, and the B-complex vitamins. Rose hips also contain trace amounts of magnesium, potassium, sulfur and silicon.

Finding and gathering rose hips

Wild roses grow throughout the world. There are literally thousands of varieties worldwide and most have been part of the human diet. In fact, it is difficult to find an area of the world or a temperature zone”barring parts of the Antarctic and the Sahara Desert”where wild roses don’t grow.

We can also look to our own gardens. The domesticated roses we find there are rich in nutrients. Look for Rosa rugosa that develops many large, bright red hips that look and taste like small apples. Rugosa roses are found in most nurseries and plant catalogs. Rosa gallica, a native of the Middle East no longer found in the wild but available from nurseries and plant catalogs, is a favored old garden rose. It will grace your garden with beauty and scent and your table with nutritious foods and beverages. Even the well-loved “hybrid tea” roses produce edible hips, although not as prolifically as their wild and semi-domesticated garden cousins.

Rose hip tea is a tasty, nutritious beverage that can be made from fresh or dried hips. This cup was made from freshly gathered wild rose hips.

Many enthusiastic gardeners never see the development of colorful hips because as soon as blossoms fade they are snipped off to tidy up the garden. Blossoms must be left on the plant to naturally fade and fall for hips to develop.

The most abundant source of Vitamin C-rich rose hips is from wild hedgerows and thickets. Here hips can be gathered in ample quantities for cooking and storing. You’d have to grow a vast number of garden-variety roses to get a sufficient quantity of hips for use all year long. As most roses have thorns, gloves are helpful although not essential when gathering hips.

Rose hips as food

Once you locate your rose hip source there still remains the question of turning them into something we deem not only edible, but tasty too. Rose hips can be made into a variety of appetizing, healthy dishes. Turned into jelly, syrup, and wine, they make delightful gifts.

Rose hips may be used fresh or dried. To dry them, discard any with discoloration then rinse in cold water, pat dry, and spread on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet. It takes a couple of weeks for them to dry. They will be darker in color, hard, and semi-wrinkly. Rub off any stems or remaining blossom ends. Pour them into jars for storage in a dark pantry or cupboard.

One of my favorite ways to use rose hips is to brew them into tea. For tea they may be used fresh or dried. For fresh brewing, steep a tablespoon or two of clean hips in a cup of boiling water for about 10 minutes. Sweeten with honey and enjoy. To make a tea of dried hips, use only two teaspoons to one cup of boiling water and steep for 10 to 15 minutes.

My favorite syrup for pancakes, waffles, and vanilla ice cream is made from freshly gathered rose hips. Rinse and pat dry the hips and place them in a saucepan. Barely cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. Cool and strain the mixture, pressing the liquid off the hips gently with the back of a spoon, being careful not to break them open and release the seeds. If this happens, merely strain the seeds out. The resulting liquid may be frozen in batches for future use in soup or jelly, or turned into tasty syrup. The solids left over from straining can be fed to chickens or tossed onto the compost pile.

In late summer, rose hips ripen to bright red and are ready for gathering.

To make rose hip syrup, add one part honey to two parts of the heated, strained liquid. Stir to dissolve the honey and refrigerate. After refrigeration, the syrup will thicken slightly. Rose hip syrup will keep in the refrigerator for about two weeks. Reheat the syrup for use on pancakes and waffles. Use it warm or cold to top vanilla ice cream.

Heated syrup may be canned by pouring it into hot, sterile jars and processing in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. For every 1,000 feet above an elevation of 5,000 feet, add one minute to the processing time.

For a refreshing spring tonic punch, simmer rhubarb in rose hip syrup until soft. Strain and adjust sweetening as needed. Chill, and pour over ice for a refreshing, healthful libation to clear out the winter cobwebs. Add a sprig of fresh spearmint or lemon balm as garnish. Rose hip syrup may be used to sweeten and flavor herbal or black teas, as well.

A favorite dish of the Swedish is rose hip soup. They literally consume rose hips by the tons each year. To make approximately four servings you’ll need:

3 cups of freshly made or thawed unsweetened rose hip liquid
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. corn starch
4 Tbsp. sour cream or yogurt as a garnish
minced mint

In a saucepan, heat the liquid and add the honey and lemon juice. Remove ½ cup of the heated mixture. Into this, whisk the cornstarch until smooth. Add the cornstarch mixture back into the pan and bring to a high simmer, stirring, until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Add a dollop of sour cream or yogurt to each serving, topping with minced fresh mint, if desired.

If you make your own wine, the following recipe for rose hip wine is one of the healthiest and most lovely in color. You’ll need:

After a hard frost, autumn color makes the hips harder to see.

4 pounds of fresh rose hips
3 pounds of sugar
1 gallon boiling water
1 tsp. black tea
1 tsp. baker’s or wine yeast

Rinse and drain the hips. Place them in a primary fermenting vessel such as a clean food-grade plastic bucket that has a tight-fitting lid. Pour in one gallon of boiling water. Add the teaspoon of tea and all the sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let the mixture sit tightly covered for 24 hours. Add one teaspoon of baker’s or wine yeast and let the mixture ferment for seven days, covered, stirring once per day with a clean spoon.

Strain off the rose hips and pour the liquid into a one-gallon glass jug (an old wine jug works great) and fit with a fermentation lock or balloon. If you use a balloon, be sure to release the gases occasionally or it will burst. Place the jug in a warm spot until fermentation ceases. Siphon (rack) the liquid off of the yeast solids into a clean glass jug and refit with the fermentation lock or balloon.

Racking will usually reactivate fermentation for a short time. When fermentation ceases completely for several weeks, siphon the wine into clean wine bottles. Cork the bottles securely or use wine bottles with screw-on tops and store in a cool spot for six months or longer. There will usually be a glass or two of wine left after bottling. This you can enjoy right away.


Wherever you gather rose hips, be sure they have not been treated with herbicides or pesticides. If wild roses grow on your property or you gather from your garden roses, you can manage them to your satisfaction.

Wild roses, despite their beauty and usefulness as perimeter plantings, food, and wildlife habitats, are considered by many to be a nuisance. They do spread by suckering, and a single plant will become a thicket eventually. If you have enough property to sustain several thickets where they can grow without interfering with your other operations, you will have an ample source of nutritious hips to nourish yourself and your family throughout the year.

Leis Dry Rosehip 500g

Leis Dry Rosehip 500g

Rosehip treats various diseases. For the first time its useful properties described in the 4th century BC Ancient Greek scientist, “father of botany” Theophrastus. Since then, infusion, decoction, tincture, rose oil increases mental and physical ability, strengthen the immune system. The plant helps to cope with colds, diseases of the oral cavity, the maxillary sinusitis, normalizes blood pressure, heals the cardiovascular system, helps with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, nervous disorders and many more.

Rosehip berries are rich not only in vitamin C, they include in their biological composition of vitamins A, K, P, E, and B vitamins is no less varied and will bring great benefit to the health of complex trace elements contained in the fruits of wild rose: potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, sodium, phosphorus, chromium, copper, cobalt, molybdenum and manganese. But that’s not all! The wild rose has sugar, pectin, tannins, organic acids, essential oils, and many other substances necessary for normal functioning of the human body.

Very highly regarded is a useful quality of rose hips as a high content of ascorbic acid, which allows the use of rose hips for beriberi, atherosclerosis, colds and use it to strengthen the immune system. Even more benefits it has thanks to the presence in its composition of vitamins P and K rosehips has the occasional useful properties, as the acceleration of regenerative processes and bone fusion. The use of rose hips and can effectively strengthen the cardiovascular system, to treat disorders of the genitourinary system, improve the condition of patients with malaria, anemia, bleeding, help lower the pressure.

How to brew rosehip.

To get the most from the beneficial properties of rose hips, it must be able to brew.

The first thing you need to look for when brewing obaraschat hips – the ratio of water and rose hips. You make a decoction or infusion, it does not matter. So, true proportion – a liter of water per 100 grams of rose hips.

The easiest way rosehip infusion – infusion. Rosehip gives its beneficial properties slowly, so it should be brewed for a long time – about 6-7 hours. It is best to use this procedure, a thermos – it put the crushed fruit, pour very hot water (boiling water, which stood about 4-5 minutes), close the lid and leave and at a specified time.

Ingredients: dry rosehips.

Product of Germany

Net weight: 500g

Rosehips, Dried

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