How and why to harvest rose hips for the winter?
Rosehip is an unpretentious close relative of the rose. It grows well in the wild, and its terry representative can often be found as an ornamental plant in parks or in private gardens. Recently, the plant has become increasingly popular among gardeners due to its rich vitamin and mineral composition. In this article I will talk about the benefits of rose hips, how to collect, dry, store and properly brew tea.
About the rosehip cult in the Balkans
Rosehip comes from eastern countries and Asia. However, in the Balkans it was very widespread. For example, I live in Serbia. And I can say that the rosehip cult is here. Jam is made from it at home, homemade wine is made, it is dried, so that then you can drink tea all year. At the same time, they specially go somewhere to the forest to collect wild wild rose.
In stores in Serbia and other countries of the Balkan region, you can buy rosehip tea, wine, liquor, jam, marmalade, pastries with rosehip filling. Wild rose hips, along with “cultivated” berries, can be bought in the market. And in the restaurant you will be served tea from rose hips. And besides the wild, there are still whole rosehip plantations grown for food, medical and cosmetic purposes.
About the benefits of rose hips
Both wild and cultivated wild rose are equally useful. This bush can grow up to 3.5 meters in height and has fragrant, pleasant flowers and a very prickly stem. Rosehip blooms from June to July, and the fruits ripen in September. In total, there are about 400 species of rose hips. First of all, it is valuable because of its healing properties.
Rose hips contain a large amount of vitamins C, A, E, B. In addition, calcium, iron, flavonoids, pectin, selenium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium. Such a composition, of course, makes it a very useful product.
Rosehip, in addition to its rich vitamin and mineral composition, also has anti-inflammatory properties, strengthens the immune system. Therefore, tea from rose hips is used for colds, weakness, fatigue, as a tonic, for anemia.
Vitamin E lowers cholesterol and is also a powerful antioxidant, protecting the cardiovascular system from disease. The components of the rosehip are involved in the regulation of carbohydrate metabolism, thereby preventing the development of diabetes.
Rosehip is a natural diuretic. It also has a mild laxative effect. It is widely used in cosmetology as a skin tonic and cell regenerating agent, it moisturizes perfectly. It is also beneficial for the skin to drink tea from rose hips due to its high content of vitamin A and vitamin C.
Rose hips are useful for improving digestion. And in folk medicine in the old days they collected petals of rose hips, which were dried and brewed in the spring, when the body was sorely lacking vitamin C.
The ancient doctors believed in the healing properties of rose hips so much that they even treated kidney stones. It was believed that the infusion of rose hips (with prolonged use) will turn the stones into sand and they will safely leave the body. And brewing rose hips with mint, you can get rid of insomnia.
Due to the high content of vitamins, rosehip improves the condition of the hair. To do this, you can either drink tea or rinse your hair with rosehip infusion. Oil from the rosehip seeds is no less useful, it is used in cosmetology, for the manufacture of creams, shampoos and other products. Rosehip seed oil restores cell membranes, gives elasticity to the skin. And rose hips contain up to 47% of these valuable seeds.
Interesting fact: precious rose oil is often obtained from rosehip seeds, because it is a close relative of the rose and they are very similar in chemical composition.
How I collect and harvest rose hips
Before the first frosts strike, and the fruits darken, having lost their properties, I am going to collect rose hips. This usually happens sooner or later, but in September. I always wear gloves during the collection, so as not to injure my hands on the spikes. It is quite difficult to collect the rosehip because of the thorns; it clings to literally everything. Need to be patient!
The collected fruits, as they say in the books, it is recommended to hold them in the sun for several hours in order to preserve the natural beautiful color, to sag, and then to dry in the oven at a temperature of +40aboutWith or in special dryers.
However, I dry by simply leaving it on the porch on a paper-lined tray. I lay out in one layer. Previously, I do not expose to the sun, because when I collect the fruits, they are already a little sunken.
So the wild rose I dry on the veranda for several days. The main thing is that the weather is dry and sunny. Well-dried fruits should be firm, slightly wrinkled, shiny, odorless.
Then I put the fruits in a paper bag or cardboard box. In my closet they lie like that all winter. Do not put dried rosehips in metal boxes, otherwise it will oxidize, change color and taste.
How I make tea and infusion of rose hips
When I need to make tea from rose hips, I proceed as follows. I take 1 tablespoon of dried fruit, chop them. I cut with scissors. The rosehip that I collect is wild, oblong, so it is conveniently cut with scissors.
You can use fresh rose hips for tea. But first it needs to be stoned. Although valuable in composition, they have small hairs and can cause irritation. Dry rose hips are brewed like tea with seeds.
Then pour 200 ml of boiling water and let it stand for half an hour, wrapping it (I have a jar) in something warm. You can use a thermos. Such tea can be taken 1 cup twice a day before meals (in everything you need to know the measure). In case of a cold, you can add a spoonful of honey to such tea.
It is best to make fresh tea every time. You also need to know that if the wild rose is boiled, then vitamin C is destroyed in it. For the same reason, you can not make tea in aluminum utensils, while the fruits change their color and lose vitamins.
If you are taking any medications, it is best to consult a doctor first before drinking tea from rose hips.
In addition to rose hips, tea can be brewed from rose flower petals and young shoots (in season). All parts of the plant contain beneficial substances. You can make mixed tea from rose hips and mint, for example, or lavender.
And you can cook rosehip infusion in oil. To do this, pour 40 g of crushed fruit 120 ml of oil (you can even sunflower) and put the jar in the sun, on a window, for example, or in another warm place (on the battery), where it will stand for a couple of weeks (and in the case of the battery smaller). Then strain the oil and refrigerate. They can be wiped, moisturized, or used to make face masks.