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Eat Your Rosehips (They're Good for You!)

Jill has been writing as The Dirt Farmer on HubPages for nine years.

eat-your-rose-hips-theyre-good-for-you

Hip Hip Hooray for Rosehips!

Rosehips are not only edible, they're also good for you. In fact, a single rosehip contains more Vitamin C than an orange, according to National Geographic's Edible!

Although you probably won't want to eat rosehips straight from the bush, you can enjoy the flavor, aroma and health benefits of organic rosehips in a variety of concoctions, from rosehip tea to rosehip syrup. You can also get your daily dose of vitamin C by taking rosehip supplements.

All roses form hips, even this knockout rose, although you wouldn't want to eat them. When you stop deadheading, rosehips form.

All roses form hips, even this knockout rose, although you wouldn't want to eat them. When you stop deadheading, rosehips form.

What Is a Rosehip?

The rosehips used in cooking are formed from the spent blossoms of the dog rose bush (Rosa canina). Because Rosa canina grows wild, you can forage for rosehips in autumn.

If you grow dog roses in your garden, you probably spend time throughout the summer deadheading them, that is, removing their spent blooms. After all, you want them to flower--and keep on flowering. In late summer, however, you should limit your snipping to the few roses that you pick for arrangements so that your bushes don't produce lots of new growth that will be killed in the upcoming cold weather.

When you cease to deadhead, your Rosa canina's petals will eventually fall away, and the spent blooms will form rosehips—small berries that contain as many as 150 seeds. In addition to vitamin C, these hips contains vanillin as well as sugars, making them delectable additions to jams, jellies, syrups and other sweet treats.

When Should Rose Hips Be Harvested?

For the sweetest flavor, you should gather ye rose hips while ye may (Sorry, Herrick!) in the fall, preferably after the first hard frost.

Don't, however, wait until the hips are dried up in order to harvest them. That's when they're better food for birds than people. Rather, select rose hips that have turned a rich deep red color. That's when they're at their best—slightly sweet, very tart, and full of good nutrition.

How Can Rosehips Be Used?

Throughout the ages, gardeners and cooks have used rosehips in a variety of delicious recipes. If you have access to organic, pesticide-free rose hips, you too might enjoy making food and drinks from rosehips.

Rosehip Tea for Four

Sip a cup of rosehips.

Rosehip tea has a sweet, tangy flavor, and like everything thing else rosehip, it's packed with vitamin C. Although rosehip tea may be purchased, if your Rosa canina bushes are pesticide-free, you can easily make your own fresh rosehip tea. The following is a basic recipe for fresh rosehip tea.

Ingredients

5 c. boiling water

4 Tbsp. fresh rosehips, chopped

Directions

Bring 5 c. water to boil. Meanwhile, collect about 1 cup pesticide-free rosehips. Wash them carefully, removing any debris. Then chop them until you have enough to fill four tablespoons--one tablespoon per cup of boiling water.

Rinse the teapot with boiling water in order to warm it. Add the rosehips, and then pour 4 c. of boiling water into the pot. Allow to steep 3 to 5 minutes.

For rosehip tea with a high vitamin C content, fellow hubber Plinka recommends soaking the hips in lukewarm water for several days rather than simply pouring hot water over them.

Rosehip Syrup

Rosehip syrup is luscious on biscuits, ice cream and pancakes. You could also pour it over slices of Rose Scented Cake. (See link to recipe below.)

Rosehip syrup can also be added to jams and jellies, and it's surprisingly easy to make.

For step-by-step directions, go to this recipe from The Guardian's Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. To make rosehip syrup, all you'll need are three ingredients: rosehips, water and sugar.

You'll need pretty rose petals for your Rose-Scented Cake. Make sure they're organic!

You'll need pretty rose petals for your Rose-Scented Cake. Make sure they're organic!

Rose-Scented Cake

To make a rose-scented cake from recipe provided by National Public Radio's Victoria C. Rowan, you'll need organic rose water and two organic roses—in addition to other "cake-making stuff" like butter, sugar, eggs and flour.

With the full recipe, you can serve your rose-scented cake with ice cream and drizzle it with rosehip syrup!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Jill Spencer

Comments

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on January 10, 2013:

I'm very glad you found it, too, DzyMsLizzy! This is probably a good time of the year to take your Vitamin C--and rosehips are an excellent source. Take care, Jill

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on January 10, 2013:

Congratulations on HOTD!

What an interesting article. I'm glad I found this, for I had no idea that it was a certain specific rose, and not just any rose hip from the garden rosebushes that could be used.

Voted up, interesting and useful.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on January 10, 2013:

Thanks so much, TheListLady! Glad to have found you, too. Appreciate the enthusiasm and good cheer. (: --Jill

TheListLady from New York City on January 10, 2013:

I have thoroughly enjoyed rose hips tea and now with you sharing all your expertise I will certainly try other products. Your hubs are amazing and now I am now a follower. I'm so happy! Yay!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 16, 2011:

Thanks, Dr. H. Glad you dropped by! Will check out your hubs, too!

Dr. Haddox on November 15, 2011:

I am happy with your quality, life-giving writing, dirtfarmer. Keep up the good work.

Dr. Haddox

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 07, 2011:

Thanks, eye say! Just read your "Nuts & Bolts" recipe @ https://eyesay.hubpages.com/hub/Easy-Homemade-Nuts... Have never used celery salt in it! Will have to have your recipe a try. It sounds good. Thanks for commenting! --DF

eye say from Canada on November 06, 2011:

great info, I knew they were good for you but didn't realize how good. thanks

bangingbeauty on November 06, 2011:

Lovely post, I enjoy a pot of rosehip tea from time to time. Cheers, BB

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 04, 2011:

@tlmcgaa70--That's a great idea. Seeds are definitely the way to go! Good luck!

@Peggy W--Thanks you so much! I'm glad you like the hub & am very grateful to have had a HOTD. Take care!--Jill

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 04, 2011:

I did, Denise. Thanks! I can see it now below. Hope you can see it too!

tlmcgaa70 from south dakota, usa on November 04, 2011:

awesome hub! we have wild roses growing here, incredivly thick. their rosehips get pretty huge to. i have been trying to domesticate a wild rose for some time. i have learned the hard way you can't just dig them up and transplant them...they grow on runner roots and if you chop the root that connects it to the rest of its "family" it dies. so i harvested some rosehips this fall and stuck them in the freezer in the hopes of starting my own wild roses from it.

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on November 04, 2011:

Hi Dirt Farmer-sent a comment out previoiusly about my experiences with rose hips...hope you got it. :)

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 04, 2011:

This is something I have never tried in natural form although quite a few vitamin C tablets have rose hips combined in them. Very informative hub! That first video was also informative. Voted up and useful. Congrats on getting the Hub of the Day!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 04, 2011:

@Denise--How wonderful to have rose hips so readily available to you! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

@Derdriu--Thanks! Having a HOTD is really cool, & I feel very lucky.

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on November 04, 2011:

Rose hips are the best! I had huge rose bushes growing in the back of my yard in the Upper Peninsula Michigan and my girl friend introduced me to the benefits of rose hips. It was a blessing. I've used it for Vit c and colds since. Great hub.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 04, 2011:

Celiegirl, I'm glad I wrote something useful for you--to pay you back for all those good recipe hubs you've been posting. I've added your tea bath hub to the links above. Why didn't I think of that before?

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 04, 2011:

@ PixelsToLife--Dog roses are hardy, growing in Zones 3-8. That's a wide range! I've never seen them in nursery pots either. You can start them from seeds. They're a little more expensive than most seeds, but ... you get a perennial! I'm trying to add them to an Amazon capsule, but can't get it to work. However, check out TreeHelp Ltd.'s site, which has them for $6. Good luck!

@Nexusx2--Thanks! I'm glad that you did.

@Londontours--So glad you stopped by. Thanks for commenting!

@homesteadbound--Interesting flavor, huh? I know what that means! (: Thanks for stopping by.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 04, 2011:

@davenmidtown--I know my photography has gotten better, and I feel more...comfortable these days writing on the internet. Thanks for noticing. Take care, Jill

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 04, 2011:

@StephanieBCrosby--What great timing! You'll have to write a hub about your foraging adventures.Thanks for commenting!

@Ben--OMG! I could never eat them like that. What about that little hair in the middle? I can't think of any other plant that looks quite like them, but I'm no expert. The leaves look like rose leaves, and the hips are so big that you wouldn't confuse them with a multifloral, which also grows wild and is really prickly. Still, better be careful. And now I'm checking out your hubs! You sound like the kind of adventurous soul I like!

Nexusx2 on November 03, 2011:

Just stopping by. You have a wonderful hub. Congrats on hub of the day.

Londontours from London on November 03, 2011:

It's relay great hub

PixelsToLife from Arkansas on November 03, 2011:

I will have to try the tea recipe. Is there any certain climate that these plants do particularly well in? To my knowledge I have not come across any of these particular plants. I live in Arkansas by the way.

Celiegirl on November 03, 2011:

Thank you so much for this, been researching herbs that provided vitamin C, my mom used to buy a combo. Very goo!

Stephanie Bradberry from New Jersey on November 03, 2011:

I'm glad this made Hub of the Day. I was going to pluck some rosehips today before seeing you hub. I just watched an episode of "Hot on the Trail" (it airs on Veria) and the host was on the hunt for wild rosehips. She did warn about commercially grown or bred roses not being a good source for rosehips. Thanks for consolidating all this information for us.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 03, 2011:

@DzyMsLizzy--They're edible, but they might not taste very good. Most hips are really just ornamental--and good food for birds. If you have a Rosa rugosa (beach rose), however, their hips are tasty--and they're big. If you like "old-fashioned" plants, you might want to get a rugosa. They're definitely "your grandmother's" rosebush--and they're really, really prickly. Thanks so much for commenting! Take care, Jill

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 03, 2011:

@frogyfish--Thanks for commenting! Sounds like you make rose petal tea. As for rosehip tea, you can used dried hips, too, if you like. Glad you stopped by. --DF

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 03, 2011:

@mamamia69--Thanks! You're very kind.

Cindy Murdoch from Texas on November 03, 2011:

I've made rose hip tea before and it had an interesting flavor. This is a great hub. Congratulations on hub of the day!

Derdriu on November 03, 2011:

TheDirtFarmer: Congratulations on a very well-deserved hub of the day award for such a gloriously illustrated, organized and written hub!

Derdriu

pinkish on November 03, 2011:

Great hub! I'm a fan of rosehips benefit. Useful!

David Stillwell from Sacramento, California on November 03, 2011:

TDF: These hubs of the day do take us by surprise but this is only a just dessert for you. I have watched you grow as a writer and photographer and If I were you, I'd be prepared for more of this! A very well deserved award!

Ben Zoltak from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on November 03, 2011:

I have eaten these wild foraging before and they are delicious, do you know if there are any similar looking poisonous berries that I should avoid? So far, if the leaves look like rose leaves and the shape is the familiar rosehip shape,then I gobble them up!

Thanks!

Ben

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on November 03, 2011:

Hello--Congratulations onf Hub of the Day!

This is very interesting, indeed. I've long known about the vitamin C aspect of rose hips, but never tried harvesting my own.

We don't have "dog roses," only ordinary everyday roses, species unknown. Are the hips from these safe as well, and with the same benefits? I currently have a bumper crop of hips...although, on our roses, they never become red...they stay green, and go to a kind of rusty color just before they fall off.

Voted up, useful and interesting.

frogyfish from Central United States of America on November 03, 2011:

Informative and interesting hub with the delightful appeal of those rose petals...all the good things you mentioned we could make. I have an old-fashioned Mirandy tea rose that has at a few times dedicated its velvety red petals to a cup of tea. Delightful!

Ah, yes...I did not know the rosehips needed to be UNdried for use. Thanks for a great sharing of your info!

mamamia69 on November 03, 2011:

i wanna learn from your hub here, brilliantly crafted!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 03, 2011:

@ Elaina Grinias--I'm so glad you liked the hub & very happy that you stopped by. Hope you bake that cake! Take care, DF

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 03, 2011:

@SJmorningsun25--Thank you so much! Just read your crackpot hub @ https://sjmorningsun25.hubpages.com/hub/Were-All-C... and really enjoyed it!

SJmorningsun25 on November 03, 2011:

What a great Hub! I've always wondered what rosehips were, and now I know. Thanks for the informative, interesting, and tasty article! Congrats on the Hub of the Day. It's well deserved! Voted up, interesting, useful, and beautiful.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 03, 2011:

Thanks, RTalloni. Wouldn't a rose-scented cake covered in petals be gorgeous an engagement party? Thanks for reading!

Elaina Grinias on November 03, 2011:

Thsnks so much for the information! I had no idea about this. I will have to grow these when I get my own house. I really like things that are good for my health so thanks again for the rosehip lesson. I might even bake a cake now ;)

RTalloni on November 03, 2011:

Congrats on Hub of the Day--great pick for the award! Thanks for reminding us of the benefits of rose hips--looking forward to trying that rose scented cake!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 03, 2011:

Great, ThePracticalMommy! Hope your dog roses have large, juicy hips!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 03, 2011:

@formosangirl--I have some miniature roses too! They're so pretty. Thanks for reading & commenting.

Marissa from United States on November 03, 2011:

Congrats on the Hub of the Day! I had no idea you could use rosehips from your own garden. I will have to try that next year. Thanks for sharing!

formosangirl from Los Angeles on November 03, 2011:

I heard about rosehip in Vitamin C tablets. Thanks for sharing about its use from home. I have miniature roses.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 03, 2011:

Thanks, incomeguru! Glad you visited! DF

Oyewole Folarin from Lagos on November 03, 2011:

Great hub, the videos you've embedded are well explanatory and straight to the point. Voted up!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 03, 2011:

@ jacqui2011--And I could add even more ways to use rosehips. (Maybe I will later!) Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Glad you stopped by!

jacqui2011 from Norfolk, UK on November 03, 2011:

Wow - what a fantastic hub, well worthy of the Hub of the Day. Great information here. I didn't know that rose hip could be used in so many different ways. Voted up and awesome.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 03, 2011:

@leahlefler--I'd love to live off the grid! In fact, we're hoping to do that in just a few years, but ... I definitely need to learn more about foraging--especially about wild mushrooms. So happy you stopped by! Thanks for commenting.

Leah Lefler from Western New York on November 03, 2011:

What a great hub! I have heard of people who live entirely off-grid and forage for a lot of natural foods left behind in the wild or along road-sides: rose hips and Queen Anne's Lace, among others. Congratulations on hub of the day!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 03, 2011:

Welcome to the Hub, DorothieWalter! Hope you have fun writing, learning & sharing with other writers. Thanks for reading and commenting. I'm looking forward to reading your hubs, too! (: DF

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 03, 2011:

@NMLady--Thanks! Glad you liked the videos.

@asmaiftikhar--Thank you! Glad you stopped by.

@mostw8--Thanks for reading & commenting!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 03, 2011:

@davenmidtown--Thank you! I couldn't have been more surprised to have a HOTD!

DorothieWalter from 176 Flushing Avenue Brooklyn , New York on November 03, 2011:

I just signed up in hubpages and you really catch my attention with your informative article. I love flowers especially roses yet I do not know their health benefits in our body. Many thanks to you, keep on inspiring your readers, By the way, I also like the videos that you have append in your page.

mostw8 from india on November 03, 2011:

nice

asmaiftikhar from Pakistan on November 03, 2011:

Thanks for sharing a healthy hub.congrats dear.

NMLady from New Mexico & Arizona on November 03, 2011:

How interesting! The videos are great here! Thanks!

David Stillwell from Sacramento, California on November 03, 2011:

The Dirt Farmer: Let me be the first to say CONGRATULATIONS on being hub of the day. This is truly a wonderful hub and a great example of your talent. Voted up and sharing!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 02, 2011:

Thanks, Simone! Always happy when you drop by.

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on November 02, 2011:

Huh! Rosehips are pretty AND healthy! I've heard of rosehip tea before, but never syrup or cake. Very cool!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 02, 2011:

@Movie Master--How funny! Did your children like the taste? As always, thanks for reading & commenting.

@gogogo--You'll have to let us know how it turns out. I think it would be fun to have a rose-themed tea party some afternoon and serve rosehip tea. That might even be fun for Christmas Eve. You're inspiring me, gogogo! Thanks for your comments. --Jill

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 02, 2011:

No, they're not toxic--unless they've been chemically treated. It's just that some roses produce bigger, healthier hips. Dog rose hips are large, and they're particularly high in vitamin C. Also, although I'm not one of them, every serious hybrid tea rose grower that I know uses some sort of fungicide or pesticide on her roses. Those hips I would not eat.

Maren Elizabeth Morgan from Pennsylvania on November 02, 2011:

What if your roses are not dog roses? Will the hips be toxic?

gogogo on November 02, 2011:

it all sounds delicious, going to try it voted beautiful and shared

Movie Master from United Kingdom on November 02, 2011:

I use to buy rose hip syrup as a drink for my children when they were young and drank most of it myself, it was gorgeous!

Great hub and voting up, best wishes MM

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 01, 2011:

@ Maddie Ruud--Girl, that sure does sound gooood! Yum.

Maddie Ruud from Oakland, CA on November 01, 2011:

Mmmmmm. Now I want some rosehip syrup on a nice hot biscuit!

plinka from Budapest, Hungary on November 01, 2011:

@ The Dirt Farmer - Wow, thanks. :-) Sure, I don't mind.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 01, 2011:

@ Derdriu--O I wish I'd thought of that--"having your roses and eating them too." Thanks, Derdrui!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 01, 2011:

@plinka--Thanks for the extra info! Do you mind if I add a note from you with a link to your homepage in the hub?

Derdriu on November 01, 2011:

TheDirtFarmer: Thank you for such a glorious written, organized and illustrated hub on having your roses and eating them too!

Voted up, etc.,

Derdriu

plinka from Budapest, Hungary on November 01, 2011:

My favorite topic: plants and their health benefits. :-) This is a very thorough hub! Congratulations! I have a note if you don't mind: to get a tea with high vitamin C content, you should soak rose hips in lukewarm water (so in a warm place) for several days instead of pouring boiling water over them and wait for only couple of minutes. Voted up and shared!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 01, 2011:

@ Imogen French--Sounds great! My great aunt made dandelion wine. It was awful! Thanks for reading. DF

Imogen French from Southwest England on November 01, 2011:

great hub, dirtfarmer. my auntie used to make rose-hip syrup for us, which we watered down and used as a cordial - it makes a lovely refreshing, vitamin-rich drink for children