Friday, October 24, 2014

Health Benefits of Rose Hips

Most people don't realize that their roses are fruit bushes. If we leave the flower to wilt on the plant it will become a Rose Hip. Rose Hips are packed with a multitude of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Here's a brief overview of the nutritional powerhouse that is the Rose Hip and some fun and interesting information about their metaphysical properties. Thank you Mana Keepers' for the metaphysical information. 
Roses are a nutritional powerhouses, all parts of the rose, and especially the hips, are storehouses of Vitamin C and other important nutrients. (Compared to the nutritional content of oranges, rose hips contain 25 percent more iron, 20 to 40 percent more Vitamin C, 25 times the Vitamin A, and 28 percent more calcium.) In addition, rose hips are a rich source of bioflavonoids, pectin, Vitamin E, selenium, manganese, and the B-complex vitamins. Rose hips also contain trace amounts of magnesium, potassium, sulfur and silicon. Rose hips can be found in dried form in most health food stores, but why not gather your own fresh supply? All roses are edible, a rose hip is the fruit of the rose plant. In spring wild roses produce lovely blossoms. As the petals fade, a green hip, or hypanthium, begins to swell at each blossom's base. When they are fully red and ripe you can gather them for making soup, wine, syrup, jelly, and tea. If you live, in a temperature zone that's too cold to grow citrus fruit, rose hips are an excellent alternative food source of Vitamin C. 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 is where most of the food value and nutrition lies. 

Native Americans have been using rosehips as tea for hundreds of years, and when the tea is finished, the hips were added to stews or soups. There was just too much nutrition in a rose hip to let it go to waste. Here are some helpful hints so that you can do the same. 
Finding and gathering rose hips: 
Wild roses grow throughout the world and most have been part of the human diet. In late summer, rose hips ripen to bright red and are ready for gathering. We can also look to our own gardens. The domesticated roses we find there are rich in nutrients. (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.) 
Rose hips as food:
Rose hips can be made into a variety of appetizing, healthy dishes. Turned into jelly, syrup, and wine. 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.
Here are a few recipes:
Rose Hip 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. 
Rose Hip Syrup: Can be used for pancakes, waffles, and vanilla ice cream. It 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. 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. Rose hip syrup may be used to sweeten and flavor herbal or black teas, as well. Whispering Earth offer a delicious and simple jam recipe Simplest Rosehip Jam
*Caution: If you are gathering rose hips off your property be careful that they have not been treated with pesticides.
Metaphysical Properties:
Zodiac: Taurus
Gender: Female
Planet: Jupiter
Element: Water 
Deities: Venus, Hulda, Demeter, Isis, Eros, Aphrodite
Basic Powers: Healing, love, fertility. Used by young Native American braves to enhance strength and health. 

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