The Magic of Rose Hips
Rosa Canina: Commonly known as "Rose Hip"
They are the fruit of the Wild Rose, which is the official flower of Alberta! We have three different types of Rose Hips here:
- Prickly wild rose ((Oblong Shape)
Prairie rose(Round Shape)
- Arkansas rose (In-between-the-other-two-shapes)
- Rose petals are edible.
- Buds are edible.
- Young shoots are edible.
- Young leaves are edible.
- Fruit (hip) of the plant is edible.
- Hips can be eaten fresh or dried for storage.
- Only the outer shell of the rosehip is edible, discard the mass of hard, hairy seeds.
What is all the hype about these little beauties?
They are loaded with Vitamin A and C, as well as Beta Carotene. Sounds fancy, and it is. It means that they help boost immunity and clear out free-radicals from your bod.
Rose hip oil has the ability to help regenerate new skin cells and thus, can be used to treat scars, acne and burns. While it is an astringent, it does not dry out the skin; actually it helps to rehydrate it, keeping the moisture in. Vitamin A is commonly referred to as the "skin vitamin" and helps to keep the skin elastic and nourished. This will not only prevent wrinkles, but can actually help to minimize any that have already appeared. What more can I say? Rose Hip for the win!
The oil from Rose Hips is fantastic, but consuming them is also a great way to feel the benefits for sure! They are an amazing addition to teas and smoothies. You can also add them to jam and syrups. LOTS of herbalists and apothecarians swear by their healing powers and all around good juju. If they are dehydrated, you just need to soak them overnight before adding to a smoothie or jam :)
There are plenty of interesting facts out there all about Rose Hip, I encourage you to snoop around and see what sparks your curiosity. I always had this weird desire to string fresh ones and then let them dry into a necklace and wear it like beads. My oldest son thought that was super weird. BUT turns out Folk Lore about rose hips claims stringing them around, or wearing them can be good luck and even summon helpful spirits. I think I will probably get some dreads just so I can weave strung rose hips into them. Maybe not. We will see how rebellious my teen gets.
A note about harvesting:
Although this plant is abundant it should be treated like a rare gift. Best not to get greedy...on a bumper year there are literally thousands of rose hips around...But animals need them too. Rose hips provide nourishment for many creatures all through the fall and winter. Leave 2/3 of the bush for our furry or feathered friends :)