Rose hips are those cherry-like pods that remain on your rose bushes after the last roses have fallen. You’ve seen them, haven’t you? They are the fruit and seeds of the rose plant. Did you know that they contain more than 30% more Vitamin C than oranges? Plus, 25 percent more iron, 28 percent more calcium and 25 times more vitamin A. I would consider that a powerhouse of immune boosting energy. Who would have thought? Today I am sharing with you a winter time favorite of mine: Immune Boosting Rose Hip Jam.
Mostly known for their beauty, roses don’t often come to mind when we think of food or nutrition. Yet, these reddish-orange pods are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Besides the Vitamin C and A and calcium mentioned above, they are also a rich source of bioflavanoids, pectin, Vitamin E, selenium, manganese, and the B-complex vitamins. They also contain trace amounts of magnesium, potassium, sulfur and silicon. A single tablespoon of the pulp gives an adult more than the recommended daily allowance of 60 mg of Vitamin C.
Because of the high vitamin C content they are an excellent immune system booster, and are often used as a supplement to prevent or treat a cold. My favorite way to eat rose hips is to make jam. I have never been a big fan of store-bought supplements. I prefer to get my vitamins and minerals from food sources. Rose hips are great for that. Even though it tastes like dessert, it’s real medicine for the body, to keep us healthy and strong through out the winter.
Benefits of Rose Hips
- The high levels of Vitamin C and Vitamin A give rose hips immune boosting powers.
- Rose hips are loaded with antioxidant carotenoids that help ward off free radicals that are widely believed responsible for disease and age-related cell damage.The antioxidant properties make rose hips a good cancer preventative and a cardiovascular tonic.
- Rose hips have anti-inflammatory properties useful in treating osteoarthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
- Rose hips are amazing for the skin. It has the ability to regenerate skin cells. Used topically, the astringent properties are wonderful for burns, acne, and scars. Taken internally as tea, the Vitamin A in rose hips will keep the skin vital and elastic.
- Rose hips have been shown to lower blood sugar levels, reducing your risk for developing diabetes and improving existing blood sugar issues.
- Rose hips have a MILD diuretic and laxative effect due to the fruit acids and pectin. They have been shown to relieve kidney disorder symptoms and to help with constipation.
And if you are lucky enough to have lots of roses growing around you, they can be easily harvested once the petals fall off and the rose hips ripen, usually September through October. I often gather a few handful of rose hips from around my yard to use in teas and jams every year. You won’t believe how simple it is to make this rose hip jam.
Rose hips can be used fresh or dried, but for this particular recipe, I buy dried, sifted, deseeded rose hips from the local herb store or I order them online. I have attempted to deseed and dry my own but have never been able to gather enough to make it worthwhile.
- 1 cup rose hips, dried, sifted, and deseeded
- 1 and ½ cups unfiltered apple juice (or cherry or pomegranate juice)
- 1 tsp orange zest
- Bring juice and rose hips just to a boil in a medium pot. Turn down heat a bit and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, cover, and let sit overnight in fridge.
- Remove from fridge, and add orange zest. Using a food processor or blender, puree until smooth.
- Serve with breads, muffins, crackers OR simply eat by the tablespoon to reap the amazing benefits of rose hips.
How to Make Rose Hip Tea
Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 tsp of crushed, dried rose hips. Steep for 10 minutes, strain, and serve. Sweeten with honey if desired.