Celebrating the 2012 Herb of the Year: Make Rose Hip Tea

http://www.motherearthliving.com/In-the-Garden/celebrating-2012-herb-of-the-year-make-rose-hip-tea.aspx

PBHobson2Patsy Bell Hobson is blogging at Oh Grow Up! When not in the garden or on the road, find her in southern Missouri USA. Read more travel stories at Striped Pot. Find more garden, travel and random rants on her Facebook. 

Did you know that the 2012 Herb of the Year is the rose? I have a dainty pink rose in my herb garden that is well known for its large red-orange hips. The hips, or fruits also referred to as rose haw, are high in vitamin C. I love to make rose hip tea with these roses, as it is one of the most popular culinary uses for the rose.

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Known for big rose hips, this small rose bush lives in my herb garden.
Photo by Patsy Bell Hobson
 

Making this vitamin-rich tea from scratch can be a lot of work, so remember that rose hip tea and rose hips are readily available in stores or online. I also scored some wild rose hips while on a hike this fall. Despite the hard work, I believe that everyone should make their own tea at least once in their life. Knowing the source of the roses and learning how to make rose hip tea from scratch is fun.

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Gather rose hips after the first frost.
Photo courtesy
Wikimedia Commons 

To prepare rose hips:  

1. Collect hips from only wild roses or untreated roses that have not been sprayed. Leave the flowers on the rose bush.

2. Clip off the red fruits at the end of the blossom and spread rose hips out to dry. As the rose petals dry, the fruit of the flower matures to a red or orange bulb. 

4. After the petals are completely dry, store them in an airtight container.

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This is the cross section of a rose hip.
Photo courtesy
Wikimedia Commons 

To make rose hip tea:  

1. You can use fresh or dried rose hips for tea. If you're using fresh hips, you’ll need about twice as many. The seeds inside the hip have an irritating, hairy covering. Trust me—you must remove those aggravating little hairs inside the hip. To do so, hold the hip securely, slice it in half, and remove the inner seeds. Use a knife or a pair of little herb scissors to do this.

2. For fresh rose hip tea, steep about 12 to 16 hips in a cup of boiling water for about 10 to 15 minutes. For dried rose hip tea, steep about 6 to 8 hips in a cup of boiling water for about 10 to 15 minutes. Strain the tea.

3. Sweeten to taste using stevia, sugar or sweetener. The flavor of honey may overpower this astringent rosy tea.

Note: Do not use aluminum pans. The tea will react to the aluminum and destroy the vitamin C.

Enjoy!

*Herb of the Year™ books are published annually by the International Herb Association. Learn more about International Herb Association and membership.