Happy winter solstice for South Hemisphere!
I love this special time of the year. It feels like a new beginning. Days will soon get longer... how exciting! It is also a strange feeling for me, being born in France the 21st of June has been for a very long time the first summer day welcomed with music festival and warm weather! Even 9 years later living down under, I still need to think twice in my head when I think winter in June-August.
While the weather is getting spiky cold here in South Island, it is also time to take care of ourselves and boost our immune system to come back stronger and more resilient for spring.
I am always in awe with Mother Nature. It looks like she thought of everything. We just need to reconnect and learn again all the wonders she made for us.
During my last year course in herbalism with Isla Burgess in Wanaka, I’ve learned a bit about Rose Hips. What an incredible and versatile plant. I remember this plant from my childhood, when my stepfather was telling me stories of using the itchy hair inside the fruit to prink his friends at school by putting some rose hips hair in the clothes! It is a commune and hardy plant, yet no one really pays attention to it. We always think of its prickly thorns, with red bays that only birds, and animals eat. How wrong can we be! The fruit is actually edible and full of wonders for our body!
Rose Hips or Rosa canina wonders...
Did you know that Rose Hips or Rosa canina was extremely high in Vitamin C, flavonoids which play an important role in immune system?
It may help reducing inflammation, cold symptoms, oxidative stress in your body (with antioxidant agents). The Vitamin C level in Rose Hips is 8 times higher than orange juice (https://foodstruct.com/compare/orange-juice-vs-rose-hip). It is maybe time to go foraging, don’t you think?
But Rosa canina is also used for other benefits. One is for some skin conditions. It hydrates, moisturize, helps reducing inflammation and can help in skin conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, dermatis.
Here are some interesting studies:
And I also discovered that Rose hips has good results in osteoarthritis and it may have some promising outcomes for some cancer treatments. Below are some research published for free on internet.
Jiménez S, Gascón S, Luquin A, Laguna M, Ancin-Azpilicueta C, Rodríguez-Yoldi MJ. Rosa canina Extracts Have Antiproliferative and Antioxidant Effects on Caco-2 Human Colon Cancer. PLoS One. 2016;11(7):e0159136. Published 2016 Jul 28. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0159136
Kilinc K, Demir S, Turan I, et al. Rosa canina Extract has Antiproliferative and Proapoptotic Effects on Human Lung and Prostate Cancer Cells. Nutr Cancer. 2020;72(2):273-282. doi:10.1080/01635581.2019.1625936
Gruenwald J, Uebelhack R, Moré MI. Rosa canina - Rose hip pharmacological ingredients and molecular mechanics counteracting osteoarthritis - A systematic review. Phytomedicine. 2019;60:152958. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2019.152958
How to use Rosa hips?
The easiest way is to use it in tea. You can keep the fruits once dried in a glass jar for winter and use when needed.
To make a tea:
For a 3-4 cups of tea, use 4 tablespoon of dried Rose Hip fruits (grounded or cut in small pieces).
If you are sensitive, be careful on the hair, just put the whole fruit without cutting it.
Add 4 cups of boiling water and infuse for 12-15min.
You can mix it with other dried plants. I often use dried elderberry, or mint leaves. Your imagination is your limit!
If you have some skin problems, you also can create your own Rose Hip oil. You just need to harvest the fruits, let them dry for few weeks. Then you blend them quickly. Once mixed, you can either go outside and in a strainer keep the seeds and fruit and blow off the hair, or you can use the whole mix. I personally use the whole lot because I only keep the oil at the end.
Once you have your mixed berries, pour into a glass jar, and add almond oil to cover (or slightly above). Stir and keep away from light in a cool place for a least a month. After 1 month you can strain the fruits and keep in a glass jar the oil that should have a nice orange colour. Make sure you keep the oil away from light and use it within 6 months to have all the Rose Hips benefits. You can then use it in creams or just massage your body with the oil and get all the benefits straight on your skin!
I have started to make some facial skin cream with rose hips, rose water and other infused oils such as kanuka, monoi and pansies. I use natural products only. If you would like to purchase a facial cream, you can email me: email@example.com
Now on your next daily walk, you can bring a bag and start harvesting some rose hips on the way!