Yesterday my friend Svetlana and I decided to head out for a refreshing walk in the Pentlands to make the most of the beautiful crisp air, blue skies, green hills and warming sunshine and to move a little and get our blood flowing.
I love going for walks and hanging out with Svetlana. Not only she's a very talented and kind human being, she also has a wealth of knowledge about everything herbal. I feel like a kid, excited and curious about what I'm going to discover next.
Making our way around the Glencorse Reservoir our eyes are drawn to beautiful red fruity dots framing the picturesque view of the reservoir banks.
Did you know that the bright red colour hasn't been created by chance? By Nature's own ingenious design, these fruits are drawing attention to themselves, making sure they get noticed by the very animals who eat them and transport their seeds in their bellies further on...
And their red magic worked on us too! :-)
Dog-rose (Rosa Canina): UK's most common wild rose
Those small fruits called rose hips belong to no one else than the dog-rose (although there is number of different specis of wild roses and out there). Apart from river banks the dog-rose feels at home in hedgerows, woodland edges, cliffs, and roadsides. It's known for its pink flowers in the summer (also edible) and red fruits in Autumn.
We find some rose hips which aren't completely ripe yet, but we are also able to taste the deliciousness of the ones which have gone through a frost - having a soft, sweet and rich flavour.
We decide to forage for some, discovering even more as we walk further on.
Here is what I have learnt about the benefits of rose hips:
Your own immunity booster and an antioxidant
Rose hips are full of goodness. It has been found that that they are a powerful source of vitamin C. Four tea spoons of rose hip pulp would give you more than your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.
As an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory, they are very beneficial for reducing inflammation and improving joint stiffness and joint cartilage in patients with osteoarthritis.
Research overview suggests that rose hip has also some probiotic (good for the gut bacteria), stool regulating and smooth muscle-relaxing actions (and great for constipation).
A study published in Nature in 2011 also found that consuming rose hip powder works very well with regulating blood sugar, cholesterol and had great effect on reducing high blood pressure and significantly reduced a cardiovascular risk in obese people.
This little miracle fruit is not only rich in vitamin C but also in vitamin A and carotenoids, whereas seeds are rich in vitamin E. Results from a study carried out in 2015 showed statistically significant improvements in wrinkles around the eyes, skin moisture and elasticity as well as improved cell longevity and decreased skin ageing - all of that only after 8 weeks of supplementing a rose hip shell and seed powder.
How to prepare Rose Hips
There are a few ways we can make the most of rose hips:
Enjoy eating them as Nature created them (raw - I put a few in my morning smoothie)
Use them dried (or fresh) to make rose hip tea
Make a rose hip jam, syrup, or a jelly etc. (plenty of recipes on the internet - feel free to be creative!) ...
How to make rose hip tea
Prepare 3 teaspoons of fresh or dried rose hips per tea cup and boil for 20 min in water (filtered preferably). You can reuse the boiled rose hips for more than one cup, just pour more hot water in and let it sit for a few minutes. ...and enjoy your delicious drink! :-)
Photo Source: Simply Setanka all natural skin care.
Disclaimer: Our aim is to share the above information to help you feel more empowered, make more useful choices, to encourage you to focus on prevention and solutions to stay healthy and increase your resilience and joy of living. This article is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.
1) goo.gl/ONThFm (PubMed)
11) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23530442 (Chemical composition)
12) Irving, M.: The Forager Handbook: A Guide to the Edible Plants of Britain, 2009