Rosehips are the fruit of the rose plant that typically is red-to-orange in colour. They ripen in late summer through until autumn. You can harvest around September and into October. They are the sweetest in flavour after the first frost.
Rosehips are very high in vitamin C content, providing even more than citrus fruits. During the Second World War in England as well as in Canada, when citrus imports were limited, rosehips became quite popular as they were used to make nutritious rosehip syrup.
Rose hips contain citric acid, ascorbic acid, Vitamin C, D and B, Selenium, lycopene and antioxidant flavinoids. By dehydrating the rose hips and then removing the stem you can store them until ready to use in a tea. Make certain they are well dried before storing in a jar or they will mold. I learned the hard way. The health benefits known to rosehips are an immune strengthener, stimulates circulation, helps with digestion, helps prevent heart disease, prevents bladder infections, eases headaches and regenerates cells.
In herbal lore, the rosehip is good for the skin. In Chinese medicine, rosehip was used for kidney and urinary problems, while Ayurveda (the traditional system of Indian medicine) uses it as a mental tonic. It is good for hormone regulation, skin hydration and circulation, and acts as a cleanser, astringent, antispasmodic and antiseptic. Therefore, a cup of this healthy brew is always a good thing!
Always remember that when wildcrafting rosehips that you leave some for the wildlife! They need winter food as well. I like to leave at least 1/3 to 1/2 of the harvest for the birds.
A blend of equal parts dried rosehips, mint, orange peel and lemongrass would make a delicious tea. I make mine with just mint and rosehips as it is simple to whip up in the kitchen on a dreary night.