Hildegard of Bingen recommended rose hip in winter to treat bronchial conditions and inflammation in the lungs. She also thought rose hips effective for stomach ailments, such as ulcers related to stress and nervous tension. The other famous German naturopath and priest, Sebastian Kneipp swore by rose hips for addressing kidney and bladder issues.
Hildegard’s Rose Hip Remedies
Hildegard advised the preparation of rose hip as a puree, and Kneipp made tea from the plant’s pulp and seeds. Both figures liked rose hip for its wide-reaching effects, such as improving cell regeneration, regulating skin metabolism, renewing and improving skin tone, and for its antioxidant and immune strengthening properties.
Vitamins in Rose Hip
The vitamin C content in rose hips have been shown to exceed that of lemons by as much as 20 times. In addition, rose hip contains vitamin A and B, as well as minerals and trace elements such as zinc and copper. Because of this high vitamin C content, rose hip tea is particularly helpful for combating the common cold.
Rose Hip Benefits Immune System
Just like the traditional rose hip soups, rose hip tea can be enjoyed throughout the winter to keep your immune system strong. Strengthening the immune system is one of the main reasons Hildegard thought so highly of rose hips.
Hildegard recognized efficacy of rose hip remedies in combating the winter fatigue that often accompanies the beginning of each year. Consider adding rose hips to your list of cold weather foods.
Remedies per Hildegard and Kneipp
Both Hildegard of Bingen and Sebastian Kneipp realized the curative effect of rose hip as a mild a diuretic on maladies such as arthritis and gout. Due to the many positive properties of rose hips, Hildegard thought of rose hip as a cure-all for those who are otherwise healthy, but suffering from weakness of stomach/intestines.
To cleanse the stomach of mucus, she recommended cooking rose hip in water, then slightly pureeing and eating the mixture. If this doesn’t appeal to you, even rose hip simple syrup or preserves will be beneficial.
The Future of Rose Hips
The myriad of healthy properties of rose hips is drawing some well-deserved attention to a plant that had fallen from a traditional cure-all in Hildegard’s time to a mere bramble in more recent times. But through tradition, and the recent revival of natural and folk medicinal cures, rose hips continue to spread into mainstream markets.
Cosmetics: Rose Hip Benefits for Skin Care
The cultivation of rose hips specifically for nutritive and cosmetic applications in creams, shampoos, and soaps has been steadily increasing. Cold-pressed rose hip seed oil is used topically for burns and to reduce scarring and the anti-aging properties of rose hip oil are driving a lot of new demand for potential uses in supplements and external applications.
Rose Hip Coffee
Once used by Spanish conquistadors as a natural barrier against intruders, the wild rose is now a major crop in Chile, accounting for 85% of the worlds cultivated supply. Chileans also enjoy coffee made from roasted rose hip seeds as a trusted remedy for gastritis, or inflammation of the lining of the stomach.
Whether you are looking for your next winter cure-all, a new (old) twist to your autumn preserves, or a simple way to keep your tummy happy and skin glowing, rose hips can do it all. Give it a try!
It’s safe to use the whole fruit when processing rose hip. For some recipes it makes sense to remove the hard cores.
In drying rose hip, it helps to spread the fruit on a burlap mat or some other permeable material. Turn the fruit from time-to-time to prevent mold and ensure they dry evenly. Unless you are harvesting the larger varieties of rose hips, which should be cut and gutted to avoid mold, you should dry the berries whole.
Be patient with the drying process but do not heat or oven dry as this compromises the nutritional value of the fruit. The drying process should be followed immediately by the preparation. Rose hips are somewhat fragile in that the both the flavor and vitamin content begin to degrade immediately upon harvesting, so the faster you can turn them into syrup or jelly, the better.