Monday 12 September 2011

Rosehip hip hooray!

Rose hips from Rosa canina (Dog rose)

As expected, by catching several planes, getting back to a cold country and feeling the blues, I was creating a recipe to run down my immune system. I let my guard down and an opportunistic cold caught me! So, I spent the week feeling sorry for myself and, at the same time, trying to fight the bug I had no energy to do anything but rest.

This morning, I was trying to think of something for the blog, when the bell rang and my friend and neighbour Alistair brought me a small bag with gorgeous rosehips which was enough for me to make a little bit of syrup. There was my inspiration!

This is the season to collect the berries to make a vitamin C booster syrup or to prepare the hips for tea. Alistair has heaps/hips (excuse the pun?) of rose bushes in his garden, and he remembered I once mentioned to him the great health benefits of rosehips. Angels do exist!

As the weather hasn’t been great for drying the rosehips to make tea, I’m making the syrup. If you have a garden with rose bushes or know someone who has, make sure it doesn’t have pesticides (!), pick some rosehips and you can start making your syrup or tea now for the cold season.

Thanks, Az, for the gift! I might pop around to collect some more for my tea.

wild rosehips from my neighbours garden
add cinnamon sitck, cloves and filtered water
let it simmer for 20 mins
sieve the mixture
you will get an orange liquid
put the liquid back to the pan, add the rapadura and
let it simmer for 10 min. The rapadura will give this

syrup a darker colour
pour the syrup into a sterilized jar 
my rosehip cordial drink

Rosehip syrup – to prevent and fight colds and flu and …

I have tried some recipes for rosehip syrup before, but my favourite one is by my ethno-botanist guru James Wong. I only changed the sugar he uses for rapadura sugar which lends a darker colour. He also adds cinnamon stick and cloves as an option, and I love it.

This syrup is great for kids too. You can use as a cordial in an iced glass with water and a squeeze of lemon juice, drink it like a tea (in a lukerwarm water) or drizzle it over a pancake.

250g rosehips
1 cinnamon stick
5 cloves
500ml water
120g rapadura sugar

Crush the rosehips and place them in a pan. Add the cinnamon and cloves. Pour the water and let simmer for 20min. Sieve and pour the liquid back into the pan with the rapadura. Bring it to boil and let it simmer for 10min. Let it cool and keep it in a sterilized glass jar.

For tea – How to dry them

Pick as many rosehips as you want. Wash them and scatter them over baking paper or newspaper and leave them in the sun, whole. Once dried, chop them in a food processor. Shake them through a fine sieve for the fine hairs to fall through. Store the dried rosehip pieces in a sterilized glass jar. To make the tea, simmer about 3 tablespoons of rosehips in a litre of water for about 30 minutes, add fresh mint if you wish to add a different flavour, strain and serve.

The ingredient and its healthy benefit

Rosehip (Rosa canina, Rose haws, Rose heps, Wild boar fruit, Wild rose, Dog rose and Hip berry): it belongs to the Rosacea family. It has long been used as an ingredient for syrup, tea, jelly, marmalade and wine. During World War II, rosehips were collected by the government to make syrup for the prevention of colds/flu and infections, due to its high levels of vitamin C. It also contains high levels of the antioxidant Lycopene and it has anti-inflammatory properties which are useful in treatments of osteoarthritis. It has natural antibiotic properties. Rosehip has a mild diuretic and laxative property. Due to its pectin content, it acts as an internal cleanser, relieving constipation. It prevents bladder infection and helps people with kidney disorder. It contains iron, which makes this berry an excellent choice for menstruating women – in a  great synergy with the vitamin C content. Rosehip also contains the soluble vitamins B1, B2, B3 and the fat-soluble A, D, E and K. Not to mention the minerals, calcium, magnesium, silica and potassium. 

Till next week!


  1. Margot, I simply love the way you write! Wish I had some of your syrup here as I now have a terrible cold!
    love, Ad

  2. Adriana querida! How lovely! Thank you so much!!! Unfortunately I don't know a place in Rio to recommend you to get some rosehip syrup. Nonetheless, you can certainly benefit from acerola, pitanga, guava...they are all high in vitamin C. Try also, the chicken soup with Echinacea and Goji Berries (ask Gui and Tuca for one tea bag of echinacea tea I took for them). Hope you get better soon!!! Lots of love, M


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