In the Summer, wild ‘dog’ roses decorate our hedges and roadsides with their simple four to five pink petals. So now their hips or fruits with their lovely orange and reds once more decorate our hedgerows.
Britain is too cold to grow citrus fruits and I always think of these as our citrus fruit source of vitamin C. In fact they contain 20-40% more vitamin C than an orange and 25 times as much vitamin A. They are ready to pick for those who have got them. These reddy/orange rosehip berries are filled with seeds and tiny hairs and it is both these seeds and the skin of the rosehip that provide medicinal value and nutrition. They are an excellent source of flavonoids, carotenoids and other potent antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin D, selenium, zinc, pectin, the list goes on.
Rosehip berries are rich in galactolipids, a class of compounds potent as an anti-inflammatory and trials have confirmed its help with bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. (These galactolipids have also shown anti-tumour effects.) The powder of rosehip was proved to provide superior pain relief with no side effects compared to say aspirin, “Nurofen” etc. Another important attribute of rosehip is its anti-diabetic and anti-obesity activity, two of today’s big issues. So rosehip appears to inhibit weight gain and prevent the accumulation of fat.
A strong tea is simple; steep a tablespoon of freshly chopped hips in just boiled water for 15 minutes. Drink immediately to consume rosehips at their highest levels of vitamin C.
Finally, the cold pressed oil from rosehip seeds is rich in compounds that are favourable for the skin to include the aforementioned galactolipids, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and more, all helpful to keep skin blemish free, supple and healthy. Furthermore it is one of the few skin products that suits the most sensitive of skins, so ask Shirley to make up a bottle for you!