rose hips are the fruit of the flower of love
no matter what they say, rose hips are indeed a fruit
High summer presses its heat and humidity down on us, and yet in England the hedgerows are already beginning to ripen with wild harvest. One of the hedgerow’s natural bounties is the false fruit of the dog rose, (rosa canina), more commonly known in England as rose hips.
You can do a lot of stuff with rose hips, from making syrups and jams, to my preferred use which is to make a tincture of rose hips and rosemary in apple cider vinegar. As well as sweetening and adding taste to the cider vinegar. the rose hips also add diuretic, lithontriptic, and mild laxative qualities to your brew. As for rosemary, this stuff is almost a cure-all. I just add an odd number of fresh sprigs to the bottle, (for good fortune it must be an odd number.)
The finished product, (ready in about 6 weeks and will keep for a year or a lot longer), is a great basis for a salad dressing. Diluted in water it is also a first class tonic and as part of a whole-body cleanse. There may be no truth whatsoever in the persistent rumour that this concoction is a very potent female aphrodisiac. However, it is well known to be a cure for practically whatever that ails you.
You can also make a true tincture of rose hips using medicinal alcohol, (or vodka). For those of us with a real taste for booze, just make a rose hip brandy or vodka. I have even heard of rose hip gin, and although I’ve never tasted it, I have it on very good authority, from a very close friend, that this booze is the bomb.
The dog rose is an important plant to the herbalist, because the leaves, petals, and hips all have their uses. In a hedgerow, the plant may reach six feet or more in height, its flowers can be anything from white to a delicate pink, and if will guard its bounty with some particularly persistent thorns. (You can also use the hips, leaves, and petals of the cultivated rose, but I would look for a rose variety that’s as close to the wild rose as possible.)
Some say that you must be very careful when picking fruits, berries, and salad leaves from the wild ~ the uninitiated may pick themselves a deadly poison. And that everything belongs to somebody, so be discreet. All I know is that the mixture of rose hips, rosemary, and organic apple cider vinegar is as near to a sorcerer’s brew as anything I know.
a rose by any other name is still as sweet
even if it’s a dog