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A place for my Workings, my Weavings ...
oh, and my more mundane crafts as well.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Herbalism: Rosehip Syrup

Time to work with Airmid a bit ...

It's that time of year again ... the season of colds and flus is bearing down on us. And, being home in BC, I have the opportunity to get back to one of the things I have missed greatly.

Rosehips are a wonderful source of vitamin C (more vitamin C in 1 large rosehip than in 3 navel oranges) and is both soothing to the throat and a tonic for the kidneys.

When we were on the return trip from Merritt, I stopped by a prolific patch of wild and dog rosebushes that I found when I was living up on the acreage there. Being that they are off the beaten track and yet still readily accessible with a little walking, they are plentiful and I can harvest a nice amount  of hips and not have to worry about causing a shortage for reseeding and/or local wildlife. The few locals don't seem to appreciate what they have there and so no one has complained when they drive by and see me picking furiously ... indeed, I got a few knowing nods and approving smiles from the older First Nations ladies and amused waves from the rest of the folk who happen by.

A couple of years ago, I made an apple and rosehip jam that went over extremely well with the family (with the upside of keeping them healthy through the sick season). This year, I thought I'd try something different and make a rosehip and honey syrup.

Being that I picked somewhat late in the season, after several strong frosts, around half to three quarters of the hips were beginning to dehydrate ... to make sure that I have enough juice to work with for the syrup, I have placed the rosehips into a glass bowl of water and am letting them steep overnight in the fridge. This will allow them to absorb some fluid and then allow me to have enough to work with when the time comes.

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Since the worst thing you can do, when working with rosehips, is use metal ... metal destroys the vitamin C and so renders the end result tasty but pointless from a herbal perspective ... I did some searching around and found, to my utter delight, a little Chinese import store that sold ceramic soup pots (like the kind our grannies used to cook bean and molasses in) specifically designed for the high heat of the stove-top range elements.

It was a really nice experience, the owner/sales fellow was curious about what I wanted it for and, when I explained that not cooking with metal was better when making herbal remedies, he became quite interested and shared that the women in his family did something similar with rosebuds (just opened) to make a soothing tea for feminine issues.

Ceramic Soup pot

Cutting board, 
 I also picked up a Starfrit cutting board, a Bamboo spoon, and a ceramic knife.

I am all ready to roll ... so the next entry from me will be the actual making of the syrup ^_^

I can't wait ... I can remember how heavenly the house smelled the last time I worked with rosehips. ^_~

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