Herb of the Month – October: Rosehips

Herb of the Month – October: Rosehips

The Herb of the Month for October 2020 Rose Hips Rosa spp.

     Nearly Wild Rose” Rosaceae cultivar

Rose hips are the fruit that is produced by roses, developing just under the flowering part. This hip contains rose seeds resulting from pollination and ripening during summer through the autumn. The size and coloration of the rose hip vary according to the type of rose that it is harvested from. Some of the favorite cultivar groups for rose hips are the dog rose, the Japanese rose, the Chinese rose, and the cinnamon rose.

The hips have a long history of culinary and medicinal use because they are packed with vitamins, primarily vitamin C, and other beneficial nutrients such as lycopene and beta-carotene. During WW II hips were used to make a vitamin C syrup for children.  The fruit is also known to have antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Both the seeds and the fruit are used in making medicine. Traditionally Rose hips have been used to prevent and treat colds, flu, and vitamin C deficiencies.

Rose hips

Which cultivars are used and how the hips are processed and stored will determine the resulting vitamin C content. Over time, the hips do lose their vitamin content. 

Some of the culinary uses for rose hips are jellies, soups, syrups, tea, and wine.  The fruit is currently used in the cosmetic industry as an ingredient for cosmetics and skin care. ~~ Reni Erskine

For more on rose hips, see Herbs for Autumn Equinox Part-II-Fruits

Rose Hip Tea

October is the perfect month to start looking for rose hips in the landscape. Make sure that your roses have not been sprayed with pesticides. Carefully gather the hips after the first frost of the season, because they are thought to be sweeter after a frost. Remove the bottom ends. If you are planning on just making tea, then the seeds do not have to be removed. Either used the dried broken up berries, or fresh mashed berries.
Course: Drinks
Keyword: rose hips
Author: Urania Erskine


  • 1 Tablespoon rose hips either fresh or dried
  • 1 Tablespoon dried lemon verbena optional
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon optional


  • Pour 8-10 ounces of hot water over your herbs and allow to steep for about 5+ minutes.
  • Use honey, apple juice, or orange juice to sweeten to taste.


Have fun growing hips and also creating your own Rose Hip Teac recipe!

Rose Hip Vinegar

Course: Drinks
Keyword: rose hips
Author: Urania Erskine


  • 1/4 cup rose hips freshly harvested and lightly scored
  • fresh organic lemon rind optional
  • white wine vinegar


  • Using a small and pretty 12 oz. swing top bottle, place fresh and scored rose hips into it.
  • If desired, add organic lemon rind without the pith for an additional flavor note.
  • Cut the rind into about 10 thin 2 inch ribbons and add them to your bottle.
  • Cover all of the ingredients with white wine vinegar.
  • Seal and place into a cool dark area for about 2 weeks. These 2 weeks will allow the flavors to be extracted from the fruit and rind and to meld together.

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