This is a favourite, super-easy recipe. It comes from ‘Hedgerow Medicine‘ by friends Julie and Matthew Bruton-Seal.
You can easily find loads of recipes for rose hip syrup…but if you want to preserve their goodness without using sugar this is the recipe for you.
It’s great to have on hand through the winter for colds and sore throats. It’s also delicious in salad dressings. And being so beautiful, it makes a lovely gift.
Foraging rose hips: you want to pick ones which are bright red (ie ripe), but get them before the frosts turn them too mushy. Remember to only take a few from each bush… leave the rest for other creatures; there are many who rely on them as a food source.
Wild dog-rose (Rosa canina) is the one that I use for this recipe. It has the best flavour and is easily foraged from hedgerows. It’s the one in the photos here.
Method: put 20 or 30 rose hips in a jar and cover with apple cider vinegar. I use organic cyder vinegar with the mother. If you want to speed up the process, you can slit the skins of the hips with a sharp knife beforehand. Leave on a sunny windowsill for about a month, then strain and use. The left hand bottle in the photo is fully seeped and ready to strain; the right hand bottle has just been made.
Uses: for sore throats, a tablespoon in a little warm water, gargle and swallow. For colds, make a drink with a tablespoon in hot water sweetened with honey. Or use the vinegar in salad dressings.
Weave your own rose hip foraging basket with Native Hands in the Sussex woods.