plantlore, potions, lotions and witchy makings

Rosehips

I absolutely LOVE all things rose! Rose petal tea is a favourite of mine when I’m feeling low; this time of year however, the focus is on the fruits, known as ‘hips’.

Little jewels of colour in the hedgerow

You can use the more ornamental varieties if you like but I don’t know if they are as nutritious. My focus is on the wild or ‘dog’ rose (Rosa Canina)

Medicinal uses

Rosehips are known to be high in vitamin C so useful as a cold remedy, they also contain B, D and E vitamins and carotene. During WW2 people were encouraged to gather and forage what they could, what with fruits and vegetables being in limited supply malnutrition and even scurvy were a real risk. Rosehip syrup is the most common recipe and I do make a batch this time of year to see us through the winter it’s easy, freezes well and is just bloody delicious. My favourite way to enjoy it is mixed with yoghurt. It’s also one of the few remedies I would offer children as we know it is safe and tastes pleasant.

As always, when out foraging remember to leave offerings of thanks. Dog roses are loved by the fae folk and you wouldn’t want to seem greedy or ungrateful in their eyes.

Rosehip syrup

  • For every 2lb of rosehips you will need 4 pints of water
  • Top and tail the hips and roughly mince them being careful to avoid the irritating hairs *
  • Add the minced hips and water to a pan and bring to the boil then leave to brew for atleast 30 minutes.
  • Strain through a muslin or jelly bag keep the liquid and add the hips back to the pan with another 4 pints of water. Repeat.
  • Combine the liquids and boil until the liquid is reduced by half.
  • Add 2lb of sugar. Dissolve and hard boil for 5 minutes.
  • Store in warmed jars or freeze in ice cube trays for later use.

*beware the little hairs! They irritate the skin. As children, we called it itching powder and would tear a rosehip open, drop down the back of a shirt and give it a rub, cruel but that’s siblings for you.

As a tea, rosehips are known to sooth stomach pains and regulate energy. However it is not recommended to take before bed as it stimulates the adrenal glands. They are a diuretic so aid in the cleansing of kidneys and the urinary tract. They are also know to aid in easing the symptoms of arthritis. I find them to be particularly soothing during menstruation.

Some from my garden, they creep through the hedge.

Rosehip Oil is an increasingly trendy choice as a beauty product however it has been popular among canny folk for much longer. It brightens skin, aids with scars and stretch marks, aids healing and nourishes and soothes chapped skin. It’s also lovely added to a bath if a little slippery.

I use rosehips in my Triple Goddes Oil which is very rich. You can use any carrier oil I would recommend a thinner one such as evening primrose if you plan on using it on your face. There are two methods you can use depending on your time constraints and resources:

  1. Using a slow cooker, prep the hips as with the Syrup, cover with whichever carrier oil you choose and set it to low for 8-10 hours. Strain and decant into dark sterilised jars.
  2. Put the prepared hips in a dark jar or bottle, cover with carrier oil and leave in a dark place for atleast 3 months preferably 6. Strain and decant as before.
Straining my triple goddess oil

Magical properties

As you could well imagine Roses are associated with all things love and beauty. Rosehips make excellent additions to charm bags, glamour spells and baths. Seeing as rosehips contain the seeds for new plants, in sympathetic magic they can represent the seeds of love and also protection and abundance in love not just romantic love but loving friendships and self-love.

You could consider gathering a few thorns for use in sympathetic magic also but that’s a post for another day.

Dog Roses are associated with Venus (the embodyment of love) and also The Moon which makes working with them in divination powerful. Keeping dried rosehips with your divining tools amplifies their power and drinking rosehip tea when working with divination will do the same for you. I make a mugwort and rosehip blend which I drink when I’m meditating, particularly if there is a particular issue I am seeking guidance with.

One folk magic use for rosehips is placing them under your pillow to keep away nightmares. Calling to power their protective loving aspects.

So there we are Rosehips: a powerful, caring friend to aid you. How do you use them? Do you have any particular recipes you enjoy? I add lemon or orange rind to my syrup sometimes just because I love the combination. Hit me up in the comments below.

Happy foraging! Peace out witches!

Love Kate xxx

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