Beauty and Nutrition in One Plant: Edible Rosehips

Roses are one of the most famous plants all over the world. Numerous varieties are cultivated worldwide, since this loving plant is able to thrive in many environments. Most of the gardens have at least one rose bush to offer magnificent color and aroma in peoples’ lives. Without doubt it is the plant of love in many cultures, and each color often represents a different meaning i.e. red for passion or white for innocence. Cultivar roses are used as ornaments and are not edible. Other species like Rosa damascena Mill are widely used for their essential oil and rose water, which are used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries worldwide.

The hidden story of Greece’s native rose has emerged in recent years for the wider public. Rosa canina, the trendiest native Greek rose nowadays is widely studied for its. The Rosa canina plant has been studied mostly for its edible and pharmaceutical uses. In contrast with most of the cultivar roses, Rosa caninas’ rosehips (the fruits produced after its flowering season) are edible. Main pharmaceutical substances from rosa canina offer antibacterial and antifungal properties. Also, fresh rosehips are high in vitamin C. But when dried, vitamin C almost disappears (because vitamin C is maintained in water) so, if you find fresh fruits, consume them raw or store them in the freezer.

The dried edible rosehips can be used in many ways in our kitchen, however. First of all, rosehips make the ideal tea in combination with mountain tea. The sweat-honey flavor of Mountain tea is ideally blended with the sour-sweet taste of rosehips. But in every rosehip use, if we want to take the most of rosehips flavor, we must boil them for 10 minutes and then leave them in the water for almost 30 minutes. First prepare the rosehip tea and then mix it with mountain tea.

You can keep the rosehip water in the fridge for 24 hours. Besides the ‘classic use’ as a tea, you can put this water in many food recipes. You can make a delicious sauce in fish recipes. Just replace the plain water you add, with rosehip tea water for superb flavor!

* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.

Evropi-Sofia Dalampira is an Agriculturist-MSc Botany-Biology and PhD Candidate in Agricultural-Environmental Education and Science Communication


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