After a morning of grey skies and rain, the sun broke free of the clouds and cast its warm rays into our yard, illuminating the birch and poplar leaves, and making the damp grass glisten. The wild rose hips, a vibrant red and a little shriveled from the first hard frost, hung like precious jewels from the prickly rose bushes.
I left Aedan playing contentedly on the porch while I filled my little bucket with these juicy, vitamin C rich wild fruits. I could hear the Sandhill cranes winging far over head, their grr-oo call softened by the distance. The golden leaves were falling silently around me: such a peaceful autumn moment.
I was surprised to learn that 3 rose hips contain more vitamin C than an orange! It's so strange how we immediately think of oranges when we think of vitamin C...but there are many rich sources of this important vitamin! In her book "The Boreal Herbal", Beverley Grey writes that rose hips are antispasmodic, and can be used in a decoction to treat menstrual cramps.
The seeds inside the hips can be irritating to the digestive tract...traditionally, they were used to help expel parasites. People sometimes call rose hips "itchy bum" for this reason!
I'm drying my rose hips to use in tea over the winter, but they can also be used in jams and jellies, or made into a syrup. I might try that next year!