You might have seen the bright pop of colour in the autumn hedgerows. Those red or orange, oval-shaped, seed-filled fruits grow under the petals of a wild rose called Rosa canina. From powder to oil, tea to syrup, there are plenty of ways to access their myriad healing benefits. Rich in vitamin C and bioactive compounds like phenols, lycopene, and ellagic acid, rosehips also contain polyphenols and anthocyanins, which may help ease joint inflammation.
Their vitamin C content is said to be about twenty times that of oranges – a fact that saw our grandparents relying on rosehips to boost immunity through the colder months especially during World War II when citrus fruit was hard to come by. Even better – they’re completely free! A dazzling display in the hedges and gardens, they’re a health powerhouse when harvested.
Should I Use Rosehip Oil for Skin?
While we love making an immune-boosting syrup to drizzle over our porridge in the winter, at the Organic Alchemist we get most excited about rosehip oil as an ingredient for healthy skin. A delicate, dry oil made from the seeds of the rosehip, it’s packed with active compounds such as linoleic acid, an anti-inflammatory essential fatty acid which helps to heal inflamed skin conditions like acne, eczema, rosacea and psoriasis. That vitamin C content really comes into its own here as well by protecting the skin from environmental damage and reducing the appearance of fine lines and age spots. Other vitamins include E – calming and moisturising – and A, which is legendary for building collagen and reducing wrinkles.
Organic Alchemist Rosehip Oil Products
We’re passionate about sharing the holistic benefits of rosehip oil – and you’ll find its healing powers within many of our products. In line with our values, we only use the finest quality, organic, wild-harvested rosehip oil. Find out more about each of these hand-crafted, small-batch beauty essentials below:
A Gift from the Hedgerows – Rosehip Syrup
What better way to give your own and your family’s health a boost through the autumn and winter months than with this free, easy-to-make syrup? I can testify to how tasty it is drizzled over cereal or yoghurt, or simply have a spoonful as and when you need a health pick-me-up.
How to make rosehip syrup
1kg - rosehips
500g - granulated sugar
1.5 l -water
This is a fun activity for younger family members to enjoy – just be sure to watch out for sharp thorns! It’s worth noting here that while the sweet, sticky innards of the rosehip are edible, the seeds can be an irritant for skin and throat (they used to be used in itching powders!) so if you’re eating them as you go along, squeeze out the juicy bit but avoid the seeds. You’re looking for rosehips that are on the squishy side which usually happens after the first frost. If you’re harvesting them before, simply pop them in the freezer for 24 hours and make sure they’re fully defrosted before making your syrup.
Harvest, wash, pulp and boil
Once you’ve harvested your rosehips (you’ll need about a kilo), give them a really good wash before chopping them roughly and whizzing them in a food processor. Once pulped, add to a saucepan and pour over 1.5 litres of water. Bring to the boil, then allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Strain and strain again!
The important stage is the straining – this removes the irritating fine hairs and seeds. Use a muslin stretched over a bowl to strain the pulp, letting the beautiful red elixir drip through steadily. While you can squeeze the cloth to aid the process, it’s best to allow plenty of time for this stage, and to repeat the straining process a few times to ensure all the hairs are removed.
Add sugar and bottle
Once strained, measure the scarlet liquid before carefully pouring back into the saucepan to add the sugar – you’ll need roughly 60 grams of sugar for every 100ml rosehip juice. Simmer very gently for 5 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve, scooping off any scum from the surface of your pan.
Then it’s time to decant your gorgeous health-giving elixir into clean, sterilised jars or bottles. Pop them in the fridge for whenever you need a little dash of goodness or give them away as delicious gifts.