I foraged rose hips this week and searching for the last few made it more exciting. I was like a kid in a sweet shop when I found any.
When foraging I ensure that I;
- Am allowed to forage on the land.
- Only take enough for my own consumption.
- Leave plenty for the wildlife.
I bought Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal’s wonderful “Hedgerow Medicine” book. When I’m going foraging I always take this and their “Wayside Medicine” book with me because they identify a herb from its leaves, flowers or fruits with ease.
I use “Hedgerow Medicine’s” suggestion to make and use rose hip vinegar because it works for me. I had a very sore throat recently so mixed a tablespoonful of rose hip vinegar with a little warm water, gargled and swallowed. My sore throat had completely gone when I awoke the next day!
I take gardening gloves with me because they are useful when dealing with thorns. Rose hip thorns are extremely sharp and therefore I take care not to snag my clothes on them.
My rain mac is kept handy in case there is a shower. It never matters when it rains because I really enjoy a good forage regardless.
Preparing the rose hips
First of all I remove the rose hips stalks and dead flowers and throw away any rose hips that feel squishy.
I wash the rose hips in a colander and leave them to dry on the draining board.
I love cider vinegar for many reasons. Above all because it’s said to help destroy harmful bacteria in the digestive tract, and for that reason I drink a teaspoon of cider vinegar in a glass of water each evening before my main meal.
- Do not take cider vinegar if allergic to yeast.
- Taking cider vinegar may cause problems if suffering from candida.
My tip is to buy supermarket’s own label cider vinegar due to their good prices. I add 20 rose hips to a 350ml bottle and 25 to a 500ml bottle.
Opening the cider bottle I pour a little cider vinegar out of the bottle into a jug because this leaves room to add the rose hips.
Adding the rose hips
The bottles will need topping up with the “everyday use” cider vinegar again after the rose hips are added.
I place the bottles on my sunny kitchen windowsill for a month to brew. When the weather has been dull I need to increase this brewing time by a week or two.
The bottles are then labelled because vinegar based preparations are recommended to be used within six months. Its important to thoroughly filter the plant sediment because this can extend the use by date.
I filtered my first batch with a tea strainer which left sediment and for that reason I now use a cheesecloth whilst filtering like this one;
The vinegar is filtered into a jug so that it is easier pour back into the bottle. Finally I throw the rose hips and sediment away.
My labels include;
- date it was filtered
- expiry day (six months on form when it was filtered)
- uses of the preparation
If you decide to make your own rose hip vinegar be quick before the rose hips have gone. Then you will be ready for any colds or sore throats that may strike.
If your new to foraging take a look at my foraging tips for beginners post;
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