Did you know that rosehips have been used since ancient Egyptian times and that they were a favourite during the medieval period where they were used to make “syrop of roses” that will “strengthen the heart and taketh away the shaking and trembling thereof”. During World War II, British children would collect tons of rosehips which would be made into jams and sent to soldiers at the front to help provide them with Vitamin C.
Rosehips, the bulbous part of the dog rose flower that remains after the blooms have dropped, called the hips, is very high in Vitamin C and is one of the best sources for natural iron, calcium, biotin, pectin, phosphorus, tannin and Vitamins A B1, B2, C, E K and P, just to name a few.
The hips are dried and either granulated or simply cut in half to form rosehip shells. They have a pleasant, sweet and tangy taste and can be fed dry or made into a tea.
Health benefits associated with Rosehips include being a mild purgative to help gently move the bowel and an astringent to help reduce mucous and fluid in the body.
Rosehips are a natural diuretic, blood purifier and tonic that can be used to strengthen and invigorate the body to give a general feeling of wellbeing.
In horses Rosehips have been specifically used to improve the growth of hooves, assist in the rehabilitation of kidney and adrenal function and as a preventative for ‘tying up’.
Country Park Animal Herbs has been recommending the use of Rosehips as part of the natural equine diet for a number of years and we have available both generally grown as well as organically grown Rosehips granules and shells. These can be fed either dry or made into a tea by steeping them in hot water and adding it to hard feed for easy assimilation.
(C) Helen Nicolaou Freelance Writer