A Walk In The Park And Gathering Vitamin C


Rose Hips

While walking at Columbus County Park last Friday with my sisters I couldn’t help but notice the thousands of bright red rose hips still clinging tightly to the wild rose bushes. “I’m coming back to pick rose hips.” I announced. I just couldn’t stand to see all that vitamin C going to waste – especially during flu season.

So when my sister J.B. called me on Sunday and wanted to come visit I asked if she wanted to go pick rose hips. The weather was great and she agreed to go.

Columbus County Park is an old farm/homestead that was granted by the previous owners to the county for use as a public park. What a grand gift it was. It is over 400 acres some wooded – some meadow, with a deep valley that the Belle River runs through. The main walking path is a 2.5 mile loop that tracks through the woods, down into the valley, along the river, back up the hill, along the neighboring farm field and back up through the woods. There are other paths throughout the park – some designated for horseback riding and others for mountain biking. There are areas for fishing and canoe launces along the river. There are areas designated for hunting. There is a sledding hill, a play scape, and a lodge with a pavilion that can be rented for events.

On Sunday we took the main path down into the valley and along the river where the rose bushes were waiting. We stopped and picked rose hips for at least 1/2 hour before finishing the loop. Sadly I forgot to take picture while we were picking (the photo above is of our rose bush at the farm and was taken around the time of our first frost last fall). I did, however, remember to get out my camera as we ascended the hill. The first three pictures (below) are taken from the same vantage point. The first photo is the path that lay ahead. The second photo was the view as I turned to my left, and the third photo is looking back where we had come from.


This last photo was take once we were at the top of the hill. The fence and pine trees on the left separate the park from the neighboring farm filed.


As we picked rose hips we drew the attention of other walkers. Some inquired as to what we were picking and why. Perhaps you too are wondering why I wanted to pick rose hips.

Before I answer let me make this clear: I am not a Doctor. Nothing that you read here should be taken as medical advice. If you are sick you should seek help from a medical professional. You should check with your medical professional before using any type of medication or herbal supplement.

Rose hips are known to contain high amounts of vitamin C. You can check out this article from web md for more information. Vitamin C is said to be a great aid in the prevention of colds and flu, however if you read the web md article you will realize that vitamin C  is destroyed when heated and quickly diminishes during storage. While rose hips have other beneficial properties that can withstand heating, processing and storage, it is the vitamin C that I want to capture. My solution is to make rose hip tincture. Simply put tinctures are made by soaking herbs in alcohol to extract the beneficial properties of the herb.

Here is how I made the tincture. After cleaning the rose hips I crushed them and put them in a pint-size jar. I then fill the jar with Everclear. Vodka or brandy can also be used for making tinctures but Everclear has a higher alcohol content and is said to  extract more of the beneficial properties. I covered the jar with a tight fitting lid and gave it a good shake before storing it in a dark space where it will sit for at least two weeks. The instructions say I should shake it every day, but I do it as often as I remember when walking past. After at least two weeks (probably longer) I will strain the rose hips out and we will use the remaining liquid (tincture) as needed this winter to help ward off the bad guys (cold and flu bugs).

Rose hip tincture is not the only weapons in my flu fighting arsenal. It stands along side of elder flower tincture, that I like to make into syrup by mixing it with our raw honey, and hot pepper juice – a recipe I found here.

I have been grateful for the mild winter we have been having thus far, but it seems that change is in the air as the snow storm that arrived today brought along much colder temperatures. Brrrr!

How about you? Has your winter been good thus far? Do you have any special recipes you use to prevent or treat colds or the flu? I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading and be well. 🙂








21 thoughts on “A Walk In The Park And Gathering Vitamin C

    1. Some of them still had stems (not really thorns) attached to the hips. I picked some of them out when I was cleaning the hips but some of them got mixed right in with the tincture. They will get strained out later. The thorns are what we have to be careful of when picking the hips. I wore leather gloves but also we only picked the hips on the outer edges of the bushes.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Very interesting Ruth – I had tons of rose hips on my roses when I finally cut them down after the snow settled on them in November. I never knew that the rose hips contained Vitamin C. I do learn something with each post. That is a beautiful pathway you are on and I am guessing it is the one that you told me about in a recent comment. Keep ingesting the rose hips as the flu is starting to get ramped up just this last week … I keep popping clementines here at my end and I do take a vitamin C pill (500 mg) three to four times a week at the height of the flu season. Stay healthy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Linda. That is the park I mentioned to you. If you ever decide to pick rose hips they should be harvested after the frost. I’m glad to hear you are getting your vitamin C. Prevention is the best medicine. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I thought so Ruth – I had a lot of bright red hips after I cut the rose bushes down around Thanksgiving weekend. When I worked on site I took 1,000 mg of Vitamin C a day to not bring colds/sickness home to my mom as she was on a lot of medications and did not want to take anything that would interact, Now that I work from home and since my mom passed away in 2010, I just cut the dosage … the fluis widespread they say … maybe a lot of people weren’t out and about in this horrible cold weather and that stopped it from really taking off. Stay warm Ruth!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My sister and I were talking about how there were still so many rose hips – apparently birds don’t eat them. Not sure why unless it is because of the thorns on the rose bushes.
        Like you I am not out in public so do not have as high of risk as catching things as someone who works with the public but when I am out I make sure to take something extra to boost the immune system.
        The sunshine and blue sky look inviting today but just opening the door is enough to keep me inside. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That could be – those roses are so thorny, especially the bush roses which is what I have (they are Home Run Roses and very hardy). I do the same as you – I stocked up on a lot of groceries in the Fall so only go to the grocery store once/month and have to go for allergy shots once/month – so I ramp up the Vitamin C a few days before … even with the flu shot in place, there is no guarantee that you won’t get the flu, just a little less severe.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. As a child I absolutely loved rose hip cordial. I’m sure I still would! I’d like roses when we move so I’d definitely try making my own.
    Have you thought about being interviewed by BottomlessCoffee? I’d dearly love to hear that 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I take the tincture I dilute it in water and it does have a pleasant flavor. When we bought our farm we didn’t realize that it had wild rose bushes but have tried to preserve them. We have moved several of the bushes because they were in areas that we wanted to develop and would otherwise have been destroyed.
      For various reasons I am not up to doing a podcast but your comment is truly a complement.

      Liked by 1 person

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