October Newsletter 2007

In keeping with the Autumnal mood, I'm including my recipe for rosehip syrup.

You have, no doubt, been keeping up with the interesting variety of fresh herb plants listed in our pages this year but have you, as yet, looked at the medicinal section of our website. It contains products made by myself, Vanessa Neville, and Emma Eastham, both Medical Herbalists living in and working around Saffron Walden and Cambridge.

I make the lotions and potions from scratch using quality herbal ingredients. It's important to me is that the ingredients come from sustainable sources, are organic, and use plants indigenous to this country. So the products do not have synthetic smells, alcohol, plastic or petroleum added to them thus reducing chemical load and causing harshness. The ingredients of my recipes are natural and pure from the beginning.

I want my products to be wholly therapeutic as well as being beautiful enough for people to keep using them again and again.

Rose Hips

These are the sour-tasting, beautifully bright-red berries of the Rosa canina and can be seen throughout the hedgerows in autumn. They are a rich source of vitamin C and are a useful tonic which may be taken through the winter. The fruit has always been used as a hedgerow food and only during the two world wars, when citrus fruit was virtually cut off, were its benefits again taken seriously and made into a commercial syrup.

So here is a syrup recipe to make and store at home for use by yourself and family members. Make it into a hot beverage or take it when feeling run down.

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Rose Hip Syrup

Take approx 40g of hips, cut in half and scrape out the seeds. Add the hips to 1 pint of just boiled water and leave to sit overnight. Next morning, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 mins. Strain the hips, pressing them with a spoon to extract all the goodness, leaving just the liquid. Pour back into a saucepan and reduce down to approx 200ml as slowly as possible. Add 450g of sugar or honey and stir until reaching a syrupy consistency. Pour into clean/sterilised bottles and label.

Honey and sugar are a great way of preserving and preparing the hips but do remember that they should not be taken by anyone who is diabetic or sugar intolerant.