Rose Hip Apple Sauce | Simple, Healthy Recipe

Why would you want to eat Rose Hips?

Rose Hips by Tania Oceana
Rose Hips by Tania Oceana

Because they are chalk tasty, full of natural Vitamin C, & they offer many holistic health benefits!

So what are Rose Hips & where do I get them?

If you’ve ever noticed pump, red and shiny orbs growing on rose bushes in fall, then you have seen rose hips! They are the fruit of the rose plant, and are edible – though watch out for pesticide use before consuming.

These fruits range in size, like roses do, from small and thin to large and fat. Some have ample sweet flesh while other have very little flesh and are mostly tart. A fresh, fat rose hip is a real treat!

Wild Rose in Oregon by Tania Oceana

Where do the grow? Anywhere where there are cultivated or wild roses – so mostly gardens and in the forest understory. They ripen up starting late Summer and are ready to harvest in Fall or sometimes early Winter. You want to be careful of the seeds because they have itchy hairs that are not pleasant to eat.

While fresh hips are a treat, dried hips are much more accessible and fairly easy and affordable to purchase. I highly recommend getting de-seeded hips because it’s quite the process to separate them out yourself.

Did you know? Many edible fruits and berries belong to the Rose family, such as Apples, Peaches and Raspberries!

Rose hips as a Medicinal Herb & Food-as-Medicine Plant

Besides being very high in Vitamin C, rose hips also contain flavonoids, antioxidants, quercetin, pectin and more. This combination is beneficial for general and systemic inflammation and support healthy immune function.

Pictured: Dried, Fresh with other Rose Family plants and living Rosehip

There are too many health benefits to squeeze into one article, so check out this study entitled “Assessment of rosehips based on the content of their biologically active compounds” to learn more and how exactly these compounds benefit us via www.Sciencedirect.com

The various anti-inflammatory compounds can be useful in many inflammatory and autoimmune issues, such as arthritis, allergies and IBS.

The pectin is especially soothing to the digestive tract, and can help bulk up and moisten the contents in our bowels (such as with constipation).

“Rose hips contain a large range of important dietary antioxidants. The high antioxidant activity is mainly attributed to ascorbic acid that typically ranges from 3 g/kg to 40 g/kg [5], which is fairly more than any other commonly available fruits or vegetables” Sciencedirect.com

Incorporating wild and nutrient dense food into our diets is an excellent way to add variety and to “let food be thy medicine” as ancient Greek physician Hippocrates proclaimed.

Learn more about Roses HERE

OK So how do I prepare them?

Big batch of Rosehip Sauce from last year!

RECIPE TIME!

 Rose Hip Apple Sauce 
The Super Simple Healthy Snack!

 1/2 cup (or 1 part) Dried & Deseeded Rosehips

 1 cup (or 2 parts) Apple Juice (preferably Organic and 100% juice)* 

Add to a clean jar, combine by stirring and put a lid on. You want there to be room at the top of the jar so that the hips can expand. Put a label on your jar and refrigerate. The next day, or 24 hours later, check the consistency. Viola!

You can add more hips or juice to thin out or thicken up your sauce. The hips should be soft and the texture similar to apple sauce. You can use powdered Rose hips for a smoother texture, just make sure to break up any clumps.

Enjoy as a jelly, as a desert topping or straight out of the jar!

Check out my latest video on how and why to make Rosehip Applesauce

*Looking for a low or sugar free option? You can either use a juice with less sugar, cut the juice with water and/or substitute Stevia (a sweet and no-sugar herb). Since Stevia is so sweet, I suggest a ready-to-go product over the raw powder which varies quite a bit but be aware of fillers.

Bonus: More scientific studies on the anti-inflammatory benefits of Rosehips HERE

And last but not least, I’ve been asked a lot recently about herbs in addition to Vitamin C rich Rose hips to help support our immune system. Thankfully, there are many herbal allies that may help. Check out this quick read on immune boosting herbs!

– Stay Green!

By Herbalist Tania Oceana

Soft Skin Serum for Glowing Skin

More on Roses! Rose Hip Seed Oil for Beauty

Check out our SOFT Skin Serum featuring Rose Oil for healthy and beautiful skin!

ALSO CHECK OUT:

The Natural Approach to Beautiful Skin | CLEAR SKIN ACADEMY NOW OPEN!

And check out all of our articles here!

SURVIVAL FOODS | 3 Edible Herbs to Forage

1. Slippery Elm Bark

While tree bark may seem like the least appealing option, various tree barks have been staple in traditional diets. The part consumed is the inner bark, and unless you are in a serious emergency, take great care to gather this in the way that won’t kill the tree.

As the name implies, the texture, especially when made into a “survival gruel”, is slimy. Though slime isn’t my favorite texture, the flavor is neutral and almost pleasant. The mucilage (slime) also holds medicinal qualities that can help soothe digestive and respiratory irritation.

2. Cat Tails

I’ll never forget the time I mentioned in a college class that in an emergency you can eat cattails. To the horror of my classmates, I had to explain quickly and behind bright red cheeks that I’m not talking about a cat’s tail, but this plant!

This water loving plant is common in wetland areas, and you may have played with the flowers which clump tightly together on a tall spike that looks like a corn dog. When ripening you can release the tight flowers and they expand into white and very fluffy clumps that blow away and/or get attached to all your clothes. While fun, the fluff is not what you want to eat, though it can help as fire kindling. The edible parts include the stalk and young stems, which can be eaten raw or cooked (after peeling the outer layers). The young shoots can also be eaten cooked like asparagus, the roots can be dried and turned into flour and the nutritious pollen can be collected and added to foods.

3. Hawthorn Berries

The pacific NW is overrun with the invasive Himalayan blackberries, so go ham on those if you see them first (a bonus survival plant to know). A less commonly known edible berry grows on the Hawthorn tree. Ripe in Autumn, these red berries are found commonly in the wild, beside meadows and city sidewalks.

Hawthorn Berries

They are great because they can be eaten raw and range in flavor from bland/mealy apple to juicy and delicious. They are small but can be gathered, deseeded then dried or turned into sauces, beverages and jams. They support cardiovascular health and are high in antioxidants. Just watch out for those thorns! Learn more about Hawthorn here.

Bonus: 1 Plant to avoid at all cost: Snow Berries

You may notice birds eating this cute fluffy berry but be warned, it’s poisonous to humans. You can find these shrub berries throughout winter in the forest understory, as well as ornamentals in gardens. Though not extremely deadly, you do not want the gastrointestinal distress these will cause even if you’re not in a survival situation.

*NOTE: Always get multiple reputable sources (such as a reference book and double checking with a local Herbalist) before ingesting a plant you find.

Stay Green! And keep an eye out for our local plant walks coming up in Spring by adding your email below.

Tags: Foraging, Survival Skills, Wild harvesting, Plant I.D., Urban Foraging, Wild Foods, PNW Plants

Follow @mossytonic for more Herbals Info!

Beauty & Function | The Rose

A pink cultivated rose at Portland, OR Rose Garden

You are probably lucky enough to have encountered a gorgeous, heavenly scented rose before. This iconic flower has another side to her, a lesser known side, like many of us do.

History

The rose we know today it is a hybridized version of the delicate, humble Wild Rose. From this dainty cutie, humans bred Rosa to be bigger, have many more petal and come in a rainbow of colors, sizes and scents. (Someone even had the audacity to selectively breed some varieties without even preserving a subtle scent! Maybe the allergy sufferers can appreciate it, but I digress.)

Wild Rose aka the Original Rose

One way to learn to understand a plant is to learn about the family it belongs to. For rose it’s an easy one to remember; it’s part of the Rose family. This family includes our apples, pears, peaches, raspberries and many other well known and edible plants. Though not all rose family plants produce edible fruit, many do.


Give the gift of Clear, Soft & Radiant Skin this Valentines

Learn the Holistic approach to naturally healthy skin

Many Uses

Simply being in the presence of roses can help to uplift and inspire a gloomy perspective. In addition, they are also a wild or foraged food, a gentle food-as-medicine herb and beneficial for skin health.

A Wild Food | After the showy flowers die back in Autumn, green fruits start to mature. They grow in to bright red edible fruits (the “hips”) that are often plump and juicy. The size and shape varies a bit. They’re no sweet peach, but the flesh is edible, and the bright red hue high in healthy antioxidants and vitamin C.

Health Benefits | The rose hips high antioxidant content make them a valuable ally in diseases related to capillary damage, such as diabetes and heart disease. They also contain a good amount of pectin, which can sooth an irritated digestive tract. (See the Simple Recipe below!)

Skin Care | Topically, rose hip seed oil and rose water (the rose infused water that’s separated from the aromatic oils when making rose essential oil) are both soothing and hydrating to the skin. Many skin conditions respond well to rose water, including acne, psoriasis and dry/sensitive skin.

How to harvest Rose Hips

You get very clear on your plant identification first! Getting multiple sources such as a reference books and the opinion of a nature expert is recommended. Learn about proper, sustainable harvesting and foraging practices and don’t harvest from sprayed bushes.

Once you are sure it’s an edible rose hip, you can nibble away on it as long as you steer clear of the fuzzy seeds in the center. These “hairy” seeds are not pleasant to ingest or digest so do be careful. You can nibble on these fruits like tiny apples, or remove the flesh and add to other food or beverages, or process and dry for later use. Bonus tip: Grind up dried rosehips to make a natural powder that’s high in Vitamin C.

Since the processing can take a bit of time, some opt to simply buy dried and deseeded rose hips from a reliable source or health food store.

Bonus recipe: Super Simple Rose Applesauce:

– Add 2 Tbsp dried rosehips to 1/2 cup of apple juice

– Wait 2+ hours for the hips to soften up

– Add this with with 1 cups of apples and blend

Viola!

Refrigerate and enjoy your High Vitamin C Rose Applesauce in the next 3 days.


Check out our Instagram for more Herb and Wild Food facts!

Vitamin D supplementation in respiratory infections | Scientific Research of Interest

There is a solid body of evidence in the scientific literature to support the notion of Vitamin D supplementation positively affecting health outcomes from respiratory infections.

Though whole food nutrition is important, some nutrients like Vitamin D are hard to come by in our modern diet

This study in the British Journal of Medicine, states that “Supplementation with vitamin D3 may reduce disease burden in patients with frequent RTIs.” Read the full article HERE.

As a supporter of holistic health, we here at Mossy Tonic tend to highlight a whole herb, whole food approach to well being over supplementation. That being said, Vitamin D is a nutrient that is hard to come by in our modern diet at sufficient amounts (see below), and the benefits from sunshine have real limitation.

Note the discrepancy of the RDA (recommended daily amount) of Vitamin D, at 600 IU (international units) and the much higher therapeutic daily dose of Vitamin D in the study, at 4,000 IU/day.

Natural sources of Vitamin D include beef liver, fish and egg yolk. While some traditional foods (like organ meet) contain higher amounts of Vitamin D, more modern diets can be lacking in vitamins and do not get anywhere close to the therapeutic doses of Vitamin D seen in these studies.

Sunshine assists in Vitamin D Production
The body makes vitamin D when skin is directly exposed to the sun

Sunlight also helps our bodies produce Vitamin D, however variations in latitude, season and skin color affect how much we make. People living in middle and high latitudes (farther from the equator) have less sunlight and it’s limited even more during the winter months. Those will darker skin need more sunlight to produce Vitamin D because of the sun-protective quality of melanin. Because of these factors, sunlight cannot always be relied on to supply adequate amounts of Vitamin D.

That being said, I want to stress that is IS good to “soak up the sun” when you can and in healthy moderation as it still can be a good source of Vitamin D.

Additional Studies

Vitamin D Supplementation to Prevent Acute Respiratory Tract Infections: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Individual Participant Data” declares that “Vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of acute respiratory tract infection among all participants”.

Vitamin D may reduce susceptibility to C.V-19-associated lung injury” by Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D.

Lobelia | The nasty herb for shoulder tension and wildfire lung support

The abundance and variety of properties in a single herb never fails to impress me. The idea that one little plant can wear so many different hats also helps reminds me how odd it is to try to pack any living being in to too few, and separate, boxes.

Illustration of Lobelia Inflata

Lobelia Inflata is a small plant who often sports little purple flowers, and who wears the following hats; Muscle relaxant, expectorant, antispasmodic, eases asthma, supports tobacco cessation, tastes kind of like poison and in large doses it is toxic. And of course in additional to those there are always other secrets to wonder about.

Lobelia is so nasty in flavor that it can literally cause one to gag. The lesson in this, I believe, is to work with this herb conservatively. To save your taste buds, a tincture is a better way to go over tea. A bit of loose Lobelia herb could be hidden in say, some strong peppermint tea, but to understand the individual affect, a tincture in a bit of water is a good bet. Due to the strong nature of this herb, a little goes a long way. Instead of the usual 30 drop dose for most herbal tinctures, Lobelia is more of a “drop dose” herb, meaning that 1-10 drops is usually sufficient to feel the effects. If you are sensitive, then you can start on the lower end.

And now the age old question, “so what do you use this herb for?”

A valid question, and I understand the enthusiasm! I do also want to spread the idea though that a more holistic way to approach herbalism is with a bit more open curiosity to what properties this plant has. These properties are all of those different hats, and they can change based on the the weather (your desired application for example) and the plants mood (those random factors affecting the plant, the sourcing and various factors within yourself, that limit homogeny and make life interesting). Ok so let’s start with the muscle relaxation aspect. Lobelia has the lovely ability to loosen muscle tension throughout our body in both our smooth and skeletal muscles. Just that alone means that this herb can greatly aid in tense, knotted shoulder or neck muscles, uterine cramps, leg cramps, restless leg, and even our tiny lung muscles if they happen to be constricted or spazzy from allergies, asthma or illness. Whether the muscle tension is from stress, injury or an inherited condition doesn’t change the effect, which is a deep sigh of relief and physical relaxation. The muscles calm, lose their stiffness and lessen in tone and spasms.

This physical relaxation often promotes emotional relaxation because when your neck loosens up, your cramps subside and pain looses some of it’s sharpness, it’s so much easier to feel comfortable and remember to see all the beauty around us.

As for Lobelia’s relationship with the lungs, the affect is twofold. You have the muscle relaxation aspect, which can calm a spastic cough, tense lungs and the emotional trigger aspect that can exacerbate constriction and breathlessness. The lungs open and relax. The second aspect it Lobelia’s expectorant property. Expectorant means that it helps to loosen, break up and expel excess phlegm from the lungs. So essentially it can help you hack up phlegm which can ease respiratory congestion. This could be beneficial in many ongoing or acute issues in the lungs, such as a chest cold or chronic bronchitis. I do want to mention to please consult a medical professional before attempting to substitute any conventional asthma protocols for Lobelia!

In addition to those with asthma, anyone in forest fire prones areas can often benefit from additional lung support. Here in Oregon, these last few years have been the worst I’ve ever seen in terms of unhealthy air quality from wildfire smoke. That mixed with the heat and excessive city emissions, August and September can be a tricky time for those with sensitive lungs and to a lesser degree everyone else as well. Thankfully this year we got a bit more rain than last year, and more of us are aware and becoming aware of small changes we can make to keep our environments, ourselves and each other healthier. Good news is that when we support any one of them, we support them all.

And lastly, for those who want to transition off of tobacco cigarettes, Lobelia can help with both the tobacco cravings and the inevitable cleaning out of the lungs from accumulated cigarette tar (even when smoked). While Lobelia does not contain any nicotine, it has been called “Indian Tobacco” due to it’s use among North American Natives, as well as it’s use as a tobacco alternative. The physical and mental relaxation properties can be of benefit when transitioning from nicotine, and Lobelia is often blended with other smoking herbs for flavor and effect. Surprisingly, the flavor of the smoke is not gross and can even be pleasant.

In case you are curious how to experiment with this interesting plant, I’d love to share a simple and balanced herbal blend to help support your hardworking lungs this season:

BREATH SUPPORT BLEND | Loose Leaf Herbal Tea or Tincture

1 Part = 1 TBsp Loose Herb OR 1 Dropperful of Liquid Tincture

5 Part Mullein Leaf

2 Part Marshmallow Root (Or substitute Licorice Root)

1 Part Lobelia Herb

Making a Tea: Combine your herbs. Pour 1 quart of freshly boiled water over your blend and steep for 5 minutes. Strain and enjoy! You can add honey or a sweetener if desires, and you can enjoy this blend hot or cold, one cup at a time. This blend should last about a day in the refrigerator. 1-3 cups per day is a great way to support your lungs during fire season.

Using Tinctures: Combine in a dropper bottle. Take 1 Droppersful in a bit of water or into tea 1-3x/day during fire season.

Thank you for ready and stay green!

If you are on the journey to quitting tobacco cigarettes, we have five different flavorful herbal smoking blends. All organic, no fillers, no nicotine, and made with love in Oregon!

Check out all of our blend HERE

EXPANSION | This Herbal Smoking Blend features Lobelia and Roses by Mossy Tonic

Chaga Mushroom Tea

A food-as-medicine ally, Chaga Tea is a comforting, neutral flavored and deep dark brew.

Small chunks of Organically grown Chaga Mushroom, 2019

This unique mushroom looks like knotted bark, and is a blessing for those who do not enjoy the common texture and flavor or mushrooms.

Chaga is found in Northern Forests, usually on birch trees, in most of the Northern Hemisphere. Chaga colonizes tree wounds, and while it slowly draws nutrients from the tree, it also offers its antimicrobial properties to protect the wound from invasion of other harmful organisms.

Chaga is most well known for it’s adaptogenic properties. An adaptogen is an herb which helps to slowly strengthen and balance our immune response, stress response and hormone system (which is affected by an excessive stress response). Instead of overstimulating the immune system, which may aggravate autoimmune issues, an adaptogen helps to slowly build up a more proportionate response – one that can better target actual threats such as viral infections. This makes is a great daily tea to drink before the cold and flu season.

Bonus Health Benefit: Chaga has one of the highest antioxidant content of any food!

Chaga Tea

HOW TO BREW

  1. Find a good, Organic or Ethically Wild Harvested source of Chaga
  2. Use 1tsp of small chunks (or 1Tbsp of larger chunks) of Chaga per 1 cup of boiling water
  3. Combine water and Chaga into a pot, cover with a lid and simmer on low for 20+ minutes (if they are larger chunks you can simmer for 40 minutes)
  4. Strain into a mug or jar. Keep the Chaga bits! They can be re-brewed until the brown color fades
  5. Let cool until warm. Enjoy alone, added into Chai tea, coffee, or other teas. Add milk of choice and sweetener as desired
  6. Refrigerate strained bit and use within the month. Freshly brewed, plain chaga tea can last a couple of days when refrigerated.

Interested in learning more? Check out these sources!

Chaga mushroom extract inhibits oxidative DNA damage in human lymphocytes as assessed by comet assay. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15630179

Antiinflammatory and Immunomodulating Properties of Fungal Metabolites https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1160565/

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