is the best for skin and it is used extensively on it's own and in many blends for aromatherapy. It takes a staggering amount of rose petals to make rose essential oil; 10,000 pounds of petals to make 1 pound of oil, and right now 1 fluid ounce of Rosa damascena will cost you in the ballpark of $950 US!
We are blessed here in Nova Scotia to have an abundant wild rose population, Rosa Virginiana and/or carolina is a hardy rose growing 1 to 4 feet high. It flowers throughout the the summer, until finishing in August in preparation for production of rose hips.
The pasture roses of NS produce abundant rose hips, ranging in colour from orange to red. These hips are powerhouse of nutrition; rich in anti-oxidents, calcium and Vitamin A. They are also a significant source of iron, and it's co-absorption factor vitamin C. Rose tea is therefore an essential for those suffering from anemia. In fact it was my own chronic battle with anemia that led me to rose tea and deeper into the herbalist journey I have walked for so many years. Hips can also be used to make jellies, jams and syrups. Rose hip jams are very high in fibre.
The rose tea we blend here at the farm are made from dried rose petals harvested in June, and hips harvested here on our property after the first good killing frost. Rose tea should be made with water that has not quite boiled; when the air bubbles are rising but the water has not reached a rolling boil. This prevents damaging the delicate petals and bitterness of the hips. Use 1.5 - 2 tsp/ cup of water and allow to steep for 5 minutes.
A small warning regarding rose teas,; they can have a laxative effect. It has been my experience that this happens more with whole rosebud tea than petal and hip tea. If you are new to rose tea, limit yourself to 1 or 2 cups a day and only steep one cup at a time. Longer steep times, therefore stronger tea increases the effect.
Once you bring your hips home, they need to be dried, you can dry them in a dehydrator, or on a screen dryer if you have good airflow. Once dried the hips should be coarsely ground, then screened to remove the small hairs found surrounding the seeds inside the hips.