Part of the excitement of taking a walk in your neighborhood is about not really knowing what awaits you. You could meet neighbors walking dogs and/or children. You may see fox or raccoons, or a black cat may cross your path. During the change of this season into winter when everyone around you is sneezing and coughing, you may want to keep your eyes peeled for something a little less obvious but very powerful that you may be passing by.

Rose hips from my fence

Growing all around your neighborhood on rose bushes that were not trimmed back after the blossoms faded are plump red/orange berries growing from where the spent blossoms grew. These “rose hips” are a very potent source of vitamin C and make a subtle and healthy tea to help you ward off the attack of germs trying to get into your body.

Rich in many nutrients, rose hips are a healthy supplement to help maintain good health and prevent colds, flu and infections. In addition, the various flavonoids in rose hips have potent antioxidant action, helping to protect the body from the effects of stress, aging and the environment. During World War II, the British government used collected rose hips to make rose hip syrup as a source of vitamin C to replace citrus fruits that were impossible to get. Native Americans have been using rosehips as tea for thousands of years, and when the tea is finished, the hips were added to stews or soups. There was just too much nutrition in a rosehip to let it go to waste!

Walking itself is good medicine that is found to give a healthier life, including lowering high blood pressure and reducing the risks of stroke. Walking can also ease the symptoms of depression and “the blues” that some people suffer as we roll into winter. So, get up out of your chair and explore your neighborhood. Ask your neighbors if they have rose hips growing on the rose bushes in their yards.

Collect as many rose hips as you can and cut them in half. Next, scrape out the seeds which you can save and cultivate into more rose bushes

Add two tablespoons of cut rose hips to each two cups of boiling water and allow them to simmer for 10 minutes. I like to cover the tea and let it set overnight.

Pour your tea through a coffee filter and sweeten with stevia or honey.

Make enough to share with friends and family who you will find to be very curious about and excited to try this forgotten tonic.

It’s all good and it’s free; walking, talking, and sharing the healthful benefits of rose hips. Right out there in the hood!

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