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It is true that rosehips contain more vitamin C than oranges, and although renowned for their collection and use in war time by the Ministry of Food, they are actually pleasantly tasty and tangy.

Rosehips, or rose haws, are the fuit produced by all types of rose bush (Rosaceae family), however we are using the common English dog rose, (Rosa Canina) as it frequently found close by in the wild amongst hedgerows and contains a high amount of vitamin C.

The hairs around the seeds within the rosehip are an irritant if consumed or if they come into contact with skin, and have been used to produce itching powder by children in many countries. It is not advised to eat them raw.


  • small bowl of rosehips

  • 500g caster sugar or alternative

  • Muslin cloth or jelly bag for straining


Makes 750ml of syrup

  • Pick approximately 50 rose hips. To be honest there is no right or wrong amount and depends how strong you'd like it and the quatity you wish to make!

  • Wash the rose hips, remove the stalks and cut the other end off too, (with the dried dead flower remains).

  • Place rosehips into a pan and cover with 500ml cold water. Simmer for 15 minutes, squeeze them a bit with a spoon back or potato masher then simmer for another 5 minutes.

  • Leave to stand and cool down, stirring occassionaly to keep extracting the goodness.

  • Now to start straining. To ensure all the irritant hairs are removed, it is important to strain through mutiple muslin layers or 2-3 times through a jelly bag.

  • Discard the pulp and put the strained juice back in the pan, and add approximately 500g sugar (to taste, you can also use honey). Bring to the boil, recuce temperature, and keep stirring until it thickens.

  • Pour into a sterilised bottle, it will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.

This recipe can also be used to make other hedgerow cordials such as Elderberry (Sambucus nigra), Stinging Nettle, Blackberry etc.


If you'd like to discover more of nature's harvest, why not join one of our wild food and forage day workshops which run in Spring and Autumn.

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