Rose hips are the fruit of rose flowers, and are high in vitamin C and vitamin A. They contain a large amount of carotene, similar to what is found in carrots. Making your own rose hip tea using dried rose hips takes little effort, and results in a nutritious, tasty and refreshing beverage. The drink is easily customizable, and can be suited to most tastes. This recipe yields approximately one quart, or four cups, of rose hip tea.
Place the dried rose hips and lemon balm or mint into a large saucepan. Cover with one quart of cold water, and place the pan over medium heat.
Place a lid on the pan, and bring the mixture slowly to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer the rose hips undisturbed for 15 minutes.
Place a large bowl under a fine mesh strainer to catch the tea. Strain the liquid through the strainer to separate the rose hips and dried herbs from the tea.
Mash the rose hips with a fork to extract all the vitamin enriched juice from the fruit. Discard the spent plant material when all the tea has been strained into the bowl.
Add the sugar and lemon juice to the tea, if desired. Stir to combine until the sugar has completely dissolved. Transfer the rose hip tea to clean coffee mugs and serve immediately, or store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours in a covered container.
Rose hips may be harvested from rose bushes in the early fall and dried, or they may be purchased dried from herbal retailers. The lemon balm or mint may be omitted, if necessary, or replaced with your favorite herb. Rose hips are not very flavorful on their own, and the tea is made more palatable by adding aromatic herbs to increase taste. Use artificial sweetener or honey to sweeten the rose hip tea, if desired, or if your sugar intake is limited.