Jan 18, 2020 | Herbalism | 3 comments


There is no greater piece of mind on a cold winter’s evening than knowing your kids are healthy and will be attending school the next day. Am I right, mamas? You know that dreaded whimper of a sick kid in the middle of the night? It makes you sit straight up in bed.

I heard that whimper one night a few years back. As soon as I heard it, I knew I was in for a sleepless and messy night. Then, I heard another kid whimper and quickly realized I was in way over my head. After a traumatic night, I vowed to build my family’s immune system. I started by incorporating nutritious wild foods and medicinal plants into my family’s diet.

One of my favorite wellness boosters in the colder months is Rosa canina, commonly known as dog rose and it grows wild all over Michigan. While it’s not a native plant to our area, it’s still pretty spectacular. After the petals fall off, the fruit of the rose begins to grow in its place.

Forage For Rosa Canina

The fruit is called a rosehip and it is best to harvest them after the first frost when it becomes sweeter.

The rosehip is bursting with vitamin C and vitamin A. It also has high amounts of antioxidants and is deeply nutritive, stimulating the production of white blood cells which guard your body against infection and disease.

While the fruit can be eaten fresh or dried, I prefer to make a tea from the hips. I find it easier to leave them whole and steep them in hot water for ten minutes.

If you choose to eat them you’ll need to deseed them first. The seeds have tiny hairs on them that is very irritating to the throat. Rosehips preserve well in honey and make tasty jellies and jams, but my favorite winter tea blend is a pine needle and rosehip.

What are some of your favorite wellness boosters in the colder months?

Written by Jen

Jen enjoys trail running and connecting with plants through herbalism. She believes in the power of plant medicine and is an avid forager. Together with her 4 wild and free-range kids and husband, they are working on turning their 1-acre residential lot into a thriving permaculture food forest. Jen works as a freelance photographer, taking pictures for small businesses in her community. Follow her on Instagram!

The Making Of

Rosehip and Pine
Needle Tea

While rose has many benefits for the physical body, it also has an affinity for the heart. In my opinion, rosehips work very similarly. After a hard day when I need a little extra love, I add rosehip oil to my bath. It’s nervine which is calming and softening to the body and the mind, gently easing away tension and opening the heart.

The bottom line is that rosehip is an accessible and likely free (if foraged) source of medicine. Wild roses are disease resistant and can grow practically anywhere. It is preventative medicine that works and tastes pretty darn good too.

We drink this tea very regularly and double up if we hear a classmate is sick. It has now been two years since my kids have missed a day of school due to an illness. Last year was one of the worst flu seasons on record and we stayed healthy, which I credit to plant medicines like rosehips. 


  • 2 tbsp of whole rosehips

  • ½ cup of white pine needles

  • 1 tbsp of honey

Directions: Steep ingredients for 10 minutes. Enjoy!


  • ½ cup organic shea butter

  • 2 tbsp organic jojoba oil

  • 1 tbsp organic rosehip seed oil

  • ⅛ tsp organic vanilla bean powder

  • 1 tsp raw local honey

Besides rosehip’s immune-boosting qualities, they have known anti-aging benefits. Rosehip oil is well known in the holistic community for skincare; it is especially beneficial to help build a protective barrier on the face. It is packed full of fatty acids, hydrating the skin and leaving it noticeably brighter and softer. The oil can be easily made into lotions, creams, and body butter. Mountain Rose Herbs has one of my favorite body butter recipes, which I’ve shared below.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Combine shea butter and jojoba oil in a double boiler. Stir until shea butter melts.

Step 2

Remove mixture from heat. Add rosehip seed oil, vanilla bean powder, and rosemary.

Step 3

Transfer to a large bowl and stir to combine. Chill mixture in fridge for 10 minutes, or until solid.

Step 4

Whip chilled mixture until fluffy.

Step 5

Transfer to an airtight glass jar.

Find the original instructions and more tips at mountainroseherbs.com.

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