How to Gather Rose Hips and Make Them Into Tea

Updated on October 12, 2017
Maggie Bonham profile image

MH Bonham is an award-winning author and editor. Bonham is also the author of more than 35 books as well as thousands of articles.

If you drink a lot of herbal tea or tisanes, you've probably heard of rose hips. But did you know that you can make rose hip tea absolutely free? Rose hips are very nutritious berries that are high in vitamin C and other vitamins such as A and E. What's more, it is caffeine free, which makes it an awesome addition to anyone's tea cabinet.

But what you may not know is that you may have wild rose hips not far from your home, ready for you to forage. Here's how to recognize, pick, and brew wild rose hips.

Identifying Rose Hips

Rose hips are the fruit of the rose bush. The rose petals are edible too, but the berries are often sweeter. If you have rose bushes that grow in your yard, you can harvest the rose hips from them, if they have not been sprayed with pesticide. The rose hips on domestic roses will be much larger than those on wild roses (called species rose). You can recognize the species rose when in bloom by its five pink petals, its thorns (like domesticated roses), and its characteristic rose scent.

During autumn, roses lose their leaves like other deciduous plants and leave the red berries on bare (thorny) branches. They are bright red or orange berries on a bush (not a tree) and have these "hairs" at the bottom of the berry, which is actually withered petals.

How to Gather Rose Hips

The best time to harvest rose hips is in the fall sometime after the first frost. They are reputed to be sweeter then. You can often spot rose hips when the leaves have fallen because the red berries will stand out against bare branches. You can pick them by hand or use a berry scoop like I do. Regardless, wear heavy gloves to protect your hands and wrists from thorns.

Using Rose Hips

The rose hip's edible part is the red shell and pink pith that surrounds the seeds. When you open a rose hip, you'll cut off the bottom end and slice open the pod. The seeds are not edible, so scoop them out. But if you're making tea, you can either dry the berries with the seeds or just mash up fresh rose hips and brew, seeds and all.

3 stars from 8 ratings of Cinnamon Rose Hip Tea

Steeping Time

Prep time: 6 min
Ready in: 6 min
Yields: Serves one


  • 1 TBSP rose hips, fresh mashed or dry and crumbled
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sugar or honey, optional
  • 12 oz water


  1. Assemble rose hips and cinnamon in your tea infuser and place in teapot or mug.
  2. Heat water to 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Pour hot water over rose hips and cinnamon. Let steep 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add sugar or honey, if desired.
  5. Enjoy and repeat.

Questions & Answers

  • I have green rose hips. Can you use those for drying or tea?

    No, it would probably taste bitter. Unless the rose was actually green.

© 2017 MH Bonham


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    • Maggie Bonham profile imageAUTHOR

      MH Bonham 

      10 months ago from Missoula, Montana

      Awesome! Sounds lovely!

    • profile image

      Doris Livezey 

      10 months ago

      I was visiting relatives in Hamilton, Montana this summer; what a beautiful area you live in.

      I volunteer in the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden and we just pruned all 2500 plants. We don't use any pesticides. I had volunteers saving rose hips for me so now I'm going to make some tea!

    • Maggie Bonham profile imageAUTHOR

      MH Bonham 

      12 months ago from Missoula, Montana


    • Kambi Briggs profile image

      Kambriann Briggs 

      12 months ago from Oakland, OR

      Very interesting post! I have been wanting to do something like this for a while, so I'm glad to have found something on it!

    • Maggie Bonham profile imageAUTHOR

      MH Bonham 

      13 months ago from Missoula, Montana

      Should not, as long as you do not ingest the seeds, themselves. But as tea, they should be fine. Of course, do not use rose hips on roses that have been sprayed with chemicals. And do not use rose hips if you're allergic to them.

    • profile image


      13 months ago

      Is there any concern about irritation if you use the hips whole for tea? Thanks -enjoyed the article and have many around where I live and will be glad to do something with them

    • profile image

      Ravi Thangaveloo 

      13 months ago

      This is the first time im reading this article.Thank you very much for the knowledge

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      2 years ago from Norfolk, England

      This article was really interesting to read. I had no idea you could make tea with rosehips. Thanks, I'll give this a try. =)

    • Maggie Bonham profile imageAUTHOR

      MH Bonham 

      2 years ago from Missoula, Montana

      Funny, I didn't really know what as rosehip was until I moved to Montana. Glad you enjoyed the article!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      2 years ago from USA

      I admit I've never known what a rose hip was, so this was educational.


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