Medicinal Rosehips Tea

650 Rosehip tea making ©IMG_0198

Roses were not my favorite flowers till I was 14 years old, so I never grew them till later in my life. But when I was 7 or 8 years old, I saw rose bushes for the first time. I noticed that there were red balls that could be fruits or a seed of the flowers. As a curious girl, I had to pick it and put it in my mouth. It was kind of sour tasting with a hint of sweetness, but it was not sweet enough for me, being a child who loved sugary food and dessert at that time. So, I didn’t think about it for a long time, and I just enjoyed roses as beautiful flowers.

650 Wild Rose Flower

Wild rose flower in North Fork, California.

650 Rose hips 2017

Wild Rosehips in North Fork, California.

I started to make different healing teas when I took an herbology class from David Craw (founder of Learning Garden in Venice, CA and Floracopeia) in 1998 at California Healing Arts College. David harvested wild native herbs before the class, and we made tea and learned the benefits of the herbs and how they have been helping humans’ health for a long time. It was fascinating to me, and I learned so much about how plants and herbs can help us. Because of this class, I got more curious about making all kinds of herbal tea and flower tea, since I love tea so much. Later on, I found out rosehips are the seeds of rose flowers, and my childhood memory of that sour taste, with a hint of sweetness of the fruits, came back to me.

I got curious again and found so many benefits of rosehips by making tea, jelly, jam, soup, oil, etc. Rose plants do not just produce beautiful flowers; I think they are medicinal plants that can fit in the herbs and spices category.

Wikipedia says: “In general use, herbs are any plants used for food, flavoring, medicine, or fragrances for their savory or aromatic properties. Culinary use typically distinguishes herbs from spices. Herbs refer to the leafy green or flowering parts of a plant (either fresh or dried), while spices are produced from other parts of the plant (usually dried), including seeds, berries, bark, roots and fruits.”

650 Eric & Leo rosehips picking

Wild rosehips bush. You can see Eric and Leo standing by the bish, how big this rose bush is.

Rosehips picking Eric 2017

Big rosehips!

I found wild big rose bushes when Eric and I started to go to North Fork, California, in 2004. I noticed they produced big rosehips every year, from around Thanksgiving to the end of the year. So, we have been harvesting fresh, wild rosehips every year and have been making the tea. Its sour and naturally sweet taste are soothing to me since I’ve matured and do not eat sugary food or dessert anymore. I have offered North Fork rosehip tea to our friends many times. They’ve usually never had rosehip tea before, but everyone loves it. I love its pink to reddish color. It is perfect to serve for the holiday season.

 

As an end-of-year gratitude/gift (in Japan, we call it Oseibo) for people who read my blog, I want to share my rosehip tea recipe. I hope you enjoy making it, enjoy the taste, and also get the benefits of the tea.

WHERE TO PURCHASE ROSEHIPS

Whole Rosehips

iHerb

Bulk Apothecary

Seedless Rosehips

Mountain Rose Herbs

Starwest Botanicals

Tea Bags

Jet

650 Rosehips Tes with dried and fresh rosehips 2013

Rosehips tea with dried rosehips and fresh rosehips.

 

ROSEHIP TEA RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons dried rosehips (whole ) or 4 teaspoons dried rosehip (crushed/cut/sifted)
  • 4 cups water (filtered)
  • Brown rice syrup or maple syrup (optional)
  1. Add the rosehips to a stainless steel or glass pot (make sure the pot can be put directly on the stove), along with the water.
  2. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce it to a simmer for depending on how strong you want to make the tea. I usually simmer for 15 ~ 30 minutes for whole rosehips and  5–15 minutes for crushed/cut/sifted rosehips.
  3. Remove from the heat, and pour it into your favorite cup.
  4. I like the tea as-is, but if desired, you can add 1 teaspoon brown rice syrup or maple syrup for sweetness.
  5. Enjoy!

 

I rotate between drinking rosehip tea a few times a week for a while, and then stopping and drinking Elderberry Tea (my blog) and/or Kukicha (my blog).

650 Rosehips with Eric 2000

It was a good harvesting of rosehips!

 

BENEFITS

Rosehips have many benefits. Here are just some of the health conditions they help alleviate: weakened immune system, skin conditions, chronic pain, indigestion, high toxicity levels, arthritis, gout, inflammatory conditions, high cholesterol, hypertension, and increased risk of heart disease or cancer (reference: Style Craze, Organic Facts).

 

Strengthens Immunity

The rosehips are extremely high in vitamin C, which can pack a major punch for a better immune system. It will increase your white blood cell count and stimulate growth, especially if you are recovering from an injury, illness or surgery.

Skin Care

Many people drink rosehip tea to improve the appearance of the skin, as this herbal blend is known to be astringent in nature, while also delivering those powerful antioxidants to the areas of the skin that need it most. This can help reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, speed healing of irritated or dry skin, and prevent infections and inflammation, such as flare-ups of psoriasis, eczema, and acne.

Acts as an Analgesic

The carotenoids and flavonoids found in rosehip tea have analgesic properties, making this tea a great pain reliever. Whether it is chronic pain of arthritis or acute pain of injuries or sprains, the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties can work very quickly.

Reduces Inflammation

Studies done on rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis showed that rosehip tea can significantly improve mobility and reduce inflammation, improving the quality of life and lowering oxidative stress in those inflamed tissues. This is also helpful for digestion, as these anti-inflammatory properties can soothe the tissues in the gut while regulating bowel movements and ensuring proper nutrient uptake.

Detoxifies the Body

Rosehip tea is known to have both laxative and diuretic properties, which can help the body eliminate toxins, and unwanted fats and salts in an efficient way. If you are struggling with constipation, low metabolism, or a weakened immune system, it can be a good idea to flush the toxins out and reduce the load on the kidneys and liver. This tea can help you do that by stimulating faster digestion and increasing the frequency of urination.

Help Prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis

In one study, patients who received rose hip showed greater improvements in arthritic conditions (18). In another study conducted back in 2008, rose hip powder had reduced pain in the hips, joints, and knees by about a third (19). The study was conducted on 300 osteoarthritis patients.

Rose hips also contain the fatty acid GOPO, which, as per experts, is the plant version of fish oil. And GOPO could be one of the contributing factors for the fruit’s anti-arthritic properties. Rosehip extract pills were found to reduce arthritic pain by as much as 90 percent (20). In fact, one popular arthritic medicine called LitoZin is made from processed ground rose hips.

Another important quality about rose hips (with respect to treating arthritic symptoms) is they don’t have ulcerogenic effects like certain other medications.

Additional Vitamin C Benefits

Rose hips are so full of vitamin C that the nutrient deserves a special mention. By the way, did you know that the fruit contains 60 times the vitamin C found in an orange?

One of the major benefits of vitamin C is collagen production. Collagen is a protein that forms the connective tissue in the body. The vitamin also treats inflammation and improves immunity. It prevents scurvy, a disease that can cause muscle weakness, joint pains, rashes, and tooth loss (14).

The vitamin C in rose hips also helps maintain the health of blood vessels. And because of the high levels of this vitamin, even the American Indian tribes had used the tea from the fruit to treat respiratory ailments (15).

Here’s a quick tip for you – when it comes to cooking rose hips (or any food rich in vitamin C), never use aluminum pans or utensils as they can destroy the vitamin in the food (16).

Vitamin C in rose hips also helps your body absorb iron better (17). Iron has several benefits, the major one being preventing anemia and keeping your blood healthy. And yes, vitamin C also treats and prevents cold and flu symptoms. So, you don’t have to worry even if the seasons are changing.

Lower Cholesterol

Regular intake of rose hip extract has been linked to lowered cholesterol levels (13). The fruit is particularly effective in obese patients – patients who consumed a drink made of rose hip powder daily for six weeks saw a significant drop in their total blood cholesterol levels by as much as 5 percent. This drop can even reduce the risk of heart disease by 17 percent. Rosehip can also be used as a safe alternative to anti-cholesterol drugs (like statins) that might have side effects.

Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases

There is a large body of research into the cardiovascular impact of rosehips, primarily due to the high levels of antioxidants present in these fruits. Specifically, studies have shown that leucoanthocyanins and polyphenolic compounds in rosehip tea can lower the risk of heart disease. This tea is also rich in lycopene, which has been directly linked to lower the occurrences of cardiovascular diseases.

Prevents Cancer

Many of the antioxidants in rosehip tea are praised for their anti-cancer abilities, as they are able to seek out and neutralize free radicals before they can cause oxidative stress, and can make it more difficult for cancerous cells to multiply, generate energy, and continue attacking the body. Research on the link between cancer and rosehips is ongoing, but early results show a very promising connection.

 

If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or on medication, please consult with your doctor before drinking rosehip tea.

 

650 Rosehips close up

Jewel of rosehips.

Love,

Sanae 💖

How Important It Is to Have Whole Grains Everyday!

Whole Barley and Brown Rice

After I got ovarian cancer 24 years ago, I learned the macrobiotic way of life. I healed the cancer with macrobiotic foods, many holistic approaches, and a natural lifestyle. I also had a serious car crash 15 years ago. I was in a coma for three days, and since my left lung and heart were crushed, they stopped working several times. Both my knees and feet were also badly crushed. The doctor told me I would not be able to walk, but I did not give up; I continued macrobiotics.

 

I started to move around after one year of bedridden life. I was able to transfer my body to a wheelchair, so I eventually went to yoga class every week. I still have pain all the time and take care of my physical and emotional disability. I had to build a strong will and discipline my mind. Macrobiotic, well-cooked, whole-grain foods have helped me keep the core of my strength.

 

My husband Eric and I have been cooking most of our foods at home with carefully chosen, organic ingredients, including whole grains, beans, fresh produce, sea vegetables, seasoning (sea salt, miso and tamari—soy sauce with no gluten), and condiments (umeboshi plum, gomashio, tekka, etc.). Also, we live a lifestyle that fits our healthy minds and bodies. We are active. Eric goes to the beach for his SUP surfing every weekend and goes skiing in winter. I practice yoga, and since last year, I teach it.

 

Traveling is fun and exciting, but it is not possible to eat like at home. We eat things that we are not used to, so our bodies have to adjust. We can avoid meat and other animal foods, but oil, spices, preservatives, non-nutritious salt, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, and more are not easy to identify—so we lose our health balance sometimes.

 

The trip we had this March was the cruise of Caribbean of MSC ship which also serves Holistic Holiday Cruise (they are also call macrobiotic cruises) food once a year, so we have had travel with Holistic Holiday twice before so we trusted that we’d be all right. But we were disappointed, because this time was different from what we had before. There were almost no whole grains (brown rice), leafy greens, or sea vegetables. It was definitely vegan, plant-based food, but not macrobiotic.

 

I enjoyed the trip with Eric’s mother, aunts, cousins and nephew, but I think I lost my balance doing too much. I walked too much in Jamaica, so I was exhausted, and my feet were in so much pain—but I did not rest and instead went to a recovery panel to speak. I went to the dining room, which was even colder than usual, and they served only white pasta with tomato sauce for the vegan table. I was shocked and went to my stateroom to take a hot shower, but I already had a fever of 102. Since I was a child, a fever is my body’s signal when I lose balance. Unable to eat whole grains this trip, I realized how I was not able to keep my balance. Since I could see the ocean everyday, I found a way to keep my balance through my meditation.

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With Eric’s mom, her sisters, and brother-in-law.

 

I was so happy to be home and welcomed by our dog and cat family. I am now taking time to recover from losing my health balance this time. I realized once again that the purest foods we can prepare are in our own kitchen. Whole grains are most important for a macrobiotic life.

Here are blogs I wrote about blogs with recipes:

Traditional Brown Rice Cooking without a Rice Cooker (well-cooked brown rice)

How Many Whole Grains Do you know Besides Brown Rice?

 

My goal for 2017 is not to push too much, so I postponed the pickle-making class—but I hope to offer it soon.

Here is a pickle recipe blog for you, in case you were looking forward to coming to the pickle-making class.

 

With gratitude to be healthy and happy!

—Sanae

Red Radish & Wakame Pressed Pickle Salad

Wakame red radish ume pressed salad CR 650

Eating sour taste with fermented foods which have enzyme helps to detox your liver and gallbladder. (Liver and Gallbladder is active in spring time)

Liver and Gallbladder is active in springtime by Oriental medicine.

Making quick pressed pickles and eat as a salad is perfect for this season.

650 Red radish

Red Radishes with Leafy Greens from Santa Monica Farmers Market

 

Here is the recipe for you (You can use this recipe for your dog’s meal also, but take out umeboshi plums!)

Red radish and Wakame Pressed Pickle Salad

Makes: Two servings

1/4 cup soaked wakame sea vegetable, cut small

2 cups thinly sliced red radishes with the leafy greens

1~2 umeboshi plums – make a paste with knife

pickle presser or plate with rocks

 

  1. Soak the wakame till it gets soft. Cut the wakame bite size.
  1. Place the sliced red radishes with small cut the greens in a bowl and add the Wakame over
  1. Add umeboshi plum paste to the wakame and red radishes with the greens and mix very well.
  1. Place them into a pickle presser and put the top on to apply pressure or place a plate which fit to press to the bowl and put rocks to press.
  1. Allow sitting about 1~3 hours. Remove them and squeeze out excess liquid and taste.
  1. Arrange attractively in a serving dish.

 

650 Main Coast Wakame

Wakame from Maine Seaweed

 

Variation: Use daikon, Chinese cabbage or your favorite vegetables.

These pickles salad is even more delicious if aged for 2-3 days. It will keep about 1-2 weeks if stored in the refrigerator. Pickles aid digestion, strengthen the intestines and increase the appetite.

 

Bon Appetit!

Love, Sanae

Healing Elderberry Tea

elderberry Tea side © 650

Elderberry has so many benefits for us.  Antioxidant activity to lower cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune system, improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. Sauce: http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-elderberry.html

I never saw real Elderberries till we went to North Fork, California.

Since all the commercial Elderberry Tea/Syrup has sugar and I did not find dried Elderberries in any stores. Thanks for Linda in North Fork to gave me her Elderberries two years ago first time so I could make it my own. She also told me how to make it too.

When I first tasted it I felt so healing earthy taste and I could tell my cough will be gone very quickly.

It is delicious and simple to make it. If you like you can add rice syrup and is made with dried elderberries, herbs and spices.

It is super immune-boosting.
Let’s make Elderberry tea! You can purchase them

You can purchase dried Elderberries from

Mountainroseherbs &    Sunburst

 

Recipe for Simple Elderberry Tea

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces of filtered water (2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons dried elderberries
  • 1 tsp rice syrup or maple syrup (optional)

Instructions

  1. First, put the water and elderberries into a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20~30 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let it sit for 3~6 hours. This helps bring out the beneficial properties of the elderberries.
  4. Finally, strain through a fine mesh strainer and heat it up and pour into individual mugs.
  5. If you want to have sweetener then add rice syrup or maple syrup.
elder1

Photo: Beautiful Elderberry

 

Hope you enjoy homemade elderberry tea!

 

Love, Sanae 💖

Furofuki Daikon

650 Furofuki Daikon ©

Daikon means “big” (dai) “root” (kon) in Japanese. It is a big white radish you see at Asian markets and most health stores and farmers’ markets now.

 

When I was a child, up to 20 years old, I did not like to eat daikon unless it was made like spicy kimchee pickles. But my mother said, “Don’t worry: I did not like to eat daikon, either. I love them now, so you will love eating them when you grow up.” She was right.

 

Now, daikon is one of my favorite vegetables. Daikon grows in spring, summer and autumn/winter, but I love the autumn/winter (the end of October to February) ones the best. Many different kinds of daikon are available in America. Each has a slightly different taste, and the harvesting season also affects the taste. I think the summer daikons are a little bitter and winter ones are sweeter, but you can taste and find out for yourself.

 

Daikon helps eliminate excess water and animal fats from the body and has a wide range of medicinal uses. It also aids in the digestion of whole grains and vegetables. Here’s a quick breakdown of the health benefits:

 

Health Benefits of Daikon

Respiratory Health: The combination of antibacterial and antiviral activity with the expectorant properties of daikon and daikon juice make it ideal for clearing up respiratory symptoms. Daikon juice not only clears out phlegm, but also eliminates bacteria and other pathogens, keeping your respiratory system healthy.

Digestive Health: Daikon juice has been shown to possess enzymes similar to those found in the human digestive tract, including amylase and esterase.

Detoxification: Daikon has a diuretic benefit; it helps keep the kidneys clean and functioning at a high level by stimulating the elimination of excess toxins, fats, and even water through urination.

Cancer Prevention: Daikon not only has a high nutrient content, but it also possesses certain antioxidant phenolic compounds that have been shown to reduce various types of cancer, particularly of the stomach.

Immune System: The high concentration of vitamin C in daikon makes it an ideal partner for your immune system.

Anti-Inflammatory Action: Research has found that the level of anti-inflammatory compounds in daikon juice and the normal roots and leaves can significantly decrease inflammation throughout the body, lower the chance of developing arthritis, treat gout, and ease discomfort and pain from injuries and strained muscles.

Bone Health: Daikon is a rich source of calcium, which is essential for bone health. If you are at risk for developing osteoporosis or are beginning to feel the pain of your age, adding some daikon and calcium to your diet can definitely improve your conditions and slow the natural aging process.

Weight Loss: It is low in calories and contains no cholesterol, but it’s high in fiber and nutrient content, making it a weight-loss aid. It fills you up and gives you essential nutrients for your day without significantly boosting the number of consumed calories or cholesterol in your diet.

Skin Health: The antioxidant properties of daikon help to prevent the effects of free radicals, the harmful byproducts of cellular metabolism. So, you can use daikon juice or a slice of daikon for bug bites and other skin irritations.

A Word of Warning: Some evidence suggests that daikon and other radish varieties shouldn’t be eaten by people with gallstones. Other than that, daikon is not commonly known as an allergen and is generally considered healthy for anyone.

Source: Organic Facts

 

Furofuki Daikon (Simmered Daikon) Recipe

From Love, Sanae

650 Plant Based School Furofuki Daikon 700

 

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

 

8 rounds (each 3/4″ thick) daikon radish

2 strips (each 7″ long) kombu

4–5 tablespoons tamari

2–3 tablespoons sesame seeds, washed

2 tablespoons barley miso

4–5 cups spring water

 

  1. Put the kombu in a pot; layer the daikon on top.
  2. Add water to half-cover the daikon, and bring it to a boil.
  3. Add 1–2 tablespoons tamari for each cup of water. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until daikon is tender, about 30–40 minutes.
  4. To make sesame-miso sauce, dry-roast the sesame seeds in a heavy skillet over medium-­high heat, until lightly toasted and fragrant. Stir constantly.
  5. Place toasted seeds in a suribachi and grind to a paste.
  6. Blend in miso, and thin the mixture with 2–3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid.
  7. Serve the daikon topped with the sesame-miso sauce.

 

Enjoy!

Love, Sanae 💖

New Year Recipe: Omedetou

Azuki bean's sprout is so cute! 小豆の芽が出て可愛い!

In the macrobiotic world, azuki bean congee has a special name: omedetou.

(Azuki beans are strengthing beans and the sprout is beautiful as the front photo.)

The word means “congratulations” and is used especially in the New Year and for happy occasions like having a baby, passing a big exam, etc. George Ohsawa (founder of the macrobiotic philosophy) named azuki bean congee omedetou for when you get well from illness. Eating this porridge in the New Year will help you have a positive mind.

 

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photo: Omedetou in my cat rice bowl

 

Makes 4 servings

 

1 cup brown rice

½ cup azuki beans

5–10 cups purified water

1″ square kombu sea vegetables昆布 (2cmx2cm)1枚

Roasted sesame seeds

 

Pressure Cooker Method:

  1. Wash the rice gently, about three times. Roast till golden brown. Wash the azuki beans and remove pebbles, etc.
  2. Place the rice and beans in the pressure cooker. Add the water and kombu, cover, and heat over a medium-high flame.
  3. When the pressure is up, turn the flame to simmer and cook for 60 minutes.
  4. Remove from the flame and wait till the pressure is down.
  5. Serve with roasted sesame seeds.

 

Non-Pressure Method:

  1. Wash the rice gently, about three times. Roast till golden brown. Wash the azuki beans and remove pebbles, etc.
  2. Place the rice and beans in a stainless or ceramic pot, add water, and heat over a medium-high flame.
  3. When it starts to boil, add the kombu, cover, turn the flame to simmer, and cook for 2 hours.
  4. Remove from the flame, and wait till the pressure is down.
  5. Serve with roasted sesame seeds.

 

Enjoy your omedetou and chew well!

Love,

Sanae💖