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The Wondrous Benefits and Uses of the California Wild Rose


The California Wild Rose, Rosa californica, is a delicately scented deciduous shrub found throughout the coast, foothills, and mountains of California up to 6000 feet in elevation. It thrives around rivers and moist canyons. In California, there are three species of wild rose; Rosa californica, Rosa gymnocarpa, and Rosa woodsii.

Medicinal Use of California wild rose

The California Wild Rose, Rosa californica, is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including; vitamins A, C, and E, flavonoids, and other bio-active compounds. It is also a good source of essential fatty acids, which is unusual for a fruit.

The Chumash Indians consider the California wild rose a great herbal remedy for childhood ailments. They would crush the dried petals into a powder and apply it to the baby's bum like talcum powder to relieve skin rashes. The Chumash also made tea using the petals to help alleviate stomach pain, colic, and teething. Rose petal tea was also used as an eye wash. Both Chumash and Hispanic people living in and around Santa Barbara county still use many of these remedies today.

Foraging For Wild Rose Hips

California wild roses can be found near rivers or in moist canyons. In the forest, we have a large number of wild roses that grow nearby. In late spring, we forage for petals that are then dried and used later for several uses. In late summer to early fall, we forage the ripe fruits called "rose hips." In late fall, we harvest the dry fruits. We only harvest dry fruits if we miss out on the ripe ones. Rose hips are one of the richest sources of vitamin C. They can be eaten raw. However, there is a layer of hair around the seeds just beneath the flesh of the fruit. These irritants can cause irritation to the mouth and digestive tract if ingested.

California Rosehips

California Rosehips

When harvesting or picking rose hips, caution should be used as roses have lots of thorns. We've been pricked a time or two harvesting rose hips. It helps to twist a little before pulling and to only harvest the ones that are easy to reach. Rose hips have a delightful flavor that is both citrusy and earthy.

California Wild Rose Hips

California Wild Rose Hips

Wild Rose Hip Tea Benefits

As mentioned before, rose hips are a great source of vitamin C and have 25 times more vitamin C than oranges. Moreover, it's a great herbal tea remedy just in time for flu season. Foraging for California rose hips is becoming a lost skill, but an important one to pass on because it teaches us how to cherish, heal, and nurture ourselves. It relishes our cultural traditions and deepens our connection and relationship with nature and the rhythms of the seasons. It encourages environmental and social awareness, increases sustainability, and makes us more self-resilient.

Please let us know how you liked our California Wild Rose Hip Tea recipe, in the comments below.


California Wild Rose Hip Tea

Earthy and citrusy flavored wild rose hip tea is a great source of vitamin C and an excellent herbal remedy to take during flu season.


  • 1/4 cup Freshly Forage Wild Rose Hips ((1 Tbsp Dried Rose Hips))

  • 1 cup Boiling Water

  • 1-2 tsp Raw Organic Honey (optional)


  1. Bring water to a boil

  2. Place rose hips in a heat proof cup (smashing rose hips helps them to steep faster)

  3. Pour boiling water over rose hips and steep 15-20 mins

  4. Strain out rose hips and add your favorite sweetener

*When foraging be sure to pick at least 1-2 cups of fresh wild rose hips.

*Wash and dry the rose hips, remove leaves and stems. 

*You can also dehydrate them in a dehydrator or in the oven. When using the oven place rose hips on a parchment paper and heat for 5-7 hours at 175-200˙F. In the dehydrator, use the fruit setting and let it dehydrate overnight. 



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