November forage of the month with Ruby Taylor

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Posted Nov 20 2019 by Ruby Taylor of Native Hands
November forage of the month: rose hips

Learn how you can soothe your sore throat sugar-free with rosehip vinegar, as Ruby Taylor of Native Hands shares her November forage of the month.

This is a favourite, super-easy recipe. It comes from Hedgerow Medicine by friends Julie and Matthew Bruton-Seal. Recipes for rose hip syrup abound but if you want to preserve their goodness without using sugar this is the recipe for you. Last winter it was an invaluable remedy for colds and sore throats. It also looks beautiful and makes a lovely gift.

Foraging rosehips

You want to pick ones which are bright red (i.e. ripe), but get them before the frosts turn them mushy. Remember to only take a few from each bush and leave the rest for the animals. Wild dog-rose (Rosa canina) is the one that I use for this recipe. It has the best flavour and is easily foraged from hedgerows. It’s the one in the photos here.

Rosehip vinegar

Credit: Native Hands


Put 20 or 30 rose hips in a jar and cover with apple cider vinegar. I use organic cider vinegar with the mother. If you want to speed up the process, you can slit the skins of the hips with a sharp knife beforehand. Leave on a sunny windowsill for about a month, then strain and use. The left hand bottle in the above photo is fully seeped and ready to strain; the right hand bottle has just been made.


For sore throats, take a tablespoon in a little warm water, gargle and swallow. For colds, make a drink with a tablespoon in hot water sweetened with honey. You can also use the vinegar in salad dressings.

Find the original post on Ruby’s Native Hands blog available here.

Ruby Taylor of Native HandsAbout the author

Ruby Taylor of Native Hands has been a maker since she was knee-high, and a teacher for over 20 years. She runs popular courses in Wild Basketry and Wild Pottery using foraged materials in the woods. She has experience of a wide range of basketry techniques and also works as part of a team teaching ancient crafts and technologies.