Rose, Wild - Rosa spp.

Ethnobotanical Uses

(from American Meadows)


Recipe: Fried Tofu with Sweet-Spicy Rose Hip Sauce

"It seems like the hot peppers in my garden are ready at just about the same time as the rose hips, so why not try them out together. To make the sauce, combine 1/2 cup rose hips (fresh or dry) with 3 cups water; simmer for about 10 minutes Remove from heat, and smash the rose hips so the seeds pop out. Simmer for 10 minutes more; remove from heat.

Strain liquid to remove the seeds. Return liquid to a saucepan. Add a few hot peppers, diced. The amount varies depending on how spicy the pepper is and how spicy you want the sauce to be. Add 1 heaping tablespoons sugar or honey; simmer all for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Mix 1/2 teaspoon organic cornstarch with a little bit of water. Add to simmering mixture, and stir in well. Sauce will thicken. Cover and turn off heat.

Variation: Add a dash of soy sauce, fish sauce, and some ginger while simmering.

Slice extra-firm tofu into large slices about 1/2" thick. Heat skillet with 1/8" to 1/4" olive or canola oil to medium-high. Flick a drip of water on the hot oil., The oil is ready if it sputters on contact. Fry tofu on each side until browned and firm. Remove from heat.

Serve tofu on a bed of chopped lettuce, and pour plenty of rose hip sauce over tofu. Sprinkle some shopped green onions on top.

Rose hips (fruits) and flowers can be eaten raw, cooked, or dried. Flowers make a nice garnish for sweets and salads. Rose hips are used as a base for rose hip jam (champe). (Morgan 215)

"Rose petals may be eaten alone as a trail nibble, added to salads, teas, jellies and wines or candied. Rose leaves, roots, and peeled twigs have also been used in teas. Buds, young shoots and young leaves may be eaten raw or cooked."(Kershaw 72)


"Rose hips are rich in vitamins A,B,E and K, and 3 hips can contain as much vitamin C as an orange. --- Stem or root bark tea was taken to relieve diarrhea or stomach upset and to reduce labor pain. It was also used as an eye wash for treating snow-blindness. Root decoctions were used in hot compresses for reducing swelling, were gargled to treat mouth bleeding, tonsillitis and sore throat or were mixed with sugar to make a syrup for soothing sore throats. The leaves were boiled to make a wash for strengthening babies. Rose petals were taken to relieve colic, heartburn, headaches and mouth sores. They were also ground and mixed with grease to make a salve for mouth sores or mixed with wine to make a medicine for relieving earaches, toothaches and uterine cramps. Cooked seeds were eaten to relieve sore muscles." (Kershaw 72)

"A good treatment for diarrhea; five to ten flowers or buds steeped in hot water for twenty minutes and drink as often as needed, generally every two or three hours, beginning at least twelve hours after the onset. --- Rose buds are also one of the safest and most widely used eyewashes, acting as a mild astringent, giving tone to the tissues, and shrinking capillary inflammation and redness. Two or three flowers, steeped in a half cup of water until it reaches body temperature and then strained well, is sufficient." (Moore 141-2)

Other Uses:

"Fruits can also be used to make necklaces and garlands." (Morgan 215)

"Dried rose petals have a lovely fragrance and have been used in potpourri. The inner bark was sometimes smoked like tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), and the roots were boiled to make hair rinse. Pithy stems were occasionally used for pipe stems or arrow shafts. Rose sprigs were hung on cradle boards to keep ghosts away from babies and on the walls of haunted houses and in graves to prevent the dead from howling." (Kershaw 72)

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