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How to Extract Oil From Rose Hips

rose-hips image by Maxim Lysenko from

The fruit produced by the wild rose, rose hips contain high amounts of vitamin C. Edible and containing antioxidants, rose hips are useful in a variety of applications including hair care, skin care and spa products, as well as delicious desserts, jams and syrups. Distilling the oils from fresh rose hips offers you the ability to take advantage of the essential oils for scent, flavor and the therapeutic benefits of the fruit.

Add 4 cups fresh, ripe rose hips and a gallon of distilled water to the 6-qt. stockpot.

Set the stove to a medium simmer.

Insert the mesh steaming basket into the pot, allowing it to rest just over the waterline.

Place a glass bowl in the center of the mesh basket.

Place the lid of the stockpot, upside down, onto the pot. Make sure the knob of pot handle is pointing directly over the glass bowl.

Keep the top of the lid filled with ice. The ice causes condensation inside of the pot, collecting the oils as they drip into the glass bowl.

Allow the stockpot full of rose hips to simmer until all of the water has evaporated from the pot. This takes about two hours. Turn off the stove.

Collect the dish of concentrated rose hip oil once it has cooled in the pot.

Suck the oils up with the plastic pipette and inject the oils into a glass oil vial or bottle. Secure the lid.

Month Do You Harvest Rose Hips?

Rose hips are the small, applelike fruit that forms just below rose flowers after the petals fall off. A rose hip's resemblance to an apple is no coincidence because apples and roses are in the Rosaceae family. If you don't have a forecast of frost to guide you, look for deep-red rose hips that are slightly soft when you squeeze them. Keeping an eye on your rose hips will help to prevent you from harvesting them too late. Avoid harvesting rose hips that are completely soft because they are spoiled. Harvest before the rose hips, or fruits, begin to dry out. Because rose hips have to be de-seeded before they are used -- mostly to remove the tiny hairs that surround the seeds -- large hips are superior to small hips. The Dog Rose (Rosa canina) was used by the British during World War II for its vitamin C.

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