With rosehips and elderberries, this tasty and easy-to-make oxymel is the perfect immune-boosting elixir for the fall and winter season.
If you are trying to make the most out of your summer garden, you might wonder what to do with all these rosehips. I mean, you could put them in the compost or in the trash.
I will tell you to do neither but actually harvest them and make a delicious and healthy rosehip oxymel with them.
We have some rose bushes in our garden but also in our area next to a creek. My favorite type is the native California rose, Rosa Californica. With its beautiful pink flowers, it produces massive amounts of rosehips. They do tend to be a bit on the small side. If you have cultivated rose varieties in your garden, they might produce really nice big rosehips. Either way, they are too precious to not use them!
If you have an abundance of them, you could also make a rose hip jam! However, for this oxymel recipe, you will only need a small handful of rose hips! Or you make both recipes …
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What is an Oxymel?
Until recently, I had no idea what an oxymel is.
Then I learned that “oxy” means acid and “mel” means honey in Latin indicating that oxymels have been around since Roman times.
So this is a honey-vinegar or vinegar-honey tonic. It is the perfect base for healthful additions such as herbs, spices, or fruits. And depending on its ingredients, it has various health benefits.
The more I learned about it, the more references I found to it. I was also intrigued by how quick and easy it is to make and how tasty this tart-sweet elixir is!
What are the health benefits of an Oxymel?
The health benefits of an oxymel largely depend on what you are infusing it with. As I said, you can put fruits, herbs, and spices in them. You could research what health benefits you are seeking and simply add the appropriate ingredients.
In other words, you can make this a digestive tonic – or as in this recipe, an immune-boosting elixir.
And I love that this rosehip oxymel keeps for about 6 months if stored in a cool and dark place!
Rosehip Oxymel ingredients and their health benefits
Rosehips are vitamin C powerhouses. In fact, they are one of the most concentrated sources of Vitamin C thus supporting your immune system! They also contain high levels of vitamins B and K and are full of antioxidants, making them very beneficial for heart health. High levels of compounds such as polyphenols and galactolipids help decrease inflammation. You can read more about rosehips here.
Garlic is another favorite for immune health. This common kitchen staple is also good for reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. With high levels of antioxidants, it can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. You can read more about garlic here.
Just because I happened to have some dried elderberries, I decided to throw them in this rosehip oxymel – for good measure.
They are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants that can help boost your immune system. They can also lower inflammation, decrease stress, and improve heart health. People successfully eat elderberries to prevent and lessen cold and flu symptoms. You can read more about elderberries here.
I love using raw local honey. Honey contains more beneficial compounds if it hasn’t been heated. Also, it is said that if you use local honey it can help with seasonal allergies since the bees will have collected from flowers in your area.
As with most of my recipes, the amounts and ingredients are flexible so feel free to add your favorite herbs and spices to this oxymel!
How to make the Rosehip Oxymel
First, peel the entire head of garlic. Then crush the garlic cloves and chop them coarsely. Set aside. This gives the enzymes a chance to form and ensures maximum benefits.
If you’re using fresh rosehips you can cut them in half and take the seeds out – or skip this last step. But do cut them in half. If you’re using dried rosehips, you will not have to prepare them.
Heat 12 ounces of apple cider vinegar over medium heat. Add the rosehips and elderberries, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the crushed and chopped garlic. Stir well. Put the lid back on and let this mixture cool down to room temperature.
Line a colander with cheesecloth or a paint strainer and set this in a medium bowl. When the mixture has cooled down, strain it over the bowl. You can use your hands to squeeze out every bit of its goodness. Discard all the solids.
Then, pour this liquid into a glass mason jar and measure. I ended up with about 8 ounces of liquid. Add the same amount of honey to it – for me that was about 8 ounces of honey. Stir well to incorporate the honey. Make sure to use a non-reactive lid!
- 12 oz apple cider vinegar
- 8 oz raw honey
- 1 whole head garlic
- 2 TBSP rosehips, fresh or dried
- 2 TBSP dried elderberries
- Peel the entire head of garlic. Crush the garlic cloves and chop them coarsely. Set aside. This gives the enzymes a chance to form and ensures maximum benefits.
- If using fresh rosehips you can cut them in half and take the seeds out – or skip this last step. But do cut them in half. If you're using dried rosehips, you can use them as is.
- Heat 12 onces of apple cider vinegar over medium heat. Add the rosehips and elderberries, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and add the crushed and chopped garlic. Stir well. Put the lid back back on and let this mixture cool down to room temperature.
- Line a colander with cheesecloth or a paint strainer and set this in a medium bowl. When the mixture has cooled down, strain it over the bowl. You can use your hands to squeeze out every bit of its goodness. Discard all the solids.
- Pour this liquid into a glass mason jar add 8 oz of honey to it. Stir well to incorporate the honey.
- Store in a glass bottle or jar with a non-reactive lid in a cool, dark spot for up to 6 months.
- Take 2 TBSP or a small shot glass daily to boost your immune system. You can also add this oxymel to salad dressing or drizzle over food.
How to use and take the Rosehip Oxymel
Keep your rosehip oxymel in a non-reactive jar, such as a glass mason jar, with a non-metallic lid and store it in a dark, cool place.
As an immune-booster, you can take about 2 tablespoons or a small shot glass daily.
Once you have made your rosehip oxymel, taste it. The honey makes it very palatable. Therefore, you could add this oxymel to your salad dressings or drizzle it over foods, such as buddha bowls. But really, you can drizzle it over anything you like!
Savoring the Summer Garden
This post is a collaboration with some of my blogging friends. We’re bringing your recipes and ideas for your to savor your summer garden.
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Dried rosehips: https://amzn.to/3n5yG5G
Dried elderberries: https://amzn.to/3BLyY5N
Paint strainer: https://amzn.to/3tsC4c4