Saturday, June 6, 2009

Rosehip Tea

Spring seems quite elusive around here. Temperatures up to the 80s during the day followed by a drop to the wintry 40s at night are not so unusual lately. With bare arms, I avidly soak up every ray of sun nearby when out for my evening walks, only to swathe myself in woolly sweaters hours later. This seasonal aberration also sneaks into my work-life. The flu in June? Not likely to happen as most cases occur in winter and at the latest, in early April. But this year is different, in part, due to the swine flu. Precautions abound at the clinic: I don the snug-fitting mask -which occludes my nostrils and seems to imminently cut off air to my lungs- when encountering a patient who has suspicious respiratory symptoms. This mandate from the Health Department is assiduously complied by the clinic, and my patient and I find ourselves awkwardly separated by matching paper masks as we greet each other.

With this miasma of porcine hysteria about me, I recently unearthed a long-forgotten jar of dry Jamaican rosehips from the nether regions of my dedicated tea-shelf. It languished, unopened and tucked between a flask of Spanish olive oil and a bottle of Haitian rum. I took this find to be a clarion call to preventative health -naturopath-style. Rosehips (also called rose haws), pods culled from the bases of rose petals, are purportedly rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants. Perhaps, by imbibing their essence in a tisane, I would ward off all sorts of air-borne ailments floating about.

So I did exactly that and brewed 20 or so pods of the haws in several cups of boiling water and left the pot to simmer for 15 minutes. This process yielded a ruby-red liquor with a tangy bite to it, very reminiscent of of Celestial Seasonings' Red Zinger tea- a not surprising revelation as rosehips is listed as the second ingredient on the packaging of this esteemed bagged herbal tea. Brewing the tea was my concession to lingering Winter, and as I refused to admit defeat altogether, I tossed a springtime salad to accompany my brew.

Baby spinach with generous amounts of julienned carrots and a handful of sun-dried tomatoes were drizzled with a pear-vinaigrette dressing. Topped with pan-fried tofu and sprinkled with fresh Parmesan cheese, this salad was a hearty one-dish meal.

Stopping short of muttering Rastafarian incantations, I dutifully sipped my cup of rosehip tea between bites of the crunchy greens.


Veri-Tea said...

I love rosehip tea - am a bit sceptical about its vitamin C benefits as a hot infusion, though, given that vitamin C is destroyed by heating. Cold infusions might work better from this aspect perhaps. Still, I'm sure there are many other beneficial qualities lurking around in there as well!

Stay well Cha Sen!

Cha sen said...

Hi Veri-Tea,

It was fun to brew the tea -I felt like one of the witches from Macbeth,stirring the pot of the rosehip infusion :)