This fresh rosehip & herb infusion was inspired by a tea provided by Marco at Sextantio, the boutique hotel set in the Medici town of Santo Stefano di Sessanio in Abruzzo. Now Marco’s tea had some 22 herbs gathered across the Gran Sasso Mountains, mostly in the Teramo province, which is where I sit today, but when you have a cold the last thing you feel like is scrambling around high meadow pastures no matter how beautiful, so instead this is a slimmed down version of his Rosehip creation with all the flavours of Abruzzo, but which can also be re-created easily outside Abruzzo!
Rosehips are hedgerow’s power rangers , growing right across the Northern Hemisphere and boosting our immune systems with more Vitamin C than any citrus fruit. Stuffed with antioxidants and other equally strange ‘noids’ Rosehips boost the immune system, enhance circulation and can be used as an alternative to cranberry juice. As their berries, also known as hulls, change into their bright autumn suits, we should really make the most of harvesting them to prepare for the bi-annual unwelcome onset of colds. Unlike their pharmaceutical cousins, rosehip infusions don’t cost the earth in their excess packaging nor require transportation.
Next in the infusion comes Rosemary, first herb of Abruzzo which is noted for its qualities that work the memory… perfect when your brain is feeling befuddled and more cotton-woolly rather than Einstein-esque. Thyme is famous for dilating bronchial tubes and making a watery slightly runnier mucus, I know it sounds gross but that is a perfect antidote for those who are tired of blowing their sore little nose. Melissa better known as Lemon Balm is the final ingredient; it looks like mint but smells of lemon and helps soothe & calm and make things look a whole lot better when you’re feeling completely rubbish; in particular, it’s great for frazzled nerve endings from ear ache and toothache the result of inflamed sinuses.
2 tablespoons of fresh or dried rosehip hulls
1 Sprig of Rosemary
1 Sprig of Thyme
4 Melissa Leaves
Add all the ingredients into a ceramic or glass teapot to seep with boiling water for 10 minutes
Drain using a sieve or tea-strainer
Add honey according to taste if needed
Rosehips – Cinorrodo
Dog Rose – Rosa canina
Lemon Balm – Melissa
Rosemary – Rosemarino
Thyme – Timo