Not many people know about Secwepemc words, but most people understand the meaning of these messages through feeling, common sense, and drawing. Nature gives us everything for free, and we should take care of Her.

The Tk‘emlúpsemc, ‘the people of the confluence’, now known as the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc are members of the Interior-Salish Secwepemc (Shuswap) speaking peoples of British Columbia.

The Shuswap or Secwepemc (pronounced suh-wep-muhc) people occupy a vast territory of the interior of British Columbia. This traditional territory stretches from the Columbia River valley along the Rocky Mountains, west to the Fraser River, and south to the Arrow Lakes. Most Secwepemc people live in the river valleys.

According to Janice Billy (2015), Secwepemc has a long tradition of storytelling. Traditional stories, or stsptekwle, include the history, landforms, and cultural practices and beliefs of the Secwepemc and share valuable teachings with younger generations. All Secwepemc stories have a close relation with mother nature and positive or good spirits.

The Secwepemc believe that when the world was just beginning it was not a very good place for people to live, there were floods, fires, and great winds; therefore, the Old One (Tqelt Kukwpi7) sent Coyote (Sek’lep) to come to earth and help to set things right.

Kukwpi7 is what Chiefs were called in Secwepemc. The Kukwpi7s role is to work for the people and ensure that the lands and resources were protected for future generations. They did not stand above the people but walked side by side with them.

What does nature give us for free?

Everything humans have needed to survive, and thrive, was provided by the natural world around us: food, water, medicine, materials for shelter, and even natural cycles such as climate and nutrients from soil. In accordance with the Gaia Hypothesis, taking care of mother nature continuously can be done by feeding the earth through composting and vermicomposting activities using leftover organic waste around us together with the soil creatures such as earthworms and beneficial soil microbes.

It’s a great pleasure for me and our team at Burnaby Red Wigglers to supply over 25 thousand hard worker employees of the red wigglers (compost worms), also worm cocoons (compound eggs) and worm castings (vermicompost) for the education and gardening at the Neskonlith Education Center, Chase, British Columbia this late Spring, which is in coincidence with the Earth Day 2022.

I have just received good news from them that their red wigglers are doing great. All the best. Kukwstsétsemc (thank you).

-Bintoro Gunadi-

The Cascade Range or Cascades are a mountain range of western North America, extending from southern British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to northern California. There are 18 major mountains along the Cascades: with the total 4375 names of the mountains. The highest peak in the range is Mount Rainier in Washington at 14,411 feet (4,392 m) above sea level.

It was a great pleasure for me to see from above the ice caps near Vancouver area at the southern part of British Columbia, along with the fertile volcanic soil and running fresh water this Summer. It is called the Cascadian bioregion. A bioregion is defined in terms of the unique overall pattern of natural characteristics to support living creatures that are found in a specific place.

What does it mean? The ice caps will continue to supply one of the clearest and cleanest drinking waters around the globe. The volcanic soil will continue to produce the most fertile soil that supports all plants and animals to grow and reproduce. The mountains will continue to create breezy and cooler air naturally.

Can you imagine, near the Cascadian bioregion, in the ocean, there is a tectonic plate called the Pacific plate that can wipe off anything and everything in the water and on the land? The Pacific plate is the largest Oceanic tectonic plate under the Pacific Ocean with the size of 103,300,000 square kilometers.

Along with the Pacific plates in the ocean, the Cascades volcanoes are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the ring of volcanoes and associated mountains around the Pacific Ocean. The Cascade Volcanoes have erupted several times in recorded history. Two most recent were Lessen Peak in 1914 to 1921 and a major eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. It is also the site of Canada’s most recent major eruption about 2,350 years ago at the Mount Meager massif.

As the climate of the Pacific Northwest regions is awesome, the human population is increasing. I hope human disturbance together with global warming are under control; not to trigger the disasters especially during the end of this pandemic. Let us protect and keep them well the soil fertility and productivity, clear and clean water, and air.

The first photo by Young Susanti was taken beside the author above British Columbia, Canada this week. The second map by NASA World Wind.    

-Bintoro Gunadi

One of my close friends, my mentor Cornelius Blomberg (Cees) passed away peacefully a few years ago. He once said that he must have been dead 70 years ago as a teenager in a Japanese prison camp in Semarang, Central Java during World War II. While in Japanese internment, he saw many Dutch friends, family and soldiers starving, falling ill, and dying. Several prisoners remained healthy and survived because they dared to eat tempeh, almost every day.

For those of you who have studied at the exact science faculties (biology, agriculture, science and mathematics, electrical engineering) at the Satya Wacana Christian University, Salatiga Indonesia, you may have heard some of his guest lectures on issues of global pollution and environmental chemistry in the nineties. He was professor of organic chemistry at the University of Botswana and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Cees RIP at 90 years old.

Tempeh is a traditional food made from fermented soybeans. Tempeh was once underestimated even though it is popular and becomes a healthy food in foreign countries. It is a popular vegetarian meat replacement. Unlike other soybean-based foods, such as soy sauce, soybean paste, tofu from China or natto and miso from Japan or meju from Korea, tempeh or soybean cake is originally from Indonesia, especially from Java.

When I was kid, I almost misunderstood when I heard Bung Karno, the first president of Indonesia in his speech said: “…don’t be a soft nation like tempeh…”. Soft tempeh will not last long because the fermentation process continues, it becomes easy to rot (with black spores, semangit in Javanese), and the nutrition is decreased.

The preferred tempeh is the one that its fermentation process is stopped at the right time. When the soybean seeds have been boiled, the texture is still clearly glued and covered by the white mat fungus Rhizopus oligosporus, for a moment it has not yet produced dark colored spores. Harvested when the aroma is appetizing and accompanied by consistent nutrition facts.

For someone who eats tempeh for the first time, they will prefer tempeh that is dry, has a clear shape and texture. So, there is no impression that the food is the result of a fermentation or decomposition process which is the initial stage of the decay process.

For people who like healthy fermented foods, all fermented products that are controlled, clean, and are not contaminated, either those that produce alcohol or organic acids or both, and single cell protein like tempeh, in sufficient quantities will definitely benefit the body.

This is because fermented products such as tempeh are modern human innovations that were not previously experienced by early humans, so that their nutritional content is different from foods that can be eaten directly and are good for supplementing health in this pandemic.

The benefits of tempeh started as a source of highly nutritious protein originating from single cells (microbes), as a probiotic to help the digestive system, antioxidants, strengthen bones, lower cholesterol, and to supply the hormone estrogen which have been widely reported scientifically.

Some time ago, I was worried when I heard that the price of soybeans in Indonesia was almost the same, or even higher than the price of soybeans abroad and many were imported from the United States. Hopefully there will be no tempeh recession because tempeh has been helping many people to be healthy.

Tempeh, along with other fermented soy products, are generally considered safe for most people. However, some individuals may want to consider limiting their intake of tempeh. Those with a soy allergy should avoid tempeh altogether, because tempeh may trigger an allergic response.

Information about the photos: our raw or fresh tempeh and stir fry tempeh with green beans, and the nutrition facts of tempeh according to the FoodData Central USDA.

-Bintoro Gunadi

The education for youths, especially regarding the environment, is increasingly important to think about together to solve the environmental problems at this new normal. Many references state that in the past, our grandparents, our ancestors, cared more about the environment. Maybe that’s true, even though the conditions in the past were much different from now. This is mainly because the human population was not too dense, the peoples were not so consumptive, pollution and environmental damage were not as bad as now, and global warming had not been felt at that time.

One of the big problems in today’s environment is that there is too much waste all around us. In fact, if we, as well as the younger generation, care about this problem, a solution will be found from the beginning. Especially for organic waste from our kitchen as well as paper waste from our table. We can solve the problem with 3Rs + 1 more R: reduce, reuse, recycle, plus renew it with composting – vermicomposting in situ or on site.

Compared to conventional composting with high temperature (thermophilic), vermicomposting is an aerobic process at a cool room temperature (mesophilic). The advantage of vermicomposting is that organic waste can be broken down faster by red wigglers or compost worms with less pollution. The finished product of worm castings or vermicompost is much better in quality because the thermophilic composting will destroy the nutrients and beneficial soil microbe’s activities.

The process of vermicomposting or composting using compost worms or red wigglers with their friends the beneficial soil microbes (all called decomposers) is simple. The kitchen waste mostly consists of the green and brown waste. The green waste which is rich in nitrogen and nutrients can be used to feed the worms. The brown waste or any paper waste as a carbon source will absorb the excess water. Both will be turned into vermicompost or worm castings that are useful for all plants, especially for creating living soil to support the organic farming or the natural way of farming.

Educating the younger generation to care more about the environment is the key to getting a better environment. After they are aware of environmental problems, for example regarding our kitchen waste and paper waste, then the next step is to provide examples of technical problem solving that are easy to apply, fun, and supported by science so that they can develop.

This is expected to form a critical, caring, responsible attitude from the new generation. One of the fun environmental care activities is vermiculture, raising compost worms and soil microorganisms that are useful for processing kitchen waste and paper. This activity has been around for a long time and naturally occurs in nature.

Worm composting is getting more popular because the red wigglers and their microbes friends increase the speed of composting in cool room temperature, produce high value of vermicompost for plants and worm biomass or protein for animal feed and fishing.

Household vermiculture – vermicomposting is a simple closed system and can be easily started by following 3 steps.

1.Making or getting a worm bin

One or two containers in the stalk can be used. The container should be at least with a surface area of 2 X 1 feet and about one feet or 30 cm depth with some holes at the bottom, side, and lid. At start, about one square foot surface area is needed for about a pound of kitchen waste per week.

2.Preparing the bedding

Moist bedding can be made of mature compost, which is rich in organic matter, plus shredded paper, untreated sawdust, leaf mold, peat moss, coco coir or other rich carbon resources waste. Ideally if we squeeze a handful of moist bedding, we should only be able to squeeze a few drops of water. It means the moisture content of the bedding is about 75 – 80% with a cool room temperature 15 – 25°C.

3.Adding the red wigglers

Red wigglers Eisenia andrei or Eisenia fetida are the most common compost worms to be used for vermiculture – vermicomposting. To determine the number of worms needed to populate the bin, provide two handfuls of worms or about ~500 worms or about a pound including their former home worm castings. The feeding is about once a week, it depends on how fast the worms adapt with the new environment.

The photo is courtesy of Megan Sutherland, Wix-Brown Elementary, Langley, British Columbia. One of her students during the worm composting class said: “I don’t like worms, but this is epic!”

-Bintoro Gunadi

The Japanese tradition of bonsai does not include indoor bonsai, most of them have been grown outdoors for their entire life. Traditionally, bonsai are temperate climate trees grown outdoors in containers. Kept in the artificial environment of a home, these trees weaken and die.

In less traditional settings, including climates more severe than Japan’s, indoor bonsai may appear in the form of potted trees cultivated for the controlled indoor environment. Numbers of tropical and subtropical tree species will survive and grow slowly indoors with a special care in the small containers.

Both indoor and outdoor bonsai mostly grow in loose soil with a fast-draining mix of components. The art of creating bonsai is to produce small trees that mimic the shape of real-life trees. Basically, people torture the plant to be bonsai dwarf tree by controlling the supply of their nutrients, adjusting the branches, and clipping the leaves.

I am wondering if the origin of bonsai copied the growth of the dwarf trees on the dead woods or rocks in nature with very limited supply of nutrients. So, in combination with just enough supply of water and harsh weather, nature creates the long-life dwarf tree out of its comfort zone with an artistic and old performance as shown in the photo.

The oldest tree in the world is a species of Methuselah pine tree (Pinus longaeva) that can live for 5 thousand years even though it grows in the highlands, on very barren soil. The plant fasts until it rains, is sturdy, can withstand the wind, and there is always a dead and alive part on the tree.

Natural or organic fertilizers should be better to be used for the bonsai than artificial or chemical fertilizers. One of the alternatives is using black gold, worm castings or vermicompost to support the healthy bonsai. The advantages of the vermicompost are not because it contains high amounts of macronutrients (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S) and micronutrients (Fe, Zn, Cu, Mn, Mo, B, Cl, Ni) like artificial or chemical fertilizers, but on its unique properties.

Worm castings contain available and slow-release nutrients, humic substances or humates as important components of organic matter, plant growth regulators, and beneficial soil microbes that can suppress the plant pathogens. In addition, worm castings diluted in the water or worm castings teas can be more efficient and effective to support the healthy growth of the old bonsai with strong rooting systems that can live for more than a thousand years.

Please contact if anyone needs fresh organic worm castings or vermicompost for boosting your bonsai and other exotic plants.

-Bintoro Gunadi 

It is said that the famous Tieguanyin oolong tea, the leaves are picked by monkeys and then given to the humans who care for them. The best green tea is from the plant Camellia sinensis var. sinensis which tastes fresh, comes from China and Japan. Meanwhile, the best black tea is from the Camellia sinensis var. assamica, which tastes bitter because of the high tannin content and becomes firm when a little burnt, comes from the highlands of Assam in India and Java in Indonesia.

One of the most famous tea leaves in the world, its name Da Hong Pao is picked from the oldest tea plant which is more than 300 years old grown in the Wuji Mountains of Fujian. That tea plant grows on the sidelines of barren rocks, like a bonsai that can withstand natural selection. The processing technique of this oolong tea dated back to the Ming Dynasty.

In Yunnan South China, the assamica variety tea shoots are made of Pu Erh tea which is fermented twice as much, taking up to hundreds of years to process. It tastes like earth and is dark reddish in color. The Yunnan area is historically the origin of the first immigrants to the Malay Archipelago or maritime Southeast Asia.

In Indonesia, generally, the tea plant of the assamica variety is the most delicious to make black tea and drink it with rock sugar. This creation is proven to increase the consumption and production of black tea. This contrasts with the tradition of Yunnan. Its natural bitter tea flavor was introduced by the famous physician Hua Tuo in the story of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguozhi Yanyi). “The bitter taste of tea forms a good and healthy mentality.”

Learning from nature and apes, white tea is picked from the youngest tea leaves. The white tea can be made of ​​any tea variety chinensis or assamica. The most important thing is that the young leaf is not yet open and thin like a needle, still fluffy, and has a smooth white color. So, the production of white tea is very limited. One the most expensive of the white teas is Bai Hao Yin Zhen (Silver Needle) which is produced in Fujian province in China.

White tea leaves are soft, naturally sweet, and have a distinct aroma from green, oolong, black or red teas. The antioxidant content is the highest among the other types of teas. Brewing it using water before boiling, the color of the brew is clear. Sipping it lightly so you can feel its distinctive aroma and taste. Its soft pulp is still edible and healthy.

Recently I specially brewed three kinds of white tea from three plantations in West Java: Mount Satria, Sambawa, and Cukul. I visited those plantations at the end of the last millennium, where I touched the leaves and fertilized the roots with the “black gold” vermicompost or worm castings. The white tea collections on the photo were given by my dear brother who is involved in the management and development of the tea plantations.

The tea plantations showed promise after the application of the worm castings in combination with reducing the artificial (inorganic, synthetic or chemical) fertilizers. It is because the tea plants produced healthier leaves (bright green color) and tended to increase the production of the new tea leaves.

Hopefully, drinking white tea regularly can nourish the body and the mind remains clear, shiny metallic like millennium color, while still in the hard time or new normal in this pandemic. Cheers!

-Bintoro Gunadi

This article is to honor my first team in large-scale vermicomposting of the tea leaves waste using compost worms or red wigglers (Eisenia andrei and Eisenia fetida) in Java 25 years ago (1996 – 1998). The simple vermiculture technology was used in the windrow either in wedge or batch methods. The bottom of the floors was installed with blowers to keep the bedding breezy and spraying water was needed during the hot and dry seasons. Harvesting and separating the worms and the worm castings including the worm cocoons were done using worms and castings harvester.

There were worm stocks for the vermiculture started from worm cocoons, juveniles, and adult worms in the laboratory. The reasons of having vermiculture stock was for supplying the vermicomposting activities (as a part of waste management) and for doing trials of the life cycle of the red wigglers using different feedstocks available at the location such as paper waste from the office and production of making tea drink, jasmine flowers waste (after the flowers used overnight to create the aroma of the tea drink), and other potential organic wastes from the garden and kitchen.

Explanation of the photos (from left top-bottom and right top-bottom):

About 1 ton of wet tea leaves waste was produced per day. The tea leaves were produced after boiling to make tea drink in the bottle. The tea leaves waste was then pressed using a hydraulic press to reduce the water content to about 80%.  

Pre-composted or fermented tea leaves waste were used as the main feedstock of the red wigglers with the initial density about 1 kilogram of worms per square meter. In addition, thermophilic composting was used for the mixture to support the vermicompost production.

First grade fresh worm castings, worms and worm cocoons were separated using a worm harvester. The worm cocoons will go to the laboratory for intensive vermiculture. The juveniles and adult worms will be put back to the vermicomposting facility.

The worm castings were returned to tea plantations as an environmentally friendly approach of the company. Most of the tea plantations that used chemical fertilizers before, started using organic worm castings to improve the living soil. The tea plants showed better growth, produced brighter and better (quantity and quality) leaves in a short time after the application of the worm castings.

The application of the worm castings or vermicomposts on the tea plantation is labor intensive. Most of the tea plantations are located about 1000 meter above sea level. Worm casting or vermicompost teas after diluted in the water is a right alternative to save time, energy, and cost. Moreover, the application of the castings tea to the tea plant is more efficient and effective to increase the tea production.

I visited the tea composting facilities and the tea plantations in Java before the pandemic. They are still operating. I hope that drinking tea regularly in this new normal will increase the body and herd immunity. Cheers!

Please visit the Portfolio at our website to see the detailed photo about the indoor facilities of the vermiculture-vermicomposting of the tea leaves waste in Java.

The trials on the growth and reproduction of the red wigglers fed by tea leaves waste in the tropic, succession of beneficial decomposers, and the quality of the worm castings can be read in the book Vermiculture Technology: Earthworms, Organic Waste and Environmental Management (2011). Edited by Clive Edwards et al., CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, London. In Chapter 30: The Status of Vermicomposting in Indonesia.

It is a great pleasure for me to present this article and photos for my number 100 articles in our blog.

-Bintoro Gunadi

Most of the earthworms can survive during the freezing weather. The temperature below the soil surface is always several degrees warmer than the air temperature or ambient temperature. The large size (21 – 30 cm) deep-burrowing earthworm species (anecic earthworms) and medium size (11 – 20 cm) upper-soil earthworm species (endogeic earthworms), burrow deeper during the winter because they cannot survive at the temperature below -1 °C. Amazingly, their compound eggs or cocoons are able to survive at -5 °C.

During Winter most anecic and endogeic earthworms stay in their burrows. They are coiled into a slime-coated ball and go into a sleep state or hibernation (like in large mammals) called estivation. The mucus or slime on the surface of the earthworm body in coil position, keeps the earthworms from drying up. The adult earthworms will survive in frozen and dry soils by estivation until conditions improve. Some species of earthworms lay their cocoons before the peak of the winter as their cocoons are more resistant to freezing temperatures than the adult earthworms

The small size (8 – 10 cm) epigeic earthworms or compost worms have different mechanisms against the freezing winter. They are called surface-soil litter or near the compost heap of green and brown wastes compost worm species, which cannot penetrate the soil. So, they have a special mechanism to pass the cold hardiness in freezing temperatures below -5 °C. It was reported by the scientific research that compost worms or red wigglers, mostly Eisenia fetida and Eisenia andrei, produce antifreeze agent during the peak of the Winter.

The studies of the cold hardiness in relation to the supercooling point (SCP) of the compost worms have been reported recently. The average of the SCP of the adult compost worms was -2.8 °C, while the SCP of the worm cocoons was -6.1 °C. The resistance to cold in red wiggler cocoons was not revealed under the preserved attributes of the mechanism of protective dehydration. The water content decreased in cocoons under cooling and was accompanied by the formation of the ice cover on the thick cell walls of the cocoons.

It is found that the antifreeze agent produced by juvenile and adult red wigglers, can stay longer in their bedding until the end of Spring or early Summer. It means the temperature of the bedding of the red wigglers population from Winter has a lower temperature of about 5 up to 8 °C compared to the bedding of the red wigglers from the warmer temperature in late spring or early summer. This phenomenon of the cooler temperature of the bedding with the high density of the red wigglers in the worm containers or wormeries in warmer weather, will also help the reproduction of the red wigglers in warmer climates.

It is reported that red wigglers produce lumbrokinase as an anti-blood clot enzyme to prevent their blood from being frozen. Moreover, the high density of red wigglers in the herds will keep them warmer rather than as an individual. Antifreeze agent outside the body of the compost worms, anti-blood clot lumbrokinase inside their body, heat created by the herd touching and some carbon-rich organic waste can make the compost worms population safe and thrive during the freezing winter at an ambient temperature of -15 °C or bedding temperature of above -5 °C.

Perhaps we can learn from the red wigglers to stay warm by huddling together in this Winter season in Northern Hemisphere with our loved ones. Happy Prosperous New Year 2022!

The photo of the red wigglers above was taken during the peak of winter.

PS. The cloud-like background of the image of a handful of the red wigglers in my hand is actually snow.

-Bintoro Gunadi

Physalis or ground cherry is the member of the family Solanaceae or nightshades including tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, bell and chili peppers that mostly are used for food. There are about fifty species of Physalis, most of the species are sensitive to frost, but others, such as the Physalis alkekengi, Chinese- or Japanese-lanterns, tolerate severe cold when dormant in winter. So, the plant is also called winter cherry.

The origin name of Physalis is from Ancient Greek phusallis, it means bladder because of the inflated calyx. Physalis alkekengi is native to the regions covering Southern Europe to South Asia and Northeast Asia. It is a popular ornamental plant, widely cultivated in temperate regions of the world, and very hardy to below minus 20 degrees Celsius.

This plant can be invasive with its wide-spreading root system to new shoots some distance from where it was originally planted. Physalis alkekengi seed fossils are known from the Miocene from about 23 to 5 million years ago (Ma) of Siberia and the Pliocene from about 5 to 2.5 Ma of Europe. Their pollen grains have been found in early Pleistocene sediments from about 2.5 Ma to 11,700 years ago in Norfolk (East of England) and Germany.

As a natural preservation, winter cherry fruit and seeds are inside “the cage” of calyx or sepals of a flower. It is a brilliant strategy of the plant to preserve the seeds during the winter, until the inflated calyx will open naturally in spring.

No wonder in later life Charles R. Darwin said he wished he had called his theory natural preservation, rather than natural selection, as a driving force of evolution. Recently, Edward O. Wilson in his book The Meaning of Human Existence (2014) proposed the use of term volitional selection in order to direct human evolution. Humans are about to abandon natural selection, the process that created us, in order to direct our own evolution (volitional evolution).

Every stage of natural preservation may have different meanings: bright red calyx as a warning color, early decomposition of the skin to show-off the best taste of the fruit, clean-up the vein for the purity, and finally seeds maturity/fertility for the next generation. All parts of the plant from the root, stems, leaves, and petals are poisonous, only the fruit is edible and healthy. That is why medicine is often made.

The taste of the ripe bladder cherry fruit, especially the seed, is bitter like the gall bladder of animals. According to Eastern culture, bitterness is associated with bold behaviour, prominent or outstanding.

The traditional use of the dried fruit of Physalis alkekengi is called the golden flower in the Unani or Greek system of medicine. It is a Perso-Arabic traditional medicine as practiced in Muslim culture in South Asia and in modern day Central Asia. It can be used as diuretic, antiseptic, liver corrective, and sedative.

Like the other species members in the genus Physalis, the chemical constituents of the winter cherry contain a wide variety of physalins, a steroid is a biological active of organic compounds. Physalins can be isolated from plants and have antibacterial and antiprotozoal agents.

The photo of bladder cherries above is taken by the author. Permission is needed for the publication.

-Bintoro Gunadi

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Shakespeare.

The origin of the rose plant, which is famous for being beautiful and elegant, is from a wild rose plant that can reach few meters tall, the color is simple pink, the thorns are many and large, the age can reach hundreds of years. Wild rose flowers usually fall off easily, smell very soft, and can produce rose hips which are used for refreshing and healthy herbal tea drinks with a sweet-sour taste.

Pollination of wild roses by nature (insects and wind) is the key to success so that these plants survive as they are today. Wild roses are different from modern roses. Modern roses can be crossed and colored from genetic material of other flowers so that they can be colorful until some are blue, the flowers are thick and even have layers of petals, and deliberately short stems without thorns to make it easier for humans to enjoy. Most of the modern roses cannot produce rose hips.

Nature seems to have another purpose; hybrid roses never bear fruit even though the flowers are more durable and reproduce by stem cuttings that cannot produce roots deep in the ground. Not a seasonal dream, everything that is good for humans is not necessarily good for all creatures.

Wild rose, Rosa rugosa is the ancestor of all roses in the world. It’s native to eastern Asia and southeastern Siberia. So simple beauty (5-9 wrinkled petals), smell pure perfume (rose absolute), produce healthy fruits (rose hips). The facts about wild rose plants remind us that nature gives humans a chance to explore the benefits of the rose absolute perfume and rose hip tea; rather than enjoy the beauty and elegance of the rose flowers only.

Rose hip tea is packed with vitamins and antioxidants that may strengthen our immune system and help with weight loss. Rose hip has hard and sticky seeds inside, thorns that prick you when you go to forage them at the highest location of the plant. These are just small obstacles to stop foraging them as their medicinal benefits, as well as taste and smell, are fully worth it.

A meta-analysis of human studies examining the potential for rose hip extracts to reduce inflammation and pain. It was reported that rose hips may fight skin aging (e.g., cell longevity, skin wrinkles, moisture, and elasticity), and may protect against type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

According to FoodData Central, the nutrition facts of the rose hips per serving size 16 g or 2 tablespoons: Calories 26, carbohydrate 6 g, fiber 4 g, vitamin A 4% of the Daily Value (DV), vitamin B5 3% DV, vitamin C 76% DV, vitamin E 6% DV. According to the database from the National Institutes of Health, rose hips get their red-orange color from carotenoid pigments known as beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene. These pigments have been shown to promote skin and eye health. They are also rich in disease-fighting antioxidants, such as catechin, quercetin, and ellagic acid. A diet rich in these compounds can help lower inflammation and oxidative stress. Moreover, rose hip tea is rich in calcium, iron. magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

Prepare a rose hip tea drink as you prepare the regular tea drink. Please consult your physician if you have an allergic reaction with herbs. Special precautions and warning: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if rose hip is safe to use as medicine when pregnant or breast-feeding. Drinking the large dose of rose hip might increase the chance of getting kidney stones due to the too much vitamin C.

-Bintoro Gunadi