Cancer Support Community: Qigong Class


When I was growing up in Japan, I had an eating disorder after 14 years old, as well as substitute codependency, which I did not know about at all that time.

I was overweight.
Most people who know me now say,
“What? You, overweight? No way,” or “I can’t imagine you were overweight.”
But yes, I was.

My height is 5’3″ (which has not changed since I was 16 years old), and my weight was 150~160 lbs. That is heavy for a Japanese teenage girl for my height.  I had big breasts, so Japanese bra did not fit my breasts so I was wearing an Italian bra size 38″ D-cup.

Can you imagine?
I can’t anymore…hahaha!


When I moved to America, I learned I have unhealthy codependency with food, cigarettes, alcohol, and later pretty heavy drugs with unhealthy people. It is a long story that maybe I will write about it someday.
But the bottom line is that 12-step programs helped me to learn I have codependency and I have a choice to live a healthy life, so I believe in support groups and communities for overcoming a problem.
We are not alone, even if we feel we are all alone here on earth.
Many times, when we go through challenges and suffering, we are living by the support of someone, always.


When I found out that I had very rare, aggressive cancer, Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) Primary non-Hodgkin of liver, I looked for support communities. Thanks to the internet, I found Cancer Support Community two miles from my house. I do not drive, so I have to take two buses to go there, or ask friends or Eric to drive for me (I do not take uber or Lift usually because of my PTSD—but I am grateful to this community.
They offer support group meetings for cancer patients and family, as well as classes in Reiki, yoga, t’ai chi, qigong, writing, and more.
I went to their orientation and took one reiki class, but after chemotherapy started, I was not able to attend any classes or meetings because I was too weak.
After I finished six rounds of chemotherapy, I’ve started to gain my strength slowly, but surely so I attended the “Time to Talk” open group meeting, “Blood Cancer” closed group meeting and “qigong class”.


Qigong class with Nalu


The only qigong class I’d taken was a long time ago in Michigan, while I was visiting friends there, so I was not sure how I’d feel or if I’d have enough strength to do it. The first time, I went with my new friend Kyoko (she found me through my blog, and we became friends). She drove for me.
I did not have the strength to do a whole class and a half, but I felt so relaxed.
I was feeling the air and seeing trees and touching the grass, which helped me feel connected to nature, even while living in the city and feel open and grateful to be alive.
I really felt this class is something that can help me now.


Nalu and Happy


It’s at Clover Park, about a third of a mile from my house, so I decided to practice walking there with one of my dogs. The distance is 5–7 minutes for most people, but it takes about 15–20 minutes for me.
I walk there and catch the last part of class now, relaxing on the grass and doing my sitting qigong (I used to do wheelchair yoga, so I felt this was familiar).
I am happy for me.
My dog, either Happy or Nalu, are so good to be there with me.
Going there helps me not to worry so much about going all the tests and the results.


People in the class are kind survivors and/or family.
The teacher, Michael Sieverts, shows how to do qigong as he demonstrates.
He does not talk much, but I feel his passion and light of his strength.
He said, “My diagnosis was in 2000: a mixed glioma, right frontal lobe, stage 3. Resection, radiation, and chemo. No treatments since 11/2002. No recurrence, but I’m still feeling side effects of the treatments.”
He is a really caring person.


After Qigong class with instructor Michael (right)



I did not take a walk outside for a long time since I got cancer again so my legs are hurting because I have nerve pain from a car crash I had in 2001, and also now side effects of neuropathic pain from chemotherapy.
But nothing is going to stop me.
I am walking with my dogs “one dog or two dogs at a time.”


Happy & Me at park

After Qigong class with Happy


I thank Cancer Support Community for being there and offering many meetings and classes without any charge.
If you are or know someone who is diagnosed with cancer, please share this Cancer Support Community!


Love, Sanae 💖

Growing Healthy, Beautiful Hair After Chemotherapy

For Hair items 650 CR

I post my blog “Shaving My Hair After Chemotherapy” on July 28th, 2017 after I shaved my hair.

I’d heard that one of the side effects of chemotherapy was that my hair was going to fall out after three weeks. My hair was falling out almost two weeks after the first chemotherapy.

There is a saying in Japan, “Hair is women’s lives,” and I loved my mother’s long hair, so I really enjoyed growing my hair most of my life.
I was sad in the beginning to lose my hair.
I could not bear seeing the pillow covered with it when I got up in the morning.
I decided to shave my head so I would not have to see my hair fall out everyday.
I asked Eric to shave my head.
I felt at ease and refreshed, and I did not feel sad.

After I shave my head 650 CR

Photo: I felt refreshed after Eric shaved my head!


But I was so weak and so much pain after the third cycle of chemotherapy.
I lost even eyebrows and had no strength to get up most of the time.

650 Sanae no hair

Photo: After the third cycle of chemotherapy – lost even eyebrow.


I got used to not having hair and eyebrows eventually, but my head was feeling the wind and feeling cooler and I could not find something I like to wear so I decided to hand-knitted a hat to wear.

Linen pink linen to make hat 650

Photo: A pretty pink color linen yarn that I started to knit for my chemo hat last summer.



Sanae with linen hat 1 650

Photo: Here is my linen hat and me.

As the weather changed to winter, my head got very cold, so I made the hat with thick cotton and later with cashmere and wool hat and sometimes I even slept in my hat.

After I completed six rounds of chemotherapy, I noticed my hair is starting to grow slowly.
I wanted to help my hair grow to be healthy and beautiful again, so I thought about making an essential oil blend for my hair.

There are many different blends you can make for growing healthy, beautiful hair.
My choice is blending with helichrysum, rosemary and lavender with Bach Flower Rescue Remedy (this blend is not only for people who lost hair because of chemotherapy. It helps anybody to promote healthy beautiful hair, but good for men who are bald because massage your scalp helps to enhance blood circulation in your head and neck area to loosen tight areas. Also, scalp massages can support to calm your spirit and relax your body which aid to promote good sleep).

Helichrysum essential oil is regenerative to all body tissues. Its regenerative qualities support healthy scalp tissue and sebum production, and it helps improve blood circulation to the scalp.
This encourages blood and nutrient flow to the hair follicles, which improves their growth rate.
I used helichrysum oil to repair the skin on my legs after I had a life-threatening car crash; it helped me avoid needing a skin graft.

Rosemary is packed with antioxidants, which can prevent thinning and even graying hair.
It’s another essential oil that promotes blood circulation, so it’s perfect for stimulating hair follicles and growth.

Lavender essential oil improves blood circulation when massaged into the scalp, can prevent hair loss, and promotes hair growth. Furthermore, it is a powerful moisturizer, antimicrobial and antiseptic. It balances sebum production and is ideal for those who suffer from dandruff.

Bach Flower Rescue Remedy mix was created by Dr. Bach to deal with emergencies and crises – It can be used to help us get through any stressful situations, from driving LA traffic jam, last-minute exam or interview nerves, to the aftermath of an accident or bad news or cancer.

Essential Oil Blend for Growing Healthy, Beautiful Hair

  • 4 drops helichrysum essential oil
  • 4 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 oz (4 tablespoons) rosehip, castor or jojoba oil
  • 4 drops of Bach Flower Rescue Remedy

Mix ingredients in a 2-oz bottle.
Massage the blend into the scalp. Leave in for 1–2 hours, or overnight, and then shampoo out.

Precautions to Take When Using Essential Oils for Hair Growth

  • If you are not sure how to properly use essential oils for hair growth, ask the advice of your doctor, a licensed natural health practitioner, or an aroma therapist.
  • If you are pregnant, suffer from hypertension, or have epilepsy, you should avoid rosemary essential oil. Again, ask your doctor, a licensed natural health practitioner, or an aroma therapist.
  • Although reactions are rare with proper use, always perform a skin patch test before using a new essential oil to ensure you will not have an allergic reaction to it.



I started massaging my head with my blend everyday after chemotherapy.
Can you see how much my hair has grown by this photo which is after ten weeks since the last chemotherapy, and that my eyebrows are growing too, right?

Sanae Hair 01-2018 Fixed 650


It will take a long time for me to grow long hair again, but I am enjoying massaging my head and supporting my hair to grow beautifully again.

Now it has been about 16 weeks since the last chemotherapy, can you see my hair has grown so much!

Sanae hair 03-04-18 fixed 650


Another thing what helps to grow healthy, beautiful hair is eating sea vegetables.
I eat kombu (using kombu to cook whole grains and making a miso soup everyday), wakame, nori (I make condiment with wakame or nori) everyday.

650 Main Coast Wakame

I would like to share my recipes of Wakame and Nori condiment in the near future.
I post Red Radish & Wakame Pressed Pickle Salad recipe about one year ago so you can check it right now. Wakame is springtime sea vegetable!

Wakame red radish ume pressed salad CR 650


Eating sea vegetables also helps to make a blood alkaline, clear your skin and supports to build strong bones.

Also, eating green leafy vegetables (kale, collard green, mustard green, daikon and red radish top green etc.) cooking water sautéed or steam is the best. Using oil for cooking too often clog up the scalp.



As I wrote on my blog, “Shaving My Hair After Chemotherapy” when I shaved my head, I had an image of the famous Sinéad O’Connor’s shaved head and told myself it would maybe grow into a short Annie Lennox hairstyle after chemotherapy. They are beautiful women, so here I am. I feel beautiful without long hair. Don’t you think so?



Sanae 💖




Stronger Than I’ve Ever Been

650 Sky & Sun

I wanted to write a newsletter for December, but I was not able to write.
I started to write New Year newsletter in January, but I was not able to finish.
I felt I needed to rest and focus on my recovery.
So, here I just finished writing the newsletter in English and will send it this morning.


My newest PET scan (which I had on February 1, 2018) results were not bad,
but not as good as I wanted them to be.
It got 1.00 mm smaller than before, but the SUV brightness went up 0.48 (I explained what is SUV on my blog on November 21).
My oncologist, Dr. Mead, said I do not have to worry so much, because the biopsy I received on December 14, 2017, showed that this SUV is not active. But I was sad when I heard the results.


I have been taking care of myself everyday with macrobiotic healing foods and other holistic modalities.
I started feeling more strength around mid-January so I believed cancer had left my liver, but I have a high-grade lymphoma (Dr. Mead explained that lymphoma has different grades, which I did not know; high-grade is a more aggressive and critical cancer) and a very rare cancer.
I have learned that the cancer is still in my liver. I have to take another PET scan in two months, but I do not have to have more chemotherapy “RICE”, which is a blessing.

However, I wanted my SUV result to be lower than before so much.
I was sad and suddenly felt very tired all over. I know in my heart that my body needs more time to heal and I must support my body and mind, but I did not know how to continue.
I just felt I needed to rest from the full-time work of recovery.
I did not know where I could get the strength to keep going.

Then I heard this song, “Stronger Than I’ve Ever Been” by Kaleena Zanders.

It was introduced to me by the Toyota Super Bowl 2018 commercial “Good Odds.”
The odds of winning a Paralympic gold medal are almost 1 billion to one. This film follows the journey of Lauren Woolstencroft, who beat the odds to win eight Paralympic gold medals. Some of you probably saw it. My body shivered when I watched it, and this song connected with me very deeply.

I am not a Paralympic gold medalist, but I am a gold-medal survivor of two cancers and a near-death car accident, and these lyrics gave me a similar feeling of all the challenges I have faced in my life:

If you knock me down

I get up again, I get up again

Born unstoppable

I get up again

Now I’m stronger than I’ve ever been


<My version>

If cancer knocks me down,
I get up again.
If chemotherapy knocks me down,
I get up again.
If neuropathy knocks me down,
I get up again.
Born unstoppable,
I get up again.
Now I’m stronger than I’ve ever been.


This song was in my head all night, even while I was sleeping, so I decided to write about it here.
I am grateful for this song.
When I got up this morning, even my legs had been giving me much pain from neuropathy. (Both my legs are seriously injured from my 2001 car crash, and I have been living with neuropathy pain. The chemotherapy I received last year added more neuropathy, so I have more pain everyday, and it is hard to get up.)
I am ready to start the morning with my recovery routine, singing this song and feeling stronger than I’ve ever been.

Thank Kaleena Zanders and Toyota!


Love with my strength of the recovery,
Sanae 💖

New Year/Year of Dog 2018!

650 New Year © HHP 2017 Christmas copy

Happy New Year /Year of dog 2018 to everyone!

Nikkan San front page

Photo: Our HHP (Healthy Happy Pooches) photos were chosen to be 音Japanese Paper “NIKKAN SAN”. They are in the center, Kula is also just right side below with a yellow flower and Nalu is the third one from the bottom right.

I love dogs (and cats, but there is no cat year except tiger), so I feel very good about this year.

I also want this to be a really good year for recovery from the lymphoma (Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) Primary non-Hodgkin of Liver Stage Ⅳ – I got this cancer because of Hepatitis C from the blood transfusion I received after my car accident in 2001) I got last year.
I meant to write a New Year blog sooner, but Eric took a private cooking job in Aspen for one week after Christmas, so I was home with just my dog and cat family.

Being alone for the first time since I got lymphoma, and taking care of myself and my animal family (we have six dogs and two cats) on my own, took a lot of time and made me tired. I have learned not to do too much, so I did not write the newsletter and blogs.

I was able to go to a New Year’s Eve gathering at my friend, Michiyo’s house, where I had traditional Japanese New Year foods and watched a Japanese New Year’s Eve TV show. It was fun, but I felt more tired, so I decided not to go see the annual New Year’s sunrise in the mountains. I did wake up early, though, so I just went up on the rooftop of my house with my dog family to see the beautiful New Year sunrise and the still-visible super full moon.

650 NY Sunrise 2018

Poto: New Year Sunrise from my rooftop.

I missed Eric not being with me, but I felt it was a lesson for me to learn about taking care of and loving myself on my own.

After Eric came back, I was still so tired.
I realized that after I’d received the good biopsy results and then taken care of myself while Eric was away, the tension that had built up for some time in my body and mind was released. I felt like tiredness took over and I could sleep for days.  It took almost a month for me to feel all right.

Of course, I still have some chemotherapy side effects, so I am taking it easy and not doing too much (believe it or not, this is the hardest thing for me to do). But I started going to a dog training class for Nalu (our newest dog, whom we adopted last year while I was taking chemotherapy and wrote my blog “Adopting a Puppy Brought Cheerfulness to Cancer Household“) and went to ukulele class just twice (it was so much fun with Eric and Masako).

Ukulele with Eric and Dan

Photo: Regain my health back to be able to go ukulele class again.

I practice meditation everyday for an hour, and most of the day, I apply moxa over the lymphoma (liver), cook a little bit, and do a little bit of yoga/qigong.

Thursday, February 1 this year, is my 33-year sobriety birthday (I am going to an AA meeting to get my birthday cake, yeah!). It is also the day I’ll get my PET scan test again. I think it is going to be good this time, so I am not scared.
The following week, I will see my oncologist, Dr. Mead to get the results, so I will write again to let you know.

Thank you so much to everyone who has been supporting me.


With Gratitude,

Sanae 💖


Chinese New Year this year is February 16. I usually follow old Japanese calendar of February 4 as New Year, so every new year in January, I start to sink into how I feel in the new year and write down on paper what my heart wishes. I think that this is a good practice for everyone to start the year productively.

2018, year of the dog, happy new year, lunar new year, chinese new year, korean new year, Tet,, paper-cut dog

According to the Chinese horoscope, 2018 – the Year of the Earth Dog – is a good time for lifestyle changes (quitting smoking or changing residence) and for the start of new business ventures.

It’s also expected that some of us will experience short periods of loneliness or transient melancholy; however, that should nourish the most sensitive and most creative minds amongst us. For others, these moments can result in a flutter in the implementation of their life plans, which will then be delayed until the following year.

Individuals whose energy map of Chinese astrology elements shows an excess of Water and Wood will be more susceptible than others to the specific fluctuations of 2018.


What Year 2018 Will Be Like For You

  • 🐭 Rat – People born in 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996 or 2008 are members of the Rat Chinese Zodiac sign. A Rat is an underdog when it faces a Dog. But Rat is very smart. It can steal the Dog’s food at night safely. The short prediction of Rat versus Dog of 2018 is your Reward is Required a Challenge…
  • 🐮 Ox – People born in 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997 or 2009 are members of the Cow Chinese Zodiac sign. Cow and Dog are good neighbors. Cow is conservative and Dog is much more aggressive. Cow likes to have savings and Dog likes to invest. They need to find a balance point to work together. The short prediction of Cow versus Dog of 2018 is to Invest Money Cautiously…
  • 🐯 Tiger – People born in 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998 or 2010 are members of the Tiger Chinese Zodiac sign. Tiger has the leadership skill. Dog is a diligent partner. Tiger and Dog can work as a team. The short prediction of Tiger versus Dog of 2018 is Good Career Opportunity is coming…
  • 🐰 Rabbit – People born in 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 or 2011 are members of the Rabbit Chinese Zodiac sign. Dog guards the farmland and expels the intruders. Rabbit lives underground. They can find a way to get along well. Rabbit can take this advantage to expand its territory. The short prediction of Rabbit versus Dog of 2018 is your Diligence Brings Good Income…
  • 🐲 Dragon – People born in 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000 or 2012 are members of the Dragon Chinese Zodiac sign. Dragon can be in the sky, on the ground, and under the water. It is a symbol of power. Dog is a guardian of the farmland. Dragon is far superior to Dog. However, Dog is in charge of 2018. Dragon needs to communicate with Dog on the ground. The short prediction of Dragon versus Dog of 2018 is Humble Brings Good Reputation…
  • 🐍 Snake – People born in 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001 or 2013 are members of the Snake Chinese Zodiac sign. Snakes are active when the sun is warming the ground. They hide and sleep after sunset. Dog is connected to the time from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Dog tells Snake it is the time to rest. The short prediction of Snake versus Dog of 2018 is to Recharge and Wait for Opportunity…
  • 🐴 Horse -People born in 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002 or 2014 are members of the Horse Chinese Zodiac sign. Horse is the fastest animal for long distance traveling on the ground. Horse likes to compete with others during the day. Dog Hour is between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. That means Dog tells Horse to stop running. The short prediction of Horse versus Dog of 2018 is the Take a Rest First and Save Energy for Tomorrow…
  • 🐐 Goat -People born in 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003 or 2015 are members of the Sheep Chinese Zodiac sign. Sheep and Dog are respecting neighbors in the farmland. Dog acts as a captain to lead Sheep when going out. Sheep receives the protection from Dog during the working days. The short prediction of Sheep versus Dog of 2018 is the Hardworking Sheep Can Bring Rewards Home…
  • 🐵 Monkey – People born in 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004 or 2016 are members of the Monkey Chinese Zodiac sign. Monkey is active, aggressive, energetic, impatient and naughty. Dog can watch the Monkey’s behaviors and stop Monkey’s bad movements. Monkey needs to calm down when staying in Dog’s territory. The short prediction of Monkey versus Dog of 2018 is to Ask Second Opinion Before Taking Action…
  • 🐔 Rooster – People born in 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 969, 1981, 1993, 2005 or 2017 are members of the Chicken Chinese Zodiac sign. Chicken and Dog are neighbors in the farmland. Dog can be the Chicken’s bodyguard. Dog and Chicken are connected to autumn. It’s a season of harvest. It’s a time of good income. The short prediction of Chicken versus Dog of 2018 is Don’t Miss Money and Career Opportunity…
  • 🐶 Dog – People born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 or 2018 are members of the Dog Chinese Zodiac sign. Dogs together could fight for bones. Dogs usually have a conflict of interest. When the other Dog is in charge of 2018, then we need to listen to it. Or we need to deal and work with it. The short prediction of Dog versus Dog of 2018 is to Take Conservative Approach to Face Competition…
  • 🐷 Pig – People born in 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007 or 2019 are members of the Pig Chinese Zodiac sign. Pig likes an easy and peaceful life. Dog likes to manipulate the Pig. Dog brings pressure on Pig. Pig needs to be smart when dealing with Dog’s offensive behaviors. The short prediction of Pig versus Dog of 2018 is your Wisdom Can Remove Obstacles…



The Best Christmas Gift!

Sanae Christmas 2017

What a year 2017 was!

Starting with my fever, my body was showing the sign of cancer already in January, but I did not find out right away.

Since I had ovarian cancer in 1993 it was always in the back of my mind that it may come back.
But I was taking care of myself to the best of my ability through macrobiotics, which I have been practicing since I got ovarian cancer.
After 24 years of good health I believe that I would not have cancer anymore so I was very shocked,  sad and felt very strained feelings when I was diagnosed with Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) Primary non-Hodgkin of Liver Stage Ⅳ (I got this cancer because of Hepatitis C from the blood transfusion I received after my car accident in 2001) in early spring.

I thought I was able to recover again with macrobiotics and holistic way, but I did not feel I had a good connection and support with my first oncologist. Cancer grew very quickly and I felt that I was dying.
I felt that I had to found a new oncologist and two of my friends helped me to find Dr. Mead very quickly.
When I went to see Dr. Mead for the first time on May 17th, she told me that 90% of my liver was taking over by cancer. She told me that I had only weeks to live.
There was no choice except taking chemotherapy in order for me to save my life so I did 6 rounds of chemotherapy as I was told.
It was not what I imagine to heal myself and it was one of hardest challenges I had to take in my life.
I kept my macrobiotics practice and I did my best during the treatments.

Writing helps my mind to be clear and also heals my soul so I have been writing my blogs about how I faced chemotherapy with side effects and to live. If you missed them, please find time to read.


Cancer is Back!

Only Weeks to Live

My First Chemotherapy

Side Effects of Chemotherapy and Neulasta

Emotional Side Effects of Chemotherapy and How to Help Them

Shaving My Hair After Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy & Wedding Anniversary

Chemo Sucks!

Adopting a Puppy Brought Cheerfulness to Cancer Household

Advice from a Sunflower

After the Sixth Round of Chemotherapy

No Matter What I Am Thankful and Live One Day At A Time!


After sixth rounds of chemotherapy I was hoping to receive good news before Thanksgiving, but the PET Scan shows in an activity of Lymphoma in my liver, so I had to do another biopsy in mid-December.

Most biopsies are not so painful, but a liver biopsy can cause pain and breathing difficulties after the procedure.
When I did biopsy early this year I had so much pain and was not able to breathe normally. I also could hardly move, so I stayed in bed for a week, and the pain lasted over three weeks.

I felt so much tension before the biopsy this time and the stress caused pain on my liver on the front side and even back side. I was scared that the lymphoma was acting up, and I would have to endure another grueling round of chemotherapy (RICE).

Thankfully, the biopsy results were good, this was the best Christmas gift and to start New Year.

I need to monitor continuously and have to take PET Scan on February 1, 2018. But this was the best news this year!

I credit all of you for your continued support and well wishes.
Thank you so much!


Here are some photos that I took over the holidays.

650 Eric with kids Christmas 2017

Eric Santa Claus with his assistants: Mai Mai Lani (new kitty), Nalu and Happy.


650 HHP 2017 Christmas

Getting Christmas gifts: left to right – Happy, Oro, Leo, Nalu, Bubu and Lumi.


Tin Tin coughing

Tin Tin caught cold and coughing


Have a happy healthy New Year!


Love, Sanae 💖

P.S. After I heard good news Eric took me to see the sunset at the beach and we saw SpaceX Falcin9 as below with beautiful moon. I felt seeing it was a good sign for my recovery.

SpaceX Falcin9

Medicinal Rosehips Tea

650 Rosehip tea making ©IMG_0198

Roses were not my favorite flowers till I was 14 years old, so I never grew them till later in my life. But when I was 7 or 8 years old, I saw rose bushes for the first time. I noticed that there were red balls that could be fruits or a seed of the flowers. As a curious girl, I had to pick it and put it in my mouth. It was kind of sour tasting with a hint of sweetness, but it was not sweet enough for me, being a child who loved sugary food and dessert at that time. So, I didn’t think about it for a long time, and I just enjoyed roses as beautiful flowers.

650 Wild Rose Flower

Wild rose flower in North Fork, California.

650 Rose hips 2017

Wild Rosehips in North Fork, California.

I started to make different healing teas when I took an herbology class from David Craw (founder of Learning Garden in Venice, CA and Floracopeia) in 1998 at California Healing Arts College. David harvested wild native herbs before the class, and we made tea and learned the benefits of the herbs and how they have been helping humans’ health for a long time. It was fascinating to me, and I learned so much about how plants and herbs can help us. Because of this class, I got more curious about making all kinds of herbal tea and flower tea, since I love tea so much. Later on, I found out rosehips are the seeds of rose flowers, and my childhood memory of that sour taste, with a hint of sweetness of the fruits, came back to me.

I got curious again and found so many benefits of rosehips by making tea, jelly, jam, soup, oil, etc. Rose plants do not just produce beautiful flowers; I think they are medicinal plants that can fit in the herbs and spices category.

Wikipedia says: “In general use, herbs are any plants used for food, flavoring, medicine, or fragrances for their savory or aromatic properties. Culinary use typically distinguishes herbs from spices. Herbs refer to the leafy green or flowering parts of a plant (either fresh or dried), while spices are produced from other parts of the plant (usually dried), including seeds, berries, bark, roots and fruits.”

650 Eric & Leo rosehips picking

Wild rosehips bush. You can see Eric and Leo standing by the bish, how big this rose bush is.

Rosehips picking Eric 2017

Big rosehips!

I found wild big rose bushes when Eric and I started to go to North Fork, California, in 2004. I noticed they produced big rosehips every year, from around Thanksgiving to the end of the year. So, we have been harvesting fresh, wild rosehips every year and have been making the tea. Its sour and naturally sweet taste are soothing to me since I’ve matured and do not eat sugary food or dessert anymore. I have offered North Fork rosehip tea to our friends many times. They’ve usually never had rosehip tea before, but everyone loves it. I love its pink to reddish color. It is perfect to serve for the holiday season.


As an end-of-year gratitude/gift (in Japan, we call it Oseibo) for people who read my blog, I want to share my rosehip tea recipe. I hope you enjoy making it, enjoy the taste, and also get the benefits of the tea.


Whole Rosehips


Bulk Apothecary

Seedless Rosehips

Mountain Rose Herbs

Starwest Botanicals

Tea Bags


650 Rosehips Tes with dried and fresh rosehips 2013

Rosehips tea with dried rosehips and fresh rosehips.




  • 4 tablespoons dried rosehips (whole ) or 4 teaspoons dried rosehip (crushed/cut/sifted)
  • 4 cups water (filtered)
  • Brown rice syrup or maple syrup (optional)
  1. Add the rosehips to a stainless steel or glass pot (make sure the pot can be put directly on the stove), along with the water.
  2. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce it to a simmer for depending on how strong you want to make the tea. I usually simmer for 15 ~ 30 minutes for whole rosehips and  5–15 minutes for crushed/cut/sifted rosehips.
  3. Remove from the heat, and pour it into your favorite cup.
  4. I like the tea as-is, but if desired, you can add 1 teaspoon brown rice syrup or maple syrup for sweetness.
  5. Enjoy!


I rotate between drinking rosehip tea a few times a week for a while, and then stopping and drinking Elderberry Tea (my blog) and/or Kukicha (my blog).

650 Rosehips with Eric 2000

It was a good harvesting of rosehips!



Rosehips have many benefits. Here are just some of the health conditions they help alleviate: weakened immune system, skin conditions, chronic pain, indigestion, high toxicity levels, arthritis, gout, inflammatory conditions, high cholesterol, hypertension, and increased risk of heart disease or cancer (reference: Style Craze, Organic Facts).


Strengthens Immunity

The rosehips are extremely high in vitamin C, which can pack a major punch for a better immune system. It will increase your white blood cell count and stimulate growth, especially if you are recovering from an injury, illness or surgery.

Skin Care

Many people drink rosehip tea to improve the appearance of the skin, as this herbal blend is known to be astringent in nature, while also delivering those powerful antioxidants to the areas of the skin that need it most. This can help reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, speed healing of irritated or dry skin, and prevent infections and inflammation, such as flare-ups of psoriasis, eczema, and acne.

Acts as an Analgesic

The carotenoids and flavonoids found in rosehip tea have analgesic properties, making this tea a great pain reliever. Whether it is chronic pain of arthritis or acute pain of injuries or sprains, the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties can work very quickly.

Reduces Inflammation

Studies done on rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis showed that rosehip tea can significantly improve mobility and reduce inflammation, improving the quality of life and lowering oxidative stress in those inflamed tissues. This is also helpful for digestion, as these anti-inflammatory properties can soothe the tissues in the gut while regulating bowel movements and ensuring proper nutrient uptake.

Detoxifies the Body

Rosehip tea is known to have both laxative and diuretic properties, which can help the body eliminate toxins, and unwanted fats and salts in an efficient way. If you are struggling with constipation, low metabolism, or a weakened immune system, it can be a good idea to flush the toxins out and reduce the load on the kidneys and liver. This tea can help you do that by stimulating faster digestion and increasing the frequency of urination.

Help Prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis

In one study, patients who received rose hip showed greater improvements in arthritic conditions (18). In another study conducted back in 2008, rose hip powder had reduced pain in the hips, joints, and knees by about a third (19). The study was conducted on 300 osteoarthritis patients.

Rose hips also contain the fatty acid GOPO, which, as per experts, is the plant version of fish oil. And GOPO could be one of the contributing factors for the fruit’s anti-arthritic properties. Rosehip extract pills were found to reduce arthritic pain by as much as 90 percent (20). In fact, one popular arthritic medicine called LitoZin is made from processed ground rose hips.

Another important quality about rose hips (with respect to treating arthritic symptoms) is they don’t have ulcerogenic effects like certain other medications.

Additional Vitamin C Benefits

Rose hips are so full of vitamin C that the nutrient deserves a special mention. By the way, did you know that the fruit contains 60 times the vitamin C found in an orange?

One of the major benefits of vitamin C is collagen production. Collagen is a protein that forms the connective tissue in the body. The vitamin also treats inflammation and improves immunity. It prevents scurvy, a disease that can cause muscle weakness, joint pains, rashes, and tooth loss (14).

The vitamin C in rose hips also helps maintain the health of blood vessels. And because of the high levels of this vitamin, even the American Indian tribes had used the tea from the fruit to treat respiratory ailments (15).

Here’s a quick tip for you – when it comes to cooking rose hips (or any food rich in vitamin C), never use aluminum pans or utensils as they can destroy the vitamin in the food (16).

Vitamin C in rose hips also helps your body absorb iron better (17). Iron has several benefits, the major one being preventing anemia and keeping your blood healthy. And yes, vitamin C also treats and prevents cold and flu symptoms. So, you don’t have to worry even if the seasons are changing.

Lower Cholesterol

Regular intake of rose hip extract has been linked to lowered cholesterol levels (13). The fruit is particularly effective in obese patients – patients who consumed a drink made of rose hip powder daily for six weeks saw a significant drop in their total blood cholesterol levels by as much as 5 percent. This drop can even reduce the risk of heart disease by 17 percent. Rosehip can also be used as a safe alternative to anti-cholesterol drugs (like statins) that might have side effects.

Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases

There is a large body of research into the cardiovascular impact of rosehips, primarily due to the high levels of antioxidants present in these fruits. Specifically, studies have shown that leucoanthocyanins and polyphenolic compounds in rosehip tea can lower the risk of heart disease. This tea is also rich in lycopene, which has been directly linked to lower the occurrences of cardiovascular diseases.

Prevents Cancer

Many of the antioxidants in rosehip tea are praised for their anti-cancer abilities, as they are able to seek out and neutralize free radicals before they can cause oxidative stress, and can make it more difficult for cancerous cells to multiply, generate energy, and continue attacking the body. Research on the link between cancer and rosehips is ongoing, but early results show a very promising connection.


If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or on medication, please consult with your doctor before drinking rosehip tea.


650 Rosehips close up

Jewel of rosehips.


Sanae 💖