Rosehips: The Wonder Fruit
Also Known As:
Apothecary Rose, Cynorhodon, Cynorhodons, Cynosbatos, Dog Rose, Dog Rose Hips, Églantier, Fruit de l'Églantier, Gulab, Heps, Hip, Hip Fruit, Hip Sweet, Hipberry, Hop Fruit, Persian Rose, Phool Gulab, Pink Rose, Poire d'oiseaux, Rosa de Castillo, Rosa Mosqueta, Rosae Pseudofructus Cum Semen, Rosehip, Rosehips, Rose Hips, Satapatri, Rose des Apothicaires, Rose de Provins, Rose Rouge de Lancaster, Rosier de Provence, Satapatrika, Shatpari, Wild Boar Fruit.
Rosa canina, synonym Rosa lutetiana; Rosa alba; Rosa centifolia; Rosa damascena; Rosa gallica, synonym Rosa provincialis; Rosa rugosa; Rosa villosa, synonym Rosa pomifera; other Rosa species.
Autumn is an ideal time of year to harvest rose hips, as the emergence of the plants’ fruit follows the natural bloom of their famous flowers earlier in the year. The hips should be gathered from the plants when they have become a nice bright red color. A popular way to take advantage of their nutritional value is to prepare them as a tea, and to do this you can cut each fruit in half, soak them in a bowl of water, remove their seeds a day later, and either run them through a dehydrator or dry them in the sun. Then you can either use them right away as the basis of a tea or freeze them indefinitely and defrost them as needed.
Orally, rose hip is used as a supplemental source of dietary vitamin C, for preventing and treating colds, influenza-like infections, infectious diseases, vitamin C deficiencies, fever, increasing immune function during exhaustion, gastric spasms, gastric acid deficiency, preventing gastric mucosal inflammation and gastric ulcers, and as a "stomach tonic" for intestinal diseases. It is also used orally for diarrhea, gallstones, gallbladder ailments, lower urinary tract and kidney disorders, dropsy (edema), gout, aging skin, disorders of uric acid metabolism, arthritis, sciatica, diabetes, increasing peripheral circulation, for reducing thirst, as a laxative and diuretic, and to treat chest ailments.
Rose hip contains pectin, citric acid, and malic acid, which can have laxative and diuretic activities. Fresh rose hip contains between 0.5-1.7% vitamin C and is estimated to contain 1250 mg vitamin C per 100 grams of rose hip. Vitamin C is required for collagen formation and tissue repair. Vitamin C is also involved in oxidation-reduction reactions, conversion of folic acid to folinic acid, carbohydrate metabolism, synthesis of lipids and proteins, iron metabolism, resistance to infections, and cellular respiration. It acts as an antioxidant, decreasing oxidants in gastric juice, decreasing lipid peroxidation, and decreasing oxidative DNA and protein damage. Vitamin C deficiency that lasts for three to five months results in symptomatic scurvy that affects collagenous structures, bones, and blood vessels. Vitamin C enhances the absorption of soluble non-heme iron, either by reducing it (converting ferric to ferrous) or by preventing chelation by phytates or other food ligands. Now that’s an herb we all need!
When used orally and appropriately. Rose hip extract has Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status in the US. A specific formulation of rose hip powder taken in doses of 2.5 grams (5 capsules) twice daily has been safely used for 6 months.
PREGNANCY AND LACTATION: Insufficient reliable information available; avoid using in amounts greater than those found in foods.