During the war, government scientists realised that, weight for weight, rosehips have over 20 times the vitamin C of oranges. So the Ministry of Food recommended rosehip syrup and a generation of children began receiving a daily dose.
During World War II, a national week for the collection of rosehips was established in late September. Scouts, guides and other groups would head out to harvest the nation’s hedgerows. In 1941 this produced a 200 ton haul of hips which made 600,000 bottles of commercially produced syrup!
As well as vitamin C, rosehips are a great source of vitamin A, D and E. They contain an anti-inflammatory and have been shown to help relieve the symptoms of arthritis.
The syrup makes a great winter medicine to help ward off coughs, colds and flu, especially for children as it is also pleasant tasting.
Rose hips are best picked after the first frost as this helps to break them down a bit. So late October/early November is the best time. They should be scarlet red and firm. Hips that are deep red and soft are overripe and have less Vitamin C. Orange hips are not quite ripe.
Traditionally, wild rose hips are use (Rosa canina) the dog rose or briar roses, but the hips from all species of rose can be used. But do make sure you are not picking from buses that have been sprayed with chemicals.
What Is Rosehip Good For?
The fruit has a number of uses. Primarily, it has its use in preventing a number of ailments – some of those include osteoarthritis and stomach ailments . It can also be used as a diuretic and mild laxative. The fruit is also used to reduce thirst and other types of gastric inflammation
Rose Hips Nutrition Facts
Here is the detailed information about rosehip nutritional benefits.
1 Value per 100.0g
1.0 cup 127g
PROXIMATES Water g 58.66 74.50 Energy kcal 162 206 Protein g 1.60 2.03 Total lipid (fat) g 0.34 0.43 Carbohydrate, by difference g 38.22 48.54 Fiber, total dietary g 24.1 30.6 Sugars, total g 2.58 3.28 MINERALS Calcium, Ca mg 169 215 Iron, Fe mg 1.06 1.35 Magnesium, Mg mg 69 88 Phosphorus, P mg 61 77 Potassium, K mg 429 545 Sodium, Na mg 4 5 Zinc, Zn mg 0.25 0.32 VITAMINS Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid mg 426.0 541.0 Thiamin mg 0.016 0.020 Riboflavin mg 0.166 0.211 Niacin mg 1.300 1.651 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.076 0.097 Vitamin A, RAE µg 217 276 Vitamin A, IU IU 4345 5518 Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) mg 5.84 7.42 Vitamin K (phylloquinone) µg 25.9 32.9
1 Value per 100.0g
1.0 cup 127g
Health Benefits Of Rose Hips
Rosehips benefits are many and the reason that they are so popular is because they are highly effective in treating a wide variety of health conditions. Let us see what are they.
1. May Help Prevent Cancer And Other Chronic DiseasesAccording to one study, rose hip extract had reduced the growth and migration of breast cancer cells . In the study, the highest concentrations of rose hip extract had reduced the migration of breast cancer cells by as much as 45 percent. The fruit extract also prevented the cancerous growth in the brain, a place where the breast cancer cells tend to spread to.
Another Serbian study focuses on the phytochemicals present in rose hip tea. The polyphenols present in the fruit may prevent the human cancer cells from proliferating .
According to a Spanish study, rose hips could be active components in functional diets that can help prevent colorectal cancer
. The fruit also has an anti-inflammatory action, which contributes to its cancer-preventive properties . Rose hips contain certain bioactive compounds like phenols, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), beta-carotene, tannins, and pectins – all of which help curb oxidative stress, which can otherwise lead to cancer .A Japanese study also stressed on the efficacy of the fruit to suppress inflammation and the resultant cancer cell proliferation . One major flavonoid in rose hip, called tiliroside, possesses commendable anti-inflammatory action.Though the rose hip extract is safe, one thing must be kept in mind – patients who are taking rose hip along with some medication must exercise extra care. This is because rose hips may interact with prescription and over-the-counter drugs .
Rose hips also contain other active compounds called carotenoids, which are known to decelerate the expansion of certain forms of tumor. Rose hip extract was also found to prevent epithelitis, which could be caused by radiotherapy in patients with head and neck cancer . The fruit has also been observed to stop and even reverse the growth of certain cancers .
Rose hips, surprisingly, also contain lycopene (the compound that renders them their red color). Lycopene is popular for its anticancer activity. It stimulates the communication between cells, the damage of which leads to the growth of cancerous tumors .
2. Lower CholesterolRegular intake of rose hip extract has been linked to lowered cholesterol levels. 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. Rose hip can also be used as a safe alternative to anti-cholesterol drugs (like statins) that might have side effects.
3. Additional Vitamin C Benefit
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 potential stimulation of collagen production in the body. 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 .
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 .
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 (17).
Vitamin C in rose hips also helps your body absorb iron better. Iron has several benefits, the major one being preventing anemia and keeping your blood healthy. And yes, vitamin C may help prevent and shorten the duration of cold and flu symptoms. So, you don’t have to worry even if the seasons are changing.
4. Help Prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis
In one study, patients who received rose hip showed greater improvements in arthritic conditions . In another study conducted back in 2008, rose hip powder had reduced pain in the hips, joints, and knees by about a third. 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. Rose hip extract pills were found to reduce arthritic pain by as much as 90 percent. 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.
5. Can Help Manage Diabete
Certain animal studies hint that regular intake of 40 grams of rose hip powder can lower blood sugar levels and aid in diabetes treatment . Mice induced with rose hip powder showed better glucose tolerance than mice that weren’t – and this indicates a similar possibility in humans.
In one study conducted by Sweden’s Department of Experimental Medical Science, intake of rose hip powder was found to significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The flavonoids and antioxidants in rose hip also protect the body against heart disease.
7. Treat Inflammation
This could be similar to what we have seen about rose hip and its favorable effects on osteoarthritis. As per one Denmark study, regular intake of rose hip can reduce the levels of C-reactive protein, a substance produced by the liver that increases in concentration with an increase in inflammation .
Also, certain studies state that the anti-inflammatory properties of rose hip are attributed to its seed, and not its shell. The anti-inflammatory properties of rose hips also help prevent cartilage erosion.
8. Aid Digestion
As reported by the University of Michigan, the skin of the rose hip fruit can help prevent stomach pain and treat other digestive problems.
9. Regulate Blood Pressure
According to one report by the United States Department of Agriculture, intake of rose hip can result in significant drops in blood pressure levels.But make sure you check with your doctor if you are on BP medications.
10. Improve Skin Health
The oil from the rose hip fruit penetrates deep into the skin layers and improves skin health. The vitamin C, as we saw, stimulates the production of collagen and reduces wrinkles and fine lines. The fruit also contains vitamin A that improves the moisture content of the skin.
Rose hip oil also combats the UV damage by the sun. The antioxidants in the fruit improve skin texture and tone, and help treat pigmentation. The essential fatty acids in rose hip oil also prevent scarring and encourage skin regeneration. But remember, the oil must not be directly applied to acne.
Celebrities like the Duchess of Cambridge and Victoria Beckham (amongst a few others), as per reports, use rose hip oil to keep their skin free from blemishes. The oil from the fruit is also good for correcting dark spots and treating dry or itchy skin.
According to a Japanese study, rose hip, if taken orally, could be used as a skin-whitening agent.
Rose hip also contains quercetin, which has been found to prevent melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer. A Thailand study states that using rosehip powder for skin can improve aging-induced skin conditions.Related: DIY Rosehip Face Serum: How To Make Rosehip Seed Oil Face Serum At Home
11. Enhance Blood Circulation
Rose hip tea, when brewed, may enhance blood circulation.
12. Improve Kidney Health
According to a report by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, rose hip can be used to treat kidney disorders.
Now that you saw what are the benefits of rose hips, how about checking out some nutritious rose hip recipes?
Rose Hip Recipes
1. Rose Hip Jam
What You Need
- 250g of rose hips, trimmed and seeded
- 360ml of water
- 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 500g of jam sugar
- Add the rose hips, 1/2 the water, and lemon juice to a blender. Blend for about 15 seconds or until the mixture is smooth. While the blender is running, add the sugar. Blend for about 30 seconds until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the second of water. Add to a saucepan and bring to a boil. You can boil hard for about a minute. Slowly pour this into the rose hip mixture, and blend for about 30 seconds.
- Pour the jam into small containers (they must have lids). Store them in the refrigerator. If you are not going to use the jam in a few days, you can store it in the freezer (up to a year).
- Or add some ascobic acid and it will keep in the cupboard
Uses Of Rose Hip
Let’s talk about rose hip oil uses for your overall health.
- Rose Hip Syrup
According to certain personal records, rose hip syrup can help treat arthritis pain. And in addition to vitamin C, the syrup also boosts vitamin D intake. So, if you are someone who has minimum sun exposure, this could be a plus.
Preparing the syrup is pretty easy. You need 2.2 pounds of rose hips, 3 liters of water, and 1 pound of soft brown sugar. Boil 2 liters of water. Mash the rose hips and add them to the boiling water. Remove from the heat and allow it to steep for about 20 minutes. Pour the rose hips and liquid into a jelly bag and allow the juice to drip through. You need to extract as much liquid as possible.
Add the rose hip pulp back to the saucepan with 1 liter of water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to steep for about 20 minutes. Strain through the jelly bag again.
You can finally add sugar to the strained rose hip liquid, simmer for 5 minutes, and pour it into sterilized bottles.
- Rose Hip Powder
You can use rose hip powder to prevent common cold and other related symptoms. You can do this when the weather is subject to change. Simply mix the powder in your morning breakfast cereal or yogurt or smoothie.
- Rose Hip Tea
Heard of rosehip tea benefits? If no, the tea, just like the fruit, has anticancer and immune-boosting properties. It is rich in antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress, which can otherwise lead to several health complications.
[ Read: Benefits Of Rose Hip Oil ]
What Is The Recommended Rose Hips Dosage?
There is no specific dosage as such. For rose petals, the dosage is around 3 to 6 grams a day
Oh yes, we are done with rose hips benefits. But what about the side effects?
Rose Hips Side Effects
Most side effects of rose hips come from an excessive dosage of vitamin C, and to achieve that, one must consume an unrealistic 100 grams of the fruit in a day.
Even then, an overdose of vitamin C is not lethal. Some of the side effects include headache, dizziness, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and heartburn. It might also cause nausea and fatigue .
- Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
Talking about pregnant or breastfeeding women, there is no reliable information. Hence, only use food amounts. Or totally avoid its use.
- Kidney Stones
Large amounts of vitamin C can also cause kidney stones. Hence, people with kidney issues must consult their doctor before consuming the fruit.
- Drug Interactions
Rose hip can interact with estrogens as it contains vitamin C. The fruit might also interact with warfarin, a drug that is used to slow down blood clotting
The benefits of rosehips can be attributed to their vitamin C, phenols, lycopene, and ellagic acid. These can reduce cancer risk and potentially prevent other chronic diseases. They also help lower cholesterol levels, boost immunity, and manage diabetes. However, overconsumption of rosehips may trigger headaches, dizziness, heartburn, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Hence, consume them in moderation. You can also try any of the recipes mentioned above to include rosehips in your diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does rose hip taste like?
Unlike the name suggests, the fruit doesn’t taste like roses. It tastes tangy.
Does rose hip oil cause acne or trigger breakouts?
Though the vitamin C in rose hip replenishes the skin, it can be too stimulating for skin prone to acne. Hence, use it on alternate days to avoid breakouts.
Is rose hip oil good for sunburn?
Yes, it is. You can apply the oil to sunburned skin.
Are rose hip seeds edible?
Yes. Certain reports say that they might contain very little amount of cyanide. And one needs to consume unrealistic amounts of the seeds to have any lethal effects.
How do you dry rose hips?
Very simple. Wash the rose hips and dry them on a newspaper in the sun. If the weather is not conducive, you can use a food dehydrator.
What is the relation between rose hip and hibiscus tea?No specific relation as such. Except that the two are naturally sour and offer a range of health benefits.
Rosehip syrup is just another name for a thick extract a.k.a. cordial a.k.a. squash and can be taken neat off a teaspoon like a medicine, or diluted with water as a drink. Adding fizzy water makes a great ‘children’s champagne’. It can also be used as a syrup on ice cream and puddings, or stirred into yoghurt or cream fraiche for a healthier alternative.
Keep some hips back to dry and use in herbal teas. They make a great flavouring for less palatable herbs adding a sweetness and pleasant flavour and aroma. To dry them for teas, halve them and scrape out the seeds adding those to your syrup mix. Next time you are cooking, once the oven is switched off lay the hips out on a baking tray and pop into the oven while it is cooling to dry them out. Keep them in a brown paper bag (labelled!) until you are ready to use them. Add a generous pinch to other herb teas.
Remove any leaves or sticks and top and tail the hips removing the calyx and stubby end. Roughly chop or mince them and put them into a large saucepan. Cover them with water and bring to the boil. Boil for 15 minutes then remove from the heat and leave for 15 minutes. Then strain the mixture through a jelly bag. Put the mush back in the pot, cover with water again and repeat the process. Do not be tempted to squeeze the jelly bag as this can make the syrup cloudy or bitty. Also the fine hairs inside the hips can be irritating. I let mine strain overnight or while I’m away at work to help my patience!
For every litre of juice you end up with now add 250g of sugar. I use preserving sugar which has larger crystals and is quicker to dissolve or add some pectin to ordinary sugar. Stir over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves then bring to a rapid boil and boil continuously for three minutes. Now pour into sterilised bottles. I use screw top wine bottles (baked in the oven to sterilise them) or jam jars at home. Using a funnel, fill the bottles right to the very top so there is no/little air then add the screw tops.
Once the syrup has cooled it shrinks making a vacuum that helps to preserve the syrup and gives a satisfying ‘pop’ when the bottle is opened. Once the syrup has cooled it is also thicker – so do not be tempted to boil away at the syrup until it reaches the right consistency in the pan. If you do that, once the syrup has cooled it will not come out of the bottle again! I keep unopened bottles in a dark cupboard and opened bottles in the fridge.
If you can, get a few brown glass medicine bottles with screw tops from your local pharmacy or herbalist to put some of your syrup in. When treating children it definitely helps to have the right ‘effects’! This is a great way of making sure your kids have enough natural Vitamin C without buying them supplements which sometimes contain artificial C, bulking additives and colourings.