Rose Hip Benefits and Remedies

Rosehip (also spelled Rose Hip) is the fruit of a wild rose plant commonly found in Europe, Asia, the United States, and Canada. Also known as Rose Haw or Rose Hep, rose hips are typically cranberry-sized red-orange berries that form in clusters after the plant blooms.

Infographic Rosehip
Infographic Rosehip

What are Rose Hips / Dog Rose (Rosa Canina)

There are several varieties of rosehip, but the two most commonly cultivated and consumed are the Rosa Canina, commonly known as the Common Rose, Dog Rose, Briar Rose, Hip Tree, or Itchy Backs, and the Rosa Rugosa or Japanese Rose.

Rosehip Plant

The wild dog rose is most often cultivated for its hips. It grows up to ten feet tall and climbs other hedgerow shrubs and trees. The straggly shrub blooms between late April and July, bearing white or pale pink fragrant flowers. Once the flower has dropped its bloom in Fall (October), the rosehip is picked and prepared.

The Japanese Rose is widely cultivated as a hedgerow and roadway landscape plant as it is tougher and shorter than the dog rose. It is more tolerant to salt-spray and wind of coastal areas and produces larger blooms and much larger, more flattened berries. While this is also edible, it is not as widely cultivated as the dog rose for this purpose.

Harvesting Rosehips

Rosehip often grows wild on nutrient-rich soils along paths and forest sides. The rosehip can be collected in nature until far into November. The fruits are ripe when they are easy to be plucked and the skin softens at the touch of a finger. The processing is a little laborious, but it is worth the effort. Stem, flower base and the seeds (nuts) with their hairs inside the fruit capsule must be removed. It is best to wear gloves, as the hairs irritate the skin and mucous membranes. Not without reason is the inside of the rose hip also known as “itching powder” amongst children. To avoid this, choose the quick preparation method: Cook the fruit in a little water for a few minutes until soft and then pass the puree through a fine sieve as described below.

Traditional Herbal Medicine and Rosehip

Lauded for their medicinal qualities, rosehip remedies have been known since ancient times. The wild rose was gathered for centuries before the advancement of monastic medicine in the Middle Ages led to its domestication in medicinal monastery gardens. 

Rosehips in any form are good for the protection against infections. They help to regulate digestion (both constipation and diarrhoea), relieve stomach cramps or nausea, have a diuretic effect (good for kidney disease) and are excellent for detoxification in spring.

If you take the effort to dry the peel of the fruit, you can make an infusion from it that is helpful for bladder and kidney problems. This is due to the high content of plant acids and pectids. Good results have also been achieved in the treatment of arthritis with rosehip powder. Unfortunately, many commercially available teas or instant powders only contain traces of the active substances of rose hips. It is better to use dried fruits.

The dried hips fruit was used in folk and Traditional German Herbal Medicine for digestive problems, urinary and kidney disorders, rheumatism, gout, colds, intestinal conditions, and other febrile conditions. Rosehip had the great virtue of being high in a number of nutrients and especially high in vitamin C, so it is no surprise that it is one of the more widely-applied remedies.

Hildegard and Kneipp on Rosehip

Both Hildegard of Bingen and Sebastian Kneipp realized the curative effect of rosehip as a mild a diuretic on maladies such as arthritis and gout. Due to the many positive properties of rosehips, Hildegard thought of rosehip as a cure-all for those who are otherwise healthy but suffering from weakness of stomach/intestines.

Vitamin C with Rosehips
Rosehips are high in vitamin C

Hildegard of Bingen recommended rosehip in winter to treat bronchial conditions and inflammation in the lungs.  She also thought rosehips effective for stomach ailments, such as ulcers related to stress and nervous tension. The other famous German naturopath and priest, Sebastian Kneipp swore by rosehips for addressing kidney and bladder issues.

Vitamin C with Rose Hips

The vitamin C content in rose hips have been shown to exceed that of lemons by as much as 20 times. Depending on the type of rose and the ripeness, the vitamin C content can vary between 400 and 5,000 mg per 100 g. In addition, rose hip contains vitamin A and B, as well as minerals and trace elements such as zinc and copper. It also contains the red plant pigment lycopene. Lycopene is one of the antioxidants that protect the body from harmful free radicals. Because of its high vitamin C content, rose hip tea is particularly helpful for combating the common cold. The recommended daily dose of vitamin C is completely covered by even small amounts of rose hips. 

Pectin in Rose Hips

Another important ingredient in rosehip is pectin, which contributes to the detoxifying properties. Specifically, pectin supports a laxative effect on the intestines, treating and preventing mild constipation. 

Rose hip blossom
Rose hip blossom

Among other things, the detoxifying effect of rosehip benefits the kidneys. Thus, rosehip serves as a useful remedy for mild kidney ailments. 

Rosehip and Arthritis

Modern medical research seems to focus on the efficacy of the rosehip in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Rosehips have anti-inflammatory properties, in addition to pain-relieving effects. Those suffering from arthrosis may experience a noticeable improvement in their condition with the use of rosehip. In addition, the many vitamins and minerals contained in the rosehip contribute to an improved sense of general well-being. 

The rose hip contains more vitamin C than lemons and also contains the cancer-inhibiting lycopene. The secondary plant substance galactolopid consists of sugar and fatty acids. It forms new collagen and improves cartilage function in joints such as hips, knees and shoulders. The natural degradation of cartilage is considerably delayed. The galactolopide has an anti-inflammatory effect. Recent studies show that after a three-month cure with rosehip powder, a significantly higher mobility of the shoulder, hip and knee joints as well as a lower morning stiffness in osteoarthritis was observed. This cure significantly reduced the intake of painkillers.

Rosehip Supports the Gastrointestinal Tract

One of the best applications for rosehips is in the stomach and intestines. Rosehip can be used to treat a wide variety of complaints. Be it diarrhea, constipation or other intestinal conditions, the extract of the rosehip can be used to effectively alleviate these conditions. The intestinal functions are modulated by the use of rosehips. Even those who have stomach pain or ulcers experience a positive effect by taking rosehip. 

Supportive Treatment of Urinary Tract Infections with Rose Hips

Rose hips can also be used to treat urinary tract infections. To improve general well-being, you should consider using rosehip. The rosehip has many valuable ingredients that become effective to improve overall performance. 

Rosehip Benefits the Immune System

Just like the traditional rosehip soup or roehip jam, rosehip tea can be enjoyed throughout the winter to keep your immune system strong. Strengthening the immune system as well as preventing other viral infections is one of the main reasons Hildegard thought so highly of rosehips.

What is Rosehip good for
Rosehip has many health benefits

Hildegard recognized the efficacy of rosehip remedies in combating the winter fatigue that often accompanies the beginning of each year. Consider adding rosehip to your list of cold weather foods.

Rosehip Strengthens the Heart and Lowers Blood Pressure

Add cardiac health to the long list of benefits vis a vis rosehip remedies. Scientists have been investigating this topic for a long time and have found that taking rosehip helps prevent fat from clogging blood vessels. This prevents and combats cardiovascular diseases, because vascular constrictions can lead to heart attacks or even strokes. The effective ingredients of rosehip also lower blood pressure, which is why their use can also be recommended here.

Rosehip jam
Rosehip jam

Rosehip Oil Benefits

Rosehip oil benefits the skin. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are found in the rose hip. These substances are particularly effective for skin care when using rosehip oil. The cells of the skin are regenerated and as a result the aging process slows. Rose hip oil helps smooth small wrinkles with the simple application of rose hip based skin treatments. 

Rosehip Oil Uses

The seeds of the rose hip are often processed into skin-care rosehip seed oil. This oil is a highly regarded ingredient in many creams, ointments and lotions. Rosehip oil can also be used for acne and helps to improve the skin’s overall appearance. The cultivation of rosehips specifically for nutritive and cosmetic applications in creams, shampoos, and soaps has been steadily increasing. Cold-pressed rosehip seed oil is used topically for burns and to reduce scarring and the anti-aging properties of rosehip oil drives new demand for potential uses in supplements and topical cremes.

Harvesting Rose Hips
Harvesting wild rose hips

Rosehip and Arthrosis

Arthrosis treatment can also be well supported with rosehip. Studies have shown that the use of rosehips significantly contributes to pain relief, since rosehips have anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, fewer painkillers are needed.

Studies have shown that the powder of rosehip seed and peel can regulate certain leukocyte functions that lead to inflammation and tissue damage in osteoarthritis. The data also indicate that rosehip powder has an antioxidant and membrane stabilizing effect and in this way influences the formation and decomposition of cartilage tissue.

Dried rose hips powder can be made at home or purchased from a pharmacy or health food store. 

Rosehips are High in Antioxidants

The antioxidants found in rose hips are also significant. The flavonoids and polyphenols, for example, help to lower cholesterol levels. But other diseases, such as cardiovascular complaints, can also be effectively prevented and controlled by the antioxidants. Antioxidants are known to be effective in the fight against free radicals. The rosehip is a very effective remedy, which can be used in many ways. 

What is Rosehip Good For – Syrups, Sauces, Soups, and Rosehip Jam

The rosehip is also a popular traditional food of northern Europe. The fruit is used in a wide variety of preparations including syrup, tea, jam, preserves, sauces, and wine. The production of rosehip syrup is the most common use, followed by rosehip wine (often made from the previously prepared syrups), and rosehip jam or jelly, often referred to as “hedgerow jam” which is a traditional preparation of foraged wild autumn fruits like crab apples, blackberries, and blackthorn berries (or sloe).

Rosehip Uses
Rosehip Syrup

Unique preparations of rosehips, like fruit soups are traditional dishes found in Germany, Hungary, and Scandinavia. Made from diluted fruit syrups, the rosehip soup is usually made in winter, likely to stave off colds from the immune boost of the high vitamin C and carotenoids.

Hildegard of Bingen advised the preparation of rosehip as a puree, and Kneipp made tea from the plant’s pulp and seeds. Both figures liked rosehip for its wide-reaching effects, such as improving cell regeneration, regulating skin metabolism, renewing and improving skin tone, and for its antioxidant and immune strengthening properties.

To cleanse the stomach of mucus, Hildegard recommended cooking rosehips in water, then slightly pureeing and eating the mixture. If this doesn’t appeal to you, even rose hip simple syrup or preserves will be beneficial.

Dried Rose Hips

It’s safe to use the whole fruit when processing rose hips. For some recipes it makes sense to remove the hard cores. In drying rose hip, it helps to spread the fruit on a burlap mat or some other permeable material. Turn the fruit from time-to-time to prevent mold and ensure they dry evenly. Unless you are harvesting the larger varieties of rose hips, which should be cut and gutted to avoid mold, you should dry the rosehip whole.

Dried Rosehip
Dried rose hips

Be patient with the drying process and do not overheat when oven dry (limit 100 degrees Fahrenheit) as this compromises the nutritional value of the fruit. The drying process should be followed immediately by the preparation. Rose hips are somewhat fragile in that the both the flavor and vitamin content begin to degrade immediately upon harvesting, so the faster you can turn them into syrup or jelly, the better.

Rosehip Uses & Remedies

Rosehip Tea Benefits

Rosehip tea is traditionally used to strengthen the immune system, to prevent colds and infections. Rosehip tea is particularly useful for restoring strength after an illness or after a diet. 

Since rosehip tea is also known for its diuretic qualities, it is traditionally used to treat inflammation of the urinary tract and to detox during fasting and cleansing cures. Rosehip is also found as an additive in sweat-inducing teas. Rosehip tea has a revitalizing effect against fever. The rich vitamin C increases the body’s immune system’s defences. 

Rosehip tea is particularly effective in the treatment of rheumatism and urinary tract infections, for example, due mainly to the diuretic and antipyretic effects of rosehip tea.

Ripe rosehips

Thanks to its fruit acid and pectin content, a rosehip tea also has a light laxative effect. That contributes to the elimination of toxins.

Rosehip tea is also a tasteful thirst quencher, which at the same time can also be good for your health. Although many children do dislike it because of its sour taste, there are no medical reasons even for babies not to serve it to them.

Quality of Rosehip Tea

Apart from the high quality, it is important to treatw rosehips, preferably organic quality or wild plants – with a gentle processing. It is important that a maximum temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit is not exceeded during drying. A high-quality product from a pharmacy, health food store or organic food store is recommended.

The homemade production of dried rosehip tea is relatively simple: the ripe rosehips harvested in autumn are halved and (if desired) freed from the seeds and inner bristles (caution, these irritate the skin, wear gloves). The shells are then carefully dried in the oven or on the heater – and the rosehip tea is ready to use. If you like, you can crush the dried peels a bit.

Rosehip as Tea

In general, only the dried rosehip husks are used as tea. 

However, the seeds are not necessarily to be removed and can be safely prepared with the tea. The seeds of the rosehip, are responsible for the light diuretic and draining effect. When the rosehip seeds are released before the husks are dried, gloves should be worn as the hairs on the seeds can easily cause unpleasant skin reactions and itching.

How to make Rosehip Tea
Dried husks are used for rosehip tea

Alternatively, the fresh fruits of the rosehip can also be used for a tea preparation, but fresh rosehips only last for a very limited period of time.

How to Make Rose Hip Tea

To prepare a rose hip tea, it is best to put eight teaspoons of crushed (dried or fresh) fruit in a liter of cold water and let it steep for a few minutes. The water gets a light reddish color.

Dried Rosehips for Tea
Dried rosehips in a tea bag

Then heat the rose hip tea mixture and simmer for at least 10 to 15 minutes. The rose hip is very resistant and the vitamins it contains are not destroyed by the cooking process, instead the fruits, prepared as tea, deliver the most vitamin content. 

Daily 2 to 3 cups of rose hip tea serve the general boost of the immune system. For longer-term effects and for general stabilization of health, it is recommended to make a 14-day cure with tea from rose hips.

Rosehip Tea Recipes

Rosehip tea
Rosehip tea

Rosehip Tea Against Colds

Add 2 heaped teaspoons of dried and chopped rosehips with 1 quarter of a liter of hot water. Heat to a boiling point and cook for at least ten minutes. Then strain.

Rosehip Tea Blend Against Colds

Prepare a tea from 25g rosehips (with seeds) and 25g lime tree blossoms. Add some lemon juice and drink 2 to 3 cups a day.

Our tip: Rosehip tea is also good to take with you when travelling. Its effect lasts for some time.

Rosehip Tea Against Bronchitis

Boil 100 g rosehip blossom and rosehip leaves ( roughly pureed) with 100 g honey and 1 l water for 15 minutes. Skim off the foam repeatedly. Then filter the juice and pour into clean bottles. Note that this tea does not last long and should be consumed in a few days.

Rosehip Tea as a Mild Herbal Laxative

Add 250 ml of boiling water to 1 teaspoon of chopped rosehips. Allow to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes. The tea can be consumed hot or cold.

Tea from Rosehip Seeds

This healing tea was very popular in earlier times, but has fallen somewhat into oblivion over time. It is especially used for exhaustion, bladder problems or colds and to purify the blood. The vanillin contained in the rose hip seeds is noticeable in the taste.

The preparation is simple: put the seeds on a newspaper and dry them on the heating or in the oven at about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Then press the seeds a little with a mortar and pour a cup of hot water over two teaspoons of the seeds. Let the tea steep for at least ten minutes and then filter off the seeds.

Alternatively, four tablespoons of rosehip seeds can be placed in 500 milliliters of cold water and left to brew overnight covered. Then simmer for about 30 minutes.

Side Effects of Rosehip Tea

There are no known side effects when drinking rosehip tea. Even as a drink for children, the sour-fruity tasting tea – often mixed with mallow, hibiscus or other fruits – is a refreshing and side-effect-free infusion and a good alternative to lemonades.

Rosehip tea with fruits
Rosehip tea with fruits

Anyone who is allergic to other rose plants should be particularly careful when drinking rosehip tea.

Rosehip Wine Recipe

150 g ripe rosehips, 150 g white candy, 1 l white wine. Cut the ripe rose hips of the potato rose and add to the wine with the rock candy. Allow to stand for 8 days, then filter through a cloth to remove the fine hairs. 

Rosehip Liqueur

For a rosehip liqueur, the sugared fruits must be well sweetened for one night. Then they are placed in a larger container together with the corresponding amount of edible alcohol for two months. The liqueur can then be filtered and filled into smaller bottles.

Alternatively you can use 400g rose hips, 150g white rock candy, 0.7l liquor (vodka, schnapps, more than 35% alcohol). Pour the rose hips with the rock candy and the vodka into a bottle. Seal and leave to stand for at least 2 months in a cool place. Filter off and leave to ripen (for up to a year).

Rosehip Vinegar

To make rosehip vinegar, lightly pound the fruit. Then place in a bottle with herbs such as thyme or rosemary and add wine vinegar. Close the bottles and store the vinegar for four to six weeks in a bright place (shake every two to three days). Then filter the vinegar through a fine cloth and enjoy it with fruity salads.

Rose Hip Jam

All types of rose hips can be used to make rosehip jam and the recipe is fairly easy. The sweet taste is achieved by removing the seeds of the red fruits as well as the skin, stems and flowers before cooking. With a grinder, the otherwise very laborious work can be done in one single step. The rose hips are boiled for a few minutes before the grinding to make them easier to pass through. Next, the mass is cooked with the appropriate amount of sugar or gelling sugar. A little grated lemon peel, orange juice, honey and vanilla pulp add a wonderful aroma to the jam. The result is a healthy spread that still contains many vitamins and minerals despite being processed.

Wild Rosehip Jam
Wild rosehip jam is a common product in Germany

Rosehip jelly is made from the sugared juice of the cooked and strained fruits. For a light sour taste lemon juice or white wine is added to the jelly. Sugar, vanilla, lemon, cloves and pimento are just some of the flavours that make rosehip jelly so delicious.

Recipe for Rosehip Puree 

Rosehip puree can be made relatively easily. It is particularly suitable to be used as a remedy and dietary supplement to overall promote health. In addition, it has a great taste.

For rosehip puree, whole rosehips are mainly needed, as ripe as possible. In addition, a little fresh lemon juice can be useful to improve the storage life.

The use of a grinder is advantageous because you do not have to remove the seeds from the rosehips by hand. 

First the fruits are washed. Then boil them with a little water until they are soft. Then you pass them through a fine sieve or a grinder. This process removes the seeds and hairs that surround the seeds inside the fruit. However, it is impossible to remove all barbed hairs with the revolving sieve. The pulp must therefore be pureed very finely with a hand blender.

The alternative method is much more complex, but leads to a better result. 

Rose Hips Benefits
Rosehip seeds and fine hairs

After washing the fruit, cut off both ends and divide the fruit lengthwise. Then remove with the fingers or with a spoon from both halves carefully all seeds and hairs. Latex gloves are highly recommended to avoid skin reactions caused by the hairs inside the fruit. This work takes some time.

Then place the cleaned halves in a bowl with a tightly closing lid. Then add water. Now shake the bowl vigorously and let it stand for 1 minute. The hairs now float on the surface and can be skimmed off or carefully poured off. Repeat this process a few times until all the hairs have been removed as far as possible. 

Now put the clean halves of the rose hips into a sieve. Then rinse them briefly under running water to remove even the last hairs.

The prepared fruits are poured with some water and heated on the stove. Allow to boil briefly and then simmer on a low flame. The fruits should become very soft and a cooking time of 30 to 60 minutes is just right depending on the variety and degree of ripeness. If necessary, add a little water occasionally. 

When simmering, you can crush the fruit with a large spoon until the pulp separates from the skin of the fruit.

Now place a fine sieve on a bowl and add the soft boiled fruits. The berries are then firmly passed through the sieve with a large spoon. So that at the end only the fruit skins remain in the sieve. 

For a sweet sauce, boil the whole thing again briefly with a little water and sugar.

Rose Hip Coffee

Once used by Spanish conquistadors as a natural barrier against intruders, the wild rose is now a major crop in Chile, accounting for 85% of the worlds cultivated supply. Chileans also enjoy coffee made from roasted rosehip seeds as a trusted remedy for gastritis, or inflammation of the lining of the stomach.

rose hip coffee
Roasted rosehip coffee

Rosehip cure

For long-term benefits and general health improvement, it is advisable to take a 14-day tea cure with rosehip tea. All the positive properties of rosehips are also contained in the standardized rose hip extract, which is offered in the form of capsules. It contains all the healing power of the wild rose. Rosehip powder is easy to dose and can easily be stirred into water or juice and into dishes such as quark or yoghurt.

Rosehip Juice

The juice of rose hips is considered to be very rich in vitamins and its red colour makes it particularly attractive. Rosehip juice tastes great on its own or mixed with other drinks. The production of wine from rose hips is complex. It is important that the fruits have had some night frosts.

Rose Hips Side Effects 

Side effects are not commonly known from taking rose hips. The rose hip is well tolerated. In rare cases, as with all foods, allergies can occur. Excessive amounts of rose hips are also not beneficial. The high amounts of vitamin C contained in Rosehip, can cause headaches, nausea and other symptoms when consumed in large quantities. 

Interactions with other medications are also unknown. However, it is always worth consulting a physician if you intend to take a natural remedy regularly for a longer period of time. People already using medications such as blood thinners or the like should definitely consult their doctor before a rose hip cure. For example, the effects of certain medications can be reduced or, in the worst case, eliminated when rosehip tea is consumed.

Overdosage or prolonged consumption should generally be avoided with all herbal products. It is advisable to ensure alternation.

Rose Hips and Pregnancy

The consumption of rose hips during pregnancy is not only harmless, it can also be very useful when it comes to relieving pain, counteracting anxiety and having a laxative effect when digestive problems occur again. The strengthening of the immune system is also an important point here and the multifaceted rose hip tea effect provides a remedy for free breathing against the common cold. In addition, rosehip tea can be enjoyed in unlimited quantities.

The Future of Rosehip

The myriad of healthy properties of rose hips is drawing some well-deserved attention to a plant that had fallen from a traditional cure-all in Hildegard’s time to a mere bramble in more recent times. But through tradition, and the recent revival of natural and folk medicinal cures, rose hips continue to spread into mainstream markets. Whether you are looking for your next winter cure-all, a new (old) twist to your autumn preserves, or a simple way to keep your tummy happy and skin glowing, rosehips can do it all. Give it a try!

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