health benefits of rosehips

Rose hip is the fruit of the rose plant, scientifically called Rosa canina. Rose plants are native to Asia, Europe and North Africa. Rose hip is actually the round portion of the rose flowers just below the petals. Rose hips look like cherries but have a tender flesh. Dried rose hips and the seeds are both used together to make medicines.

Fresh rose hip contains many nutrients such as vitamins C, A, E, calcium and iron. Rose hips are rich sources of bio flavonoids, selenium, pectin, manganese, and B complex vitamins. They also contain organic compounds such as pectin, lutein, beta-carotene, and lycopene which are all essential to the body.

Initially they were cultivated for decorative purposes due to its colour and shape. Only recent their medicinal value was revealed.

Rose hips are used to cure different diseases like diarrhea, gallstones, kidney disorders, constipation, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and weight loss.

Health benefits of rose hips

Treat rheumatoid arthritis

Rose hips are a herbal medicine with anti-inflammatory properties. Rose hip extract holds polyphenols and anthocyanins that cure joint inflammation and joint damage. Regular intake of rose hip helps to increase the ability to move by 20 to 25%. It also has vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant which fights against the harmful molecules produced within the cells and may cause tissue damage or disease.

Rosehip tea
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“Clinical research has shown that rose hip powder can significantly reduce the severity of symptoms in patients with rheumatoid arthritis”.

Prevents cancer

Rose hip extract contains a variety of antioxidants such as Polyphenols, carotenoids, and flavonoids. All these antioxidants can eliminate or neutralize free radicals that cause oxidative stress or cellular rust. Pure rose hip extract can prevent the growth of cancer cells.

Reduces cholesterol

The antioxidant components present in rose hip helps to reduce cholesterol. The daily consumption of rose hip extract could cut the risk of heart disease. Rose hip tea is good for those who are obese, for it not only controls cholesterol but also elevates systolic blood pressure.

Immune system

Rose hips are rich in vitamin C content, and are hence excellent immune boosters. It also reduces the symptoms of wheezing in children, chronic cough, running nose, shortness of breath, and in treating asthma. Rose hips can either be eaten raw or they can be soaked and cooked in the morning. One tablespoon of rose hip pulp gives 60 mg of vitamin C which is even more than the Recommended Value.

Rosehip tea
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Skin care

Rose hip oil contains vitamins C, E, omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help calm and hydrate the dry skin, repair and regenerate damaged skin tissue. The powerful antioxidant called lycopene helps to improve skin texture and protects from premature ageing. Beta-carotene helps to protect from wrinkles and facial lines.

Preparation of rose hip oil

  1. Take some fresh rose hips.
  2. Cut off heads and tails.
  3. Chop them roughly with a knife.
  4. Put rose hip pieces into a small cooker.
  5. Add carrier oil.
  6. Keep it in simmer flame for 4 to 8 hours.
  7. Strain the mixture with a piece of cloth.
  8. Store the oil in a dark coloured jar and refrigerate it.

Take few drops of this oil and apply it on your skin twice in a day – morning and evening for better results.

Diabetes management

Rose hips have been proved to regulate blood sugar levels of the body. By keeping the balanced level of insulin and glucose in the body, it reduces the risk of getting diabetes and improves the symptoms in existing patients.

Bone health

Rose hips are rich in vitamin C and this plays an important role in stimulating collagen production. If you are taking adequate vitamin C, the collagen fibres in your connective tissue will always be stable and you will experience healthy bones and teeth. Inadequacy leads to weak bones, loosening of teeth, bleeding in your gums, pain and swelling in the joints. An optimal intake of vitamin C is about 400 mg per day. 100 grams of rose hip contains 426 mg which is more than the Recommended Value.

Dried rosehips
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Digestive aid

One of the simple remedies to calm stomach is drinking rose hip tea. The acids present in rose hip tea prevent irritation and ulcers and able to aid digestion. Feeling of bloating, unsettled stomach, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, gallstones and urinary tract infections all can be treated with a cup of rose hip tea.

How to prepare rose hip tea

  1. Boil a cup of water.
  2. Put a handful dried rose hips or 2 teaspoons of dried rose hip powder.
  3. Leave it for 15 minutes.
  4. Strain the tea.

Side effects of rose hips

Side effects are mild. It may include nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, heart burn, head ache, and inability to sleep.

Make a trial with a few rose hips and pay attention to how your body reacts before using it regularly.

Kalaivani Selvaraj, MBA, got her Master’s degree in Human Resources. Due to her interest in natural healing, she pursued studies in the field of alternative medicine and is certified in Aromatherapy by Isla Verde Spa Training Academy. Ms. Kalaivani Selvaraj is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.