The rose plant is infamous for its beautiful and very fragrant flowers, but most people are unaware that the plant also produces nutritionally dense fruit, most commonly known as Rosehip, but also answering to the names of Rose-haw and Rose-hep. Rosehip has numerous health benefits and has been used in a wide variety of preparations, both fresh and dried.
What is Rosehip?
Rosehip is the fruit of the rose plant, making up the bulbous portion found right below the flower. It looks somewhat like a cherry or crab apple. The fruit can grow to 1.5 to 2 cm and is full of seeds. The rosehip is ripe once the flower has bloomed and all of the petals have fallen off. This usually occurs in the late summer and fall, after pollination.1 The “Wild Dog Rose” is the variety most often cultivated for its fruit. This plant is known to grow up to ten feet tall, and produces very fragrant white flowers. It is native to Africa, West Asia, and Europe.2
The plant itself is quite hardy and is known to grow in less than ideal conditions. However, areas with well draining soil and plentiful sunlight provide optimal conditions for plants producing rosehip to grow and thrive.3
When most people think vitamin C, they think about oranges. However, a widely unknown fact is that three ripe rosehips have more vitamin C than a single orange! It is due to this fact that rosehips are often used in recipes, where they lend their sweet yet tangy flavor to dishes such as jams, preserves, teas, syrups, and sauces.4
With such a high vitamin C content, rosehip has historically been used for hundreds, if not thousands, of years by cultures such as the early populations of the Americas, as well as various parts of Europe,5 as medicine to treat influenza, colds, and other illnesses as a stomach tonic, 3 however it wasn’t until recent decades that the complete medicinal value was actually discovered.
Health Properties of the Plant
As previously mentioned, rosehips are incredibly high in vitamin C, but are also high in vitamin A, which is sometimes considered the best vitamin for skin care. This vitamin helps to rejuvenate skin and heal scars and damaged tissue. The astringent qualities of rosehip oil make it a valuable addition to cosmetic preparations, where it has often been used to treat scars, acne, and burns.6
Rosehip is additionally known to have valuable anti-inflammatory properties, is chalk full of antioxidants, additional vitamins, minerals, organic compounds, and is very beneficial to the immune system.
Rosehip offers an incredibly wide variety of health benefits, such as increased joint mobility, improved immunity, increased respiratory health, and enhanced digestive health. Rosehip is also widely touted as an effective anti-inflammatory agent, and is even thought to prevent cancer and chronic disease.
Joint health is positively affected by Rosehip due to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Rosehips appear to decrease inflammation by inhibiting production of inflammatory proteins and enzymes. A recent study of three clinical trials even concluded that powdered Rosehips reduced knee, hip, and wrist pain by nearly one third in a large group of osteoarthritis patients.7
Rosehip’s incredibly impressive levels of vitamin C works wonders to aid the immune system, by treating influenza, colds, and other maladies caused by immune deficiencies, as a stomach tonic.4 Vitamin C is important to white blood cell stimulation, a vital aspect of immune health and function. It is also an important aspect of collagen production, which plays an essential role in the health of your bones.5
Rosehips offer many circulatory and respiratory benefits, as they are a major component in the formation of red blood cells.5 Therefore including this nutrient powerhouse in your diet can help to keep your organs well oxygenated, which in turn increases the functionality of your entire body as a cohesive system.5
Rosehips are a wonderful digestive aid. The various acids within rose hips, as well as pectin, are known to have diuretic & laxative effects, which induce urination and excretion, therefore lending the benefits of detoxification. Rosehips can help eliminate toxins from the body, as well as excess salts, liquids, and even fat.
Rosehip also prevents cancer and chronic disease due to the powerful antioxidants that can be found in this nutrient dense fruit, such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and polyphenols. These compounds are known to eliminate or neutralize free radicals that are found within the body.5
Rosehips have flown under the radar, and may not be as popular as their flowery counterparts, but are gaining some serious traction in the nutrition world (lucky for us). Rosehips are an easy way to introduce some incredible nutrition into your diet, and their health benefits are too significant to be ignored. Don’t just stop and smell the roses. Eat the fruit too!
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1# Rosehip. (2016). Available:
2# Rosehip Tablet: Description. (2017). Available:
4# Rosehip Information. (2015). Available:
5# Health Benefits of Rose Hips. (2013). Available:
7# Rose Hips. (2016.) Available: