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Rose Hips - Explaining The Benefits And Risks


Rose hips are a part of the rose plant. They are the round portion of the rose flower just under the petals. Rose hips have inside them the seeds of the rose plant. Both the dried rose hips and the seeds can be used to make medicine. Here are some of their benefits, side effects and other things to consider before you buy it - such as should you buy the dried version or the fresh one? Let's find out.

Benefits and Risks of Rose Hips

What is Rose Hip?

Rose hip is the fruit that develops from the wild rose plant. It differs in color from orange to purplish black and usually grows in the latter part of the growing season, between late summer to autumn.

As they are dried or used as seeds, they are commonly used in herbal teas and rose hip is also available in supplement and powdered forms. Rose hip consists of a number of important antioxidants (including vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and lycopene) that are so nutrition packed and great for your health.

Who knew a simple rose could stem from such nutrition?Alternative practitioners consider that rose hip can prevent or treat a wide range of gastrointestinal and inflammatory symptoms.

Rose hips are also utilized for stomach disorders including stomach spasms, stomach acid deficiency, preventing stomach irritation and ulcers, and as a "stomach tonic" for intestinal diseases.

They are also used for diarrhea, constipation, gallstones, gallbladder ailments, lower urinary tract and kidney disorders, fluid retention (dropsy or edema), gout, back and leg pain (sciatica), diabetes, high cholesterol, increasing immune function during exhaustion, high blood pressure, chest ailments, fever, increasing blood flow in the limbs, increasing urine flow and quenching thirst which would have come in handy in the early life of human beings who didn't have quick access to clean water or medication like we do these days.

What to look out for?

Fresh rose hips contain a lot of vitamin C, so they share characteristics with the vitamin C including preventing and treating colds, flu, and vitamin C deficiencies. However, much of the vitamin C in rose hips is lost during drying and processing and also quickly comes to a halt during storage. Due to all of this, many rose hip-derived "natural" vitamin C products have actually been unnaturally enriched with lab-made vitamin C, but their labels may not always say so.

In food manufacturing, rose hips are used for tea, jam, soup, and as a natural source of vitamin C.


  • Osteoarthritis: Research suggests that rose hips are beneficial for people with osteoarthritis. A lot of research pointed out that taking a specific rosehip product (Hyben Vital) twice daily for 3-4 months decreased pain and stiffness and improved function in people with osteoarthritis.
  • Painful menstruation: Historically rose hip has had relevance as studies suggest that using an aromatherapy formula containing lavender, clary sage, and rose hip to rub on top of the stomach reduces menstrual cramps in young women with painful menstruation.
  • Obesity: Some research shows that taking rose hips powder mixed with apple juice does not affect weight or blood sugar levels in people who are obese. However, rose hip might only modestly reduce cholesterol and blood pressure in obese people.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: Early research showed that taking a specific rosehip product (LitoZin/i-flex, HybenVital, Denmark) by mouth improved some symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Preventing and treating colds: it contains a lot of Vitamin C
  • Boosting the immune system.
  • Stomach irritations.

Possible Side Effects:

Rose hips are generally considered safe but may cause side effects in some people, including nausea, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, stomach cramps, fatigue, and headache which resemble the symptoms they had in the first place.

The risk tends to increase with larger doses.

Some people have reported insomnia and unrestful sleep.

  • Rose hip is known to cause certain drug interactions that arise from the high concentration of vitamin C in the plant. As such, you may need to avoid rosehip if you are taking estrogen-based contraceptives or the antipsychotic drug Prolixin (fluphenazine), both of which are affected by excessive doses of vitamin C.
  • Rose hip also has mild diuretic characteristics and could intensify the effects of pharmaceutical diuretics like Lasix (furosemide). This same effect may also reduce the concentration of lithium in the blood, potentially undermining the effectiveness of the mood stabilizer.
  • Rose hip also contains a substance called rugosin E that stimulates the formation of clots. You should avoid rosehip if you've ever had deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, or other conditions involving blood clots. It is possible that rosehip can also decrease the efficacy of blood thinners like warfarin used to prevent or treat cardiovascular diseases.

Due to the many risks it poses, rose hip should not be used in children, pregnant women, or nursing mothers.

Dosage and Preparation:

Rose hip capsules are generally sold in 500-milligram to 1,000-milligram doses and are considered safe if consumed within this range. Doses above 2,000 milligrams can boast the risk of side effects, particularly if the supplement is co-formulated with vitamin C.

Rose hip extract, rose extract, and rose hip essential oil are completely different. Rose hip extracts are typically alcohol-based and generally used internally. Rose hip essential oils are intended for aromatherapy and therefore for external use only.

As a general rule of thumb, never go beyond the recommended dose on the product label.


As a dietary supplement, rose hip need not go under the rigorous testing and research that pharmaceutical drugs do. Because of this, the quality of a supplement can vary.

To ensure quality and safety, choose supplements that have been tested and approved by an independent certifying body like the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), ConsumerLab, or NSF International. Whole dried rose hips or rose hip powder should ideally be certified organic, under proper regulation.

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