The rose hips are the red round cover of seeds on the rose plant. They are like fruit and appear after the successful pollination of flowers. You should harvest them from late August to late September, usually after the first frost, but all depends on the climate you’re in.
The most commonly used is a wild rose plant (Rosa canina), which is a bushy shrub that grows up to 2 meters. It grows everywhere, mostly in forests. Also, it’s found as hedges by roads across Europe, northern Africa, and northern and western Asia.
It is used fresh and dried, not fully ripe when still firm. During this phase, they contain more vitamins than when they become mature.
The rose hip is one of the biggest vitamin C supplements. There are also Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and it is rich in antioxidants.
This fruit can be a natural remedy for Arthritis, Ulcers, urinary tract infections, Diabetes, back pain, and so many other health issues, which I will explain in more detail later in this blog in the benefits section.Apart from being used fresh, it is used in the form of tea, jam, soup, syrup, extract, tincture and oil. Of course, fresh rose hips have the highest amount of vitamins, unlike processed ones. I will try to give a recipe for every use separately.
I’m writing this blog on December 28th, I’m going to try to find some rose hips fruit if there are left and if they are still ok I will take some photos of them.
What are Rose Hips, Rose Plant and Rose Seeds?
Rose plant, especially wild, is one of the most famous flowers in the world and Rosaceae is a family of many species and hybrids of it.
Well known species of rose are: dog rose (Rosa canina) or wild rose, sweet briar (Rosa rubiginosa), downy rose (Rosa villosa), field rose (Rosa arvensis) and downy rose (Rosa villosa).
In this blog, I will mostly focus on dog rose because it is the most widespread and has the most benefits for human health.
The wild rose plant grows in the form of a thorny shrub up to 2m in height with beautiful white to pink bushes. The fruits of it are called rose hips and they are wrapping the rose seeds, have red to orange color, and sweet taste with a tart aftertaste. They appear right before the winter rose hips are releasing the seeds into the soil. They stay in the soil for two winters before start to germinate. They are one of the few fruits that want cold and even when you harvest them fresh, it’s recommended to freeze them for one night and then they will become healthier with more vitamins.
It is one of the longest living plants, their life span can reach up to 1000 years.
From Where it Got its Name Dog Rose?
There are several versions of why it is called dog rose.
- According to the belief, wild rose can heal the bite of a mad dog. This belief appears in the first century when a woman was told in a dream that a roseroot could cure her son bite from a rabid dog.
- The second version refers to jagged-edged leaves of it or corruption of ‘dagger’ – dog.
- And in a derogatory sense dog rose like ‘little worth’ in the garden.
The leaves, flowers, rose hips, and seeds are used for producing remedies, oils, dishes, and tinctures.
All Benefits from Rose Hip Fruits, Tea, and Oil
When fresh, they have the highest amount of vitamin C. The rosehip tea is rich in antioxidants and can boost your immune system. The rose essential oil is often used for aromatherapy and rosehip oil is perfect for daily skincare.
There are different benefits depending on what form they are used in. So I’ll divide them into fresh or dried, tea, essential oils, and rosemary oil benefits.
Rose hip – Fresh and Dried Benefits
As I mentioned earlier, the fruits of the rose plant contain vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A. Most of these vitamins are found in the fresh not too mature hips. The vitamin C in them is in greater quantities than in oranges. If you want to be fresh at all times, just freeze them so they can become even better.
Dried rose hips contain these vitamins in smaller quantities because of external influences during drying. But they are easier to store all year round.
In folk medicine, roses or dried roses are used for diarrhea.
The famous Serbian pharmacologist Jovan Tucakov wrote in his book Lecenje Biljem that every family should have these fruits in their home, especially in winter.
Rosehip Tea Benefits
Rosehip tea can be made from dried fruit. Be careful when preparing the water temperature to not exceed 80°C because above that temperature all useful ingredients including vitamin C are lost. If you decide to add honey, wait until it cools down to about 50°C as honey loses its usefulness over that temperature.
If you make fresh fruit tea, according to my experience, it has to boil for up to 15 minutes to give it the color and taste. First, remove the dark hair on the tops and then cut them into small pieces along with the seeds and put them in a teapot.
Rosehip Tea Can Boost Immunity
- Vitamin C is essential for human health, especially for those receiving cancer treatments. Chemotherapy induces vitamin C deficiency and overall immunity falls. Rose plant is cheap and available everywhere so this study shows that vitamin C from it can supplement deficiencies and thereby contribute to increased immunity.
- The same study shows that vitamin C has a positive effect on lymphocyte function and development.
- Vitamin C is protecting skin from oxidative environmental stress.
- Good supplementation with vitamin C is preventing systematic and respiratory infections too.
- This study show that rose hips can treat and prevent common cold because of the large amount of vitamin C in them.
- Vitamin A and vitamin E, which are also found in rose plants, help boost immunity.
So if you want to improve your immunity by consuming vitamins C, A, and E, drink rose hip tea, especially in winter days.
Rosehip Tea Is Rich in Antioxidants
In this study, rose hip extract was found to have a higher antioxidant content than the other 5 small fruit extracts.
Antioxidants are protecting from molecules called free radicals, and with that, they protect and reduce cell damage.
Consuming foods high in antioxidants can help fight chronic diseases like diabetes type 2, heart disease, and cancer.
Rose hips contain vitamin C, vitamin E, polyphenols and cartenoids which have high level antioxidant properties, shows this study.
This herb, depending on the species, contains different amounts of antioxidants. According to this study, dog rose from wild rose are richest in them and vitamin C.
The amount of antioxidants also depends on the time they are harvested and the place where they are harvested. It is best to harvest not fully matured and the rose plant on the mountainside is rich in antioxidants.
Same here, the fresh fruits are richer with antioxidants then dried.
Can be an Aid for Type 2 Diabetes
Three main factors for type 2 diabetes are:
- Fasting insulin levels
- Fat cell growth in the liver
- Blood sugar levels
Well, a study shows that mice who was on high-fat diet and were given rose hip powder for 10-20 weeks, had significantly decreased these 3 factors.
Here is another study that gave the same result and it lowered blood sugar levels.
More research on how rose hip affects people is needed. In fact, there is one such study done with obese people, and the results have shown that there are no significant improvements in the rise in glucose levels. These results are for healthy people and those with elevated blood sugar levels.
The studies used powder and rosehip extract. The tea requires specific research.
Anti-inflammatory Properties and Reduction of Pain
Galactolipids and polyphenols components of rosehip tea have high anti-inflammatory effects.
The Galactolipids have been studied because they have anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce pain. Аctually, they are fat in cell membranes.
The three studies review came up with results, showing that rosehip supplement reduced pain in a group of people with osteoarthritis twice as much then placebo group.
Another study done over a 4-month period of 100 respondents confirms this. The group receiving the rose hip extract reported that pain was significantly reduced and had better hip joint mobility.
The Rosehip extract can aid rheumatoid arthritis, there is research about that but it’s limited, so at the end of the day, further studies are needed.
These studies are also made using rosehip extract, for tea there is no specific research yet.
Rosehip Tea Can Aid Weight Loss
Wild or dog rose plant is rich in the antioxidant called tiliroside, and that specific antioxidant has properties which aid fat burning.
There was a study using rosehip extract on a group of obese mice and the results showed a significant reduction in abdominal fatness and a reduction in overall weight in contrast to the other group that did not receive any extract.
The study that involved people given 100 mg of rosehip extract daily over a 12-week period also found that it significantly reduced abdominal obesity and overall weight gain in the placebo group.
The results of these studies apply to the extract, and more research is needed on tea. Most likely the effect would be the same, but the process would be slower.
Rose Hips May Prevent Heart Disease
Blood Triglycerides and LDL Cholesterol, the two main factors that can cause heart disease, can be reduced by taking 500 mg of vitamin C per day, according to 13 studies done on the subject.
Tha good thing is that rose hips contains a large amount of vitamin C, so it can and can reduce the risk of suffering from heart disease, shows this study , which is similar to the previous one.
The antioxidants like flavonoids contained in rose hips improve blood flow to the heart and reduce blood pressure, says this study.
A recent study was conducted using 40g rosehip powder per day which was consumed for 6 weeks and included 31 subjects. The results were positive, and the powder had a positive effect on cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
But, the scientists who carried out the study say the results may be due to the high amount of fibers in the powder, and those are not present in the tea.
Rosehip Tea Against Skin Aging
Vitamin C, which is contained in rosehip tea, promotes collagen synthesis in the body, and with that makes the skin look younger and protects it from external harmful effects such as strong sunlight. This is shown by this study.
This is because collagen is a protein that is responsible for the elasticity of the skin and vitamin C is one of the essential elements the body requires to produce it naturally.
So, drink rosehip tea if you want to maintain your youthful appearance and your health. It’s easy to find, it’s cheap, and you have nothing to lose.
More about skincare is found in the rosehip oil application.
Rosehip Oil Benefits
Well, first of all, I would like to emphasize the fact that rosehip oil and the rose essential oil is different. Rosehip oil is made from rose hips seed, fruit, petals, and can be used undiluted for skincare. Rose essential oil is made from rose plant petals you must use it with a carrier oil and commonly is used for aromatherapy.
Rose oil and rose water are good for the skin and there are commonly used to prepare lotions, body creams, lip balms, soaps and you can use it itself.
If you want to prepare it at home you can find the recipe at How to Make Rose Water and Rose Oil article.
I will write about aromatherapy later, now I will explain the benefits of rosehip for skincare.
Rosehip Oil Moisturizes the Skin
Applying rosehip oil to your skin will give it natural moisture. This is because this type of oil is nongreasy or dry oil and it is suitable for all skin types.
It was a result of a study to analyze the anti-aging properties of rosehip oil. Even when the respondents were given rosehip powder orally, the natural moisture on the skin was achieved. Rosehip oil externally gives even better effects.
Reduce Skin Inflammation
Rosehip oil contains vitamin E antioxidant, anthocyanin, and polyphenols which have anti-inflammatory effects and can be an aid in skin diseases like: dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea.
It Hydrates the Skin
It is well known that skin hydration is an important factor for softness and aging of the skin. Weather conditions can reduce it and then the skin becomes dry.
The good thing is that rosehip oil contains linoleic acid, which is part of essential fatty acids. These fatty acids are helping the walls of cells not to let water out.
Rosehip oil containing these acids is great for maintaining skin hydration. It is very easily absorbed and because it is rich in antioxidants it easily touches all layers.
Rosehip oil is brightens and exfoliates the skin
Vitamin A and C in this oil help cells regenerate and turn over. This makes the skin fresh and bright in a natural way.
So, if you want your skin to shine and look youthful, try rosehip oil.
Rosehip Oil Reduces Fine Lines and Scars
In 2015, a study was done on how rosehip oil will work on post-surgical scars. One group of subjects applied the oil twice daily for 12 weeks to the scar. The other group received no treatment. After the last period, the group using oil showed a positive result, unlike the other. The color of the scar has changed for the better, and so has the inflammation.
Another study that same year showed that the rosehip powder that respondents received orally for 8 weeks significantly reduced crow’s feet or fine lines around the eyes.
These results have been positive because this oil is rich in acids and antioxidants that stimulate cell regeneration. It is no coincidence that rosehip oil is used in folk medicine for wound healing.
Improves Collagen Formation
Collagen is something that makes the skin firmness and elasticity. As we age, our body produces less collagen.
But thanks to the ingredients of rose hip, namely vitamin A and vitamin C, collagen production can naturally increase.
An earlier study in which the subjects were given rosehip powder showed a significant improvement in skin elasticity.
The patches or spots on the skin occur when there is excess melanin and it’s called Hyperpigmentation.
This condition may occur as a result of medications such as chemotherapy and birth control pills, hormonal changes like menopause or pregnancy, and sun exposure
Retinoids are nutritional components of vitamin A and can be found in rosehip oil. These components are reducing hyperpigmentation with regular use and also other visible signs on the skin.
Protects Against UV or Sun Damage
Lifelong sun exposure can contribute to faster skin aging because UV reduces the collagen that is responsible for skin elasticity.
Antioxidants like vitamin E,A and C, which can be found in rosehip oil, can protect the skin from visible sun damage, and this fact was shown by this study.
Rosehip oil cannot be substituted for sunscreen, it can only reduce the harmful effects of UV exposure.
Improves Skin Health
The polyunsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants in rosehip oil are making cell membranes strong, so bad bacteria which can lead to infections can’t get inside.
Previous studies have shown that rosehip powder strengthens and prolongs cell life and reduces the MMP-1 enzymes that break down collagen.
Rose Essential Oil Benefits
As I mentioned earlier, unlike rosehip oil, rose essential oil is made from the leaves and flowers of the rose plant Rosa damascene and is mainly used for aromatherapy. Aromatherapy scent penetrates the brain and calms the nerves, positively affects stress, anxiety, menopause, menstrual cramps, etc.
Here are the benefits you get when using this essential oil.
There is a study done in 2014 on how rose essential oil affects sleep in cardiac patients.
Sixty respondents were divided into two groups. One group received standard rose oil plus standard treatment, the other only standard therapy three days before bedtime.
The results showed that the group was given plus essential oil improved sleep quality, reduced sleep disturbances and latency, and aromatherapy has shown effective for alleviating daytime dysfunction.
This time, it has been studied how rose oil affects stress. One group of healthy volunteers was given rose oil, normally with a carrier oil because is too strong. The other group was given placebo.
The results showed that the rose oil group was more relaxed and calm. They also had lower blood pressure, breathing rate and pulse rate than the other group.
May Reduce Anxiety Levels
Hemodialysis Patients received aromatherapy with rose water. Thanks to this, the level of anxiety of the patients was significantly reduced. The effects of rose aromatherapy on anxiety have been confirmed by several preliminary studies. This is specifically posted in 2016 at Nephro-Urology Monthly.
It Can Reduce Menstrual Pain
For 7 days, women were doing abdominal massages with rose oil and carrier oil(clove, lavender, cinnamon oil etc.) for this study.
The results showed that massages once daily significantly reduced menstrual cramps and pain compared to the other group that used only almond oil.
Another study has been done on this topic. 75 respondents were divided into 3 groups. One was given to do self-massage with rose oil, the other with almond oil and the third without treatment.
This time too, rose oil has been shown to have a positive effect on menstrual cramps and pain even more in the second cycle.
Can Be an Aid for Menopausal Symptoms
This oil can help menopausal women. This is confirmed by a 2008 study in which 25 menopausal women were given massage in different essential oils and the rest in rose with carrier oil weekly.
Women who received massage with rose oil for 8 weeks reported a significant decrease in hot flashes that are the symptoms of menopause.
Rose Hips Uses
Rose hips can be used fresh, dried, you can make tea, rosewood oil, rose oil, soup, jam, syrup etc.
I’ll try to cover more of how to prepare some interesting rose hips recipes in the next section.
How to make Rose Hip Tea?
Rose Hip tea can be made from dried and fresh fruits. (For how to store and dry fruits I will write in the next section.)
Put 1-2 teaspoons of dried or fresh fruit in a teapot, leave for 15-20 minutes, and then drain it. When cool, you can add honey and drink it as you wish.
The tea has a sweet and pleasant taste. Great for warming you up in the winter days and giving you the vitamins and minerals you need.
I made the tea from the image below as I said earlier from fresh rose hips harvested at the end of December. I didn’t cut them in half or in smaller pieces, just pulled the hair out of the tops and put them to boiling. I say boil because I first tried to put them in water at about 80 degrees Celsius like other tea but at that temperature, the fruits didn’t release any color or taste, so I had to boil them for 15 min. Maybe if I cut them into pieces, the process would be simpler and faster.
I am sure you are wondering if due to the high temperature the vitamin C is lost? In these fruits, the vitamins can be reduced but not gone. It normally depends on the temperature and how long it is cooked, but you can generally make your own tea the way above without losing a lot of the beneficial ingredients.
How to use Rosehip Oil?
Before you start using the oil you should check if you are allergic to it. Generally, this type of oil is dry and easily absorbs into the skin and is suitable for all skin types. For the sake of precaution, check as follows:
- Apply a small amount of oil at the end of the palm.
- Cover with gauze and allow it to stand for 24 hours.
- If after that time you have redness and itching at the place where you put the oil, you should not use it.
- But if all goes well, continue to use the oil as described below.
You can apply it alone or mixed with a carrier oil, your favorite one. Apply it twice a day. You can also drop a few drops in the bathtub when you are bathing, except that is good for the skin you will also get some form of aromatherapy.
Keep it in a cool, dark place, a refrigerator would be great because it is easily spoiled.
When choosing to buy such oil keep in mind that cold-pressed has the best quality.
How to Use Rose Essential Oil?
- Unlike the previous one, this oil is much more concentrated and must be used in combination with a carrier oil if you apply it to the skin.
- Another way you can use this oil is inhaled aromatherapy. Make a few drops of oil on a cloth and use aromatherapy vaporizer or diffuser.
Eating Fresh and Dried Rose Hips
Usually when I eat it fresh, I only remove the hair on the tops. I do not remove the seeds. It’s a little hard and unpleasant to eat, but it is ok for me. You can remove them if you want.
Fresh ones have high amounts of vitamins and minerals. In practice, they soften and have the most juices after freezing, so it is best to harvest them after the first frost or freeze them in a fridge before using them. Do the same thing if you want to have fresh fruits all the time.
Dried fruits are softer and easier to store. You can eat them like that or make tea.
They have fewer vitamins and minerals than fresh because of the external influences that have affected them during drying.
How to Harvest, Dry and Store Rose Hips?
The best time to pick fruits from rose plants is when they are not fully mature. They should be a little sour. It all depends on the climate. For example, in my place, it is the period from late August to late September. As a rule, they are harvested after the first frost because they then become softer and have more juice.
If you want them fresh, remove the hair they have, and freeze in the freezer. But if you want them dry, cut them in half and leave them in a place where they are not exposed to direct light and a well-ventilated place. You will notice by yourself when they are softened and with fights, they are dried.
Put them in a jar in a cool, dark place or wrap the jar with opaque dark paper.
Rose Hips Side Effects
Rose hips and rose plants are generally safe to consume, but there are a few precautions you should be aware of.
Rosehip Tea Side Effects
- There are no specific studies on how this tea works in pregnant and lactating women so do not risk it or consult your doctor.
- There is a study that has shown that vitamin C, also found in tea, if ingested in large quantities can cause kidney stones.
- If you use lithium medicine for psychiatric disorders you should not drink rosehip tea because it has diuretic effect and can increase the amount of lithium in the body and that can cause serious side effects. This was the subject of this study.
Rosehip Oil Side Effects
This oil is suitable for all skin types but can cause allergic reactions. To avoid this, make a small area of the skin test to see if it irritates it. Do not use the oil if there is redness or itching.
Rose Essencial Oil Side Effects
- It is very important to know that this essential oil is not taken orally only for external use.
- If applied to the skin for aromatherapy massage it must be diluted with carrier oil, because it is very concentrated.
- Do not apply near the eyes or on gentle areas of the skin that may cause irritation.
- Before applying it on the skin, test whether you are allergic to it.
- If you are using it as an aromatherapy for depression, do not miss the standard therapy.
- Pregnant women and breastfeeding women should consult a doctor before they start using it.
From rose hips fruits of rose plant, you can make tea, eat it fresh or dry, make skin-friendly oil, tasty jam, syrup, soup, etc. From rose leaves and flowers, make rose essential oils used for aromatherapy. It is used externally in the form of oil and in other forms orally.
No matter what form you use it in, you can get great benefits, especially by replenishing your body with vitamin C, which is vital for overall human health. They are also rich in antioxidants and other vitamins such as A and E.
There are no significant side effects, but be careful with the allergies and kidney stones I mentioned earlier in the Side Effects section.
So, wait until next season and pick out that natural and tasty part of nature you can only get and lose nothing.