Rosehips are the beautiful red berries that form on rose plants after successful pollination of the flower in summer. These fruits, from the plant Rosa canina, commonly known as wild briar rose or dog rose, has been used as a traditional medicine for centuries to treat ailments such as diarrhea and diabetes. Rosehip is a potent source of vitamin C, and it also contains folate, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A, B3, D, and E. Rosehips are high in antioxidants like flavonoids, carotenoids, beta-sitosterol, and more. Rosehip benefits include strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, blood- sugar- reducing, and lipid-lowering effects.
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One of the most well studied rosehip benefits is its ability to treat osteoarthritis.[1,2] Rosehip has anti-inflammatory effects and can protect cartilage from damage, which may explain its ability to relieve osteoarthritis pain. In one study on patients with hip and knee osteoarthritis, supplementation with 5 g per day of rosehip powder resulted in less pain and a lower need for rescue medication after only three weeks. Rosehip may be as effective, if not more effective, than glucosamine, which is a well established natural treatment for osteoarthritis.
Rosehip may also help to treat rheumatoid arthritis . People who received 5 g rose hip daily showed improvement in symptoms, while those who received placebo got worse.
Studies show that rosehip reduces risk factors for cardiovascular disease, too, including systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol. It improves LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio as well, according to a study of 31 obese people who drank a rose-hip drink daily for six weeks. The authors of the study estimated that the reductions in these risk factors decreased the risk for cardiovascular disease by 17%.
Rosehip is a traditional diabetes treatment, and recent laboratory work has shown that it lowers blood sugar in animal models.
Just as rosehip benefits pain associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, it may also benefit pain associated with dysmenorrhea (a condition of painful menstruation). Rose hip was shown to be as effective as mefanamic acid (a common prescription drug used to treat dysmenorrhea) in decreasing menstrual pain and symptoms of dysmenorrhea in one study.
Rosehip may also have anticancer effects. In a recent laboratory study, rosehip extract was found to prevent proliferation of triple-negative breast cancer cells, suggesting that it may be a potential complimentary medicine to use in treating this type of cancer.
As always, check with your doctor before using any new supplements. For osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, try 5 g daily. For other uses, consult your doctor for dosing information.
Share Your Experience
Do you have experience with any of these or other rosehip benefits? Share your thoughts on using rosehip to treat a variety of conditions in the comments section below.
This article was originally published in 2015 and is regularly updated.