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Rose Hips Benefits Explained: What Are Rose Hips?

White flower plant.

The first time I ever heard of rose hips was in eighth grade summer camp. The counselors had planned to play a trick on all us campers, and they made an itching powder out of toothbrush bristles and rosehip.

The plan was to sprinkle the powder over our beds during the day when we were all outside. When we would all wake up the next morning itching and scratching, they would explain that there was an infestation of bed bugs.

Then they were going to have the campsite owner “spray the bunk rooms” while we slept outside in tents, and when we returned we would find hundreds of dead bugs all over our beds, suitcases and the floor (can you believe they bought bags of dead bugs as well?!).

Fortunately for us, the campsite owner didn’t allow them to put the itching powder or the bugs onto his precious beds, so we were saved from that kind of torture. But, thinking it would be a shame to let all that itching powder go to waste, the counselors lost no time in pouring handfuls of it down unsuspecting campers’ backs.

Rose hips plant.

Unsurprisingly, I didn’t have particularly pleasant associations with rosehips for a while after this incident. But luckily, these fruits can be used for more than just itching powder. In fact, they’re edible – and there are plenty of reasons why you might want to eat or drink them!  

What Are Rose Hips? Where Do Rose Hips Come From?

Rose hips, which can also be called rose haw or rose hep, are the fruits of the rose plant. They look like small, red, oval-shaped berries. They can also be orange, purple, or even black in color. Like most plants, the bush will first flower and then produce fruits. After the roses have fallen off, the rosehips will then start to grow.

These tasty morsels look a little like tiny, misshapen pomegranates, and are full of nutrients, such as Vitamins A, C, and E, B Vitamins, iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. In fact, rose hips are one of the best sources of Vitamin C. They contain around 426 mg of Vitamin C per 100g, while the more famous orange, only contains 50 mg of Vitamin C per 100g.

How To Eat Rose Hips

Rose hips resemble berries, and they are eaten just like berries – that is, raw, as they are. However, unlike berries, the seeds inside rose hips have a hairy coating, which can be unpleasant and irritating to eat, so be careful.

Rose hips are more commonly used in jams, syrups, marmalade, teas, and even soups, which are popular in Sweden. They can also make great alcoholic beverages, such as wine, mead or brandy.

Rose Hips Tea Recipe And Guide

Rose hip tea in teacup with bowl of rose hips next to it.

Rose Hip Tea is delicious and comforting.

One of the most popular ways to enjoy these little fruits is to make a tea out of it. Due to the hairy seeds, they make for an excellent itching powder but can prove challenging to eat. Making them into a tea eliminates this difficulty while allowing you to enjoy their unique taste and health benefits. Recipe from saveur.com.

Ingredients

  • 1⁄3 cup rose hips
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 tbsp. golden raisins
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Method

  1. Wash the rose hips thoroughly, and halve them. Make sure to remove any blossoms or twigs that may be attached.
  2. Remove the seeds from inside the fruits, and dice the fruits into small pieces.
  3. Place the rose hip pieces into a saucepan and cover them with water. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Bring the water to a gentle boil. Cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add in the raisins, lemon juice, and sugar, and adjust the sweetness as desired.
  6. Strain the mixture and serve hot.

December will be here before you know it, and you’ll be glad for a new recipe to keep you warm and offer some sweetness after a long, cold, rainy day. There’s nothing like hot tea on a long winter’s night, so keep this recipe handy for the colder months!

Rose Hips Health Benefits Breakdown

Red tree shaped like a heart.

Rose Hip can help keep you feeling full of health and vitality!

Anti-Cancer Benefits

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which is very important when it comes to cancer prevention. The development of many serious illnesses is due in part to free radical damage. Therefore, scientists are working to discover which foods contain significant amounts of antioxidants – free radicals’ biggest enemy. The hope is that in time, the antioxidants can help ward off free radicals and prevent many serious illnesses and diseases, such as cancer. In studies done on rosehips, they were shown to slow down and prevent the spreading of human cancer cells.

Plus, rose hips also contain carotenoids in addition to Vitamin C, which can also help slow down certain tumors.

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Lower Cholesterol

Tests have also shown that rose hips can help lower cholesterol levels. This is very important for people who have high cholesterol and are at risk for heart disease or even heart attack. Taking a daily dose of rose hips as part of a low-cholesterol diet can be one of the easiest ways to lower the risks of a heart complication.

Helps With Diabetes

Because rose hips can lower blood sugar levels, these fruits are also perfect for people with diabetes. So far, studies have only been done on mice, but it’s believed that we can expect similar results in humans.

Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

Inflammation is one of the leading causes for various diseases and illnesses, including cancer and cardiovascular disease, two of the biggest killers in our generation. Because of this, scientists are always looking out for natural anti-inflammatories, to reduce inflammation and prevent or slow down these diseases or illnesses.

Rose hips have been shown to contain anti-inflammatory properties when taken every day. They reduce levels of C-reactive protein, a protein which increases when inflammation is high. This is also good news for people who suffer from joint inflammation, such as osteoporosis or arthritis. In fact, studies have shown that arthritis patients who took a rose hip herbal remedy for three months saw a significant reduction in pain after only three weeks.

Besides all these, rose hips are also known to be a natural laxative, and can also help with digestive problems. They may also improve blood circulation in the body.

Rose Hips Supplement Explained

If you’re not sure you want to go out searching for wild rose hips, and tea isn’t your thing, that’s okay. You don’t have to give up all the fantastic benefits rosehips have to offer! You can easily purchase rose hips in supplement form. They’re easier to ingest that way, and the health benefits might even be increased, as the supplements tend to be quite concentrated.

Generally, rose hip supplements should be taken twice daily, with a total of 5000 to 10,000 mg per day. Obviously, it’s never a good idea to take something on your own. Discuss taking rosehip supplements – or any other kind of medication or herbal remedy – with your doctor, before introducing anything new to your diet.

If you’re the kind of person who can’t take pills, there are also rosehip supplements available in powder form.

Rose Hips Oil Explained

Woman looking down wearing off-the-shoulder top.

Make your skin bright and radiant with Rose Hip oil.

In our modern world, there seems to be a new plant-based oil emerging nearly every day. Rosehips are no exception – their oil contains essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6), plus beta-carotene (a substance your body converts into Vitamin A).

Rosehip oil is generally used in skincare products, because of its abundance of Vitamin C. If you’re a regular here at Maple Holistics, then you’ll know that Vitamin C has potent antioxidant properties. This makes it ideal to fight against free radical damage which can result in skin issues, such as wrinkles or hyperpigmentation. Rosehip oil in skin products can help brighten your skin, slow down the signs of aging, and even heal scars.

The essential fatty acids in rosehip oil also play a part in its amazing skincare benefits. These fatty acids encourage cell regeneration and help with the production of collagen and elastin – which help keep your skin looking soft, supple, look youthful. And the best part is that rosehip oil can be used on most skin types. If you aren’t sure, buy a smaller bottle to test out, and see how your skin reacts to it. You might just find rosehip oil to be the answer to many of your skin-related prayers!

Conclusion

Adding rosehips to your life is incredibly easy, and with so many health and beauty benefits it is certainly recommended. If you’re lucky enough to have some growing near you, you may even want to try eating them as they are, or using them to make delicious and comforting teas, syrups and jams.

Aside from the conditions and illnesses that rosehips can help with, like cancer and arthritis, they most certainly also have a place in a healthy person’s diet. You can never be too healthy, after all, so any anti-inflammatory food is a good idea for just about all of us! Not to mention a food as sweet and delicious as this.

If the taste doesn’t agree with you, or you want a more concentrated version of nutrients, rosehip supplements are fairly easy to come by and add to your routine. And of course, there are always the benefits of using a skincare product with the oil of these amazing fruits! So, whatever your need may be, I think it’s safe to assume that rosehips can do something for you. And at the very least – they sure make for an effective itching powder!

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