Updated: Mar 30
Many of our tea's contain Rose Hips. But what are they? What do they do? And how are they different from rose buds or rose petals?
Simply stated, rose hips are the small fruits that grow at the base of wild rose blossoms. Ranging in color from red to orange, purple to black, rose hips contain the seeds of the rose and are commonly harvested and used for medicinal purposes. Containing antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and lycopene, this ingredient is a marvel for our health!
Today we take a look at the history and health benefits of rose hips.
Rose hips have been found throughout Chinese, Persian, Roman and Greek history. The most historical application for rose hips was to help heal dog bites, oddly enough!
However, it's historical applications also included stomach illness, menstrual pains, and diarrhea.
The British utilized this fruit in their pharamcopeia into the 1930's, especially during World War II. British troops were often served a syrup made out of rose hips due to its high vitamin C content, and the lack of readily available fruits other than rose hips. Scurvy was a legitimate issue for these soldiers in war time, and by adding rose hips to their daily diets, they were able to fend off the nasty disease.
Several studies of people who suffer from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis have found that rose hips can help treat their symptoms.
Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology in a 2005 article reported that rose hips reduced osteoarthritis pain, as well as reduced the need for additional pain medications when compared to placebos.
In 2010, Phtyomedicine discovered rose hips improved physical function in people with rheumatoid arthritis, however this study was not able to report reductions in pain.
The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported in a small study of people with BMI greater than 30 showed greater improvement systolic blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Both of these factors suggested improvements for those at risk of, or suffering from heart disease. Further studying is required, but preliminary studies are showing great promise for the effects rose hips play in helping prevent or aid in heart disease.
Preliminary studies are showing that rose hips play a role in preventing type 2 diabetes. Specifically, these studies are suggesting reduced type 2 diabetes risk factors for those battling obesity and high blood pressure.
Rose hips were discovered to normalize blood sugar levels, while simultaneously controlling cholesterol levels. The hypothesis for these effects stem from rose hips ability to stimulate the growth of beta cells in the pancreas.
One of the most common and historical uses of rose hips is in those suffering from diarrhea and stomach ulcers. While historically these claims have been more anecdotal, modern science is beginning to discover this may be more than just a folksy remedy.
In 2017, the University of Zaragoza in Spain published a review that claimed rose hips slow the contraction of intestinal muscles. In fact, rose hips were discovered to be just as effective in this area as the lab created drug Lomotil in treating diarrhea.
In addition, Helicobacter pylori, a bacteris responsible for the development of ulcers, was found to be significantly reduced in coordination with the consumption of rose hips. It was found that rose hips reduce the pH balance in the stomach helping to fight off painful ulcers.
Rose hips have also been discovered to be great for boosting the immune system. With a significantly high concentration of vitamin C, so high it is believed to have the largest concentration of vitamin C of any other fruit or vegetable, this ingredient is a powerhouse for boosting immunities.
Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells, enhances lymphocytes, and empowers our skin to protect against outside pathogens.
Along with its potent vitamin C content, rose hips are also rich in polyphenols, and vitamins A and E. All of which are great at strengthening and protecting our immune system.
Sometimes ancient home remedies aren't all they're cracked up to be. But in the case of rose hips, history has shown the belief that they can assist in boosting our immune system, fighting ulcers, and loading our bodies up with vitamin C is no folk tale. Science is still trying to catch up with the many believed effects of ingredients like rose hips. But the more science delves into these issues, the more we are discovering the folk lore might be more folk fact.
Check out these teas containing Rose Hips!