Rose hips are the berry-like fruits of the rose bush left behind after the bloom has died. They are typically red or orange, but may also be dark purple to black in some species.
Rose hips contain vitamin C, some vitamin A and B, essential fatty acids and antioxidant flavonoids
Particularly high in Vitamin C, with about 1700–2000 mg per 100 g in the dried product, one of the richest plant sources.
RP-HPLC assays of fresh rose hips and several commercially available products revealed a wide range of L-ascorbic acid content, ranging from 0.03 to 1.3%.
Since earliest times roses were important in hand lotions, cosmetics, and perfumes. Today, almost all women's perfumes and 40 percent of men's fragrances contain rose oil. Rose perfumes are made by steam-distilling the crushed rose petals.
The anti-inflammatory properties of rose hips have recently been shown to be useful in the treatment of patients suffering from knee or hip osteoarthritis.
Scientists in Denmark reported that patients who daily consumed standardized rose hip powder (made from dog rose) experienced significantly less joint stiffness and pain, and an improved general well-being and mood after 3 to 4 months of treatment.
The use of rose hip powder also enabled the patients to considerably reduce their standard pain medication.
Rosehips contain high levels of antioxidant flavonoids with known anti-inflammatory properties.
Rose hips also contain carotenoid pigments, plant sterols, tocotrienols and a very high level of anthocyanins, catechins and other polyphenolics, known phytochemicals to protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD).
They also contain up to 5 % by weight of pectin, a soluble fiber that protects against CVD. In clinical trials, rose hips were seen to reduce C-reactive protein levels, associated with a lower risk of CVD.
The rose hips of Dog Rose are a traditional diuretic and laxative.
The rose hips are useful in the treatment of influenza-like infections, diarrhea, and various urinary tract disorders.
No side effects are known when rose hips are used in the normal designated amounts.
Rosehips are also commonly used to make herbal teas, by boiling the dried or crushed rose hips for10 minutes. About 2 tablespoons of berries are used per pint of water. A half-teaspoon of dried mint may be added to give a different flavor, or the acid-tasting tea may be sweetened. Rose hip tea may also be improved by blending with hibiscus flowers