7 Amazing Benefits of Rose Hips

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

The health benefits of rose hips include their ability to reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, relieve respiratory conditions, lower cholesterol, manage diabetes, increase urination, regulate digestion, boost the immune system, increase circulation, and help in building stronger bones. [1]

What are Rose Hips?

Rose hips, also known as rose hep and rose haw, are the fruits of the rose plant. They usually form in late summer and autumn after the flowers have been pollinated. Once the rosebud falls off, many people forget about roses, but the fruit of the plant is yet to come! The color is typically red, but it can also be orange, purple, or black. They are some of the most nutritionally packed fruits of any plant, which is why they have become such a desirable and sought-after product in markets around the world. Historically, they have been used for hundreds of years by the Americans as well as Europeans. [2]

They were cultivated for a number of reasons, even as decoration due to their shape and color. Recently, the complete medicinal value was discovered. They were even used as pet food for animals because it was noticed that animals were particularly attracted to the scent and taste of these small fruit pods. When people began eating the components of rose hips, a great deal of attention shifted towards the potential it had for their health.

The most common forms of rose hips include jams, jellies, soups, tisanes, bread, wine, pies, and even marmalade. They are an extremely versatile ingredient enjoyed by people all around the globe, either due to the delicious flavor or for the nutritional benefits!

Rose hips with leaves on dinner napkins

Rosehip berries can also be eaten raw if care is taken to avoid the hairs inside the fruits. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nutrition Facts

Rose Hips, wild (Northern Plains Indians)
Serving Size :
Water [g]58.66
Energy 162
Energy [kJ]679
Protein [g]1.6
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.34
Ash [g]1.18
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]38.22
Fiber, total dietary [g]24.1
Sugars, total including NLEA [g]2.58
Sucrose [g]0.07
Glucose (dextrose) [g]1.34
Fructose [g]1.16
Calcium, Ca [mg]169
Iron, Fe [mg]1.06
Magnesium, Mg [mg]69
Phosphorus, P [mg]61
Potassium, K [mg]429
Sodium, Na [mg]4
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.25
Copper, Cu [mg]0.11
Manganese, Mn [mg]1.02
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]426
Thiamin [mg]0.02
Riboflavin [mg]0.17
Niacin [mg]1.3
Pantothenic acid [mg]0.8
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.08
Folate, total [µg]3
Folate, food [µg]3
Choline, total [mg]12
Betaine [mg]2.9
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]217
Carotene, beta [µg]2350
Carotene, alpha [µg]31
Cryptoxanthin, beta [µg]483
Vitamin A, IU [IU]4345
Lycopene [µg]6800
Lutein + zeaxanthin [µg]2001
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]5.84
Tocopherol, beta [mg]0.05
Tocopherol, gamma [mg]1.34
Tocopherol, delta [mg]0.14
Tocotrienol, alpha [mg]0.01
Tocotrienol, gamma [mg]0.07
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]25.9
Sources include : USDA [3]

Nutritional Value of Rose Hips

The reason that rose hips are so popular is because they are extremely effective in treating a wide variety of health conditions. How? The vitamins, minerals, organic compounds, and other essential nutrients in rose hips pack a very powerful punch! Some of these beneficial components include vitamin C, A, E, and vitamin B-complex, as well as minerals like calcium, iron, selenium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sulfur, silicon, and zinc. Furthermore, the organic compounds, such as lycopene, pectin, lutein, and beta-carotene, are also very powerful and essential for the body. The antioxidant components, which include flavonoids, phytochemicals, and carotenoids also contribute to their health benefits. [4]

Health Benefits of Rose Hips

The health benefits of these unique fruits are mentioned below:

Lower Cholesterol

The organic compounds and antioxidant components in rose hips also reduce the LDL cholesterol in your body, thereby reducing strain on your cardiovascular system and also lowering your chances of suffering a stroke or a heart attack. [5]

Boost Immunity

Rose hips have an impressive amount of vitamin C, which is one of the best components to boost the immune system. Vitamin C stimulates white blood cells and is also essential for the prevention of asthma and the general health of the respiratory system. This can be seen in the reduction of respiratory conditions such as cold and flu through the intake of rose hips and its high levels of vitamin C. [6]

Control Diabetes

Rose hips have been shown to strictly regulate the blood sugar level of the body, which is very important for people with diabetes. By keeping the balance of insulin and glucose in the body, they can prevent sudden plunges or spikes in blood sugar that can be deadly. [7]

Aid in Digestion

The various acids within rose hips, as well as pectin, are known to induce urination and excretion. As a diuretic, they can help eliminate toxins from the body, as well as excess salts, liquids, and even fat. By stimulating bowel movements, rose hips can help a person avoid a number of unfortunate health conditions and discomforts. [8]

Skin Care

People all over the world want their skin to look more beautiful, blemish-free, and youthful. There are hundreds of products and potential treatments for tightening and toning the skin and rose hips are one of the best options. The astringent quality of rose hips keeps the skin elastic, so it doesn’t develop wrinkles. It eliminates the flaws easily, heals the burns and scars, and makes the skin look younger and vibrant. [9]

Improve Circulation

These have a significant amount of iron, which is an essential component in the creation of red blood cells. Therefore, having an adequate amount of rose hips in your diet can prevent anemia and also keep your essential organs well-oxygenated, thus increasing metabolic activity and optimizing the functionality of various organ systems. [10]

Enhance Bone Health

One of the most important roles of vitamin C is its essential role in producing collagen. Collagen, along with the other important minerals found in rose hips, can help prevent osteoporosis by maintaining bone mineral density well into your old age, keeping you strong, flexible, and able to live an active life! [11]

Word of Caution: There are no known issues with using rose hip whenever you want, although there are reports of nausea, vomiting, headaches, heartburn, and an inability to sleep. Much of this could be due to slight food allergies.

As always, pay attention to your body and act accordingly!

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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