Rosehip Benefits & Information

Latin Name

Rosa canina

Also Known As

Rose haw, Apothecary Rose, Cynorhodon, Cynorhodons, Cynosbatos, Dog Rose, Dog Rose Hips, Églantier, Fruit de l’Églantier, Gulab, Heps, Hip, Hip Fruit, Hip Sweet, Hipberry, Hop Fruit, Persian Rose, Phool Gulab, Pink Rose, Poire d’oiseaux, Rosa alba, Rosa centifolia


Asia, Europe and North America

Parts Used

The Berry

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Rosehips have been used all over the world in traditional medicinal applications; European Herbalism, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Indian Ayurvedic Medicine, Native North American Medicine and some North African tribes have all used Rosehips in varying ways. In Europe the rosehip has traditionally been used as a food source and for treating cold and flu. In 1652 the British herbalist Nicholas Culpeper prescribed Rosehips for breaking down kidney stones and for digestive troubles. This insured Rosehip was a firm member of the British Pharmacopeia up until the 1930’s where it saw a gradual decline after WWII. Native Americans used the hips in soups and teas and for treating muscle cramps while Ayurveda prescribes Rosehip as a tonic for cooling the constitution. Chinese Medicine (named Jin Ying Zi) has a similar application and prescribed Rosehips to bind the intestines calming symptoms including diarrhoea. All over the world the Rosehip has contributed to helping people with its medicinal properties as well as being a food source. During World War II, because citrus fruits couldn’t be imported into the UK, 500 tons of Rosehips were gathered for their vitamin C content and made into preserves and soups.



Recently Rosehips have come to be known for more than their traditional uses. A study conducted in Germany and Denmark found that a specially concocted formula of refined Rosehips had an amazing effect on joints, so much so that a blind test was conducted on patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. The results confirmed that those who received the Rosehip preparation for a 6 month period experienced 40% less pain and a 25% increase in mobility. This improvement is thought to be attributed to a series of complex chemicals found in Rosehips; these come in the form of polyphenols and anthocyanins in combination with vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, which helps reduce inflammation and free radicals. Separate studies have concluded that enzymes that break down cartilage in the joints are inhibited by the consumption of rosehips. There is some evidence to suggest that a combination of Rosehip, Lavender and Clary Sage applied to the stomach might help in reducing menstrual pains in some women. Other Rosehip applications which have a high percentage of natural oils are used as effective moisture enhancers as well as lessening scar marks and firming skin which can give the appearance of lessening wrinkles. Overall the Rosehip has a significant phytochemical make up that has quite a few herbal benefits to health.

Typical Use

Traditionally used as a medicine but also as a food, Rosehips are again being acknowledged for their nutritional and phytochemical content.  

Folklore and History

Rosehips are the fruit of Rosa canina, or Dog Rose, which grows wild in Europe and Asia. Not only has this plant been used in medicine and as a food for thousands of years it has long standing symbolic and magical meanings. The main association with the Dog Rose which has prevailed since ancient Egypt is that of silence. In Greek legend Cupid is said to have given a wild rose to Haporates, the god of silence, so that he would keep the infidelities of Cupids mother, Aphrodite, secret. Roses were also inlayed into the ceilings of Catholic churches and cathedrals symbolising that they were places of silence and confessions imparted would not go beyond their walls. The same is seen in old banquet halls where roses were sculpted into the ceilings. As a part of tradition, anything that was said ‘sub rosa’, or under the rose (or under the influence of wine) was to be kept a secret during banquets. Following in the same reasoning, some Catholic rosaries used to be made out of dried Rosehips which compelled those during prayer to do it in silence. 


citronellol, geraniol nerol, eugenol, linalool, L-p-menthene, cyanin, gallic acid, beta-carotene, nicotinamide, organic acids, pectin, vitamin C, A, B1, B2, B3 and K, flavonoids, tannin, pectin, carotene, fruit acids, fatty oil, invert sugar, polyphenols, cartenoids, volatile oil, vanillin.