Rosehip is the berry-like fruit of a rose bush. People prepare it as tea, jelly, and other methods. Rosehip powder can be mixed into drinks, and it is also available as a concentrated extract. For centuries, many cultures have consumed rosehip for an abundance of perceived benefits, and a growing body of scientific research now backs up much of that folk wisdom.
May Provide Osteoarthritis Pain Relief
Studies show that rosehip powder reduces osteoarthritis pain. This is due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Unlike aspirin and NSAIDs like ibuprofen, taking rosehip powder does not increase the risk of stomach ulcers or gastrointestinal bleeding. That could make it a preferred choice for long-term pain management, but more research is needed to determine that for certain.
May Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
Rosehip has a long history in folk medicine as a remedy for urinary tract infections. While the supporting evidence is narrow in scope at this time, it shows promise. In lab studies, rosehips from the Rosa canina plant, commonly known as the dog rose, prevented the growth of the most common cause of UTIs: E. coli bacteria. As for testing in humans rather than in a petri dish, when researchers gave that same type to women post-Cesarean section, their incidence of UTIs was lower than those who took a placebo.
May Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is responsible for one in four deaths in the United States, and obesity is a known risk factor. One study looked at the effect of rosehip consumption on obese individuals. The results show that study participants who consumed a drink made with 40 grams of rosehip powder every day for six weeks lowered their risk of cardiovascular disease. Reduced blood pressure and improved cholesterol ratios contributed to that reduction. As a result, their risk of developing type 2 diabetes also fell.
May Help Treat and Prevent Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are scars that appear on the skin when it stretches quickly, such as during pregnancy, a growth spurt, or a period of rapid weight gain. The collagen and elastin that support the skin ruptures, and scars form as it heals. Researchers looked at the ability of a skin cream containing rosehip oil and other active ingredients to prevent the development of stretch marks in pregnant women. The cream proved to work better than a placebo at preventing new stretch marks and reducing their severity, as well as keeping older ones from worsening.
May Reduce Abdominal Fat
Rosehip may help reduce the accumulation of abdominal fat, particularly visceral fat, that wraps around the abdominal organs and is the most unhealthy type. A study in Japan found a significant reduction in abdominal fat in subjects consuming rosehip extract with a concentration of 0.12% tiliroside, a flavonoid naturally found in the seeds.
May Assist in Wound Healing
The topical application of rosehip oil promotes the healing of post-surgical incisions and prevents scars, according to one study. This effect is most likely due to the anti-inflammatory benefits of the antioxidants, vitamins, and essential fatty acids it contains. It is yet to be determined exactly how rosehip oil works on the skin, but a few studies seem to indicate that the folk wisdom behind using rosehip oil for wounds and scars may have scientific merit.
May Boost Immunity
Rosehips are rich in antioxidants and vitamins that help support the immune system. In fact, they have more antioxidant properties than blueberries and more vitamin C than citrus fruits. Some of the nutritional value of the rosehip is lost in the drying process; consuming this fruit in its fresh form is the way to get the most vitamin C. Fresh or dried rosehips can be steeped in hot water to make tea.
May Help Protect Against Diabetes
Research on mice shows that supplementation with rosehip has an anti-diabetic effect, improving glucose tolerance and reducing body weight and fat mass. Science has not yet shown that same outcome in humans, but many people take rosehip with an eye toward managing their blood sugar. It will take more research to know for certain whether rosehip has that benefit for people.
May Help Some Digestive Issues
It’s not clear exactly why it works, but rosehip may be a remedy for digestive issues, including diarrhea. Experiencing intestinal distress is not only unpleasant, but diarrhea can lead to dangerous levels of dehydration. Studies show that rosehip extract improved symptoms of diarrhea in a way that is comparable to a standard opioid anti-diarrheal drug.
May Improve Appearance of Skin
With age and exposure to the sun’s UV rays, the skin starts to wrinkle and become dry. So-called age spots may also appear. Rosehip shows promise as a treatment for aging skin due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. One study of middle-aged subjects shows that rosehip powder, taken orally, reduces the depth of the crow’s feet and improves the skin’s moisture and elasticity.