How Rosehip Benefits You
Rosehip fruit is usually sourced from the dog rose – but don’t let the fierce name put you off! Rosehip benefits your whole body, from bones to skin, and in a nice, gentle way.
The botanical name of rosehip rolls right off the tongue: Rosa canina (spot the dog connection in there).
Rosehip is a common shrub that can be found across Europe, West Asia and Africa. It likes to grow among woods, hedges and scrub, and blooms beautifully from late spring to mid-summer with lovely pink and white blooms.
The fruit of the rosehip - known as the ‘hip’, is the round seed-containing portion of the rose, below the petals. These are an amazing scarlet colour and stick around until mid autumn.
You might have seen rosehip products at beauty counters, as it’s become a favorite for healing and regenerating skin. Rosehip oil in particular is a popular natural choice for women to reduce scar tissue and stretch marks during and after pregnancy, as it helps regenerate tissue.
But the beauty world isn’t the first to know about this super fruit!
In fact, rosehip benefits have been understood by herbalists for years. The fruit has also long been used for a range of ailments including:
Conditions of the heart and cardiovascular system
Kidney disorders and constipation
A pretty long list for a pretty little fruit!
It also has a long history of use as an herbal tea and ingredient in jams, jellies, pies and traditional European cuisine.
While modern science is still catching up, it does primarily support the use of rosehip for treating the symptoms of osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. This makes it a top seller in many health food stores, and even at some pharmacies.
However, there is emerging research to suggest a positive role in heart health, inflammation, immune function and weight loss, too.
Rosehip Benefits You In More Ways Than One
So how do rosehip benefits play out in your body?
A key thing to know: rosehip contains extremely high levels of Vitamin C.
Fun fact: It’s said that the discovery of the high vitamin C levels in rosehip fruit happened in Britain during World War II. As there was such a shortage of citrus fruits at the time, the government arranged for the harvesting of as many rosehips as possible to try and substitute for vitamin C needs!
It’s also interesting that the vitamin C content of rosehip fruit actually changes depending on altitude and can vary by as much as 500%!
Aside from vitamin C – rosehip also contains an array of antioxidants such as carotenoids, flavonoids, polyphenols, leucoanthocyanins and catechins.
Scientifically-supported rosehip benefits include:
✔ Reducing the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
This may be due to immunosuppressive effects. An inflammatory cytokine called Interleukin 1-Beta, secreted by immune cells to promote healthy tissue breakdown and turnover, can become problematic and degenerative - as seen in rheumatoid arthritis. It appears that rosehip interferes with this process to preserve joint tissue. Rosehip also prevents immune cells moving into the tissue, dampening overactive immune responses.
✔ Weight loss
One study found that rosehip supplementation for 12 weeks had significant inhibitory effects on body weight gain and visceral fat accumulation.
✔ Cardiovascular health
Six weeks of rosehip supplementation was shown to reduce blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio.
✔ Diabetes support
Rosehip is potentially helpful for diabetic patients given its role in weight management, cardiovascular health, reduced inflammation and increased antioxidant.
✔ As an anti-inflammatory
By reducing C-reactive protein.
It’s commonly believed that rosehip can help with digestive issues, both for diarrhoea, and as a mild laxative, although more research needs to be done around this.
How To Enjoy Rosehip Benefits Fully
With regard to dosage and safety of taking rosehip:
The standard dose for rosehip is 5 - 10 grams per day, divided into two doses. It may be more effective after 3 - 6 months of consistent use.
Doses as high as 40 grams have been used in studies. Aside from some intestinal distress, taking high doses of rosehip does not appear to be harmful.
Caution is, however, advised for patients with compromised immune systems, due to possible immunosuppressive effects.
Rosehip fruit powder is the preferred form of the supplement.
This is the form of rosehip that we include in Athletic Greens.
So how do we think rosehip benefits our greens mix?
You only need to look at the extremely high levels of vitamin C in this humble fruit to see why we included it! This, along with other rosehip benefits - like the impressive array of antioxidants - are not something often found in a regular diet. However, there’s no doubt these bring many benefits to our overall health, so it was a clear choice for us.
It also plays nice with other ingredients in the mix.
Thanks to its high vitamin C levels, rosehip fruit powder complements the Acerola Cherry as a very potent, natural source of vitamin C for immunity and skin benefits.
As a strong anti-inflammatory, rosehip also works well with ginger rhizome to help reduce inflammation, and inflammation-related pain, in people with arthritis.
Most people – not just those with arthritis – can benefit from reducing inflammation in the body. And as vitamin C is water soluble and can be excreted by the body very easily, having a high dose in such a natural form can bring great benefits with very little risk.
Win/win if you ask me!
So what’s the takeaway here? Rosehip benefits are big for a little fruit. Rosehip has a long history of medicinal use, yet modern science has mainly focused on its benefits for arthritis, which appear to be well supported.
And new benefits are emerging for the cardiovascular system due to decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation, as well as positive outcomes for diabetes and obesity.
I’m super happy rosehip fruit powder is one of our superfood ingredients, and you can be too.