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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness Therapy
Herbal Infusions & Decoctions
Rose Hips, Wild Rose Fruit, Dog Rose Fruit

(Rosa Canina)

For Informational Use Only
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  • Rosehips Herbal Description
  • Rosehips Uses, Health Benefits & Scientific Evidence
  • Rosehips Dosage Information
  • Rosehips Safety, Cautions & Interactions
  • Rosehips Herbal Supplements & Products

  • herbal infusions, decoctions and therapeutic teas


    Rosehips is also known as Rosa Canina, Rose Hips, Rose, Wild Rose, Wild Rose Hips, Wild Rose Fruit, Dog Rose, Dog Rose Fruit, Hip Berry, Rose Haws, Wild Boar Fruit, Rosa Species.

    Wild Roses are found in various places from forests to canyons, logged wastelands and thickets. Native to Europe, northern Africa and western and central Asia, wild and shrub roses now grow in many parts of the United States, too. There are nine species of Roses, all of which have edible fruits and flowers, though they are not necessarily tasty. Rosehips develop on wild roses as the flowers drop off. The rose hip, also called the rose haw, is actually the fruit of the rose. The curative potential of rosehips - the fleshy red fruits of the dog rose and other types of wild and shrub roses - has been known since the Stone Age.

    The dog rose, a main source of rosehips, grows up to 10 feet high and bears fragrant white flowers. The hips, which have a slightly sour but pleasant taste, emerge in the fall, after the blooms have faded and the petals have dropped off. The 'hips' (fruit) follows the flower, generally appearing in the fall and resembling a tiny dried apple. Rose Hips contain more vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, and iron than oranges, and sixty times more vitamin C than lemons. The fruits are mashed into a vitamin-rich pulp and consumed raw or cooked. They are also often dried. Rose hips are used to prepare teas, extracts, purees or marmalades.



    The Dog Rose (Rosa canina) is a flower of the early summer, its blossoms expanding in the first days of June and being no more to be found after the middle of July. The general growth of the Dog Rose is subject to so much variation that the original species defined by Linnaeus has been divided by later botanists into four or five subspecies. The flowers vary very considerably in color, from almost white to a very deep pink, and have a delicate but refreshing fragrance.

    The scarlet fruit, or hip (a name that has come down from the Anglo-Saxon hiope), is generally described as "flask-shaped." It is what botanists term a false fruit, because it is really the stalk-end that forms it and grows up round the central carpels, enclosing them as a case; the real fruits, each containing one seed, are the little hairy objects within it. Immediately the flower has been fertilized, the receptacle round the immature fruits grows gradually luscious and red and forms the familiar "hip," which acts as a bait for birds, by whose agency the seeds are distributed. At first the hips are tough and crowned with the fivecleft calyx leaves, later in autumn they fall and the hips are softer and more fleshy. The pulp of the hips has a grateful acidity. In former times when garden fruit was scarce, hips were esteemed for dessert. Gerard assures us that "the fruit when it is ripe maketh the most pleasante meats and banketting dishes as tartes and such-like," the making whereof he commends "to the cunning cooke and teethe to eate them in the riche man's mouth." Another old writer says: "Children with great delight eat the berries thereof when they are ripe and make chains and other pretty geegaws of the fruit; cookes and gentlewomen make tarts and such like dishes for pleasure." The Germans still use them to make an ordinary preserve and in Russia and Sweden a kind of wine is made by fermenting the fruit.

    Rosehips were long official in the British Pharmacopeia for refrigerant and astringent properties, but are now discarded and only used in medicine to prepare the confection of hips used in conjunction with other drugs, the pulp being separated from the skin and hairy seeds and beaten up with sugar. It is astringent and considered strengthening to the stomach and useful in diarrhea and dysentery, allaying thirst, and for its pectoral qualities good for coughs and spitting of blood. Culpepper states that the hips are "grateful to the taste and a considerable restorative, fitly given to consumptive persons, the conserve being proper in all distempers of the breast and in coughs and tickling rheums" and that it has "a binding effect and helps digestion." He also states that "the pulp of the hips dried and powdered is used in drink to break the stone and to ease and help the colic." The constituents of rose hips are malic and citric acids, sugar and small quantities of tannin, resin, wax, malates, citrates and other salts.

    The leaves of the Dog Rose when dried and infused in boiling water have often been used as a substitute for tea and have a grateful smell and sub-astringent taste. The flowers, gathered in the bud and dried, are said to be more astringent than the Red Roses. They contain no honey and are visited by insects only for their pollen. Their scent is not strong enough to be of any practical use for distillation purposes.

    Wild Roses are found in various places from forests to canyons, logged wastelands and thickets. There are nine species of Roses, all of which have edible fruits and flowers, though they are not necessarily tasty. The "hips" (fruit) follows the flower, generally appearing in the fall and resembling a tiny dried apple. Rose Hips contain more vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, and iron than oranges, and sixty times more vitamin C than lemons. Hundreds of years ago, a decoction of hips was used internally for rheumatism, indigestion, kidney ailments, and fever. Externally it was used as a wash for scabs and sores. In England during World War II, Rose Hips was used to offset the shortage of citrus fruits and prevent scurvy.

    Today Rose Hips is used to treat infections of the bladder and kidney, diarrhea, skin problems, colds and flu, sore throat, fatigue, inflammation, stress, and nervousness. It has also been used to treat arteriosclerosis, circulatory insufficiencies, contagious disease, and PMS.


  • Nutrition Basics: Rosehips Herbal Information
  • Aromatherapy: Rosehip Seed Herbal Oil Information

  • rosehips



    Hundreds of years ago, a decoction of hips was used internally for rheumatism, indigestion, kidney ailments, and fever. Externally it was used as a wash for scabs and sores. In England during World War II, the British government used collected Rosehips to make Rosehip Syrup as a source of vitamin C to replace the shortage of citrus fruits that were impossible to obtain and prevent scurvy.

    Today Rosehips is used to treat infections of the bladder and kidney, diarrhea, skin problems, colds and flu, sore throat, fatigue, inflammation, stress, and nervousness. It has also been used to treat arteriosclerosis, circulatory insufficiencies, contagious disease, and PMS.

    Rosehips are prized primarily for their high vitamin C content. They are one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin C available, which has led to rosehips being included in many common cold preventives and remedies. Because they are so rich in vitamin C - which strengthens the immune system - rosehips are often taken to prevent or treat colds. They also have very mild diuretic and astringent properties that may help people with chronic kidney disease or poor bladder control. The fruit acids and pectin in rosehips can have a slight laxative effect. In addition, rosehips antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties make them useful as a disinfectant.

    The fruits also contain such health-promoting substances as carotenoids (yellow-orange pigments with antioxidant properties), fruit acids and pectin. In addition to vitamin C, rosehips contain A, D, E, iron as well the antioxidant flavonoids and lycopene that may reduce the effects of aging and help prevent cancer. All this is wrapped up in the tart-sweet taste of the miniature fruits. They can be used to make jelly, jam, soup or oil.

    Rosehips have a long history of use in traditional medicine. The iron in rosehips make them an excellent supplement for menstruating women, and rose hip tea is a rich source of vitamin C, carrying all the benefits of that vitamin. In addition, the various flavonoids in rosehips have potent antioxidant action, helping to protect the body from the effects of stress, aging and the environment.


    Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 teaspoon of crushed Rosehips and 1 teaspoon of dried Lemon Peel.

    Let steep 15 minutes. Strain and use Honey to sweeten. Drink this tea whether you have a cold or not. The extra Vitamin C is good for you anytime.


  • Rosehips Herbal Products
  • Lemon Herbal Products



    Rosehips can be used fresh or dried, shelled or powdered for medicinal purposes. To prepare them, cut the fruits open. For wine or a smooth texture in jellies or purees, remove the seeds. When you are ready to store them, do not use a metal container because the fruit acids can react with the metal, giving the hips an off flavor. Most commonly found in tea and liquors, they are seldom found in capsule or extract form.

    Rosehips comes in various forms and is an ingredient in many products. For best results, read and follow product label directions. Just 1 tablespoon of rosehip pulp more than satisfies the adult Recommended Dietary Allowance for Vitamin C: 60 mg. To store the pulp, freeze it in small portions.



    Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tablespoon of dried crushed rosehips. Steep this mixture for 10 minutes, then strain. Drink 1 cup 3 times daily. Commercial rosehips tea bags are also effective.


    Remove the seeds from 3.5 ounces of dried rosehips and steep the hulls in 1 quart of dry red wine for 2 weeks. Strain. Drink a small glass of the wine daily.


    Put 7 ounces of dried rosehips and 1/2 cup of sugar in 1.25 cups of 100-proof alcohol. Let this mixture sit for 4 weeks. Dilute the strained liquid with 3/4 cup of water. Enjoy a small liqueur glass of the syrup daily.

    Pulp, Raw

    In a food processor, blend the hulls of the freshly picked rosehip fruits into a puree and press the pulp through a sieve. The fresh uncooked fruits can be eaten raw or used to make rosehip jelly.

    Pulp, Cooked

    Steep the hulls of the freshly picked rosehip fruits overnight in water. Simmer this mixture for 30 minutes, then strain. Eat it as is or add it to sauces.



  • Taken in the recommended doses, Rose Hips is generally safe.
  • Rose Hip herbal preparations can be taken as a supplement to supply Vitamin C to the diet.
  • Taking vitamin C in high doses can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.
  • If you have kidney stones, consult your health care provider before using Rosehips.
  • Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease is not known.

  • For more Herbal Teas, Infusions, & Decoction Recipes, return to index:

    MoonDragon's Health Therapy: Herbal Infusions, Teas, & Decoctions Index


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