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Rose Hip

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 24, 2018.

What is Rose Hip?

Rose hips grow from a perennial plant with thorny branches that give way to pink and white flowers, and scarlet fruits called "hips." These rose hips are the ripe ovaries or seeded fruit of roses forming on branches after the flower. The fruit is oval in shape and fleshy, shrunken, and wrinkled. Inside the hips are 3 or more small, yellow-brown seeds. R. canina is native to Europe, North Africa, and temperate areas of Asia. The fruits (hips) are picked in autumn and used medicinally.

Scientific Name(s)

Rosa canina. Numerous other species of rose have been used for the preparation of rose hips, including Rosa rugosa, Rosa acicularis, and Rosa cinnamomea.

Common Name(s)

Rose hip is also known as rose hip seeds, haws, heps, and dog rose (R. canina).

What is it used for?

Traditional/Ethnobotanical uses

Once used as a folk remedy for chest ailments, R. canina hips were popular in the Middle Ages. They are a natural source of vitamin C, which has led to their widespread use in natural vitamin supplements, teas, and various other preparations including soups and marmalades. Although these products have been used traditionally as nutritional supplements, they also have been used as mild laxatives and to rid the body of excess salt and water. Rose hip syrup was used as a nourishing drink for children and to flavor teas and jams.

General uses

In addition to providing an excellent source of vitamin C, evidence exists for the use of rose hip preparations in bone weakening.

What is the recommended dosage?

In traditional medicine, a dose of 2 to 5 g of the plant material (as tea) is taken 3 to 4 times a day. Dosages of 5 to 10 g/day of rose hip powder have been used in clinical studies in bone weakening.


Contraindications have not yet been identified.


Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.


None well documented.

Side Effects

Loose stools and gas as well as allergy have been reported.


Information is limited.


1. Rose Hips. Review of Natural Products. Facts & Comparisons [database online]. St. Louis, MO: Wolters Kluwer Health; August 2013.

Further information

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