Skip to Content

Rose Hip

Scientific Name(s): Rosa acicularis Lindl., Rosa canina L., Rosa cinnamomea L., Rosa rugosa Thunb.
Common Name(s): Dog rose (R. canina), Haw, Hep, Rose hip, Rose hip seed

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 27, 2019.

Clinical Overview

Use

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

Dosing

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 osteoarthritis.

Contraindications

Contraindications have not yet been identified.

Pregnancy/Lactation

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

Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

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

Toxicology

Information is limited.

Scientific Family

  • Rosaceae (Rose)

Botany

Rose hips grow from a perennial rose plant, which can grow 3 to 5 m tall. The thorny branches bear pink and white flowers and, later, 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 approximately 1 to 2 cm long by 0.5 to 1.5 cm thick, oval in shape, and fleshy, shrunken, and wrinkled. Inside the hips are 3 or more small (3 to 5 mm), angular, yellow-brown seeds, which account for 29% of the weight of the hip. The 1.25 to 3.25 g hips are picked in autumn and used for the drug. R. canina is native to Europe, North Africa, and temperate areas of Asia.Chevallier 1996, USDA 2013

History

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 have also been used as mild laxatives and diuretics. Rose hip syrup was used as a nourishing drink for children and has also been used to flavor teas and jams.Blumenthal 2000, Chevallier 1996, Duke 2002

Chemistry

Fresh rose hip contains 0.5% to 1.7% vitamin C,Blumenthal 2000 usually found as a combination of l-dehydroascorbic acid and l-ascorbic acid. However, the vitamin C content of dried, commercially available rose hip products varies considerably. Loss of vitamin C depends on growth conditions and processing methods. Fruits cut in half lost less than 50% vitamin C in 18 months storage, whereas ground drug lost 100% in 6 months.

Rose hip also contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and K, and folate. Other ingredients include pectin (11%), tannins (2% to 3%), malic and citric acids, flavonoids, red and yellow pigments (especially carotenoids), polyphenols, invert sugar, volatile oil, vanillin, and a variety of minor components. Fatty acids, including palmitic, linolenic, and alpha-linolenic acids, have been identified. Assay methods have been described.Chrubasik 2008, Horváth 2012, Wenzig 2008

Uses and Pharmacology

The antioxidant activity of rose hip, ascribed to the ascorbic acid content, has been investigated using chemical assay methods and an ischemia/reperfusion injury model.Chrubasik 2008, Widén 2012, Yi 2007

Anti-inflammatory

Animal data

Rose hip's effects on proinflammatory cytokines have been demonstrated in vitro, and new cartilage formation has been shown in canine chondrocytes.Saaby 2011, Shakibaei 2012 Inhibitory action of both COX-1 and COX-2 has been reported.Cameron 2009, Jäger 2007 Anti-inflammatory action of R. canina extracts against paw edema in rats has been observed.Lattanzio 2011

Clinical data

Reduced serum C-reactive protein and inhibition of chemotaxis of neutrophils have been demonstrated following consumption of rose hip powder.Kharazmi 1999, Winther 1999

Limited clinical studies have been conducted, and reviews and 1 meta-analysis have included studies sponsored by the manufacturers of a rose hip preparation.Cameron 2009, Christensen 2008, Chrubasik 2006, Chrubasik-Hausmann 2014 Most studies report a moderate effect on osteoarthritis, as measured by reductions in Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index scores and use of rescue medication.Rein 2004, Winther 2005 One small study (N = 52) found no difference between the pseudofruit powder (Litozin) and rose hip shell powder (20 g/day) in disease-specific outcomes for patients with acute low back pain after 3 months of supplementation.Chrubasik-Hausmann 2014

However, negative findings for activity against C-reactive protein have been reported in a clinical study investigating the effect of 10 g of rose hip powder in rheumatoid arthritis over 28 days. In addition, no anti-inflammatory effect was found.Kirkeskov 2011

Diabetes/Metabolic syndrome

Animal data

No changes in blood glucose levels in rabbits were reported for either aqueous or ethanol rose hip extracts.Chrubasik 2008 The chemical constituent tiliroside, however, showed a glucose-lowering effect.Chrubasik 2008 Improvements in glucose tolerance tests and lipid profiles in mice have been demonstrated with the administration of powdered rose hip.Andersson 2011

Clinical data

In a small (N = 31) clinical crossover study, systolic blood pressure, total plasma cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, and the high-density lipoprotein/low-density lipoprotein ratio were reduced in obese patients. Participants consumed a drink containing rose hip powder (8% rose hip, no seed) daily over 6 weeks.Andersson 2012

Other uses

Antimicrobial

Anti–Helicobacter pylori activity by the carotenoids of rose hip has been demonstrated in vitro.Horváth 2012 Weak activity against Escherichia coli and modest activity against Candida albicans have also been noted.Chrubasik 2008, Yi 2007

Cancer

Aqueous extracts showed weak cytotoxic effects, whereas ethanol and petroleum ether extracts demonstrated cytotoxicity on sarcoma cells.Chrubasik 2008 Inhibitory activity against melanoma cells has been shown in rodent studies.Fujii 2011 A phenolic fraction extracted from R. canina fruit showed activity against human tumor cell lines, but a flavonoid fraction showed low activity.Tumbas 2012

GI

Rose hip syrup was used as the placebo in a study evaluating probiotics in irritable bowel syndrome; however, rose hip syrup itself may show activity in the GI tract.Chrubasik 2008 The antidiarrheal effect of a methanol rose hip extract was observed in rats with castor oil–induced diarrhea.Mandade 2011 The traditional use of rose hip as a mild laxative may be related to the presence of malic and citric acids, to purgative glycosides (multiflorin A and B),Shakibaei 2012 or to pectin content in the plant.Wichtl 1994 Adverse GI effects (loose stools and flatulence) were reported in a clinical study that used drinks containing rose hip powder over 6 weeks.Andersson 2012

Renal

Purported diuretic effects have been disputed.Chrubasik 2008 In rodent studies, decreased calciuria after administration of rose hip tea suggests a role in urolithiasis.Chrubasik 2008, Tayefi-Nasrabadi 2012

Dosing

In traditional medicine, a dose of 2 to 5 g of the plant material (as tea) is taken 3 to 4 times a day.Chrubasik 2008

Dosages of 5 to 10 g/day of rose hip powder have been used in clinical studies in osteoarthritis.Cameron 2009, Christensen 2008, Kirkeskov 2011, Winther 1999 One trial used dosages of up to 45 g/day.Winther 1999

Pregnancy / Lactation

Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking. An older study noted increased contractility in uterine muscle tissue with a decoction of rose hip seed.Chrubasik 2008

Interactions

Interactions with rose hip are not well documented.

Digoxin lab assay

Rose hip, hibiscus, and hibiscus-rose hip tea has been shown to interfere with the electrochemiluminescent immunoassay method for measuring serum digoxin levels resulting in false positives. Crossreactivity was not found using the Abbott Digoxin II (MEIA) or Immulite Digoxin assays.Fresz 2014

Adverse Reactions

The German Commission E Monographs lists no known risks for rose hip.Blumenthal 2000 Allergy, including contact dermatitis and keratitis associated with the species and related plants, has been noted.Chrubasik 2008, Venkatesh 2005 Adverse GI effects (loose stools and flatulence) were reported in a clinical study using drinks containing rose hip powder over 6 weeks.Andersson 2012, Blumenthal 2000

Toxicology

Ingestion of rose hip is not generally associated with toxicity.Blumenthal 2000 Antimutagenicity Ames tests did not find mutagenicity for raw, boiled juice, boiled leaves, or dried seeds.Chrubasik 2008

In older toxicological tests in frogs and rodents, a lethal dose was not reached in frogs for decoctions of rose hip and rose hip seed, whereas in rodents, central depression and death were noted with rose hip extract but not with seeds.Chrubasik 2008

No effect on blood pressure, plasma leptin, or fibrinogen was found in human volunteers who drank 11.2 g/day of rose hip powder.Chrubasik 2008

References

Andersson U, Berger K, Högberg A, Landin-Olsson M, Holm C. Effects of rose hip intake on risk markers of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease: a randomized, double-blind, cross-over investigation in obese persons. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012;66(5):585-590.22166897
Andersson U, Henriksson E, Ström K, Alenfall J, Göransson O, Holm C. Rose hip exerts antidiabetic effects via a mechanism involving downregulation of the hepatic lipogenic program. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011;300(1):E111-E121.20959531
Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J, eds. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000:519.
Cameron M, Gagnier JJ, Little CV, Parsons TJ, Blümle A, Chrubasik S. Evidence of effectiveness of herbal medicinal products in the treatment of arthritis. part I: osteoarthritis. Phytother Res. 2009;23(11):1497-1515.19856319
Chevallier A. Herbal Medicines. London, England: Pharmaceutical Press; 1996.
Christensen R, Bartels EM, Altman RD, Astrup A, Bliddal H. Does the hip powder of Rosa canina (rosehip) reduce pain in osteoarthritis patients?—a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2008;16(9):965-972.18407528
Chrubasik C, Duke RK, Chrubasik S. The evidence for clinical efficacy of rose hip and seed: a systematic review. Phytother Res. 2006;20(1):1-3.16395741
Chrubasik C, Roufogalis BD, Müller-Ladner U, Chrubasik S. A systematic review on the Rosa canina effect and efficacy profiles. Phytother Res. 2008;22(6):725-733.18384191
Chrubasik-Hausmann S, Chrubasik C, Neumann E, Muller-Ladner U. A pilot study on the effectiveness of a rose hip shell powder in patients suffering from chronic musculoskeletal pain. Phytother Res. 2014;28(11):1720-1726.25043856
Duke JA. Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. 2nd ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2002.
Fresz T, Nagy E, Hilbert A, Tomcsanyi J. The role of flavonoids in false positive digoxin assays caused by the consumption of hibiscus flower and rose hip tea. Int J Cardiol. 2014;171(2):273-274.24365615
Fujii T, Ikeda K, Saito M. Inhibitory effect of rose hip (Rosa canina L.) on melanogenesis in mouse melanoma cells and on pigmentation in brown guinea pigs. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2011;75(3):489-495.21389613
Horváth G, Molnár P, Radó-Turcsi E, et al. Carotenoid composition and in vitro pharmacological activity of rose hips. Acta Biochim Pol. 2012;59(1):129-132.22428123
Jäger AK, Eldeen IM, van Staden J. COX-1 and -2 activity of rose hip. Phytother Res. 2007;21(12):1251-1252.17639563
Kharazmi A, Winther K. Rose hip inhibits chemotaxis and chemiluminescence of human peripheral blood neutrophils in vitro and reduces certain inflammatory parameters in vivo. Inflammopharmacology. 1999;7(4):377-386.17657440
Kirkeskov B, Christensen R, Bügel S, et al. The effects of rose hip (Rosa canina) on plasma antioxidative activity and C-reactive protein in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and normal controls: a prospective cohort study. Phytomedicine. 2011;18(11):953-958.21420288
Lattanzio F, Greco E, Carretta D, Cervellati R, Govoni P, Speroni E. In vivo anti-inflammatory effect of Rosa canina L. extract. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011;137(1):880-885.21771653
Mandade RJ, Choudhury A, Harsulkar A, Wakade R. Role of the Rosa canina L. leaf extract as an antidiarrheal drug in rodents. Indian J Pharmacol. 2011;43(3):316-319.21713098
Rein E, Kharazmi A, Winther K. A herbal remedy, Hyben Vital (stand. powder of a subspecies of Rosa canina fruits), reduces pain and improves general wellbeing in patients with osteoarthritis—a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised trial. Phytomedicine. 2004;11(5):383-391.15330493
Rosa canina L. USDA NRCS. 2013. The PLANTS database (http://plants.usda.gov, 18 April 2013). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
Saaby L, Jäger AK, Moesby L, Hansen EW, Christensen SB. Isolation of immunomodulatory triterpene acids from a standardized rose hip powder (Rosa canina L.). Phytother Res. 2011;25(2):195-201.20632303
Shakibaei M, Allaway D, Nebrich S, Mobasheri A. Botanical extracts from rosehip (Rosa canina), willow bark (Salix alba), and nettle leaf (Urtica dioica) suppress IL-1β-induced NF-κB activation in canine articular chondrocytes. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:509383.22474508
Tayefi-Nasrabadi H, Sadigh-Eteghad S, Aghdam Z. The effects of the hydroalcohol extract of Rosa canina L. fruit on experimentally nephrolithiasic Wistar rats. Phytother Res. 2012;26(1):78-85.21544885
Tumbas VT, Canadanović-Brunet JM, Cetojević-Simin DD, Cetković GS, Ethilas SM, Gille L. Effect of rosehip (Rosa canina L.) phytochemicals on stable free radicals and human cancer cells. J Sci Food Agric. 2012;92(6):1273-1281.22083314
Venkatesh RP, Ramaesh K, Browne B. Rose-hip keratitis. Eye (Lond). 2005;19(5):595-596.15467705
Wenzig EM, Widowitz U, Kunert O, et al. Phytochemical composition and in vitro pharmacological activity of two rose hip (Rosa canina L.) preparations. Phytomedicine. 2008;15(10):826-835.18707854
Wichtl M, ed. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals: A Handbook for Practice on a Scientific Basis. 2nd ed. Bisset NG, trans-ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC press; 1994.
Widén C, Ekholm A, Coleman MD, Renvert S, Rumpunen K. Erythrocyte antioxidant protection of rose hips (Rosa spp.). Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2012;2012:621579.22829958
Winther K, Apel K, Thamsborg G. A powder made from seeds and shells of a rose-hip subspecies (Rosa canina) reduces symptoms of knee and hip osteoarthritis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Scand J Rheumatol. 2005;34(4):302-308.16195164
Winther K, Rein E, Kharazmi A. The anti-inflammatory properties of rose-hip. Inflammopharmacology. 1999;7(1):63-68.17657447
Yi O, Jovel EM, Towers GH, Wahbe TR, Cho D. Antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of native Rosa sp. from British Columbia, Canada. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2007;58(3):178-189.17514536

Disclaimer

This information relates to an herbal, vitamin, mineral or other dietary supplement. This product has not been reviewed by the FDA to determine whether it is safe or effective and is not subject to the quality standards and safety information collection standards that are applicable to most prescription drugs. This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this product. This information does not endorse this product as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this product. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this product. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You should talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this product.

This product may adversely interact with certain health and medical conditions, other prescription and over-the-counter drugs, foods, or other dietary supplements. This product may be unsafe when used before surgery or other medical procedures. It is important to fully inform your doctor about the herbal, vitamins, mineral or any other supplements you are taking before any kind of surgery or medical procedure. With the exception of certain products that are generally recognized as safe in normal quantities, including use of folic acid and prenatal vitamins during pregnancy, this product has not been sufficiently studied to determine whether it is safe to use during pregnancy or nursing or by persons younger than 2 years of age.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

More about rose hips

Consumer resources

Related treatment guides

Hide