Rosehips are small, amazing “fruits” with incredible health benefits that few people know about.
They come from the same plant as the beautiful rose blossoms so many love but completely outshine their counterparts when it comes to health-boosting properties. In fact, rosehips have shone in traditional medicine for hundreds (and likely thousands) of years and are just now starting to get the attention they deserve from research.
Read on to learn about the numerous way rosehips support your body and the outstanding anti-aging power they have for your skin.
What Are Rosehips? An Overlooked Gem
As mentioned, rosehips come from the very familiar rose plant (Rosa sp.). They form after the flowers die and can be seen clearly when the petals drop.
Rosehips are usually ruby red in color and change to a duller red-orange hue as they dry. Though often called the fruit of the rose plant, rosehips are technically known as a “false fruit” or “pseudo-fruit”. Nevertheless, they are entirely edible with a sharp, tangy, and somewhat sweet flavor.
Many different types of rose bushes produce rosehips, although not all. The pseudo-fruits are most commonly harvested (commercially) from Rosa canina, the dog rose bush.
And while many people may consider the flowers to be the most valuable part of the plant, rosehips are packed with a large amount of vitamins and antioxidants that make them nutritionally superior.
Important Note: If you know anything about roses (or have tried growing them yourself), you may know that roses often see heavy pesticide use because there are numerous pests that love to attack them. This makes it critical to always look for certified organic rosehips— no matter which type of preparation you choose to try.
Rosehips Around the World
Many cultures throughout history have been well aware of the health benefits of rosehips.
In traditional Chinese medicine, they are called jin ying zi and considered a health tonic, especially for the kidneys, digestion, and immune system. Rosehips have also played a big role in the herbal tradition of Scandinavian countries, perhaps even as far back as the Vikings.
During World War II, this tiny pseudo-fruit even became a superstar in Great Britain.
Because of a shortage of citrus fruits due to import restrictions, the government was scrambling to find another source of vitamin C to prevent illness. It was discovered that rosehips would fit the bill perfectly, and the Ministry of Health called for a huge collection campaign.
Once collected, the rosehips were turned into syrup and distributed, starting with children, the sick, and the elderly.
Top Health Benefits of Rosehips
Packed Full of Immune-Boosting Vitamin C
Rosehips are a little known source of vitamin C, packing in more of this nutrient than most fruits and vegetables.
Some species have as much as 112-360 mg. of vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit pulp. (Compare that to oranges, which only have about 53 mg. of vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit!)
There are numerous benefits of vitamin C for your body, but one of the most notable is immune support.
If you’re short on vitamin C, research has shown that your body may become more susceptible to illness, especially respiratory infections. On the flip side, adding more vitamin C to your diet when you are sick may help shorten the duration of a cold and other respiratory illnesses.
Rich in Antioxidants that Fight Inflammation (and Possibly Cancer)
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant in its own right, but rosehips are also full of other antioxidants like polyphenols, flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin E.
Antioxidants have many protective roles to play in your body. One of the biggest is helping to lower chronic inflammation, which can contribute to a wide range of chronic diseases.
Free radicals are thought to be one of the main generators of chronic inflammation. They are unstable molecules that “attack” and damage other molecules and tissues in your body, resulting in injury and inflammation. By neutralizing free radicals, antioxidants are able to combat inflammation and may lower your risk of many age-related diseases.
In addition to generally defending you from disease, lab studies have shown that rosehip extract also has the potential to fight breast cancer cells.
May Ease Arthritis (and Other Types of Pain)
Studies show that there could be significant health benefits of rosehips for arthritis— namely, easing pain and inflammation.
Rosehips contain compounds known as galactolipids. Galactolipids make up part of the cell membrane of certain plants and are being researched because of their powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
As multiple studies have revealed, it’s likely that these specific plant compounds play a large role in easing arthritis symptoms.
In one clinical trial, rosehip powder taken twice daily for 4 months led to a reduction of osteoarthritis symptoms in participants. Nearly 65% of the patients had reduced pain, and hip joint mobility improved as well. Notably, rosehip did not have the side effects normally associated with NSAIDs and aspirin.
Given these findings, it’s likely that rosehips can help with other types of pain as well, but studies haven’t yet been undertaken.
Excellent for Heart Health
Rosehips offer support for heart health in several ways, particularly by their vitamin C and antioxidant content.
You may not know this, but vitamin C is a critical nutrient for a healthy heart. Some research has linked an insufficiency of vitamin C to a greater risk of dying from heart disease. Other studies indicate that adding more vitamin C to your diet can improve risk factors like cholesterol and blood triglycerides.
An antioxidant-rich diet is also key for your heart because it helps to keep inflammation in check. Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant rosehips are full of, can even help to reduce blood pressure and improve blood flow to the heart.
One small study has offered confirmation for all of this. It found that consuming 40 grams of rosehip powder a day led to lower blood pressure as well as a decrease in LDL (bad) and total cholesterol levels.
Protective of Gut Health (+ A Prebiotic)
Protecting gut health could be called one of the most traditional health benefits of rosehips.
These pseudo-fruits have been used for centuries to treat diarrhea, stomach ulcers, and other GI ailments. Now, research is emerging in support of this traditional use for rosehips.
Perhaps most notably, one study found that rosehip extract had “significant antidiarrhoeal activity” that was comparable to a conventional anti-diarrhea medication known as diphenoxylate (brand name Lomotil). It has also exhibited an anti-ulcer effect, though human research is lacking.
In other good news, rosehips are particularly rich in pectin, a polysaccharide that acts as a prebiotic to feed the good bacteria in your gut. Alongside probiotics, prebiotics are crucial for a healthy digestive system (and overall health!).
May Boost Metabolism & Improve Weight Loss
A few studies have shown that rosehip extract can boost fat-burning and decrease body weight.
In a key clinical trial from 2015, participants took either 100 mg of rosehip extract or a placebo every day for 12 weeks. The results were quite impressive. Total body fat and body mass index decreased significantly in the rosehip group. Stomach fat, in particular, was also significantly decreased for those who took the extract.
While the study was very small, these results were achieved with no dietary intervention.
Added to a healthy diet, exercise, and other holistic practices, rosehips could do even more for metabolism and possibly aid weight loss or weight management!
Top Ways to Take Rosehips
To get the most health benefits out of rosehips, it’s first of all key to look for organic rosehips or a rosehip supplement. As mentioned, non-organic rose plants typically receive heavy amounts of pesticides, and you do not want these chemicals in your body.
Two of the top ways to take rosehips are as a tea or a powdered extract.
To make the tea, simply use 1-2 tablespoons of organic rosehips and hot water. The longer you steep your tea, the stronger it will be. Rosehip tea is deliciously tart and packed full of nutrients, although it does lack the fiber of the whole fruits.
For more fiber that may benefit cholesterol and digestion, look for an organic rosehip powder supplement.
And keep reading for a third truly outstanding way to use rosehips…
Incredible Anti-Aging Benefits of Rosehips for Skin
Boosts Collagen to Fight the Appearance of Wrinkles
Collagen is an extremely important anti-aging skin protein. It plays a major role in keeping your skin firm, thick, and plump, which in turn fends off signs of aging like wrinkles, crow’s feet, etc.
Unfortunately, collagen production starts to decline in your body— starting as early as age 18!
The result is that most people notice their skin starting to look visibly older around age 30 and sometimes sooner. To stop (and reverse) this downward trend, your skin needs to be “fed” ingredients that will stimulate collagen production.
Research has shown that vitamin C is one of the best catalysts for collagen synthesis— and rosehips are, of course, packed full of it.
Simply consuming rosehip powder has been shown to improve the appearance of wrinkles. Studies also consistently show that applying vitamin C topically can boost collagen, so you’ll want to make use of rosehips in your skincare as well.
Helps Protect Against Photoaging
Photoaging refers to the appearance of dark spots, wrinkles, thinning skin, etc. that come from too much UV exposure. Basically, this type of cellular damage accelerates the aging process and can make your skin look prematurely old.
Fortunately, there are some powerful health benefits of rosehips against this type of damage due to their antioxidant content.
Antioxidants have proven to be some of the best protective agents your skin has to prevent UV damage. Vitamin C and vitamin E, in particular, work synergistically to provide greater photoprotection than either does alone. (And rosehips contain both of these vitamin antioxidants.)
In fact, rosehip extract has specifically shown an ability to protect against UVB-induced photoaging, which means it can help your skin look younger for longer.
Nourishes and Hydrates Skin
Rosehip seed oil (pressed from the seeds of rosehips) is an excellent moisturizer for dry or mature skin types.
It contains several fatty acids— including linoleic acid, linolenic acid, and oleic acid— that are deeply nourishing for your skin and help to lock in hydration. These fatty acids help support your skin barrier (something else that can degrade with age), essentially preventing water from evaporating too quickly.
Interestingly, studies have also shown that rosehips can improve skin moisture when consumed as well as applied. A good case for utilizing these amazing pseudo-fruits more than one way!
Rejuvenates Skin with Beta Carotene (Vitamin A)
Vitamin A is a well-known anti-aging nutrient, especially for you skin.
Like other antioxidants, it helps protect your skin from UV damage, slowing the process of skin aging. Vitamin A can also help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, age spots, hyperpigmentation, and other signs of aging when applied topically. (One of the reasons retinol products are so popular.)
Rosehips contain vitamin A in the form of beta carotene, which is a powerful carotenoid (antioxidant).
Not only is beta carotene a precursor to vitamin A, it has also demonstrated its own benefits for photoprotection, improving facial wrinkles, and improving elasticity.
Brightens Skin and Fades the Appearance of Hyperpigmentation
The vitamins in rosehips (and in rosehip oil) have major health benefits for restoring the appearance of youth to your skin.
Both vitamin A and vitamin C encourage skin cell turnover, which has the effect of making your skin look brighter, fresher, and more “glowing”.
This means that applying rosehip seed oil to your skin is an excellent way to calm the appearance of inflammation or redness, which has the added benefit of evening out your skin tone. There’s even indication that rosehip oil can help with scarring.
In addition, vitamins A, C, and E can all help fade the appearance of hyperpigmentation (age spots). Studies have also indicated that rosehip extract inhibits pigmentation, which means in may be able to help stop age spots before they form.
Softens Skin and Improves Elasticity
By providing much needed hydration and encouraging skin cell turnover, rosehips also help your skin to feel softer and look smoother and tighter.
Studies have also shown that using rosehips long-term can improve skin elasticity, which is a measure of how well your skin can “bounce back” after injury or being stretched. This is incredibly important for maintaining youthful-looking skin because loss of elasticity is a top reason for the appearance of wrinkles, saggy-looking skin, and so on!
Top Recommendation: Using Rosehips for Younger-Looking Skin
Consuming rosehips (as a tea or extract) will give you some health benefits for your skin, but rosehip seed oil is by far the superior choice for your skincare. Not only is it rich in vitamins and antioxidants, it also deeply nourishes and hydrates your skin.
As with any form of rosehips, look for organic rosehip oil to avoid harmful toxins. It’s lightweight enough to be applied to your skin as is, but it will be most effective when combined with other anti-aging ingredients.
With that in mind…
If you are in the market for a high-quality, effective eye cream, look into the Age-Defying Eye Cream from Purity Woods that contains organic rosehip seed oil and over 25 of nature’s other top ingredients for your most youthful-looking skin around eyes.
The outstanding benefits of rosehips are combined in this cream with elastin-boosting maple leaf extract, premier vitamin C ingredients, and rich moisturizers like organic mango butter. The entire formula is USDA Certified Organic and quickly erases the appearance of under-eye bags, dark circles, crow’s feet, etc.
Learn more about the Age-Defying Eye Cream here, and be sure to consume rosehips regularly as well to enjoy all of their truly incredible health-boosting properties.