The Health Benefits of Rose Hips By: Dr Akilah El
A Rose hip is the fruit of a rose. The wild dog rose is the type of rose most often cultivated for their hips. This plant grows up to ten feet tall and bears a white, very fragrant flower. Once the flower has bloomed, and all the petals have fallen off, the hip is picked and used in a wide variety of preparations. Rose hips are the best source of vitamin C; they contain 50% more vitamin C than oranges. A single tablespoon of the pulp gives an adult more than the recommended daily allowance of 60 mg. They can be eaten raw, after being put through a blender, or soaked in water overnight and then cooked in the water for about half an hour. Because of the high vitamin C content they are an excellent immune system booster, and are often used as a supplement to prevent or treat a cold.
The fruit acids and pectin in rose hip tea is a mild diuretic and laxative. It is used to improve, and relieve the symptoms of kidney disorders, or to help in the case of mild constipation. To make the tea simply pour a cup boiling water over a tablespoon of crushed, dried hips and let steep. After straining out any pieces of the hips you can add honey and drink.
The astringent qualities of rose hip oil makes it a valuable addition in cosmetic preparations. It has the ability to help regenerate new skin cells. This can be used to treat scars, acne and burns. While it is an astringent, it does not dry out the skin; actually it helps to rehydrate it, keeping the moisture in. Drinking rose hip tea daily will also benefit your skin. Rose hips have a high vitamin A content. Vitamin A is commonly referred to as the “skin vitamin”. It helps to regenerate skin cells, healing wounds and scars. It also helps to keep the skin elastic and nourished. This will not only prevent wrinkles, but can actually help to minimize any that have already appeared.
The vitamin A is also beneficial to the immune system. It can help to prevent infections from both bacteria and viruses. It helps the immune system to fight off any infections that do occur too.
Rose Hips Health Benefits
As said above, rose hips are particularly high in vitamin C. But that’s not all. They also contain vitamins A, D and E, essential fatty acids, and high levels of antioxidant flavonoids which are known for their antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antiallergenic properties.
Here are just some of the health benefits of rose hips:
- Frequently used as a common-cold treatment (due to high concentrations of vitamin C)
- Improving immune system
- Reducing skin blemishes and irritations
- Strengthening cardio-vascular system
- Improving blood quality and circulation
- Soothing arthritis and joint inflammation
- Strengthening the digestive tract
- Calming the central nervous system
- Alleviating depression, anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorders
- Assisting in treating dizziness and headaches
- Aiding in the maintenance of the skin
- and more
Rose Hips For Arthritis
Studies have shown that supplements made from rose hip extract can help reduce symptoms related to arthritis. People consuming these supplements experience joint pain relief, reduced inflammation, and reduced stiffness in the joints.
The active ingredients in rose hips may help protect and possibly rebuild damaged joint tissue. They may help produce collagen and cartilage, essential components of a healthy joint.
Rose Hip Improves Heart Health in Obese Patients1
According to a new clinical study, Rosa canina or rose hip significantly reduces blood pressure and LDL cholesterol. The study was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The authors of the study concluded that it could be the starting point for exploring rose hip as a “constituent of food portfolios aimed at reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, thereby decreasing the risk of coronary heart disease and mortality.”
This study specifically targeted obese patients with high blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol. The researchers believe that obesity is becoming a global epidemic; quoting the World Health Organization’s staggering statistic that by 2015 there will be 1.5 billion overweight people worldwide. In the United States, the obesity epidemic could cost $117 billion per year, most of that coming from the cost of treating heart disease and diabetes.
This new study indicates that extracts from rose hip may help reduce blood pressure and LDL cholesterol (the bad kind). The results were pretty impressive when you compare rose hip to commonly prescribed drugs for both conditions. Let’s look at the details.
Rose Hip Decreases Blood Pressure & Cholesterol1
The Swedish and Norwegian researchers who conducted the study released their results last month. Thirty-one obese people were recruited for the randomized, double-blind, cross-over study. The participants were randomized into either a treatment group or control. The treatment group was given 40 grams of rose hip powder added to their apple juice, while the control group only received apple juice. The groups switched treatments halfway through the study.
After six weeks, total cholesterol dropped by 4.9%, while LDL cholesterol dropped by 6% in the rose hip group. But the most impressive result came from the reduction in blood pressure. There was an average decrease in systolic pressure of 3.4% or 4 points for the rose hip group. This drop in blood pressure was close to the average reduction in blood pressure observed in 27 pharmacological trials.
The authors state that it’s estimated that this blood pressure reduction can result in a decreased incidence of coronary heart disease by 15% and stroke by 25%. Overall, the risk of cardiovascular disease was decreased by 17% in the rose hip group compared to the control group — according to the Reynolds risk assessment score for heart disease.
- U Anderson. 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. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication 14 December 2011; doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2011.203. http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/ejcn2011203a.html
For more information on Dr. Akilah El, please visit ~ http://www.celestialhealing.net/celestialhomepage.htm
They’re best when added to jams, teas, jellies, winter collection of native rosessyrups, soups, pies, breads, and they even can be made into wine.
Please visit The Delta Institute http://www.arthurhaines.com/bio.html for information
How To Dry Them ~
Collect quantities to be dried or made into teas, jellies, juice, pickles, etc., for winter use.
The process is very easy and similar to air drying flowers, follow these directions:
- Sort out the imperfect ones and rinse the batch. Carefully pat dry.
- Line a cookie sheet with a screen, or a sheet of cardboard, or parchment or wax paper and spread them across in a single layer.
- Leave in a dark, well ventilated area for a few weeks, they’ll be ready when they are hard, wrinkly and darker in color.
- You can also do this in the oven on the lowest setting or use a dehydrator.
You can dry them whole or you can cut and seed first (directions below). If mainly using for teas, leaving whole is fine.
Tips: To remove the hairs from them once they’ve dried, grind them up a bit in the food processor then shake the batch in a sieve, the hairs will fall loose. After they have dried, stems and ends can be removed easily by plucking them off.
Storage: Seal in airtight containers or glass jars, store away from direct light.
- Tip: Avoid using aluminum cookware and utensils when preparing them as it can deteriorate their Vitamin C content.
How To Make Tea:
- When Using Fresh: 1 to 2 TBS per cup of boiling water, steep for 10 minutes.
- When Using Dried: 2 tsp per cup of boiling water, steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
Tip: Don’t throw them out once they’ve been used to make tea, eat them after you’re done drinking the tea or add to soups or serve as a side at the supper table. They still have a lot of nutritional value even after they’ve been used in teas.
Wild Roseberry Jam: Gather the berries after the first frost. Remove seeds and hull. Wash. Add water just barely to cover the berries. Cook berries until soft. If mixture is too thick add water as needed. Set aside to cool. Mash and put through sieve. To 2 cups puree add 1 cup sugar and cook slowly until thick, stirring frequently. A better consistency is obtained if commercial pectin is used. Pour into sterilized jars and seal.
The jam may be used on bread and as a filling for cakes.
Note: If desired, lemon juice may be added and used either as jam or meat sauce.
4 quarts ripe berries (red and ripe)
1 clove garlic
2 medium sized onions
1 cup water (or more if necessary)
Boil these ingredients until they are soft. Strain them. Add 3/4 cup of brown sugar. Tie in a bag and add:
1/2 TBS whole allspice
1/2 TBS mace
1/2 TBS whole cloves
1/2 TBS celery seed
2 inch stick cinnamon
Boil these ingredients quickly. Add 1 cup vinegar, cayenne, salt, if desired. Boil catsup 10 minutes longer. Bottle it at once. Seal the bottles with wax. The flavor of this catsup is excellent.
Roseberry & Crabapple Jelly: Use 1/2 crabapple juice and 1/2 rose hip puree. To one cup of this mixture use 3/4 cup sugar. This jelly retains its Vitamin C content for as long as nine months without loss.
Note: The puree may be combined in jelly or jam with fruit such as cranberry, grape, chokecherry, red currant, wild plum, etc. Combine one part rose hip to two parts fruit or one to three if taste of rose hip is not desired. A little acid such as lemon juice adds to the flavor as does honey used for part or all of sugar.
Most products will be softer at first but will stiffen on standing. Do not place in sun to stiffen as this destroys Vitamin C.
How To Remove Hairs & Seeds
It is desirable that the hairs and seeds be removed before consuming. The fine hairs associated with the seeds are unpleasant in the mouth and have an irritating action. A few different methods are used, try one of the following:
- Cut in half and shake out seeds, this takes the longest time;
- Cover with water and simmer, then rub through a sieve using the puree;
- Simmer whole Rose Hips in more than enough water to cover, then merely strain. Bottle the juice. Add sugar if desired and process 45 mins. This juice contains Vitamin C and may be added to sauces, soups (not cream soup), puddings, beverages and many other foods.
Did You Know: Women and children were encouraged to gather them during World War II when food supplies were low, the Vitamin C they provided were a much needed source of nutrition and was highly valued over the winter months.
Source: Much of the information was found in Home Canning Guide, Dominion Glass Co. Limited (vintage booklet)