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Rose Hip

What is it?

Rose hips are the round portion of the rose flower just below the petals. Rose hips contain the seeds of the rose plant. Dried rose hips and the seeds are used together to make medicine.

Fresh rose hips contain a lot of vitamin C, so they share many uses with vitamin C including preventing and treating colds, flu, and vitamin C deficiencies. However, much of the vitamin C in rose hips is destroyed during drying and processing and also declines rapidly during storage. Because of this, many rose hip-derived "natural" vitamin C products have actually been fortified with lab-made vitamin C, but their labels may not always say so.

Rose hips are also used for stomach disorders including stomach spasms, stomach acid deficiency, preventing stomach irritation and ulcers, and as a "stomach tonic" for intestinal diseases. They are also used for diarrhea, constipation, gallstones, gallbladder ailments, lower urinary tract and kidney disorders, fluid retention (dropsy or edema), gout, back and leg pain (sciatica), diabetes, high cholesterol, weight loss, high blood pressure, chest ailments, fever, increasing immune function during exhaustion, increasing blood flow in the limbs, increasing urine flow and quenching thirst.

In foods and in manufacturing, rose hips are used for tea, jam, soup, and as a natural source of vitamin C.

How effective is it?

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

The effectiveness ratings for ROSE HIP are as follows:

Possibly effective for...

  • Osteoarthritis. Overall, research suggests that rose hip is beneficial for people with osteoarthritis. Most research shows that taking a specific rose hip product (Hyben Vital) twice daily for 3-4 months reduces pain and stiffness and improves function in people with osteoarthritis.

Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for...

  • Painful menstruation. Some evidence suggests that applying an aromatherapy formula containing lavender, clary sage, and rose hip to the stomach reduces menstrual cramps in young women with painful menstruation.
  • Obesity. Some research shows that taking rose hips powder mixed with apple juice does not affect weight or blood sugar levels in people who are obese. However, rose hip might modestly reduce cholesterol and blood pressure in obese people.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. Early research shows that taking a specific rose hip product (LitoZin/i-flex, HybenVital, Denmark) by mouth improves some symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Preventing and treating colds.
  • Infections.
  • Fever.
  • Boosting the immune system.
  • Stomach irritations.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate rose hip for these uses.

How does it work?

Some people use rose hip as a source of vitamin C. It is true that fresh rose hip contains vitamin C. But processing and drying of the plant destroys most of the vitamin C.

Are there safety concerns?

Rose hip is LIKELY SAFE for adults when taken by mouth appropriately. Rose hip is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin appropriately, short-term.

Rose hip can cause some side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, stomach cramps, fatigue, headache, inability to sleep, and others. Inhaling rose hip dust can cause an allergic reaction in some people.

Special precautions & warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking rose hip if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid using amounts larger than those found in food.

Bleeding conditions: Rugosin E, a chemical found in rose hip, might slow blood clotting. Taking rose hip might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Diabetes: The vitamin C in rose hip might affect the control of diabetes, but not all experts agree on this.

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD deficiency): Large amounts of the vitamin C in rose hip might increase the risk of complications.

Kidney stones: Large amounts of the vitamin C in rose hop might increase the risk for kidney stones.

Iron-related disorders such as hemochromatosis, thalassemia, or anemia: Use rose hip with caution if you have any of these conditions. The vitamin C in rose hip can increase iron absorption, which could make your condition worse.

Sickle cell disease: It is rare, but the vitamin C in rose hip might make blood more acidic, and this could bring on a sickle cell crisis. It’s best to avoid use.

Surgery: Rugosin E, a chemical found in rose hip, might slow blood clotting. There is concern that rose hip might cause bleeding if used before surgery. People taking rose hip should stop at least 2 weeks before surgery.

Are there interactions with medications?

Moderate
Be cautious with this combination.
Aluminum
Aluminum is found in most antacids. Rose hips contain vitamin C. Vitamin C can increase how much aluminum the body absorbs. But it isn't clear if this interaction is a big concern. Take rose hip two hours before or four hours after antacids.
Estrogens
Rose hip contains a large amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C can increase how much estrogen the body absorbs. Taking rose hip along with estrogen can increase the effects and side effects of estrogens.

Some estrogen pills include conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, and others.
Fluphenazine (Prolixin)
Rose hip contains vitamin C. Large amounts of vitamin C might increase how quickly the body gets rid of fluphenazine (Prolixin). Taking rose hip along with fluphenazine (Prolixin) might decrease the effectiveness of fluphenazine (Prolixin).
Lithium
Rose hip might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking rose hip might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)
Rose hip contains a chemical that might slow blood clotting. Taking rose hip along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, ticlopidine (Ticlid), warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
Warfarin (Coumadin)
Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Rose hip contains vitamin C. Large amounts of vitamin C might decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin). Decreasing the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin) might increase the risk of clotting. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.
Minor
Be watchful with this combination.
Aspirin
The body breaks down aspirin to get rid of it. Rose hip contains large amounts of vitamin C. Large amounts of vitamin C might decrease the breakdown of aspirin. Taking large amount of rose hip along with aspirin might increase the effects and side effects of aspirin. Do not take large amounts of vitamin C if you take large amounts of aspirin.
Choline Magnesium Trisalicylate (Trilisate)
Rose hip contains vitamin C. Vitamin C might decrease how quickly the body gets rid of choline magnesium trisalicylate (Trilisate). But it is not clear if this interaction is a big concern.
Salsalate (Disalcid)
Rose hip contains vitamin C. Vitamin C might decrease how quickly the body gets rid of salsalate (Disalcid). Taking rose hip along with salsalate (Disalcid) might increase the effects and side effects of salsalate.

Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?

Herbs and supplements that might slow blood clotting
Rose hip might slow blood clotting. Using rose hip with other herbs that can slow blood clotting might increase the risk of bleeding in some people. These other herbs include angelica, clove, danshen, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, Panax ginseng, and others.
Iron
The vitamin C in rose hip could increase the amount of iron that the body absorbs.
Vitamin C
Rose hip contains vitamin C. Taking rose hip with vitamin C supplements might increase the risk of side effects associated with vitamin C.

Are there interactions with foods?

Iron
The vitamin C in rose hip could increase the amount of iron that the body absorbs.

What dose is used?

The appropriate dose of rose hip depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for rose hip. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Other names

Apothecary Rose, Cynorhodon, Cynorhodons, Cynosbatos, Dog Rose, Dog Rose Hips, Églantier, Fruit de l’Églantier, Gulab, Heps, Hip, Hip Fruit, Hip Sweet, Hipberry, Hop Fruit, Persian Rose, Phool Gulab, Pink Rose, Poire d’oiseaux, Rosa alba, Rosa centifolia, Rosa damascena, Rosa de castillo, Rosa gallica, Rosa Mosqueta, Rosa provincialis, Rosa canina, Rose Hips, Rosa lutetiana, Rosa pomifera, Rosa rugosa, Rosa villosa, Satapatri, Rosae pseudofructus cum semen, Rosehip, Rosehips, Rose des Apothicaires, Rose de Provins, Rose Rouge de Lancaster, Rosier de Provence, Satapatrika, Shatpari, Wild Boar Fruit.

Methodology

To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database methodology.

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Last reviewed - 05/27/2016