Rosehip: properties, uses and contraindications

Rosehip: properties, uses and contraindications

Rosehip is rich in ascorbic acid, an important vitamin for supporting the immune system but also for the beauty and health of the skin


  • What's this
  • Property
  • How to use it

What's this

Rosa canina is a spontaneous plant that grows throughout Europe and is easy to meet in the woods or along the paths. It is a species belonging to the Rosaceae family, characterized by a shrubby habit. The rose hip plant has stems covered with thorns and imparipinnate leaves, with a finely serrated edge and pointed apex. In spring this variety of rose produces white or deep pink flowers from which false fruits called rosehips develop, initially orange, deep red when ripe. The fruits of the rose hip represent the drug of this plant. They are harvested after the first frosts, before complete ripening, and are exploited above all for their content in vitamins and flavonoids.

The rosehip plant is also used for ornamental purposes to make hedges. Being a rustic and resistant plant, the cultivation of rose hips is very simple and allows you to have fresh berries available during the winter period.


The fruits of the dog rose mainly contain vitamin C, vitamin A, carotenoids, flavonoids, anthocyanins and tannins. Collected spontaneously or used for the preparation of extracts, rosehip conorrodes are used above all as an adjuvant in vitamin C deficiency and to support the immune system and as a mild diuretic and laxative.

Rosehip is used, for example, to counteract drops in energy and psycho-physical stress, improve concentration and muscle capacity, prevent and treat flu symptoms during the winter season or as a vitamin C supplement when the need for this molecule it is increased, for example in heavy smokers.

Rosehip berries also have a slightly laxative and diuretic action, given by the presence of pectins, and hypoglycemic properties, that is, they are able to reduce blood glucose levels. Rosehip is also attributed with anti-inflammatory properties useful for counteracting osteoarticular pain. Finally, in cosmetic creams, rosehip extracts help defend the skin from damage from the sun's rays, promote microcirculation and protect delicate and sensitive skin.

How to use it

The fruits of the dog rose can be eaten fresh, after having collected them from spontaneous plants or grown in the garden. The harvest takes place after the first winter frosts and the small red berries must first be deprived of the seeds and the light hair inside them, cutting them lengthwise and digging them with the tip of the knife. Consumed fresh, the berries have a high content of vitamin C, which is important for the immune system but also for the health of the skin and mucous membranes, since ascorbic acid intervenes in the synthesis of collagen.

Rosehip fruits can also be used for the preparation of jams or dried and used to prepare infusions during the cold season. The jam is prepared with about half a kilo of sugar for every kilogram of crushed berries, heating on the fire until a thick mixture is obtained. The drying is carried out instead in a dryer at 35-40 ° C for about twelve hours, or by leaving the berries (cut in half and cleaned) in the shade for a day. The dried fruits are kept in a closed glass jar, away from sources of light and heat and the decoction prepared with the dried berries has a slightly sedative action. However, it must be taken into account that the cooking and drying processes destroy vitamin C, reducing its content significantly, from 40 to 90%.

In herbal medicine you can buy dry and liquid extracts of rose hips, including bud extract, mother tincture, capsules or tablets. The rosehip bud extract is used by administering from 20 to 40 drops diluted in water, once or twice a day before meals for about twenty days a month during the autumn. The intake of the bud extract is especially useful in children, to prevent flu and seasonal illnesses.

The mother tincture of rose hips, in addition to its vitamin action, has anti-inflammatory properties and has a mildly diuretic, hypoglycemic and regulating effect on intestinal function. It is indicated in influenza states and as an adjunct in the treatment of back pain, neck pain or joint pain, inflammation of the intestine that cause constipation or acute diarrhea and to stimulate diuresis. The mother tincture is administered by diluting 40 drops in a glass of water, one to three times a day.

Also for internal use, tablets and capsules containing 100-300 milligrams of dry rosehip extract are recommended as vitamin C supplements during the autumn and winter season, often associated with other immunostimulating plants such as echinacea or astragalus, to defend themselves. from the flu.

Creams and ointments prepared with rosehip extracts are used externally to soften and moisturize sensitive and delicate skin, prevent skin aging, protect small blood vessels and stimulate microcirculation in the case of couperose.


Rosehip is a safe remedy with no side effects. Its consumption, however, is obviously contraindicated in case of hypersensitivity to one or more components.

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