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Rose hip (Rosa spp.)


Also listed as: Rosa spp., Rose haw
Related terms

Related Terms
  • Altisimo, briar bush, Burr Rose, cabbage rose, Camellia Rose, Cherokee Rose, Chestnut Rose, CiLi, Cili, coumaric acid, Dog Rose, Eglantine, French Rose, fructus Rosa laevigata Michx., gallic acid, Gallic rose, Glaucous Dog Rose, Gooseberry Rose, hansa, hedge-pedgies, heps, hip berry, Hyben Vital®, Japanese Rose, LiTo (Chinese), Mardan Rose, m-coumaric acid, melroset, mosqueta rose, Multiflora Rose, nippernails, oil rose of mosqueta, pig's noses, pixie pears, pyrogallol, Redleaf Rose, rhodon (Greek), Rosa aff. rubiginosa, Rosa canina, Rosa centifolia, Rosa damascene, Rosa davurica spp., Rosa domescena, Rosa dumalis, Rosa eglanteria, Rosa family, Rosa family plant extracts, Rosa gallica, Rosa gigantea (syn. R. x odorata gigantea), Rosa glauca (syn. R. rubrifolia), Rosa hybrida, Rosa lucida, Rosa majalis, Rosa mosqueta hips, Rosa multiflora, Rosa x odorata gigantea, Rosa persica (syn. Hulthemia persica, R. simplicifolia), Rosa pimpinellifolia, Rosa roxburghii spp., Rosa rubiginosa, Rosa rubrifolia, Rosa rugosa spp., Rosa sericea, Rosa simplicifolia, Rosa species, Rosa stellata, Rosa virginiana, (syn. R. lucida), Rosa woodsii, Rosaceae (family), Rosae pseudofructus cum fructibus, rosamultin, rose de mai, rose haw, rose haws, rose heps, rose hip extract, rose hips, rose oil, rose pollen, rose-hip, rose-hip drink, Rugosa Rose, Sacramento Rose, sweet brier, sweet chestnut rose, Sweetbriar, syrop of roses, Virginia Rose, wild boar fruit, vrda (Persian), wild-briar rose.
  • Combination product examples: EquiguardT (Herba epimedium brevicornum stem and leaves, radix Morindae officinalis root, fructus Rosa laevigata Michx. fruit, Rubus chingii Hu fruit, Schisandra chinensis fruit, Ligustrum lucidum W.T.Aiton fruit, Cuscuta chinensis Lam. seeds, Psoralea corylifolia L. fruit, Astragalus membranaceus root), Hyben Vital® (dried fruits, seeds, and husks of LiTo, a subtype of Rosa canina), Ophthacare® (Carumcopticum seeds, Terminalia belirica fruits, Emblica officinalis fruits, Curcuma longa rhizome, Ocimum sanctum leaves, Cinnamomum camphora crystals, Rosa damascena petals, and meldespumapum honey), Long-Life CiLi, also called CiLi (Rosa roxburghii Tratt., superoxide dismutase, vitamin C, vitamin E, polysaccharide, and trace elements).

  • Rose hips are the fruits that develop from the blossoms of the wild rose (Rosa species). They contain high levels of vitamin C and are commonly used in soup, stew, tea, juice, jam, jelly, sauce, syrup, puree, and oil.
  • Rose hips have traditionally been used to treat and prevent respiratory infections, gallstones, and ulcers. They have also been used to treat inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, and as a tonic for the stomach and the kidneys.
  • Clinical evidence supports the use of rose hip to boost antioxidant status in healthy young adults and rose hip powder (Hyben Vital®) to treat the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Also supported by clinical evidence is massage combined with aromatherapy using rose oil, together with other oils, to treat painful menstruation. Other treatments, which are supported by unclear or conflicting evidence, include skin conditions, eye disorders, immune function, and wound healing.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *

Preliminary evidence suggests that the concentrated fruit extract of Rosa roxburghii has positive effects on the antioxidant status of healthy young adults. Additional research is needed before a firm conclusion can be made.


Preliminary evidence suggests that aromatherapy using oils of lavender (Lavandula officinalis), clary sage (Salvia sclarea), rose (Rosa centifolia) may help reduce menstrual pain. Additional research on the effect of rose oil alone is needed.


Research suggests that rose hip may decrease symptoms of osteoarthritis. Future research will provide additional useful information on the use of rose hip for this condition.


Preliminary evidence suggests that an herbal formula (Ophthacare®) containing rose hip may be useful in the treatment of a variety of eye disorders. Additional study of rose hip alone is needed before a conclusion can be made.


Limited research suggests that some compounds isolated from rose hip may have positive effects on immune system function. Additional studies with whole rose hip preparations are needed before a conclusion can be made.


Limited research has used rose hip oil to treat skin conditions. High-quality clinical trials are needed before a conclusion can be made.


Preliminary research suggests that a rose oil-containing preparation applied to the skin aids healing of surgical wounds and ulcers. Additional research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)

Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Aging, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, antimycotic, antiplatelet effects, antiseptic, arthritis, asthma, astringent, atherosclerosis, burns, cancer, circulation problems, common cold prevention (general), common cold treatment, confidence boosting, cosmetic uses, depression, diabetes, diarrhea, dizziness, exhaustion, eyewash, fever, food uses, gallstones, gout, hay fever, headaches, high cholesterol, HIV infection, impotence (men), improving urine flow, infection, laxative, liver disorders, lung problems, menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding), menstrual irregularities, nausea, prostate cancer, rheumatic diseases, sciatica, tonic (kidney), tonic (stomach), ulcer, upper respiratory infections, urinary irritation, urinary tract infections, uterine complaints, vaginitis, vitamin C deficiency.


Adults (18 years and older)

  • A rose hip extract has been prepared by simmering 2.5 teaspoons of cut rose hips in one cup of water for 10 minutes.
  • As an antioxidant, four capsules of Rosa roxburghii fruit juice concentrate (equivalent to 24 milliliters of unconcentrated fruit juice) has been taken by mouth at each meal for 21 days.
  • For osteoarthritis, five grams of Hyben Vital® (the powder of the fruits, seeds, and husks of LiTo, a subtype of Rosa canina, standardized to contain at least 500 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams of Hyben Vital® powder) has been taken by mouth twice daily for three months.
  • For postsurgical wound healing, 26% Rosa mosqueta (Rosa aff. rubiginosa L.) oil in a solution of linoleic (41%) and linolenic (39%) acid has been applied to wounds (the frequency and duration of treatment were not stated).

Children (under 18 years old)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for rose hip in children.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.


  • Avoid with known allergy or hypersensitivity to rose hip, Rosa spp., rose hip dust, rose pollen, their constituents, or members of the Rosaceae family.
  • Allergic symptoms, anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction), asthma symptoms, conjunctivitis (pinkeye), hypersensitivity to rose pollen, respiratory symptoms, rhinitis (hay fever), rhinoconjunctivitis (rhinitis together with conjunctivitis), skin reactions, and wheezing have been reported in people, including those who live or have lived in rose-cultivating regions or in those who work in rose cultivation or the manufacturing of rose products.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Rose hip preparations appear to be well tolerated when taken in recommended doses for up to three months. It has been proposed that some side effects are related to the amount of vitamin C present in rose hips.
  • Abdominal cramps, acid regurgitation, constipation, deep vein thrombosis, diarrhea, eye inflammation, fatigue, flushing, frequent urination, gastrointestinal obstruction, headache, hives, hyperoxaluria (excessive oxalate in the urine), inflammation or irritation of the esophagus, insomnia, nausea, precipitation of urate, oxalate, or cysteine stones, sleepiness, vomiting, and water brash (heartburn combined with fluid regurgitation) have been reported. Strong solutions may irritate the face.
  • Rose hip may affect bleeding. Caution is advised in people with bleeding disorders or those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
  • Use cautiously in people who are avoiding immune system stimulants and in those taking aluminum-containing antacids, antibiotics, anticancer agents, anti-inflammatory agents, antiretrovirals, Long-Life CiLi (combination product containing Rosa roxburghii Tratt., superoxide dismutase, vitamin C, vitamin E, polysaccharide, and trace elements), cholesterol-lowering drugs, salicylates, or laxatives.
  • Avoid with known allergy or hypersensitivity to rose hip, Rosa spp., rose hip dust, rose pollen, their constituents, or members of the Rosaceae family.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Some experts recommend rose hips herbal tea for nursing women because of its high level of vitamin C. Avoid using in amounts greater than those found in foods.


Interactions with Drugs

  • Interactions have been reported between vitamin C and drugs. It is not clear how much vitamin C remains in dried and stored rose hips, nor whether the remaining vitamin C would cause similar interactions.
  • Rose hip may affect the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
  • Rose hip may interact with antibiotics, anticancer agents, anti-inflammatory agents, antiretroviral agents (protease inhibitors), aspirin, cholesterol-lowering drugs, drugs that affect the immune system, estrogens, laxatives, or salicylates.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Rose hip may affect the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.
  • Rose hip may also interact with aluminum-containing antacids, antibacterials, anticancer herbs and supplements, anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements, antioxidants, antivirals, cholesterol-lowering agents, herbs and supplements that affect the immune system, iron supplements, iron-rich foods, laxatives, salicylate-containing herbs, vitamin C, or vitamin C-rich foods.

  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (

  1. Basim E, Basim H. Antibacterial activity of Rosa damascena essential oil. Fitoterapia 2003;74(4):394-396.
  2. Biswas NR, Gupta SK, Das GK, et al. Evaluation of Ophthacare eye drops--a herbal formulation in the management of various ophthalmic disorders. Phytother Res 2001;15(7):618-620.
  3. 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.
  4. Han SH, Hur MH, Buckle J, et al. Effect of aromatherapy on symptoms of dysmenorrhea in college students: A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Altern Complement Med 2006;12(6):535-541.
  5. Kumarasamy Y, Cox PJ, Jaspars M, et al. Screening seeds of Scottish plants for antibacterial activity. J Ethnopharmacol 2002;83(1-2):73-77.
  6. Janse van Rensburg C, Erasmus E, Loots DT, et al. Rosa roxburghii supplementation in a controlled feeding study increases plasma antioxidant capacity and glutathione redox state. Eur J Nutr 2005;44(7):452-457.
  7. Larsen E, Kharazmi A, Christensen LP, et al. An antiinflammatory galactolipid from rose hip (Rosa canina) that inhibits chemotaxis of human peripheral blood neutrophils in vitro. J Nat Prod 2003;66(7):994-995.
  8. Ma YX, Zhu Y, Wang CF, et al. The aging retarding effect of 'Long-Life CiLi'. Mech Ageing Dev 1997;96(1-3):171-180.
  9. Pardo-de-Santayana M, Tardio J, Morales, R. The gathering and consumption of wild edible plants in the Campoo (Cantabria, Spain). Int J Food Sci Nutr 2005;56(7):529-542.
  10. Rein E, Kharazmi A, Winther KA. 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.
  11. Rossnagel K, Willich SN. [Value of complementary medicine exemplified by rose-hips]. Gesundheitswesen 2001;63(6):412-6.
  12. Shiota S, Shimizu M, Mizusima T, et al. Restoration of effectiveness of beta-lactams on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus by tellimagrandin I from rose red. FEMS Microbiol Lett 2000;185(2):135-138.
  13. Trovato A, Monforte MT, Forestieri AM, et al. In vitro anti-mycotic activity of some medicinal plants containing flavonoids. Boll Chim Farm 2000;139(5):225-227.
  14. Yoshizawa Y, Kawaii S, Urashima M, et al. Antiproliferative effects of small fruit juices on several cancer cell lines. Anticancer Res 2000;20(6B):4285-4289.
  15. Yoshizawa Y, Kawaii S, Urashima M, et al. Differentiation-inducing effects of small fruit juices on HL-60 leukemic cells. J Agric Food Chem 2000;48(8):3177-3182.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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