Need a Vitamin C Pick-me-up?: Try Rose Hips

Wondering what part of the rose plant are these or why almost every beauty product mentions rose hips? This piece is for you.


A close up of bright red rose hips, one of it being cut open
Photo by Immo Wegmann on Unsplash

To answer “what are rose hips” simply, they are pseudo-fruits or fruit-like pods of the rose plants. There is an increasing amount of scientific evidence that shows the medicinal benefits of these little red pods.

Offering about 901% vitamin C, 124% fibre, 21% magnesium and 15% potassium (per cup) to meet our daily dietary requirements, rose hips are a nutritional gold mine.

So, no prizes for guessing that they can help maintain body, skin and overall health in several ways. Following are a few research-backed benefits of rose hips:

1. Potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects

Rose hips are rich in natural antioxidants like polyphenols, vitamins C and E. Active compounds like quercetin, rutin and catechin; ellagic, ferulic and gallic acids; and carotenoids synergistically combat free radical damage in our body.

Since they are also high in vitamins C, E, calcium, magnesium and other micronutrients, rose hips are excellent anti-inflammatory agents. Studies corroborate this effect in individuals with diabetes, arthritis and other inflammatory disorders (even cancer, to an extent).

Fun fact: They’re such powerful antioxidants that rose hips could partially replace a chemical preservative (like sodium nitrate) to extend the shelf life of pork frankfurters!

2. Protect kidney and liver health

Rose hips can mitigate kidney failure and liver diseases, thanks to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Rosehip extract has been shown to lower the levels of free radicals and inflammatory toxins in the body. It can be, therefore, used to manage chronic issues like kidney stones, diabetes-related kidney failure and liver injury.

3. Manage skin disorders and ageing

Rose root extract has proven to be a non-toxic and hypoallergenic treatment for inflammatory skin disorders. Rose hip powder helps control atopic dermatitis, wrinkles, scars, dark spots and other signs of photoaging.

It boosts collagen production and, therefore, skin elasticity, and improves moisture retention by nourishing the dermal barrier. This is exactly why rose hip oil is such a hit across most skin types!

4. Mitigate diabetes and related complications

Multiple mouse studies establish that rose hip extracts have potent anti-diabetic effects. Polyphenols like quercetin, carotenoids and vitamin E in rose hips help boost insulin production and protect pancreatic cells from inflammation.

They also prevent sudden blood sugar spikes and keep a tab on cholesterol levels (hyperlipidemia). By doing so, rose hips bring down the risk of obesity, fatty liver disease, heart disease and kidney failure.

5. Relieve Alzheimer’s, depression and anxiety

A study found that patients with seizures and convulsions (epilepsy) have significantly low levels of vitamins A and C. Since rose hips are abundant in vitamin C and several antioxidants, they help relieve inflammatory brain disorders like Alzheimer’s and epilepsy.

Rose or rose hip essential oil can be extremely relaxing, especially if you’re dealing with anxiety and depression. It elevates your mood by triggering “happy hormones,” like serotonin, and also improves memory. So, add rose essential oil to your aromatherapy list right away!

6. Prevent infections and ulcers

It’s the polyphenols in rose hips doing their magic again! The active compounds inhibit a long list of harmful bacteria with their antimicrobial and antioxidant effects. Drinking rose hip tea or using similar extracts can treat/prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs), stomach ulcers, and various viral, fungal and bacterial infections.

With further R&D, rose petals and hip extracts can replace chemical antibiotics. They selectively kill harmful microbes without tipping the balance in the gut microbiome. In fact, this property makes rose hips an excellent prebiotic!

What’s the best way to use rose hips: Fresh or dried?

If you’re looking to buy rose hips, get them here.

Rose hips can be added to herbal teas or taken as supplements. The dried rose hip powder is a great addition to topical formulas like face packs, salves and scrubs.

Buy rose hip oil today and make it your skincare staple. It suits almost all skin types and has broad-spectrum uses. Just the best investment with the best immediate and long-term results!

Is it safe to eat rose hips? Absolutely!

Fresh, raw rose hips are edible and have one of the highest amounts of vitamin C. Dried hips or boiled ones may lose some nutrients but not too much. So try a rose hip jelly or jam this time instead of the cranberry sauce. Rose petals can also go into these recipes.

Rose hips have not been known to cause serious side effects. However, before you stock them up, please talk to your healthcare provider to understand all implications. This helps if you are sensitive to certain foods, are pregnant or nursing and/or have a medical history.


  1. Therapeutic Applications of Rose Hips from Different Rosa Species Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Jun; 18(6): 1137.
  2. Dog rose (Rosa canina L.) as a functional ingredient in porcine frankfurters without added sodium ascorbate and sodium nitrite Meat Sci. 2012 Dec;92(4):451–7.
  3. The effectiveness of a standardized rose hip powder, containing seeds and shells of Rosa canina, on cell longevity, skin wrinkles, moisture, and elasticity Clin Interv Aging. 2015; 10: 1849–1856.
  4. Effects of Rosa rugosa petals on intestinal bacteria Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2008 Mar;72(3):773–7
  5. Rose Hip Medline Plus, National Library of Medicine



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