Rose hips are the fruit of rose bushes and, when fresh, can have more than 60 times as much vitamin C as one orange. The rose hips valued for their medicinal use in folk medicine come from two rose varieties: Rosa gallica and Rosa canina, which are native to Asia, Northern Africa and Europe. The medicinal properties of rose hips can be obtained by using them to make teas, syrups and jellies. They are also used to make oils that are used to help the complexion.
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According to Cabrillo College, the Ohlone Indians used rose hips for compresses to treat skin wounds and scabs. You can make a rose hip compress by adding 4 Tbsp. of cut rose hips (minus the seeds) in a small pot of boiling water, letting them simmer gently for at least 10 minutes. Soak a cotton rag in this liquid and use directly onto affected skin. You can also soak your rose hips directly in a carrier oil such as almond or olive oil for four weeks to make a soothing oil for the face.
According to herbalist David Hoffmann in his book “The New Holistic Herbal,” rose hips are one of the best sources of vitamin C, which will help treat infections and boost the body’s immune system. Vitamin C is an antioxidant as it scavenges free radicals that are harmful to all cells in the body.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, vitamin C is responsible for collagen production in the body, which is an important element in the structure of bones and muscles.
Iron produces red blood cells, which oxygenate the body and is lost many times during menstruation. Vitamin C is responsible for the proper absorption of iron, making it a helpful ally for overall health.
To make a syrup with rose hips, Hoffmann suggests removing the seeds from the hips and pouring one pint of boiling rose hip liquid onto 3/4 lbs. of sugar, stirring gently until sugar is dissolved. Store your rose hip syrup in the refrigerator and use as a cough medicine, as well as a tonic or throat gargle.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
A study performed by the Institute for Social Medicine in Berlin concluded that the use of rose hip powder can reduce symptoms related to rheumatoid arthritis. The results were published in the International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology on February 1, 2010.