Allergy to Rose Hips

Rose hips are usually derived from the Rosa canina L, R. cinnamomea L, R. acicularis Lindl or R. rugosa Thunb specifies of rose bush. They are cultivated in North Africa, Europe and parts of Asia. Rose hips are often found in vitamin C supplements and have also been used to flavor teas and jams. Plant allergies are not uncommon so allergies to rose hips are definitely a possibility. It is best to consult with a doctor before taking supplements containing rose hips.

A close-up of wild rose hips. (Image: SergeyChayko/iStock/Getty Images)


The plant from which the rose hip grows is perennial and can reach 16 feet in height. They have thorny branches, with flowers in a variety of colors, including red, white and pink. These red fruits on the plant form on the branches after the flower grow. Those are the hips of the rose. They are only about a half inch long and are oval-shaped. There are yellowish brown seeds inside these fleshy hips.


The R. canina hips gained popularity in the Middle Ages, according to Rose hips were once used to treat chest ailments. Later they were added to vitamin supplements, especially with vitamin C. The website also notes that throughout the years they have also been used as diuretics, laxatives and in nutritional supplements. The syrup of rose hips was once used as a nourishment drink given to children.


Adverse reactions to rose hips are not that common, as stated in the supplement's information on They did say, however, that production workers who have been exposed to the dust from rose hips have developed respiratory allergies, some of which have been severe enough to include anaphylaxis. It is also noted that the plant may cause itching, but it is considered an irritation rather than an allergy.


ImmunoCap, a company that monitors allergies and testing for allergies, explains cross-reactivity between plants in the family of rose hips and certain fruit, including apricots, peaches and apples. The company cautions that have been enough studies have been done to conclude this as fact, however, it did see a portion--more than 8 percent--of allergic reactions to rose hips in a European study conducted in 17 clinics. This put rose hips at 58 in the list of food allergens.


If you do have plant allergies, Home Remedies advises that you look for vitamin C sources that do not contain rose hips. Though rose hips are not true fruits, caution may be advised to those with fruit allergies, especially to apricots, peaches or apples. If you do have any type of reaction after consuming rose hips consult with a health care professional. If the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with breathing, see immediate medical help.

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