Rose Hip


  • 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.

Scientific Evidence

Uses 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.

Menstrual pain

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.

Eye disorders

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.

Immune function

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.

Skin conditions

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

Wound healing

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 against this use (it may not work);

F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).


  • 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.


  1. Basim E, Basim H. Antibacterial activity of Rosa damascena essential oil. Fitoterapia 2003;74(4):394-396. View Abstract
  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. View Abstract
  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. View Abstract
  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. View Abstract
  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. View Abstract
  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. View Abstract
  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. View Abstract
  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. View Abstract
  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. View Abstract
  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. View Abstract
  11. Rossnagel K, Willich SN. [Value of complementary medicine exemplified by rose-hips]. Gesundheitswesen 2001;63(6):412-6. View Abstract
  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. View Abstract
  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. View Abstract
  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. View Abstract
  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. View Abstract