What are Rosehips?

Rosehips (or rose hips) are the berry like fruits that grow on a few species of wild rose plants, including Rosa Canina (‘dog rose’), Rosa Moschata and Rosa Rubiginosa.

Growing wild in regions of South America, South Africa and farmed in Scandinavia, it’s the fruit of the dog rose that carry the most talked about medicinal qualities.

Part of the apple family, rosehips grow to the size of small walnuts. They resemble tiny pomegranate fruits or small tomatoes growing at the tip of the stem and are typically red-to-orange, but range from dark purple to black in some species.

Rosehip berry

Rosehips appear on the bush after the flower has blossomed and dropped off. The roses are not like the common rose we grow in a garden or greenhouse.

In recent years, the rising interest in herbal remedies has resulted in numerous studies on a vast number of plants known and used in traditional medicine.

In 2002, an extensive paper was published which evaluated levels of antioxidants in vegetables and fruits from locations all over the world. Of all plants examined, Rosa Canina has the highest amount of antioxidants.

Nutritional benefits of Rosehips

Rosehips, or more specifically, rosa canina rosehips, contain 23 naturally occurring minerals and 8 vitamins. Known to be one of nature’s richest sources of natural vitamin C, rosehips are a wholefood, a true superfood, delivering a wide range of health benefits.

Rosehips (Rosa Canina) are a source of readily assimilated forms of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients including vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 , B12, C, E and K, essential fatty acids (omega 3 and 6), galactolipids, bioflavonoids, carotenoids, tannins, aluminium, boron, calcium, chloride, chromium, cobalt, copper, fluorine, iodine, lithium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, niacin, nickel, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, sulphur and zinc.

Inside a Rosehip berry

Health benefits

Rosehips have been used as a herbal medicine for more than 2,000 years. The powerhouse of nutrients working in synergy delivers a wide range of health benefits.

Rosehips strengthen the immune system, promote circulation, reduce inflammation, prevent and treat gastrointestinal and inflammatory symptoms, reduce cholesterol, regulate blood pressure, improve kidney function and skin health and may even prevent heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases. Natural health practitioners recommend rosehip for a variety of health issues including arthritis, back pain, constipation, diabetes, diarrhea, gallstones, gout, ulcers and urinary tract infections.

Researchers believe the health benefits derived from the fruit of the dog rose (rosa canina) are mostly due to the following characteristics:

1. Flavanoids

Flavanoids are the largest group of phytonutrients, with over 6,000 different types found in a variety of plants and vegetables. They are important antioxidants promoting benefits to health. The flavanoids present in Rosa Canina include hyperoside, tiliroside, rutin, quercetin, catechin, astragalin.

Worthy of particular attention is tiliroside. Tiliroside has been found to inhibit the accumulation of lipids in adipose tissue and concurrently enhance the oxidation of fatty acids in skeletal muscle. Basically, tiliroside helps burn fatty acids for energy within skeletal muscle and deters the storage of fatty acids within fat tissues. In other words, tiliroside actually helps the body take full advantage of a key source of energy. By increasing the amount of fuel present in skeletal muscle and by helping the muscle burn that fuel for energy tiliroside actually moves the body closer to peak performance.

2. Carotenoids

Carotenoids absorb light, they are evident as red, orange and yellow colours in plants. They are important light harvesting molecules that transfer energy to reaction centres during photosynthesis. They suppress damaging photochemical reactions, particularly free radicals. Animals are unable to synthesize carotenoids so are dependant on acquiring them through diet.

3. Fatty acids

Fatty acids are key constituents of lipids, which are water-insoluble biomolecules. Lipids are important components of cell membranes serving as fuel molecules or highly concentrated energy stores, they act as signal molecules and are also messengers in signal pathways. Fatty acids in plants are often unsaturated resulting in molecules that tend to be liquid at room temperature and therefore termed ‘oils’. Fats and oils play a vital role in the food industry where they are characterised by their degree of saturation.

Western based meat diets have an abundance of saturated fatty acids while poly unsaturated fats such as omegas 3 and 6 are lacking. The seeds of rosa canina fruits are rich in omega 3 and 6 which. Extensive research into the physiological significance of polyunsaturated fats shows their numerous health benefits which include reducing cholesterol, inhibiting thrombosis, improved circulation, dilation of blood vessels, reduced cardiovascular disease, and inhibition of inflammation. Other polyunsaturated fats like linoleic and linolenic acids isolated from rosa canina fruit seeds also have anti-inflammatory action.

4. Galactolipids or GOPO

Galactolipids are nature’s natural analgesic. They have the ability to curb the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines (proteins secreted by certain cells which have an effect on other cells) in joints and muscle tissue and thus prevent prolonged bouts of inflammation and therefore pain. Researchers have identified a particular galactolipid which is found only in rosehip powder manufactured with specific processes. Also known as GOPO, this compound has been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory action.

In essence, GOPO significantly moves the needle on achieving peak athletic potential by preventing the body from entering the cycle of chronic inflammation. GOPO stops the accumulation of excess white blood cells around inflamed tissue or joints, and by keeping the tissues open to the flow of antioxidants and natural anti-inflammatory compounds, GOPO speeds tissue recovery post-exercise or injury. Preventing inflammation also eliminates aches and pains in the body.

As you can imagine, not all rosehip products are created equal. The Rosehip berry has two main components – the seeds and the shell. Research has identified the importance of including the seeds in a powder intended for medical use. Rosehip products made from both the seed and the shell deliver the highest level of medicinal benefits.

5. Vitamin C

Rosehips are known to be one of nature’s richest sources of vitamin C. During WWII the people of England were encouraged to get creative with rosehips in their meals because citrus fruits were hard to come by and Rosehips were plentiful. Rosehips have been credited for fighting off scurvy which is known to occur when there is a severe vitamin C deficiency.

If you compare the nutritional value of rosehips to its vitamin C laden cousin the orange, you may be surprised at the levels. Certain types of rosehips have up to 60 times the vitamin C found in an orange.

Vitamin C is essential to a number of processes in the body relating to maintaining health. Vitamin C is a key component of the Kreb’s cycle which is used to generate energy through the oxidation of Acetyle-CoA (acetyl coenzyme) and sits at ground zero for generation of energy by the mitochondria.

Vitamin C also works in concert with glutathione and vitamin E to help clear free radicals and to recycle important antioxidants for reuse by the body. Vitamin C is also capable of reducing chronic levels of inflammation which persist in the body and impair the progress of healing.

Vitamin C is also a natural antihistamine which can assist with allergies. It stimulates the production of collagen, a protein which forms connective tissue in the body. Collagen is an essential component of healthy joints, ligaments, tendons and cartilage. As vitamin C is water soluble, it is quickly eliminated from the body. Refined or synthetic forms of vitamin C are inefficient due to rapid elimination in urine. To maximise tissue delivery of vitamin C, the best approach is to feed it in a natural food form which releases it more slowly achieving higher levels of vitamin C throughout the tissues of the body.

Products containing rose hips

Rosehip products fall into 2 main categories – powders intended for ingestion and oils for topical application. There are many different manufacturing methods and also different opinions on the value and health benefits derived from the different parts of the berry i.e the seeds and the shell.

Rosehip Powder

The specific composition of rosehips are subject to seasonal variation. For this reason, when evaluating the science, it’s important to ensure research on rosehips focuses on a standardised rosehip powder. The quality and amount of active ingredients in rosehip powders varies greatly depending on the sub species used, methods of production, growth environment and time of harvest. Other factors include the environment they grow in e.ge the amount of sunlight, soil composition, altitude and water. In addition, active ingredient variations are influenced by the drying method and temperature. The powder might be brownish in colour which may be caused by exposure to high temperatures during production. Some rosehip powders are orange, especially when processing temperatures are kept low.

Rosehip oil

Often confused with its powder cousin, rosehip oil is typically used as a topical application for skincare. Rosehip oils cold pressed from the shells and seeds of organically harvested berries are considered the most effective. There is no evidence of ingested rosehip oil having a positive impact on the lowering of inflammation so please use it on your skin to keep you looking and feeling young and healthy.

What is Rose-Hip Vital?

The only rosehip product produced with optimal regulation and quality control come from the Danish manufacturer, Hyben Vital. Hyben Vital produces Rose-Hip Vital powder which is marketed worldwide for people, dogs and horses. The research supporting this brand of rosehip powder is extensive – there are more than 30 scientific studies including 9 double blind placebo controlled trials proving it’s effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

The rosehips (rosa canina) in Rose-Hip Vital® are farmed in the nutrient rich soils of Denmark. The plants are left to mature for 3 to 4 years with no artificial interference before harvesting. Not only does this give plants time to produce the best quality fruits, it also allows their amazing root system to dive deep into the ground where they can draw precious trace minerals from soil that has not been depleted by modern agricultural practices.

Patented extraction and drying processes isolate and activate the compound GOPO®. GOPO® has powerful scientifically proven anti-inflammatory properties. If the rosehip is manufactured without these patented processes, therapeutic claims may not be made when referring to the 30 + scientific studies and nine clinical trials undertaken on Rose-Hip Vital® powder.

Dosage recommendations

The recommended dose of Rose-Hip Vital powder is 5g daily, split morning and evening if possible. This therapeutic dose is safe for long term consumption.

Rosehips for dogs

Made from Rosehips (rosa canina) manufactured with patented processes, Rose-Hip Vital® Canine is a plant based anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and natural vitamin C for your dog’s joint health and wellbeing. It’s scientifically and clinically proven to reduce inflammation, protect cartilage, improve general health and improve performance

Rosehip side effects

The research supporting Rose-Hip Vital has demonstrated no known side-effects. Rose-Hip Vital can be taken alongside any other medications or supplements and it is shown to be well tolerated.


The Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology

Halvorsen BL, Holte K, Myhrstad MC, et al. A systematic screening of total antioxidants in dietary plants. J Nutr. 2002;132(3):461–471.

Larsen E, Kharazmi A, Christensen LP, Christensen SB. An antiinflammatory galactolipid from rose hip (Rosa canina) that inhibits chemotaxis of human peripheral blood neutrophils in vitro. J Nat Prod. 2003;7:994–995.

Winther K, Campbell-Tofte J, Vinther Hansen S. Bioactive ingredients of rose hips (Rosa canina L) with special reference to antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties: in vitro studies. Botanics Targets and Therapy, February 2016, Dove Medical Press. DOI: 10.2147/btat.s91385