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  • Jovita Turan

Valuable Properties and Health Benefits of Rosehip (Rosa canina L.)

by Jovita Turan, March 3, 2021

The genus Rosa naturally occurs in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America and it covers more than 100 species. Rose plants are hardy, they grow in nature without a need of fertilizers or irrigation. They can be found in mountains and the lowlands.

Rosa canina L. commonly known as rosehip or dog rose can grow up to 3,5 m in height, it is an erect shrub or climber with curved or arched branches. The color of petals varies from white to pale pink, sometimes it can be deep pink.

A botanical illustration showing the various stages of growth by Otto Wilhelm Thomé

Chemical composition

Rosehip fruits are rich in high quality and amounts of organic and inorganic matters that are beneficial for human health. The fruits contain minerals, vitamins (mostly vitamin C as well as vitamins B1, B2, K, PP, E), sugars, phenolic compounds, carotenoids, tocopherol, bioflavonoids, tannins, organic acids, fruit acids, amino acids, volatile oils, and pectin. Studies show that among all fruits and vegetables rosehip fruits contain the highest vitamin C amounts.

In the seeds of rosehip, you can find high amounts of oil and minerals. The main fatty acids found in the rosehip seed oil are linoleic, oleic, linolenic, palmitic, stearic, and arachidonic acid.

Health benefits

It was recorded that fruits of rose perform significant antioxidant, antimicrobial, as well as antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic effects. Dried rose fruits are used to treat illnesses, such as diarrhea, diseases of the kidneys, liver, bladder, and gastrointestinal tract disorders that are caused by vitamin C deficiency.

Dried rosehip fruits. By Jovita Turan

Rosehip fruits powder has been known to treat arthritis, reduce cardiovascular risks, lower cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.

Across the world, rose flowers in traditional medicine are used to cure scurvy and hemorrhoids, as an anthelmintic and fortifying agent, to cure diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, to treat lung diseases and infections of the upper respiratory tract. As an herbal remedy, rose hips are applied for skincare, as well as to treat flu, inflammations, chronic pain, and ulcers.

Usage and utilization

For many years fruits of the rose hip are used for food, medicinal, and other purposes, including fruit juice, jam, marmalade, pestil, syrup, alcoholic beverages, and teas. Tea can be made not only from the fruits but also from the roots.


  • Czyzowska, A., Klewicka, E., Pogorzelski, E., & Nowak, A. (2015). Polyphenols, vitamin C and antioxidant activity in wines from Rosa canina L. and Rosa rugosa Thunb. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 39, 62-68.

  • Fan, C., Pacier, C., & Martirosyan, D. M. (2014). Rose hip (Rosa canina L): A functional food perspective. Functional Foods in Health and Disease, 4(12), 493-509.

  • Fattahi, A., Niyazi, F., Shahbazi, B., Farzaei, M. H., & Bahrami, G. (2017). Antidiabetic mechanisms of Rosa canina fruits: an in vitro evaluation. Journal of evidence-based complementary & alternative medicine, 22(1), 127-133.

  • Kazaz, S., BaydaR, H., & ERBaS, S. (2009). Variations in chemical compositions of Rosa damascena Mill. and Rosa canina L. fruits. Czech Journal of Food Sciences, 27(3), 178-184.

  • Roman, I., Stănilă, A., & Stănilă, S. (2013). Bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity of Rosa canina L. biotypes from spontaneous flora of Transylvania. Chemistry Central Journal, 7(1), 1-10.

  • Taneva, I., Petkova, N., Dimov, I., Ivanov, I., & Denev, P. (2016). Characterization of rose hip (Rosa canina L.) fruits extracts and evaluation of their in vitro antioxidant activity. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, 5(2), 35.

  • Main photo: 02.03.2021


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