A rose hip is the seed pod of a wild rose plant. Various wild rose species can be utilized as the source of rose hips. Traditionally, rose hips have been used to treat arthritis, colds and flus, indigestion, bladder stones, and gonorrhea.

What Are Rose Hips Used for Today?

Rose hips are primarily used today as a natural source of vitamin C. There is no evidence that the vitamin C in rose hips is any better than synthetic vitamin C (the most common form of the vitamin), but those who prefer to use truly natural products can do so by using the herb instead of the chemical. Like other plant sources of vitamin C, rose hips also contain substances in the bioflavonoid family. Information on the potential benefits of these two rose hips constituents can be found in the respective articles.

Some evidence from relatively small, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies suggests that rose hips might have value for osteoarthritis.3-6 More studies are needed to draw any reliable conclusions. In at least one placebo-controlled trail, rose hips powder appeared to modestly benefit patients with rheumatoid arthritis.7

Very weak evidence hints that whole rose hips might be useful for prevention of cancer,1 and, possibly, treatment or prevention of kidney stones.2

Dosage

Dosage of rose hips products is generally adjusted to supply the desired amount of vitamin C and bioflavonoids.

Safety Issues

As yet, there are no known or suspected safety issues with rose hips.