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The unsuspected virtues of rosehip

Rosehip have a long history of proven success in many areas, including cartilage, bones, skin and metabolism, with powerful antioxidant  properties.

Rosehip, a local jewel

Rosehip is a false fruit rosehip (dog rose) and rose, which is notably found in Europe. It has powerful antioxidant powers, thanks to a high concentration of flavonoids, and it contains more vitamin C than citrus fruits. It also has a high concentration of folate, vitamins A, B3, D and E, carotenoids, beta sitosterol, malic acid, tannins, magnesium, zinc, copper, as well as galactolipids and fatty acids such as linoleic acid, making it a health asset that has long been appreciated.1

A powerful ally against oxidative stress

Rosehip have got strong antioxidant propertis due to a high content of flavonoids and phenolic compounds,which enables to protect against oxidative stress and ensure good trasmission and adhesion between cells. By increasing the activity of antioxidant enzymes (such as superoxide dismutases, catalases, etc.), rosehip help to reduce the concentrations of free radicals (ROS) and nitrogen oxides (NO) that can damage tissues.1

Rosehip can help in case of inflammation

Rosehip extracts can help in case of inflammation. Indeed, thanks to their fatty acid content, they inhibit the COX 1 and 2 enzymes as well as the metabolism of arachidonic acid, which induce otherwise many inflammatory mediators. Its galactolipids also block the synthesis of cytokines, chemokines, inflammatory prostaglandins by immune cells, limit the migration (chemotaxis) of lymphocytes in the blood, and reduce the blood concentration of inflammatory C-reactive proteins (CRPs). Some of these components may further moderate NFκB, which, when overactivated, induce inflammation, immune dysregulation and tissue destruction. 1,2,3

Benefits of Rosehip for Cartilage

Rosehip extracts, and its galactolipids in particular, have a protective effect on cartilage and chondrocytes. They help to reduce gene expression related to inflammation (cytokines, NO, PGE2, chemokines, etc.), as well as catabolic genes degrading the extracellular matrix, like collagen-cleaving MMPs and aggregases. 1,4,5 Rosehip may also limit synovial fluid inflammation, which may be associated with the risk of osteoarthritis.6

Rosehip for joints

Several clinical studies (placebo / double-blind) have emphasized that taking rosehip extracts for at least 3 months is useful for osteoarthritis. Indeed, it reduces the pain and stiffness of the joint, limiting the dose of necessary anti-inflammatory drugs. It also leads to an increase in physical functions (WOMAC score), which highlights a decrease in the severity of the disease.2,7,8 Rosehip is also effective against chronic back pain. Its anti-pain properties are all the more enticing because, unlike non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), rosehip does not influence coagulation and has no negative side effects such as ulcers.1

Rosehip : an antioxidant for mobility

In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease attacking our immune system  joints, tissue damage is linked to a large amount of free radicals and nitrogen oxides. The strong antioxidant powers of rosehips help limit their production, protecting cells from DNA and mitochondria damages, thus limiting cell death.1

At the bone level, the presence of a small amount of free radicals may be beneficial because it signals the presence of calcified tissues to be disintegrated or a wound to heal. Nevertheless, too much oxidative stress can be linked to an increase in the activity of osteoclasts (resorption of bone) and proteins such as MMP (collagen degradation), which will damage the extracellular matrix and weaken the bone structure. This is particularly the case during osteoporosis. The rosehip extract, thanks to its antioxidant effects, enables to regulate this process and therefore to increase the mineral density of the bone. It will also stimulate the differentiation of osteoblasts (formation of bone tissue), as well as collagen synthesis.1

Skin protection by rosehip

The properties of the rosehip are also beneficial for the skin, acting against the oxidative stress and the activation of MMP (degrading collagen) due to the UV. Its components will also help moisturize the skin, making it more elastic, and reduce wrinkles. In the case of atopic dermatitis, the anti-inflammatory effects of rosehip will help to calm the immune response. The rosehip could even be an ally against melanoma, on the one hand by limiting the damage due to free radicals and on the other hand by inhibiting a key enzyme for the synthesis of melanin.1,9

Rosehip and the digestive system

The rosehip have also been used for a long time in the digestive and metabolic sphere. It can be used in cases of diarrhea, reducing transit, thus facilitating the absorption of water and electrolytes. Its antioxidant abilities can help prevent the appearance of gastric ulcers and the erosion of the digestive mucosa.1,3,10,11

An ally in case of excess weight and diabetes

Rosehip reduces blood glucose levels, in particular through the inhibition of α-amylase which normally transforms food starch into glucose. It limits weight gain and visceral fat, thanks to a decrease in the differentiation into adipocytes (adipogenesis) and in the metabolism (oxidation) of fatty acids. It lowers cholesterol levels by lowering blood levels of triglycerides and fatty acids, and prevents the synthesis of fatty acids in the liver. Rosehip would then be an allied plant for people who are overweight or suffering from diabetes. Hyperglycemia, often present in these people, increase the overproduction of oxidizing molecules (free radicals, nitrogen oxides, AGE) that will damage the tissues, and against which the rosehip can act. In addition, the rosehip would increase the proliferation of β cells of the pancreas, responsible for the secretion of insulin, which are deficient in people with diabetes.1,3,9,10

Rosehip can help the immune system

The very complete composition of the rosehip makes it a very good ally against winter ailments, such as colds or flu, by strengthening the immune system, especially thanks to its high amount of vitamin C.8 Its phenolic compounds also correlate with antimicrobial properties. Although the mechanisms are not fully defined, it seems that it can reduce the energy of pathogens (hyper-acidification of their plasma membrane which disrupts the H + -ATPase and thus decreases the available ATP for the pathogen) and suppress certain kinase enzymes that act as virulence or resistance factors.1

Other health benefits

Its antioxidant properties can help protect nerves. They could help to memorize, limit epilepsy as well as anxiety and depression. Rosehip could also improve mood and sleep, influencing overall quality of life and health.1,8 Nevertheless, more studies are needed on these topics.

Do not wait any longer !

With its high nutritional value, its vitamins and its antioxidant powers, rosehip is necessarily good for you! Nevertheless, do not rush into your garden because you have to know how to prepare it: its hairs are irritating and should not be eaten. Fortunately, you will find it concentrated in food supplements.


Disclaimer of liability:
The information published on does not claim to be complete and is not a substitute for individual medical advice or treatment. It cannot be used as an independent diagnosis or to select, apply, modify or discontinue treatment of a disease. In case of health problems, it is recommended to consult a doctor. Any access to and its contents is at the user’s own risk.
Indications :
Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied diet. The recommended daily allowance should not be exceeded. In general, food supplements are not suitable for pregnant and nursing women, children and adolescents. Keep out of reach of children.


  1. The Royal Australian College of General Practionners. Rosehip – an evidence based herbal medicine for inflammation and arthritis.
  2. Vaishya, R., Agarwal, A. K., Shah, A., Vijay, V. & Vaish, A. Current status of top 10 nutraceuticals used for Knee Osteoarthritis in India. Journal of Clinical Orthopaedics and Trauma 9, 338–348 (2018).
  3. Mármol, I., Sánchez-De-Diego, C., Jiménez-Moreno, N., Ancín-Azpilicueta, C. & Rodríguez-Yoldi, M. Therapeutic applications of rose hips from different Rosa species. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 18, (2017).
  4. Schwager, J., Hoeller, U., Wolfram, S. & Richard, N. Rose hip and its constituent galactolipids confer cartilage protection by modulating cytokine, and chemokine expression. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 11, (2011).
  5. Kharazmi, A. & Winther, K. Rose hip inhibits chemotaxis and chemiluminescence of human peripheral blood neutrophils in vitro and reduces certain inflammatory parameters in vivo. Inflammopharmacology 7, 377–86 (1999).
  6. Saaby, L., Moesby, L., Hansen, E. W. & Christensen, S. B. Isolation of immunomodulatory triterpene acids from a standardized rose hip powder (Rosa canina L.). Phytotherapy Research 25, 195–201 (2011).
  7. Winther, K., Apel, K. & Thamsborg, G. A powder made from seeds and shells of a rose-hip subspecies (Rosa canina) reduces symptoms of knee and hip osteoarthritis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Scandinavian journal of rheumatology 34, 302–8
  8. Crawford, C., Boyd, C., Berry, K. & Deuster, P. Dietary Ingredients Requiring Further Research Before Evidence-Based Recommendations Can Be Made for Their Use as an Approach to Mitigating Pain. Pain Medicine 20, 1619–1632 (2019).
  9. Phetcharat, L., Wongsuphasawat, K. & Winther, K. The effectiveness of a standardized rose hip powder, containing seeds and shells of Rosa canina, on cell longevity, skin wrinkles, moisture, and elasticity. Clinical Interventions in Aging 10, 1849–1856 (2015).
  10. Jemaa, H. ben et al. ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY AND A-AMYLASE INHIBITORY POTENTIAL OF ROSA CANINA L. African journal of traditional, complementary, and alternative medicines : AJTCAM 14, 1–8 (2017).
  11. Nagatomo, A. et al. Daily intake of rosehip extract decreases abdominal visceral fat in preobese subjects: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy 8, 147–156 (2015).