Information on Rose Hips

Overview

Rose hips are the fruits that remain and ripen on the rose bush after the blooms expire. Harvested in the fall, rose hips are a tasty food source, a traditional folk medicine and a fragrant potpourri.

Identification

Most rose hips are orange or red in color, but some varieties may darken to purple or black. The shape is oval, and the size ranges from that of a cranberry to a prune. Rose hips have sweet, tart flesh and bitter, inedible seeds.

Uses

Ripe rose hips make flavorful syrups, teas, pies, jellies and jams. The fresh or dried fruit accents stews, puddings and breads. Folk doctors prescribe powdered rose hips or rose hip tea to treat arthritis and stomach ailments. Dried rose hips provide a pleasant texture, contrast and scent in potpourri.

Nutritional Value

Certain species of rose hips, including those of the dog rose and Rugosa rose, are rich in vitamin C. Rose hips also contain bioflavonoids, antioxidants, phosphorus, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, vitamins A, D, B1, B3 and E, phytochemicals and pectin.

History

Ancient Romans used rose hips to flavor candy and treat a myriad of diseases. When citrus food imports were restricted in Great Britain during World War II, local rose hip syrup provided people with supplemental vitamin C.

Warnings

Rose hips exposed to pesticides may be toxic if eaten. Aluminum pans and utensils will destroy the vitamin C in rose hips.

References

  • About Rose Hips
  • What Are Rose Hips?
  • Roses: Medicine for the Heart and Body

Who Can Help

  • Wild Roses: Hips, Haws, Vitamin C
  • Rose Hips---Jazz Up Your Jelly in the Fall
  • Information on Rose Hips
Keywords: rose hips, potpourri, vitamin c, rose hip tea

About this Author

Aja Rivers is a New England native who has been writing professionally for nine years. Her poetry has appeared in "Tiger’s Eye: A Journal of Poetry," "Main Channel Voices" and "The Aurorean." She has an associate's degree in science from Cape Cod Community College and a paralegal certificate from Gloucester County College. Rivers is also a certified all-breed dog groomer.