Rose Hips & Vitamin C!
Rosa Canina, commonly known as Rose Hips, is another amazing plant with a long history in our materia medica. Originally “Rosa” came from the Greek work “roden” which means “red” for the deep crimson color of their ancient red roses. We use the hips (or fruit), leaves and petals in foods, in syrups and honeys, teas, vinegar and tinctures. Each preparation method brings out various elements of Rose hips but all of them tend to have that vibrant red color.
Now we all know I love History and Rose Hips has an amazing story. Between 1500 and 1800 roughly two million sailors died from the “scourge of sailors”, also known as scurvy. In the mid 1700’s, A British naval physician, James Lind, learned about the dangers of scurvy because of the voyages of the British Commodore George Anson. These two men got together and using Anson’s notes, Lind investigated scurvy and wrote “A Treatise of the Scurvy” in 1753, which he then dedicated to Anson. Long story short, scurvy is a nasty disease and symptoms began to appear within 3 months. The cause? Lack of vitamin C
This research came in handy when during WWII when German subs blocked citrus fruit from arriving in the British Isles. To offset the loss of vitamin C coming into the area, the British Government organized the country as a whole, to harvest all the rose hips in England. This was made into as Vitamin C syrup for the people, by the people. This act was how Rose Hips got a fresh start into therapeutic uses.
Meanwhile, across the pond, Native Americans used Rose hips and roots for a variety of conditions: colds and flu, fevers, influenza and stomach issues.
So what promotes Rose Hips?
- Astringent – causes the tissue to tighten and tone
- Cardiotonic – enhances cardias tone and/or function
- Antiscorbutic – prevent scurvy
- Stomachic – beneficial to the stomach, digestion or appetite
- Diuretic – increases urination
- Anti-inflammatory – reduces inflammation
- Antidepressant and Nutritive.
Looking at our diets, Rose hips powder can be added to smoothies and other soft foods to help improve blood pressure and plasma cholesterol. Rose hips has also been shown to reduce inflammation in the body and can be used daily to decrease the pain associated with arthritis and osteo-arthritis. Rose Hips are a wonderful and tasty food that can be used to improve digestion, from rooter to tooter. BUT… we have to work on maintaining a clean diet and good fiber.
Did you know that rose Hips have 60 times more Vitamin C than citrus fruit? If you look back on history, it was Linus Pauling’s campaign that popularized this amazing fruit. He investigated the beneficial uses in treatments and just as Dr Lind James worked, both of these men took it to a whole new level.
Today, especially post covid, many of us understand the benefits of Vitamin C. Since scurvy isn’t really a part of our lives these days, infections and stress of all kinds still are. Vitamin C plays a huge role in our bodies and Rose Hips provide a lot of it!
Caution: Now don’t get crazy with Rose Hips, or really any herb. Our diets play a huge role in our health and should be our starting point. Think nutrient density, fiber, water and physical exercise.
Each of us has a different story so our current health depends on the person and the situation. If you have a lot of health issues, ask your ND, Herbalist or practitioner about using Rose Hips or other herbs you are unsure of. They will be able to guide you in this.
*For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.