Rose hips are the last stage of the rose’s transformation process – they grow after rose petals bloom and start falling off. Unlike roses that bloom in the summer, rose hips are an autumn creation. It is known that they are the sweetest close to mid-fall and are rich in nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, manganese, folate, magnesium, and potassium.
Likewise, rose hips are known to include 50% more vitamin C than oranges and are rich in antioxidants and fiber that alleviate chronic inflammation and acidosis. Consuming rose hips fresh is recommended, since the drying process destroys up to 90 percent of its vitamin C content, while infusions extract about 40 percent of the remainder.
Known as a superfood, the health benefits of rose hips are numerous! As a result, they are used for health and beauty products, such as teas, powders, jams, infusions, creams, soaps, and balms. They are known for their anti-aging benefits and their extracts are used for many skincare products.
Rose hips are edible without processing and make for a delicious snack for many birds!
In the Ayurvedic tradition, roses are also associated with the heart chakra and are known to balance out the body’s fire energy.
The Role of Roses in Mythology
To understand the profound healing effects of roses, it is important to know how they were revered throughout history in religion and mythology. For example, in ancient mythology, roses symbolized eternal love between gods and humans, and this symbolism of the spiritual love of the divine for the earthly was later extended to monotheistic religions.
During ancient times, roses, just like the flower jasmin, were seen to represent the work of God wherever they were found. For example, the Romans associated the rose with the goddess Venus and feminine energy, and in Roman spirituality, they were seen as symbols of death and rebirth.
In Greek mythology, red roses represent the love between Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and her lover, Adonis. In this Greek love tragedy, Adonis was killed by a wild boar on a hunting trip, and died in Aphrodite’s arms. Distraught, she wept, while his blood stained nearby white roses with crimson red. The lovers’ tragedy was the progenitor of red roses and became the symbol of lovers everywhere through the ages.
Similarly, in Christian mysticism and imagery, roses were portrayed in scenes representing miracles, angels, paradise, Christ, and Mother Mary. Indeed, roses appeared in all religions as symbols of spirituality and love. And even before the emergence of monotheistic religions, pagans used roses decoratively as representative of passion and emotions.
There is no doubt that both spiritually and chemically, roses have a long history of symbolizing the heart energy center and are still known to be the most potent natural medicine for the broken-hearted, heart-troubled, and heart-blocked.
How to Make Rose Hip Tea
If you buy dried rose hips, I recommend that you infuse the tea by letting it boil for a few minutes and then leaving it to sit for about 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkling a squeeze of lemon to the tea will add extra antioxidants that will synergize with the nutrients of the rose hips and strengthen their potency (adding lemon to all teas and salads will do the same!).
Rose hip tea tastes a lot like hibiscus and hawthorn berry teas. It is slightly sour, citrusy, and very fruity. And if you’d like to pair the tea with desserts, chocolate, nutty, and oatmeal varieties are the best complements. The best time to have it is in the morning, since the morning is the ideal time to break-the-fast from prior night’s body regeneration. The antioxidants will flood the system and rejuvenate cells, while promoting the movement of the body’s sewage system – the lymphatic system.
The cleansing effect of having tea the first thing in the morning is that it flushes out, detoxifies, and hydrates all the tissues after self-healing has taken place throughout the night. It also infuses the body with nutrition that is necessary for daily metabolism function and cellular energy production.
Likewise, the heat of the tea will be able to kill off bad bacteria, fungus, and parasites that live in the nasal and throat area, and help ignite fire energy – or Agni, in Ayurveda – in the digestive system. In the Indian healing traditions specifically, warm and hot water is often used to gently cleanse the organs and help alleviate digestive issues. It is always recommended for digestive problems and as a detox tonic for the body. Therefore, having tea the first thing in the morning is one of the best health practices you can adopt!
The best quality rose hips are the ones you can pick yourself and prepare the same day. Make sure that you harvest them in the wild, where you are certain that they aren’t sprayed with pesticides. Otherwise, you can find organic and wild-crafted rose hips in herbal shops, which will not be chemically harvested and processed and will retain most of the antioxidants and vitamins of the fruit in its dried form.
You will know that rose hips are ready to be harvested when they are red or orange. Some of the rose hips will be shriveled, while others plump, and both are equally wonderful for brewing teas! However, if you’re looking to make jams or sauces, the fuller rose hips will be much juicier, tastier, and easier to use for culinary purposes.
Probably the best time to harvest rose hips is after the first frost of the fall season. Anytime before that, the rose will start sprouting more buds that will be destroyed during the frost. You should use gardener gloves and a knife or scissors to cut them.
Once at home, wash them with warm water and baking soda (optional) in order to ensure they’re free from car exhaust particles, pesticides, or other potential chemicals. Then, you can simply add about 4 rose hips per cup of water, let the tea come to a boil, and let it steep for about ten minutes.
Likewise, make sure to use a stainless steel pot when making your tea, since it is the best material to use for healthy cooking. Stainless steel doesn’t leach heavy metals and ensures that the material heated retains its chemical integrity. Do avoid cooking with aluminum pans and non-stick pans at all costs, since they do leach heavy metals or man-made chemicals that will aggregate in your body over time, causing a myriad of neurological issues.
~*~ Rose Hip Tea Preparation Checklist ~*~
- Use a stainless steel pot and place 1-2 cups of water
- Add 4-8 rose hips into the pot
- Boil and steep the tea for about 10 minutes
- Serve alone, with a squeeze of lemon or with high grade, raw honey
The Top Health Benefits of Rose Hips
Rose hip tea, powder, and oil are all beneficial for various health conditions due to the astringent, alkaline, hydrating, and regenerative quality of compounds found in the tiny fruit. For the best health benefits of rose hip tea, I recommend that you drink it daily for at least a month!
Although there are many incredible health benefits of rose hips, here are some of the most scientifically documented and researched advantages.
#1 Heart Troubles
Just as rose petals and roses, in general, are known to balance the heart chakra and activate our emotional centers, rose hips have the very same effect. In fact, since they are the fruit of the plant, rose hips contain the most concentrated antioxidants and nutrients of the plant that can be utilized for healing the heart physically!
In nature, the color red in fruits, veggies, and herbs signifies that the energy contained within the plants resonates with healing and nourishing our blood and heart issues. Indeed, even the shape of the food can signify the organs and body parts that they benefit.
Rose hips are full of Vitamin B9 – or folate – and are an essential vitamin that is necessary for DNA and RNA creation. Deficiency in folate is a big risk factor for cardiovascular disease and anemia.
A study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that obese individuals who drank a rose hip powder beverage daily for only six weeks improved their cholesterol levels, systolic blood pressure levels, and the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 17%. Imagine how your heart health would improve after consumption of the tea for a year!
Rose hips also have a positive effect on blood vessels, helping to strengthen and heal weak veins and arteries.
#2 Intestinal Problems
Rose hips are known to be diuretic and astringent, meaning they can hydrate and clean the body from acidic waste. This makes rose hips exceptional for supporting the elimination organs, such as kidneys, the skin, and the intestines.
In many traditions, rose hips have been used to treat intestinal problems and ulcerations. In one particular study (Gürbüz et al., 2003; Lattanzio et al., 2011), rose hips were found to help with ethanol-induced gastric damage, and in another study (Håkansson et al., 2006), to be beneficial to tissue injuries in the colon.
The tiny fruit’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components are excellent at lowering inflammatory bowel disease and overall inflammation in the body. In fact, the seeds in rose hips are known to fight against intestinal worms.
#3 Skin Issues
The skincare industry has long known about the tangible benefits of rose hips for skin health and rejuvenation. Rose hip oil in particular has been studied for its anti-aging benefits and is used in many skincare products. It is composed of linoleic, linolenic, and oleic essential fatty acids, and is highly beneficial for healing the skin when consumed both internally and applied externally.
Rose hips are high in vitamin A and carotenoids, which are essential for optimal skin health, as they help regenerate skin cells, keep the skin hydrated, treat acne, heal scars, and promote collagen production. Additionally, rose hip oil is generally used in skin treatments for eczema, trophic ulcers of the skin, neurodermatitis, and cheilitis (Shabykin and Godorazhi 1967).
The antioxidants and Vitamin C in rose hips also smoothen wrinkles, improve skin moisture, and help prevent the loss of skin elasticity. Vitamin C is also important for the synthesis of collagen, muscles, tendons, and bones and keeps the skin looking youthful and plump. Rose hip oil is also wonderful for promoting wound healing and lessening the appearance of scars.
Arthritis is a major sign of chronic body inflammation due to acidosis. And the best most effective way to lower inflammation is by hydrating the body and cleaning it out naturally through detox.
Rose hips have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and alkalizing effects on the body, cooling down inflammation and helping the lymphatic system circulate waste to the kidneys. If you’re suffering from aches and pains, especially from a disease like arthritis, rose hips are naturally endowed with phytonutrients and antioxidants that act to stabilize the cell membranes and lower the symptoms of joint pain significantly.
A number of studies have found that rose hips may help treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In this study in particular, three randomized controlled trials treated 287 patients with a rose hip powder over three months and found that the participants experienced a significant reduction of pain with the rose hip powder over the placebo.
And in another 2005 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology, researchers reported that 5 grams of a rose hip supplement per day reduced osteoarthritis pain and the need for pain medications better than a placebo only after three weeks of consumption.
Lymphatic stagnation, chronic inflammation, and genetic weaknesses are synergistic catalysts for the development of cancer. And thankfully, all of these preconditions can be reversed with an alkaline diet, daily movement, a healthy lifestyle, and lack of chemical exposure.
Indeed, rose hips are fantastic for reversing cancer cell growth! In one 2016 Spanish study, rose hips stopped the growth of human colon cancer cells, while in another study, rose hips were able to attack Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC), an aggressive form of breast cancer that is very hard to treat. Given that breast cancer cells can metastasize and spread to the brain, rose hip extract can likewise reverse this malignant activity.
Another Serbian study also found that the compounds in rose hips stopped human cancer cells from multiplying.
In addition to its own natural treatment capability, rose hips can strengthen the effectiveness of chemotherapy agents used to treat highly malignant brain tumors. However, the study astonishingly found that rose hip extract did not need to be used with chemotherapy drugs, since it is able to stop cancer cell growth more effectively on its own! In fact, it was shown to be even more effective without chemotherapy drugs.
If you were wondering about the main benefits of rose hips, I hope that this information truly illuminated all its advantages. As I mentioned, consuming rose hips as fruit, in a powdered form, and as tea regularly and over a long period of time is key to seeing its tangible health advantages. Whether you are looking to lower your inflammation levels or are set on reversing a chronic illness, rose hips are a panacea for cellular regeneration!
Herbal teas are ideal for detoxification of the body, since hot water instigates toxin release from tissues, promotes blood and lymphatic circulation, and triggers waste removal from the body. Having tea first thing in the morning is one of my favorite long-term practices that I recommend as one of the most effective detox habits.
And if you’d like to learn a bit more about the power of herbs as medicine, make sure to check out my article on The Best Herbs for Detox to learn more about how you can utilize herbs to heal your ailments naturally and effectively.