Fresh rose hips contain a lot of vitamin C, so they share many uses with vitamin C including preventing and treating colds, flu, and vitamin C deficiencies. However, much of the vitamin C in rose hips is destroyed during drying and processing and also declines rapidly during storage. Because of this, many rose hip-derived “natural” vitamin C products have actually been fortified with lab-made vitamin C, but their labels may not always say so.
Rose hips are also used for stomach disorders including stomach spasms, stomach acid deficiency, preventing stomach irritation and ulcers, and as a “stomach tonic” for intestinal diseases. They are also used for diarrhea, constipation, gallstones, gallbladder ailments, lower urinary tract and kidney disorders, fluid retention (dropsy or edema), gout, back and leg pain (sciatica), diabetes, high cholesterol, weight loss, high blood pressure, chest ailments, fever, increasing immune function during exhaustion, increasing blood flow in the limbs, increasing urine flow and quenching thirst.
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Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking rose hip if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid using amounts larger than those found in food.
Bleeding conditions: Rugosin E, a chemical found in rose hip, might slow blood clotting. Taking rose hip might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.
Diabetes: The vitamin C in rose hip might affect the control of diabetes, but not all experts agree on this.
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD deficiency): Large amounts of the vitamin C in rose hip might increase the risk of complications.
Kidney stones: Large amounts of the vitamin C in rose hop might increase the risk for kidney stones.
Iron-related disorders such as hemochromatosis, thalassemia, or anemia: Use rose hip with caution if you have any of these conditions. The vitamin C in rose hip can increase iron absorption, which could make your condition worse.
Sickle cell disease: It is rare, but the vitamin C in rose hip might make blood more acidic, and this could bring on a sickle cell crisis. It’s best to avoid use.
Surgery: Rugosin E, a chemical found in rose hip, might slow blood clotting. There is concern that rose hip might cause bleeding if used before surgery. People taking rose hip should stop at least 2 weeks before surgery.
The appropriate dose of rose hip depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for rose hip. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.