I am really guilty of buying and trying out supplements. You can probably tell that if you read my other posts. These things are just so interesting to learn about!
I along with other people are taking risks by buying and consuming them. Just because they are natural does not mean they are safer. I realize this.
To be honest, I don’t think I am going to stop taking the ones I do take though. I have not had any adverse effects.
I was putting on my rosehip oil the other day and thought about the fact that I have used/ingested those things quite a bit in my life. I have also had them in the form of tea, juice, jellies and they are also in the vitamin C tablets I have recently started taking. Because of this, I wanted to do some further investigating on them!
In this post, I will discuss rosehips and share my research findings on them.
What they are and what’s in them
Rosehips are produced by roses after they bloom and fade. They look like little apples which is probably due to the fact that roses are in the same plant family as them.
They can be used in cooking and have a strong, tart flavor. An example of a recipe with them is rosehip soup ( see here: https://www.sarabackmo.com/recipes/homemade-swedish-rosehip-soup/). This soup is very popular in Sweden.
You can find many other recipes that call for them as an ingredient. These can range from sweet to savory dishes, sides and drinks. They can be used fresh or be dried out Here is a webpage showing some great recipes to try: https://www.growforagecookferment.com/rose-hip-recipes/
Rosehips contain healthy constituents just like a lot of other plants/herbs. These include the following:
- Very high amounts of vitamin C
- High amounts of antioxidants
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Fatty acids
- Dietary fibers
- Carotenoids (provides the red coloring that they have)
One can grow them or buy them in powder, tea bag, oil, capsule/tablet (supplement blend) or whole form.
What the research says
Anti-inflammatory and pain relief seem to be a particularly strong benefit of rosehips. There are multiple studies stating that there is a tremendous use for it to help people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and general joint pain.
The skin-related benefits of rosehips (topical) had just as strong of evidence behind it. The antioxidants combined with the vitamins (C, A and E) caused there to be a decrease in wrinkle depth, reduction in melanin content and an increase in skin elasticity in study participants.
Anti-inflammatory properties of rosehips helped with the treatment of atopic dermatitis in a couple of studies. Also, the carotenoids that give them their color, provide some UV protection.
I came across some sites saying that rosehips had anti-diabetic and anti-obesity benefits. Unfortunately, the studies I found had very weak results. This was especially true when it came to the reduction of blood glucose levels. There was some evidence showing that the intake of rosehips (capsule and tea) prevented and reduced body fat but this was only in mice.
In one study, the participants ingested rosehips on a daily basis in the form of tea. This resulted in a significant decrease in bad cholesterol and high blood pressure. There were some mild GI side effects noted in the study participants (loose stools and stomach upset) though.
Possible neurological benefits were noted but the evidence for it was weak. The studies found that the flavonoids in rosehips may have anti-epileptic and anti-Alzheimer’s effects.
Just like a lot of plants, rosehips have some anti-cancer possibilities as per a few studies. This may be due to the antioxidants and phytochemicals that they contain. It is important to note that due to them having isoflavone phyto-estrogens, they may actually promote breast cancer growth which is not a good thing.
Anti-microbial and anti-bacterial benefits were found with the supplementation of rosehips. This was particularly of value when it came to ulcers. They decreased the risk and severity of them in the study participants.
Another thing it may have the power to do is act as an anti-HIV agent. The researchers believe that this is due to its ability to boost the immune system and its anti-infective properties.
Rosehips can cause bad interactions with some medications which is important to be aware of. These medications include Lithium (used for bipolar disorder), warfarin (used for blood clotting disorder), Doxycycline (an antibiotic) and Aspirin. Also, researchers don’t know much about how it may affect women who are pregnant and breastfeeding, so it is best to avoid it in those cases.
Aside from the possible GI symptoms mentioned before in one of the studies, there are some others to watch out for. These include headaches, insomnia and kidney stones. This usually only happens if too much is ingested.
So, is it worth a try?
That is a decision you need to make yourself! The scientific evidence sure sounds good when it comes to certain health effects. Just like other supplements, there needs to be more studies done for a definitive answer on whether they do any good.
Rosehips do seem to have pretty strong evidence behind it for the treatment of arthritis and joint pain. There are also a lot of anecdotal evidence available to read regarding the health benefits of them which may help your decision making. Also, remember to take heed of the side effects and interactions.
If not used in supplement form (capsules, powders) or for beauty care, they can be used for delicious recipes. Or you can just brew up a nice cup of hot rosehip tea and get a healthy does of vitamin C!
Have you used rosehips before (in recipes, as a supplement, in teas, for beauty purposes etc.)? What are your thoughts on them?
Thanks for reading!
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