Rose Hips (Rosa canina)
Rose hips are the seed pods of roses. We don’t often see them anymore, because we tend to prune the faded rose blossoms to encourage more flowers. However if you leave the spent flowers on the rose bush at the end of the season, you should see these small, berry-sized, reddish seed balls, left on tips of the stems. They are actually very ornamental and birds enjoy them too.
Rose hips contain vitamin C, some vitamin A and B, essential fatty acids and antioxidant flavonoids.
Particularly high in Vitamin C, with about 1700–2000 mg per 100 g in the dried product, one of the richest plant sources. RP-HPLC assays of fresh rose hips and several commercially available products revealed a wide range of L-ascorbic acid content, ranging from 0.03 to 1.3%.
An initial trial of a rosehip remedy called LitoZin showed possible benefits to rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.
Rose hips are used for herbal tea, jam, jelly, syrup, soup, beverages, pies, bread, wine, and marmalade.
A few rose species are sometimes grown for the ornamental value of their hips, such as Rosa moyesii, which has prominent large red bottle-shaped fruits.
Rose hips have recently become popular as a healthy treat for pet chinchillas. Chinchillas are unable to manufacture their own Vitamin C and lack the proper internal organs to process many vitamin-C rich foods. Rose Hips provide a sugarless, safe way to increase the Vitamin C intake of chinchillas and guinea pigs.
Rose hips are also fed to horses. The dried and powdered form can be fed at a maximum of 1 tablespoon per day to improve coat condition and new hoof growth.
The fine hairs found inside rose hips are used as itching powder. Dried rosehips are also sold for primitive crafts and home fragrance purposes. Rosehips are scented with essential oils and can be used as a potpourri room air freshener