(Natural News) Roses are known by most people for their beautiful blooms, but people in the know are more interested in rosehips — the fruits that come after the blossoms. A common ingredient in herbal teas, rosehips range from orange to purple and develop from late summer to autumn.
The fruits contain a bevy of health benefits, which range from their antioxidant properties to their ability to improve digestive health. However, recent studies have shown that rosehips also contain anti-inflammatory properties which can help in improving symptoms of arthritis — a condition that affects over 5.4 million Americans. In an article published in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine, researchers found that rosehips are beneficial for managing arthritis, thanks to their ability to reduce pain and inflammation. One type of arthritis, in particular, is rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder that affects the joints, causing them to swell up painfully. If rheumatoid arthritis persists, it can lead to bone erosion and even joint deformity.
In another study, scientists noted that a puree of rosehips from dog rose (Rosa canina) and the field rose (Rosa arvensis) inhibited the production of pro-inflammatory enzymes, while a placebo-controlled clinical trial revealed that taking at least 5 grams of rosehips daily can improve the quality of life of patients with long-term rheumatoid arthritis in as little as six months.
It doesn’t stop with rheumatoid arthritis, of course. Rosehips were also found to work on osteoarthritis, another form of joint inflammation better known as the “wear and tear” of joints. In a 2008 review, the authors found that rosehip powder improved osteoarthritis pain and hip movement, as well as increased a patient’s responsiveness to other forms of therapies.
This ability to reduce pain isn’t really a surprise, especially for Big Pharma: Salicylic acid, the bioactive compound in rosehips, is better known by its synthetic counterpart, aspirin.
Rosehips make the heart grow stronger
Roses could make the heart flutter, but it’s rosehips that keep it healthy. These fruits are packed with antioxidants, including beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein, and lycopene — carotenoids known for its multiple health benefits, including a reduced likelihood of getting heart disease. In addition, the same carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red hue is the one responsible for the fruit’s vibrant red and orange coloration, and its ability to prevent oxidative stress. Rosehips are also rich in vitamin C. Just three rosehips have as much of the vitamin as a medium-sized orange.
In one study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists from Lund University in Sweden concluded that using 40 grams of rosehip powder a day can significantly reduce a person’s blood pressure — as well as “bad” LDL cholesterol levels — in as little as six months. Overall, the participants had a 17-percent reduction in risk for heart disease and stroke.
Can rosehips keep diabetes in check?
Early studies on the ability of rosehips to prevent diabetes have been promising. In a 2011 study published in the American Journal of Physiology, researchers found that rosehips have the potential to keep blood sugar levels in check, and even stimulate the development of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The fruit’s anti-diabetes properties also improve other risk factors, including obesity and high blood pressure. (Related: A species of wild climbing rose found to be effective alternative treatment for diabetes; it inhibits the conversion of starch to sugar.)
If you’re looking to start taking rosehips for the health benefits, these are usually sold in 500- or 1,000-milligram doses, which are generally safe. Taking more than 1,000 mg of rosehip capsules, however, could lead to minor side effects such as constipation, stomach cramps, and even heartburn. If you’re under medication, seek the advice of a healthcare professional before taking rosehips, as these are known to interact with certain drugs.
Learn more about rosehips and other natural remedies at FoodIsMedicine.com.