Packed with vitamins and minerals, this hedgerow ally supports the immune system and fights inflammation. Find out more benefits of rose hip tea.
The fruit of the Rosa canina (commonly known as the dog rose, or wild rose), rose hips provide a bright splash of colour to our hedgerows throughout the autumn and winter months. But these jewel-like red fruit aren’t just a pretty addition to the autumn scenery.
Instead, rose hips are prized in herbal medicine for their rich bounty of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C. At exactly the time of year when we most need immune support, nature provides through these useful plant allies.
Rose hips were used to make a nutritious syrup that was given to children in wartime Britain in an effort to bolster their immune systems in the absence of imported citrus fruits. Fortunately, rose hips were well-suited to this task, as they contain more vitamin C than oranges, as well as other important vitamins such as A, B, and K.
As well as supporting the immune system, rose hips are used to relieve the symptoms of coughs and colds, making rose hip tea a great option during the autumn and winter months. Rose hips are anti-inflammatory too and have shown potential for the treatment of arthritis.
Although you can eat rose hips raw, the tart flavour generally lends itself best to cooked dishes like jellies, sauces, and syrups. Plus, this means you can strain the stewed hips to remove any seeds, along with the irritant hairs that surround them. (Fun fact: rose hip seeds can be used to create a homemade itching powder, as many school children have discovered over the years).
If you are interested in the health benefits of rose hips, however, the traditional way to use them is in a tea – either alone or paired with other beneficial herbs.
What Are the Benefits of Rose Hip Tea?
According to herbalists, Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal, rose hips help the body in three different ways. They support the immune system, act as natural diuretics, and have a cooling action on the body, reducing fevers, rashes and inflammation.
Rose hips are also nutritionally valuable. As well as high levels of vitamin C, they provide vitamin Am vitamin K, vitamin E, various B vitamins, and the minerals magnesium, copper, and zinc. They also contain several beneficial phytochemicals, including pectin and various flavonoids.
What does all this mean for our health? Well, there are several benefits of rose hip tea.
1. Provides Immune Support
All that vitamin C makes rose hip tea a great option to reach for when you want to give your immune system a helping hand. That extra vitamin A and E is also good news for immunity, as are all the other antioxidants that rose hips contain.
2. Relieves Coughs and Colds
Of course, providing an extra boost to your immune system also means that rose hip tea is a useful ally when you come down with a cold – as is common during the autumn and winter months. Research suggests that regularly taking rose hips can help lower your chances of catching a cough or cold and speed up your recovery if you do get ill.
3. Soothes Arthritis Pain
Many of the compounds present in rose hip tea have anti-inflammatory properties. This is particularly good news for anyone who struggles with painful joints or arthritis. There’s increasing evidence that the anti-inflammatory phytochemicals in rose hips can ease the pain from various forms of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. They may also help with back pain.
4. Supports Digestive Health
Another traditional use of rose hip tea is in treating digestive issues such as diarrhoea and constipation. Rose hips are a source of pectin, a natural sugar found in fruit that acts as a prebiotic – a source of food for the friendly bacteria that you want to populate your gut. Plus, rose hips are also a mild natural diuretic, so can help with the elimination of waste and ease constipation.
5. Gives You Glowing Skin
Rose hips contain several vitamins that help your skin stay healthy and glowing, including vitamins C and E. Plus, the anti-inflammatory properties of rose hips help to reduce skin redness and protect against the signs of aging. Typically, people apply rose hip oil topically, but there’s also evidence that taking rose hips internally can support skin health.
Enjoy the Benefits of Rose Hip Tea
For those seeking immune system support, we recommend enjoying rose hips alongside pine needles in our flagship Rose Hip & Pine Needle tea blend.
Meanwhile, for arthritis support, find rose hips along with other joint-protecting herbs in our NutraBone herbal tea.