Rosehip Powder: A Special Plant Substance

The rosehip contains a lot of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and copper as well as a special plant substance, the so-called galactolipids. This combination of natural active ingredients makes the rosehip a naturopathic remedy for arthrosis and arthritis. In initial studies, rosehip powder showed a pain-relieving effect on these symptoms and could therefore be integrated into natural therapy for joint diseases.

Rosehip powder for chronic pain

In naturopathy, rose hips are usually used in powder form. Rosehip powder is considered a useful dietary supplement for joint problems, chronic pain, and inflammatory diseases. Their main active ingredients are vitamin C and the plant substance galactolipid.

In the popular rosehip tea, these active ingredients are dissolved in doses that are too small to expect a healing effect (only approx. 39 mg of vitamin C per liter).

The rosehip – what is it?

The fruit (or pseudofruit) of all roses is called rose hips. However, the red rose hips of the common dog rose (Rosa canina) or dog rose (Rosa corymbifera) are used as food.

These are expansive wild rose bushes that like to grow in natural hedges, along roadsides, or in meadows and can grow up to three meters high.

Rose hips are egg-shaped and usually bright red. But there are also rose varieties that produce black or purple rose hips. Rose hips consist of a fruity shell that contains the actual fruit, namely the small seeds. These, in turn, are surrounded by the well-known stimulus-triggering hairs that children like to use as “itch powder” because they can cause annoying itching when they come into contact with the skin.

The rose hip is used in folk medicine

As early as the Middle Ages rose hips were used to treat various diseases such as colds, gastrointestinal complaints, rheumatic diseases, and gout. Even then, it was considered a medicine for flushing out and detoxifying.

When are rose hips ripe?

Rose hips are ripe in autumn and can usually be harvested from September. They taste very sour. However, if you wait for the first frost or put the harvested fruits in the freezer for two days, the rose hips will become tender and sweeter. However, since vitamin C is sensitive to low temperatures, it is better not to freeze the rose hips if you are aiming for this vitamin.

If you also want to dry the rose hips (in order to then produce a powder from them), they should still be firm, i.e. harvested in early autumn before the frost. However, since rose hips are valuable winter food for birds, rabbits, squirrels, and other wild animals, it is better to use ready-made rose hip foods.

This also has the advantage that you don’t have to deal with the time-consuming processing of the red fruits since the fine hairs surrounding the seeds should be removed as completely as possible, which is not that easy. Otherwise, the hairs can irritate the oral mucosa and the respiratory tract, and can even lead to allergic reactions in sensitive people.

You can do this with rose hips

Dried rosehips can be used to make well-known rosehip tea or rosehip powder. Fresh rosehips are used to make rosehip pulp (unsweetened rosehip puree made from raw rosehips), rosehip jam, or liqueur. The rosehip oil is pressed from the seeds, which has a fairly high alpha-linolenic acid content of 34 percent (omega 3). It is used in particular in cosmetics and has soothing, anti-inflammatory, and caring properties for irritated skin.

Rosehip powder can be used as a dietary supplement for many diseases, especially osteoarthritis, and chronic inflammatory diseases, but also for digestive problems or simply to prevent colds and detoxification. You can also give the powder to pets, e.g. B. dogs, cats, and horses.

How much vitamin C does rosehip contain?

The rosehip owes many of its healing effects to its extremely high vitamin C content:

  • Vitamin C is not only an effective means of strengthening the immune system, e.g. B. in colds, but is suitable for the treatment of all diseases, since vitamin C as an important antioxidant is indispensable in any therapy.
  • Vitamin C also supports the effect of other antioxidants in the body, has a positive effect on blood flow and the vessels, and is therefore considered an important component in the naturopathic therapy of arteriosclerosis and related diseases such as high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
  • Vitamin C is also very important for the formation of collagen. Collagen is a fibrous protein that makes our skin, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessel walls elastic on the one hand, but also very pressure-resistant and resilient on the other.
  • The cartilage cells in the joints are also embedded in collagen. Vitamin C not only helps to recreate this collagen over and over again but also protects the cartilage from wear and tear – particularly through its antioxidant abilities, according to a study from August 2015.
  • In addition, vitamin C improves the absorption of iron and other minerals from the intestine and can thus optimize the supply of minerals, often without having to supply more minerals at the same time.

The rosehip provides per 100 g:

  • 1,250 mg of vitamin C in the fresh fruit
  • 1,033 mg of vitamin C in the frozen fruit
  • 400 mg vitamin C in the rosehip powder
  • 64 mg vitamin C in the jam

For comparison: fresh sea buckthorn provides just 450 mg of vitamin C and is already considered one of the foods richest in vitamin C. Only the camu-camu berry and the acerola cherry surpass the rosehip with 1,500 to 3,000 mg of vitamin C (camu-camu) or 1,700 mg of vitamin C (acerola), also in the fresh form. The lemon or the orange can’t really keep up with 50 mg of vitamin C here.

Which vital substances do rose hips contain?

In addition to vitamin C, rose hips naturally contain other nutrients and vital substances. Since this article is particularly about the rosehip powder from the dried rosehips, we also list the values ​​per 100 g of the dried fruits below (which refer to the fruit coating and the seeds).

However, keep in mind that you will not consume more than 10 g of the powder per day (rather less), so only the vitamin C, beta-carotene, and copper values ​​are of interest:

  • Beta carotene: 4,900 µg, the vital substance for e.g. Eyes, skin, and mucous membranes (requirement 2,000 µg)
  • Copper: 4,000 µg, the trace element e.g. for blood formation, energy generation, production of detoxifying enzymes, and collagen formation or for the development of connective tissue (requirement 1,250 µg)

Rose hips also contain fruit acids (which accelerate digestion in the event of constipation) and phytochemicals such as (besides beta-carotene) other carotenoids (e.g. lycopene), flavonoids, and the so-called galactolipid. The latter is the substance that makes the rosehip, together with the vitamin C it contains, so effective in joint diseases such as arthrosis.

What are galactolipids?

Galactolipids are phytochemicals that are found in exceptionally large amounts in the rosehip (more so in the seeds) – and apparently especially in the two subspecies Rosa canina lito and Rosa canina AP-4 (e.g. from Coesam).

Galactolipids are fat-soluble and heat-sensitive. If rose hips are heated above 40 degrees, the galactolipids denature and become ineffective.

Rosehip jam or rosehip tea are therefore not ideal forms of preparation of rosehips if you want to enjoy their healing properties. If you buy rosehip powder, you should clarify in advance whether it is of raw food quality, i.e. it has not come into contact with temperatures above 40 degrees during production.

These foods contain galactolipids

However, many other foods also contain certain amounts of galactolipids, so it can be assumed that the rosehip powder achieves such good results in terms of joint health because of its combination of different active ingredients.

It is just as conceivable, of course, that the other foods rich in galactolipids – if consumed in concentrated form and regularly – can have positive effects on health, according to Hippocrates’ motto: “Let your food be your medicine!”

Parsley, leeks, peas, spinach, and pumpkin (in descending order) are considered particularly rich in galactolipids.

How galactolipids work

A 2009 study showed that the anti-inflammatory effect of rosehip is primarily due to galactolipids.

The active ingredient offers a double effect for arthrosis patients: On the one hand, it has an antioxidant effect, meaning it can switch off free radicals that can otherwise have a cartilage-damaging effect. On the other hand, it contributes to the stabilization of the cartilage cell membrane, which supports the formation of new cartilage and the prevention of cartilage deterioration.

Galactolipids also ensure that white blood cells (leukocytes) cannot penetrate and damage the cartilage tissue. Leukocytes are responsible for eliminating the cartilage abrasion in the joint space. However, this process also releases enzymes and inflammatory substances that damage collagen fibers (proteins in the connective tissue of cartilage) and cause pain in the sufferer.

Galactolipids thus have an anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effect, thereby improving mobility, joint and back pain, and morning stiffness.

With regular intake of rosehip powder, the CRP value – an inflammation parameter – could be reduced in some studies.

The effect on arthrosis

Osteoarthritis causes a loss of cartilage mass in the joints so that as the disease progresses, the ends of the bones rub against each other, which leads to severe pain, inflammation, and restricted movement.

Painkillers often have to be taken, but they can have severe side effects and are not suitable for long-term use. Rosehip powder can be integrated into the holistic therapy of arthrosis, as it is said to have an anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effect, as described above, which the following studies (with Litozin) confirm.

A 2003 clinical trial (placebo-controlled, double-blind) involved 100 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip (or both). They received 2.5 g of standardized rosehip powder or a placebo twice a day for four months. In the rosehip group, joint mobility improved significantly compared to the placebo group. The pain in the rosehip group also decreased significantly, which was not the case in the placebo group. Patients were often able to see the first effects after just four weeks of taking rosehip.

In a study from 2004, 112 osteoarthritis patients took either 5 g of rosehip powder or a placebo daily for three months, after which the groups were switched. As a result, the majority of patients in the rosehip group experienced relief from pain and stiffness, while only a few patients in the placebo group did. It was interesting here that the effect of the rosehip was maintained even after the patients took the placebo preparation.

Another study (2005) with a similar structure came to the same conclusions. Here, too, the participants suffering from osteoarthritis took either 5 g of rosehip powder or a placebo for three months. After just three weeks, the effect of the rosehip was evident, as the patients suffered less pain and as a result were even able to reduce their usual painkillers.

Can rosehip powder help with rheumatism?

There is also evidence of an effect of rosehip powder on arthritis. In contrast to arthrosis, arthritis is not a degenerative disease due to wear and tear, but an autoimmune disease that causes severe joint inflammation in episodes. Arthritis is often referred to simply as rheumatism.

In a 2010 study, 89 participants with arthritis took either 5g of rosehip powder or a placebo for 6 months. In the group given rosehip powder, the symptoms of arthritis were somewhat reduced, leading the researchers to conclude that rosehip powder could be used as an adjunct to arthritis therapy.

How long should you take the rosehip powder?

It is recommended to take the rosehip powder regularly over a period of at least one to two months to determine whether an effect can be expected in the individual case. However, if you want to maintain this, the powder should be used in the long term.

In between, taking breaks of about two to four weeks can prevent possible habituation effects. Since the rosehip effect persists for a certain time after the intake period, no loss of effectiveness is to be expected during the intake breaks.

Intake of rosehip powder

You take 5 to 10 grams of the powder (approx. 1 to 2 teaspoons) daily (spread it over at least two intakes) and stir it into cold drinks (water, juice, smoothies, shakes) or stir it into sweet dishes (muesli, fruit purees, yogurt). Since the galactolipids are fat-soluble, it would be advisable to add a small amount of fat, e.g. B. ½ teaspoon of almond butter or a few drops of a good quality vegetable oil.

If you take the powder shortly before or after a fatty meal, you don’t have to add fat to the drink.

Rosehip powder rarely has side effects

Rosehip powder rarely has side effects and if it does, at most there are mild gastrointestinal complaints. However, there can always be individual intolerances in individual cases. Therefore, always stay alert and reduce the dosage if you suspect the powder is causing you discomfort.

Pay attention to this when buying rosehip powder

Pure rosehip powder is available in health food stores, health food stores, pharmacies, or in relevant online shops – both as powder and in capsules.

Pay attention to organic and raw food quality as well as to the freshness of the product, as the vitamin C content can also decrease noticeably during storage. Raw food quality means that the rose hips have been dried below 40 degrees to preserve the heat-sensitive galactolipid. Other additives should not be included.

For some rosehip powders, only the red fruit coat of the rosehip is used. Before you buy, use the product description to check whether the seeds have also been processed, which is important because galactolipid is mainly found in the seeds.

We recommend a rosehip powder from suppliers who use rosehips of the AP-4 variant, as these have a particularly high active ingredient content, e.g. B. the rosehip powder from Coesam. It is also available in rosehip powder capsule form.

The rose hips for the coesame powder are also dehaired before processing so that there is no longer any risk of irritation or allergenicity. Of course, the seeds and fruit coating are processed together.

Is Rosehip Extract Worth Buying?

Rosehip EXTRACT is also available in capsule form. However, according to our information, it is not standardized to the galactolipid content – ​​which would be desirable – but to a specific vitamin C content. However, since you don’t necessarily want to take rose hips solely for their vitamin C content, there is currently no reason to choose an extract.

Extract capsules also like to contain other additives that are basically superfluous, e.g. B. titanium dioxide, maltodextrin, mannitol, magnesium stearate, etc. (e.g. those from Hecht Pharma). But there are also rosehip extract capsules without additives, e.g. B. from Biotiva.

How to store the rosehip powder

Rosehip powder should be kept tightly sealed in a cool place, preferably in the refrigerator. Do not buy the powder in large quantities and use it quickly if you want to enjoy vitamin C, as it does not store well. You should not freeze it, as vitamin C losses can also occur.

Is Rosehip Tea Effective?

Not much vitamin C is dissolved in rosehip tea, and the vitamin C content also decreases somewhat due to the heat. Galactolipids are also heat-sensitive, but also fat-soluble so their content in the tea is minimal and it, therefore, does not have specific rosehip properties.

For example, if you still drink rosehip tea when you have a cold, use 3 tablespoons of dried pieces of rosehip per liter of water. If you have collected the fruit yourself, you should definitely use a fine tea filter so that the small, irritating hairs of the seeds get caught in it. Leave the rose hips in the hot water for about 5 minutes. Most of the time, however, rose hips are only given to flavor-effective medicinal herbs in cold teas.

Is it enough to take only rosehip powder for arthrosis?

Of course, if you suffer from arthrosis or other joint problems or chronic pain, it is not enough to only take rosehip powder. From a holistic point of view, an effective therapy concept includes many other measures for arthrosis and arthritis (nutrition, exercise, optimization of the supply of vital substances, sufficient sleep, good intestinal health, etc.), which in their entirety can then lead to significant alleviation of the symptoms.

Other dietary supplements can also be integrated into osteoarthritis therapy, with studies showing frankincense extract and ASU (an avocado-soybean extract) to have even better pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects than rosehip powder (12). It is therefore worth trying out which remedy or which combination of remedies works best in the individual case.

Ideally, you should discuss the exact procedure with your holistically oriented doctor, who can also help you decide when and whether you need additional conventional medicines or when you can taper them off.

Avatar photo

Written by Micah Stanley

Hi, I'm Micah. I am a creative Expert Freelance Dietitian Nutritionist with years of experience in counseling, recipe creation, nutrition, and content writing, product development.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Diet Supplements For Depression: Effective Or Not?

Yeast Flakes, Nutritional Yeast, Yeast Extract – What Is It?