Land & Sea. A perfect marriage. Edible Rose Hips: A sailors story holds water. Historically, sailors knew the value of this “rouge”, invasive plant. Today, guard against “scurvy” or modern stomach Issues

East Coast Coastal Rosehips photography by Diana Serafini


Land & Sea.” A perfect marriage”. Sailors knew that value of this “rouge”, invasive plant, rather a part of the wild rose plant that historically adorned coastlines.

Tales Worth Telling and Retelling

Rosa canina pseudo fruits, often referred to as rose hips, herbal medicine for over 2,000 years, Today, what was old is “new”, researchers are studying, the impacts of the constituents of rose hip.

Edible Rose Hips: A sailors story holds water, consume coastal Rose Hips, part of the wonderfully invasive wild coastal rose plant. Before heading out to sea, a sailor would either pick and store rose hips, as part of dry storage goods (food), or they may have dug-up the plant in its entirety, to ensure availability for longer vogues. The “fruit” of the rose plant provided protection, it warded off deadly conditions, such as “scurvy”.

Key Nutrients: The key nutrient in Rose Hips, is vitamin C, this essential nutrient supports digestive health. Guard against “scurvy” or modern stomach issues. 


East Coast Coastal Rosehips photography by Diana Serafini


About Rosehip Varieties


Rosa canina pseudo fruits, often referred to as rose hips, have been used as herbal medicine for more than 2,000 years, yet research has only recently begun to clarify specific mechanisms by which this plant product affects human health. Numerous compounds have been identified, and speculations of their bioactivity have implicated flavonoids, carotenoids, and fatty acids (FAs). With more than 4,500 representatives, flavonoids have been subjected to comprehensive research, with results that suggest various individual structures may be health-promoting compounds, also in rose hips. The importance of carotenoids from R. canina is currently being debated, because the demonstration of specific bioactivity among this group is presently less clear. The benefits of specific FAs have been investigated for decades, and several types of FAs are termed “essential” for human health. The specific mechanisms for bioactivity associated with three FAs that are abundant in R. canina fruits have been clarified in research. For example, linoleic acid, α-linolenic acid (mostly present in the seeds from R. canina) and a galactolipid ((2S)-1,2-di-O-[(9Z,12Z,15Z)-octadeca-9-12-15-trienoyl]-3-O-β-d-galactopyranosyl glycerol), referred to as GOPO, have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. The aim of this review is to critically analyze the published literature on rose hip research, with emphasis on the broadness and varying significance of the publications. Initially, we describe the chemical ingredients of R. canina pseudo fruits, with some focus on what ingredients are found in the whole pseudo fruit and what we know is confined to the seeds (achene seeds), and/or the shells (hypanthium). Then, we evaluate important papers describing the in vitro investigations of the bioactivity and impacts of the constituents of rose hip.


In vitro studies of the effects of rose hip


One of the first publications to show that rose hip might be of relevance as an anti-inflammatory agent reported that a water extract of rose hip inhibited chemotaxis of polymorphonucleated (PMN) cells isolated from healthy humans at a dosage of 500 μg/mL.79 In the same study, a water extract of rose hip shells alone was shown to be superior in reducing chemotaxis of PMN cells, as compared to the effects achieved with extracts of the whole fruit, ie, from both shells and seeds.79
As the 1999 study79 did not include extraction of FAs that are abundant in the seeds, the authors may have arrived at the wrong conclusion that R. canina shells are the most important part of the fruit as regards chemotaxis and antioxidative activity. This deduction can be made because subsequent studies have revealed high levels of fat-soluble elements in rose hip, including earlier mentioned FAs (in the section FAs and galactolipids), with anti-inflammatory and antioxidative activity.5–7,80,81 Polyphenolics (proanthocyanidins and flavonoids) with antioxidative properties, as demonstrated by their inhibition of chemotaxis in human PMN cells, were found in rose hip extracted with lipophilic solvents.80 This extract could inhibit reactive oxygen species in both cellular and cell-free systems, with half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values ranging from 5.73 to 1.33 mg/L. Furthermore, the antioxidative effects were clearly shown not to be due to vitamin C alone, but were also due to substantial contributions from polyphenols.80


1.       peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-BTAT




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