Next time your loved one presents you with a bouquet of roses, thank them for the vitamin C. Who knew that roses - so celebrated for their beauty and fragrance - also have nutritional and therapeutic value? Of course, Native Indians have used rose hips for hundred of years.
The rose is a member of the apple family, and the "hip" refers to the fruit of the flower, a large seed pod that forms after they blossom. Many species of roses that grow in gardens today don't have large rose hips, but on some of the more shrub-like varieties (such as rugosas), rose hips can grow the size and color of crab apples.
Rose hips are extremely high in vitamin C - much more so than citrus fruits. They also contain vitamin E, vitamin K and the B vitamins riboflavin and folate, plus they are rich in bioflavonoids. Rose hips can be helpful in treating conditions such as cold, flu, sore throat, inflammation, infection, fatigue and stress. Some note that rose hips are also effective for treating bladder disorders, diarrhea, skin problems and kidney ailments.
Rose hips have a tangy, sweet flavour that can be used fresh, dried or preserved. They make a calming tea and are also good in syrups, jams and preserves.