You've obviously heard of roses, but what about rose hips?
If you've ever had Iranian desserts, you may be familiar with rose water. Rose hips, on the other hand, come from a totally different part of the plant and don't taste anything like roses.
That's good news for anyone who doesn't like the taste of roses because rose hip tea is loaded with potential health benefits!
Here's everything you need to know.
What is Rose Hip Tea?
Fresh rose hips are technically what's called an accessory fruit of rose plants. (1)
"Accessory fruit" refers to how the flesh forms and includes other fruits like strawberries and pineapples.
Rose hips can come from several different types of rose plants including rosa caninas (dog rose), wild roses, rosa rugosa (beach roses), and many other rose bush plants.
On the rose plant itself, you can find bright red or orange rose hips underneath the petals around the stem.
As a fruit, rose hips can be made to create jam, herbal tea, jelly, drinks, marmalade, soup, beer, wine, and pies.
Rose hip tea tastes similar to hibiscus tea: tangy like cranberry juice.
You can easily make your own herbal tea, if you wish, by purchasing fresh rose hips online, drying them yourself, and steeping in boiling water.
If DIY isn't your thing, you can also purchase rose hip in its own tea bags or in herbal blends to reap the health benefits and flavor.
What are the Potential Health Benefits of Rosehip Tea?
Rose hip extracts and teas are loaded with vitamin C, flavonoids, carotenoids (astaxanthin), polyphenols, vitamin A, lycopene, and other antioxidants that may support the immune system, reduce inflammation, reduce free radical damage, and much more.
Let's take a look at the possible health benefits of boosting your rose hip intake!
1. May Help Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Studies on mice and rats with type 2 diabetes found that rose hip extract may reduce blood sugar levels and protect the liver against fat cell growth. (2)
However, more studies are necessary to determine how rose hips affect blood sugar levels and diabetes in humans.
2. The Antioxidants May Accelerate Weight Loss Efforts
Most studies on rose hips for weight loss involve rose hip tea and extracts made from a specific plant: rosa canina aka dog rose.
Of course, no supplement or essential oil is a miracle cure for weight loss. Instead, it's best to consume rose hip oil or herbal remedy as part of a broad plan that includes a healthy diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes.
3. Possible Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Studies on patients with osteoarthritis taking rose hip extract noted a 65% reduction in joint pain compared to those who didn't take the herbal extract. (7)
Anyone suffering from rheumatoid arthritis may also benefit from the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties in rose hip extract but scientific research cant back this up quite yet.
4. May Fight Against Visible Signs of Aging
Thanks to its powerful antioxidant properties through vitamin C, polyphenols, lycopene, vitamin A, and the carotenoid astaxanthin, rose hip oil or extract may reduce free radical damage and reduce signs of aging. (8, 9, 10)
5. May Reduce Cardiovascular Disease
Antioxidants in rose hip powder may also protect against heart disease and cardiovascular disease.
6. Antioxidants Can Support the Immune System
Is there any better use for vitamin C than supporting the immune system?
Rose Hip Tea Vs. Rose Hip Extract
Most of the research surrounding the health benefits of rose hips is completed using rose hip extract -- not tea.
Rose hip oil and extracts are highly concentrated. Naturally, rose hip extract and oils have much higher levels of polyphenols, carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin A, and other antioxidants.
If you're interested in consuming rose hips strictly for the health benefits, you may want to consider going with rose hip essential oil or extract.
If you're looking for a tangy and tasty herbal tea to add some color to your afternoon with some added vitamin C benefits, rose hip tea will do just fine.
What are the Side Effects or Risks of Rose Hip Tea?
In general, rose hip extracts and teas are fairly safe.
However, like any herbal supplement, they don't come without risks and interactions.
Since rose hips contain extremely high levels of vitamin C and a substance called rugosin E, anyone prone to kidney stones or blood clotting disorders like sickle cell disorder should avoid taking it.
The high levels of vitamin C in rose hips can also cause your body to absorb higher levels of certain medications such as lithium, some other psychiatric medications, aspirin, warfarin, estrogen, and aluminum (found in many antacids).
Avoid drinking rose hip tea or talk to your healthcare practitioner first if you're taking any of these medications.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women shouldn't take rosehip extract without talking to a physician first. Anyone with an allergy to rose plants should also steer clear of rose hips.
The Bottom Line
Rose hip tea is a delicious, colorful, and caffeine-free addition to your afternoon.
Thanks to its high concentration of antioxidants, rose hip extracts and teas are awesome for their potential immune system, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging health benefits and much more.
Often found in tea bags, you can seamlessly add rose hips to your routine for a quick boost of vitamin C!