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What are Rosehips?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 02 September 2016
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When rose blossoms fade and eventually die, seed pods that are called rosehips or rose hips are left behind. You may not see these often in well-tended gardens because most gardeners will prune dead roses, a practice called deadheading, so that roses bushes keep blooming. On the neglected rose bush, you may notice what looks like green to yellow orbs at the tops of several branches.

Rosehips have had numerous uses. They are high in vitamin C and some vitamin supplements may boast that they’re made with rosehips. They’ve also been used by some cultures as tea, as flavor for soups or stews, and for medicinal purposes.

A few uses for rosehips today include using rose hip powder as a means to reduce inflammation of joints and due to their properties they are being investigated as a potential aid in the fight against heart disease. Yet before you start heading to the garden to eat your rosehips, you should note a few other things these “fruits” are known for. Some are traditionally used as laxatives, so you might want to start any rose hip regimen with due care.

Many of the products like teas and powders are made from dried rose hips. The exterior fleshy part of each orb has a bunch of irritating fine hairs that must be removed before you eat a rosehip. These can irritate the throat and should not be consumed.

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Once this outer section is removed, you can eat fresh rosehips as if they were fruit or candy and many have compared their tangy taste to cranberries. People also use them in jams and pies, and recipes in some countries direct they be added them to soup and stews. Swedish rosehip soup is a classic Swedish dish, but uses of these fruits aren’t restricted to Europe.

Many places around the world utilize many parts of the rose, and you’ll find recipes with rose parts and rosehips especially common in Asia, Europe and from Native Americans of North America. Recipes may serve the dual purpose of being culinary delights and medicinally valuable.

Another way in which the rosehip is employed is in various cosmetics. You may find them used in simple soaps to lustrous lotions. Oil infused with rosehips has a sweet smell and can be used as part of a skincare regimen.

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