- Rosa canina L.
- Rose family
Parts Usually Used
Rose hips (fruit), flowers
Description of Plant(s) and Culture
hip is a bushy shrub; varying in height from 2-13 feet,
its numerous stems are covered with sharp spines and prickles. The
leaves are odd-pinnate, usually consisting of 5-7 leaflets
that are opposite, ovate, acute, serrate, and hairy beneath. The flowers
are red, pale red, or nearly white and appear from May to July. The
oblong, scarlet to orange-red fruit, or hip, contains many one-seeded
achenes and ripens in the fall.
There are literally 100s of species of rose, and to them and their
varieties have been given thousands of names. The genus Rosa consists
of prickly shrubs found wild or cultivated. Red roses are considered
best for medicinal use.
Other varieties used as rose hips: Rock-rose (Helianthemum canadense);
Rosa californica; Cabbage rose (Rosa centifolia); Rosa Damascena;
Rosa eglanteria; Rosa gallica; Rosa laevigata; Rosa roxburghii; Large-hip
rose (Rosa rugosa); Rosa chinensis.
Grows in open fields and thickets and on dry banks from Nova Scotia
to Virginia and Tennessee. It is naturalized from Europe, where it
is found around the edges of woods, hedges, garden fences, and on
Astringent, carminative, diuretic, tonic
Citric acid, flavonoids, fructose, malic acid, sucrose, tannins,
vitamins A, B3, C, D, E, and P, calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc
Legends, Myths and Stories
The rose, cultivated for over 3,000 years and known from time immemorial
as the queen of the flowers, is thought to have originated in Asia
Minor. The genus name Rosa is derived from the Greek work rodon, meaning
"red". The ancient Persians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used the
rose not only as a garden ornamental but as the main ingredient in
various perfumes and cosmetics.
According to Christian legend the rose grew in the Garden of Eden
without thorns; but after the fall, thorns sprouted to remind man
of his sinful and imperfect nature.
Roses of different colors often have special connotations: the pink
rose represents simplicity, often being associated with the Virgin
Mary; the yellow rose means perfect achievement, and sometimes jealousy;
and the red rose signifies passion and sensual desire, shame, and
occasionally blood and sacrifice. From the times of the ancient Egyptians,
the rose has been a token of silence.
Many legends purport to explain how the red rose acquired its color.
Assuming that the rose was originally white, the Greeks held that
it became red from the blood of Aphrodite, who had pricked her foot
on a thorn while trying to aid her beloved, dying Adonis. The Turks
claim the white rose was stained red by the blood of Mohammed. Christian
legend has the red rose resulting from the blood of martyrs.
Good for all infections
and bladder problems. Helps
combat stress. Particularly
good for digestion and
produce a diuretic effect without irritating the kidneys. Kidney stones
or gravel; brier hips used as a preventative or arrestant. Use for
kidney and bladder
inflammations. By eliminating uric acid accumulations, brier hips
help in gouty and rheumatic
complaints. A decoction of crushed achenes is also sometimes used
for fever and as a beverage tea.
Rose hips enhance fruit dishes and drinks. Both the hips ant the petals
are made into jellies.
Rosewater and glycerin, an old-fashioned cosmetic, but really is
very effective. Use a rosewater-to-glycerin ratio between 50-50
Try candied rose petals.
Formulas or Dosages
Infusion: use 1 to 2 tsp. hips (without
seeds) with 1 cup boiling water.
Decoction: use 1/2 to 1 tsp. powdered
achenes with 1 cup water. Boil until 1/2 cup
of liquid remains. Drink in the course of the day.
Rose hip tea: Long served in northern Europe. Very high in
vitamin C and good for daily use. The dried, finely chopped
rose hips must be soaked in a small amount of water for 12 hours
before using. The tea is made by simmering 1 tbsp. rosehips
in 3 cups of water for 30-40 minutes. A
small amount of dried hibiscus flowers makes a nice addition to this
tea, giving it a lemony flavor and a very attractive burgundy color.
Vitamins A, B3, C, D, E, and P, Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Zinc
Rosewater is available from the pharmacy. Also, rosewater and glycerin
may be found.
Do not use roses that have been treated with pesticides or pesticide-containing