3 Benefits for Using Rosehips to Boost the Immune System

By Misty Anderson

While no cure exists for the common cold, there are some immune-boosting plants that can reduce the duration and severity of colds, and one of those may just be in the backyard – rosehips. They are the berry on the rose bushes. Rosehips develop just below the flower, and they hold the rose’s seeds. They can be harvested in the fall when the rosehips turn an orange-red color.

Rosehips are simple to harvest – just pull them off their branches; however, wear gloves to protect hands and arms from their thorns. Once picked, wash the rosehips, slice off their ends with a sharp knife, and then remove the seeds. The seeds contain tiny hairs that need to be removed before ingesting otherwise they will irritate the stomach lining. Crush the rosehips and use them immediately or place them in a warm place for 5 to 7 days to let them dry.

  1. High in vitamin C and phenolic and flavonoid antioxidants

Raw rosehips contain copious amounts of vitamin C, but dried rosehips lose some of their vitamin C content. Rosehips contain high levels of phenolic and flavonoid antioxidants. Flavonoids cannot be produced within the human body; they must be consumed. Dr. David Nieman recommends between 400-500 mg of flavonoids per day, but the average person only intakes 50 mg. The average person has a deficit. The benefits of a high flavonoid intake are the following:

  • Fights anti-inflammation
  • Prevents cardiovascular disease
  • Reduces risk of colds and chronic disease
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Less risk of dementia
  • Combats oxidative stress
  • Aides in muscular recovery
  • Improves gut microbiomes and the immune system

(The Benefits of Antioxidants: Polyphenols and Flavonoids (vitapodworld.com)

In 2018, Dr. Kaj Winther conducted a study with 120 people. “During the six winter months in Denmark, the volunteers reported their incidences of colds. They also reported the duration and the symptoms when they had a cold. The researchers found of the 107 volunteers who completed the study, 21 of 58 people in the placebo group reported having a cold. That is over 53 percent of the group. During the same period, only 24 out of 54 people in the rosehips group got a cold. That is 43.6 percent compared to the 53.4 percent in the placebo group.” (Rose Hips Reduce Colds and Common Cold Severity – Journal of Plant Medicines) Case Adams, PHD, found that the group that had the rosehips had milder symptoms, i.e., less headaches, muscle stiffness, and fatigue.

  1. Treats symptoms of arthritis

As stated above, the vitamin C in rosehips are a powerful antioxidant that helps clear cells of free radicals thus strengthening the body’s immune system; however, in addition, rosehips have been used “to treat rheumatoid arthritis, fever, diarrhea, upset stomach, and infections.”(Rosehips Uses, Side Effects & Warnings – Drugs.com)

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Numerous studies have shown that rosehips help to treat symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. “In 2005, the Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology reported that 5 gram rosehip supplement reduced osteoarthritis pain and the need for pain medications better than a placebo. And then in 2010, Phytomedicine found they improved physical function in people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.  (Rose Hip: Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage, Interactions (verywellhealth.com) Because of this, the supplement market has been flooded with tablets stating that they help to alleviate the pain caused by arthritis; however, as stated above, rosehips do lose their potency when dried. One way to ensure that benefit is achieved is to make rosehip syrup, which can be found here: The Benefits of Rosehip Syrup | Ready Nutrition.

  1. Reduces the symptoms of gastrointestinal upsets

Rosehips have been used to treat gastrointestinal problems. “According to a 2017 review from the University of Zaragoza in Spain, rosehips appear to slow the contraction of the intestinal muscles.” (Rose Hip: Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage, Interactions (verywellhealth.com) However, there is also information that states that taking too many rosehips can lead to diarrhea. The pectin and fruit acids are a diuretic and mild laxative. Those who suffer from ulcers, may benefit from taking rosehips because it alters the pH balance in the stomach – thus providing an inhospitable environment for Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), which is responsible for developing stomach ulcers. (Rose Hip: Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage, Interactions (verywellhealth.com)

Rosehip and hibiscus tea

While it is easy to brew a cup of simple rosehip tea, blending it with hibiscus adds an extra punch of beneficial flavonoids and other antioxidants. It has an invigorating taste, and it is a pleasing pink color.

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This tea may help to support your immune system, as well as boost heart health and treat cancer symptoms.


1 tsp dried rosehips 

1 tsp dried hibiscus  

Local honey


Bring fresh water to a low simmer, and then pour over the dried rosehips and hibiscus. Let the flowers steep in the fluid for 10 minutes, and then add local honey for an additional benefit.

Rosehip & Hibiscus Tea Benefits (sfgate.com)

Read more articles:

Food Freebies in Your Own Backyard

The Benefits of Rose Hip Syrup

10 Herbal Tea Blends You Can Grow in Your Garden

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on November 8th, 2021

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