Rosehips are an accessory fruit that grows on plants in the genus Rosa, aka rose plants. They’re round to oblong, typically range from orange to bright red, and form at the base of a rose flower’s petals. Typically, rosehips are harvested after the first frost of the year.
Rosehips have been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments. These days, research has focused on the antioxidant effects of the fruit and its natural compounds. These include vitamin C, phenolic compounds, and healthy fatty acids.
Rosehip tea is often advertised as an exceptional source of vitamin C. Fans of the drink claim it’s good for boosting your immune system, but this has not been confirmed by scientific research.
The vast majority of tea is water. As such, the nutrients found in tea are generally dilute. Rosehip tea is no exception. A single teabag of rosehip tea, brewed in boiling water, delivers approximately:
- Calories: 3
- Protein: 0 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbohydrates: 0 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
As for vitamins and minerals, there’s very little vitamin C in rosehip tea despite its abundance in fresh rosehips. This is because the drying and storing process for rosehips rapidly degrades vitamin C. Some tea manufacturers fortify their product with added vitamin C to replace what was lost.
An 8 ounce (1 cup) serving of unfortified rosehip tea contains approximately 7.5 mg of vitamin C. The daily recommended amount of vitamin C for adults is between 75 and 120 mg.
Potential Health Benefits of Rosehip Tea
Although rosehip tea lacks the vitamin C punch of its fresh counterpart, it still offers several health benefits. The phenolic content of rosehip tea is high, meaning there are plenty of antioxidants in the drink. These phenolic compounds have been shown to have significant therapeutic potential.
Rosehip products have been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory effects. This is linked to a group of compounds found in the fruit called galactolipids. These compounds don't carry the same ulcerative side effects of other common anti-inflammatory drugs.
Lower Blood Sugar
Rosehip has been shown to lower glucose blood levels in a similar way to inhibitors currently used to treat type 2 diabetes. While these results are promising, more research is needed to better understand the potential antidiabetic effects of rosehip.
An animal study with mice evaluated rosehip as a potential treatment for atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis causes plaques to develop in the arteries, which then increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. Results of the study indicated that rosehip may be effective at preventing the formation of atherosclerotic plaques.
Potential Risks of Rosehip Tea
Rosehip tea is generally considered to be safe for most adults to consume, although it should not be consumed by those with rosehip allergies.
There have been several cases of individuals who inhaled powdered rosehip and experienced a subsequent allergic reaction. People with asthma or rhinitis may be at higher risk. When brewing rosehip tea, it’s best to avoid inhaling it in its powdered form.