Genus and Specie: Rosa rubiginosa as well as R. canina and R.
Rosehip is also known as rosa Mosqueta, Rosa rubiginosa, Rosa eglanteria,
sweet briar, as well as eglantine, while Rosa canina is known as god rose and
Rosa laevigata as Cherokee rose. It is a deciduous scrub with pale to pink
flowers followed by scarlet round to ovoid hips (the fruit). The ripe
fruits (rose hips) are used and a superior oil is extracted from the Rosa
rubiginosa fruit. The Rosa canina fruit (rose hips) have irritant hairs
that must be removed before use.
The ripe fruits are astringent and acidic and contain flavonoids, tannins,
carotenoids and volatile oil.
- Internal use
- The fruits of Rosa canina are used for colds, influenza, scurvy,
gastritis and to control diarrhea, while the fruits from Rosa laevigata are
used to treat urinary dysfunction, infertility, chronic diarrhea and to
regulate kidney function.
- External use
- The oil extracted from Rosa rubiginosa has excellent tissue regeneration
properties and helps to reduce scars (trauma and surgical), as well as
reducing wrinkles - see essential oil use below.
- Apart from the moisturizing, soothing and softening effect that it has,
it furthermore contains polyunsaturated fatty acids (vitamin F) also known
as essential fatty acids (EFA), and when they are absorbed through the skin,
they convert to prostaglandins (PGE), which are involved in cellular
membrane and tissue regeneration.
- Rosehip oil brings about skin regeneration and wound healing. It
contains trans-retinoic acid, which is responsible for skin rejuvenation and
quickens healing. It repairs skin subjected to excessive sunlight and
resultant photo aging.
- The linoleic and linolenic acids in rosehip has also been shown to
reduce pigmentation of the skin and when used regularly it has been shown to
reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
- Aromatherapy and essential oil use
- Although rose hip oil is not strictly an essential or volatile oil, it
is normally classified as an essential oil, as it is far more than just a
vegetable carrier oil into which essential oils are normally mixed.
- Rosehip oil does not need to be diluted before use on the skin as most
essential oils need to be, and has some very positive effects on the health
of the skin.
- It has some great rejuvenating properties and is helpful with fighting
sun damage to the skin. It is high in GLA, helping to reduce the signs of
ageing, especially the fine lines around the eyes (crows' feet) and lines
around the mouth, fighting the drying effects of the sun and climate, as
well as assisting with attenuating both accidental and surgical scars.
- It helps the skin heal and regenerate, preventing the formation of ugly
keloid scar tissue (thickening of the skin when forming scar tissue) and is
helpful in healing burns, scars and stretch marks.
Rosehip Oil was first studied in 1983 by a team of researchers from the
Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacology at the University of Concepcion in Chile,
to evaluate the oil's effect in the skin regeneration process.
During the two-year study, the oil was applied to 180 patients with surgical
scars, injury scars and post-burn scars, as well as to a group suffering from
premature aging. It was found that Rosehip Oil produced an effective
regenerative action on the skin, helping to attenuate scars and wrinkles,
preventing advancement of premature aging, and regaining lost colour and tone.
In December 1988 Dr Bertha Pareja, and Dr Horst Kehl published their findings on
the effects of Rosehip Oil in a paper titled "Contributions to Identification
and Application of Active Components Contained in Rosa Aff. Rubiginosa". Some
- Aged skin (Photo-aging)
20 women with surface wrinkles, brown spots on the eyelids & intensely tanned
skin aged between 25 and 35 who usually spend 3 months of summer in resorts by
the beach were assessed. All applied rosehip oil on the face for four months.
Significant changes were noted, firstly, surface wrinkles started to disappear,
spots started to fade until, by the end of the last month, the disappearance
was almost complete. Skin presented a smooth and fresh aspect and the spots
had almost disappeared.
- Rosehip Oil application on scars
Ten women aged between 45 and 68, who had suffered unilateral or bilateral
mastectomy applied rosehip oil after the surgical stitches were removed. The
oil was applied by soft massage, after three months of applying twice daily (morning
and evening) the scars were less apparent, without lumps and skin elasticity
had improved. Doctors indicated that the skin had improved considerably,
allowing implantation of prosthesis or plastic surgery in far better
conditions than with a control group not treated. In 1978 Dr Fabiola
Carbajal, M.D said "The results were superb using Rosehip Oil and Cream in all
our clinical studies, even with scars over 20 years old. I have also found
that the oil is beneficial in hair care as well: particularly with coloured,
permed, and tinted hair, or hair that has been damaged by too much sun or cold
Head of Radiology for the Chilean Air Force and Oncologist at Indisa clinic in
Santiago, Dr. Hans Harbst said, "I work with many patients who have undergone
surgery and therefore have scars, subsequent radiation causes secondary
reactions to the skin such as inflammation, darkening and dermatitis. This
presents an aesthetic problem for patients, but the application of Rosehip Oil
has produced faster healing of these lesions." He continued, "We have achieved
a loosening of the tension in the skin with Rosehip Oil, the results have been
very good with some patients and spectacular with others. I have applied
Rosehip Oil on all types of skin and on scars to reduce hyper-pigmentation,
flattening hypertrophy (bulky scars), and loosening up fibrous chords. All
these effects end up in a near complete attenuation of scars."
- Skin burns
In a study of 90 patients who had suffered burns, a four-month treatment of
rosehip oil resulted in 97% improvement in relation to their initial state.
J.F. Oliver, Fats & Oils Journal No.25 Dec 1996.
Leonardo Rusowsky, surgeon at Enrique Deformes Hospital in Santiago, Chile, and
acting president of the Corporation for Aid to Children with Burns is currently
researching the healing properties of Rosehip Oil and has stated that it:
- Improves the texture and quality of skin by increasing its elasticity.
- Flattens out scarring and improves the colour of scars and surrounding
To date, Rosehip Oil has helped in the recovery of thousands of burn victims
and is currently being used by several teams of plastic surgeons in the
treatment of scars.