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  Bohemia Style UK  - Rosehip Thereapeutic Properties

Rosehip Thereapeutic Properties

RosehipFamily:  Rosaceae

Genus and Specie:  Rosa rubiginosa as well as R. canina and R. laevigata

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.

Therapeutic Uses

  • 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.

Scientific Studies

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 extracts include:

  • 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 weather."
  • Radiotherapy
    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.

Rosehip fruitDr 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 skin.

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.


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