Rosehips are the hard, bright red little gourd-shaped fruits of the dog-rose, which is commonly encountered as a hedgerow plant. Compared to the more beautiful and exuberantly fragrant cultivated varieties, Dog-rose is a bit of a doormat plant. Yet, its fruit are jam-packed with vitamin C and provide an excellent source of this nutrient, especially during the winter months. Unfortunately much of this vitamin is lost on processing. The greatest vitamin content is obtained from the fresh fruit. Drying the fruits whole also preserves the vitamin to a certain degree. Rosehips are rarely considered medicinal these days, but are a common ingredient in fruit teas to which they add a refreshing zest. Other traditional Rosehip preparations such as Rosehip spreads and syrups have recently found new fans among an increasingly health conscious public. Generations of schoolchildren have long appreciated Rosehips for the fine hairs and tiny seeds concealed within their 'belly', which they employ as itching powder. Scientists, however, have recently discovered a better use of the seeds: Rosehip seeds contain nutrient rich oil, which has become a highly sought after cosmetic ingredient.
Though rarely considered medicinal today, Rosehips once played a role as a freely available herb tea for various conditions, especially among country people. The fruits (including the seeds) are diuretic and have been recommended as a remedy for kidney and bladder conditions such as gravel and stones. The seeds, boiled for at least an hour, are helpful in rheumatic, gouty and arthritic conditions. The fruits are refreshing and rich in vitamin C and make an excellent tea for feverish conditions. Rosehips are soothing and gently cleansing for the digestive system. Rosehip tea makes a tasty, safe and refreshing children's beverage.
Rosehips belong to Jupiter and may be used as a charm to attract health and wealth. The belly-shaped fruit, packed with seeds, is a symbol of prosperity and fertility. The fruits placed beneath the pillow protect the sleeper against nightmares and nasty spirits that seek to disturb the nightly peace.