What Are Rose Hips?Rose hips are the seed pods of roses. Rose hips are not visible if the bush is pruned once the rose blossoms fade. If the faded flowers are not pruned, the rose hips will appear as small, reddish balls on the tips of the stems toward the end of the growing season.
Rose Hips as a Natural RemedyRose hips have become a popular natural treatment for arthritis. Rose hips contain anthocyanins -- compounds found in plants that have antioxidant properties. Rose hips also contain carotenoids, including beta-carotene, lycopene, beta-chryptoxanthin, rubixanthin, zeaxanthin and lutein. Vitamin C is also abundant in rose hips.
Rose hips are available as an oil, as well as powder or capsule form. LitoZin Joint Health is a popular brand name product made of rose hips. As a supplement, rose hips have been studied for their health benefits, including pain-relieving properties for osteoarthritis.
Studies Show Rose Hips Relieve Osteoarthritis PainA meta-analysis of three short-term clinical trials involving the same preparation of rose hips concluded that, compared to placebo, rose hips are an effective pain reliever and it reduces the need for other pain medications. A total of 306 patients participated in the three trials the meta-analysis looked at; two of the studies were from Denmark and one involved patients from Norway.
The three studies included:
- a study of 94 patients with early stage osteoarthritis
- a study of 100 patients with end stage osteoarthritis (patients on a waiting list for hip or knee replacement)
- a study of 112 patients with osteoarthritis of different joints (including some with hand osteoarthritis)
The three studies, all of which were funded by Hyben-Vital International (a manufacturer of rose hips products), did not directly compare rose hips powder to other pain medications (such as acetaminophen) or supplements (such as glucosamine), although it was reported in some newspapers that they did. Researchers drew indirect comparisons to other studies that compared acetaminophen and glucosamine to placebo. Another limitation of the meta-analysis was that the three studies were all short-term (about 3 months each). Researchers concluded that there is a need for larger, long-term studies of rose hips for osteoarthritis.
Does the hip powder of Rosa canina (rosehip) reduce pain in osteoarthritis patients? – a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Christensen R. et al. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. April 2008.
A standardized powder made from rosehips (Rosa canina L.) improves function and reduces pain and the consumption of rescue medication in osteoarthritis. Winther K.