As you may have guessed, these are the fruit of the rose bush.
If the rose's blossoms are left on the plant and allowed to drop their petals, they'll form a seed pod that is known as the rose hips.
Forming seed pods takes energy away from blossom production.
In roses cultivated for the flower, rose hips are rarely allowed to form.
The gardener will 'dead-head' the rose bush, snipping or pulling off the fading blossoms, to 'confuse' the bush into blooming again.
Different varieties of roses have different sizes and types of rose hips.
Rosehips are a food and vitamin source; they provide a very concentrated form of Vitamin-C and rose hips tea has long been prescribed for prevention and treatment of the common cold.
Steep dried rose hips for 10-15 minutes in boiling water to yield a slightly astringent tea.
Native Americans traditionally put rose hips into soups and stews after using them for tea, since the steeping process doesn't extract the full load of vitamins and the rose hips make an interesting flavor addition, somewhat like the lemongrass used in Thai and Vietnamese cooking.
Rich in Vitamin-C
Rosehips of some species, especially the Dog Rose (Rosa canina) and Rugosa Rose (Rosa rugosa), are a rich source of vitamin-C.
With one to two percent vitamin-C, by dry weight, rose hips have a higher content than citrus fruit.
During World War II when imports of citrus products to Great Britain were limited, tons of rose hips were harvested there from the wild to make rose hip syrup as a vitamin-C supplement for children.
The anti-inflammatory properties of rose hips have recently been shown to be useful in the treatment of patients suffering from knee or hip osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease affecting over 20 million Americans.
It's characterized by the breakdown of cartilage in the joint, allowing bones to rub against each other, causing pain and loss of movement.
Scientists in Denmark reported that patients who daily consumed standardized rose hip powder (made from dog rose) experienced significantly less joint stiffness and pain, and an improved general well-being and mood after 3 to 4 months of treatment.
The use of rose hip powder also enabled the patients to considerably reduce their standard pain medication.
Rosehips contain high levels of antioxidant flavonoids with known anti-inflammatory properties.
Rosehips also contain carotenoid pigments, plant sterols, tocotrienols and a very high level of anthocyanins, catechins and other polyphenolics, known phytochemicals to protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD).
They also contain up to 5% by weight of pectin, a soluble fiber that protects against CVD.
In clinical trials, rose hips were seen to reduce C-reactive protein levels, associated with a lower risk of CVD.
The rose hips of Dog Rose are a traditional diuretic and laxative.
The rose hips are useful in the treatment of influenza-like infections, diarrhea, and various urinary tract disorders.
No side effects are known when rose hips are used in the normal designated amounts.
Rose hips are also commonly used to make herbal teas, by boiling the dried or crushed rose hips for 10 minutes.
About 2 Tbs. of berries are used per pint of water.
A 1/2 tsp. of dried mint may be added to give a different flavor, or the acidic-tasting tea may be sweetened with honey.
Rose hip tea may also be improved by blending with hibiscus flowers.
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