Roses: Romantic Gesture or Join Supplement?

Ashley Altieri, senior

When one thinks of roses, an immediate connection is made with Valentine’s Day or a romantic gesture.  However, roses and rosehips, the fruit that grow from certain varieties, have a myriad of practical uses.

Besides brewing a delicious cup of tea made from rosehips, scenting a room with rose fragrance, or making rosewater cookies, there are supplemental purposes.  Fresh rosehips are known to be packed full of vitamin C1.  In addition to the antioxidant properties of vitamin C, rosehips have protective properties for the joints1.  Trials in patients that suffered from Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis showed that rosehips made a positive impact in their quality of life1.  Systematic reviews of two randomized control trials found improved hip flexion and reduced pain when using rosehip supplements in the treatment plan for hip and knee osteoarthritis1.  In one trial, LitoZin (or five grams of rosehips) was used in one group, and a placebo in the other1.  The second trial was similar in that one group was given a placebo, and the other group given Hyben Vital tablets (five grams of rosehips) 1.  The results were not perfect, as one person developed an unexplained case of vasculitis (possibly due to the other medications the patient was on), and others reported little improvement in their hip rotation or degree of knee flexion1.

So, how do rosehips make any improvement possible?  A study examining the effects on a chemical level found that rosehips have anti-inflammatory properties that are ideal for osteoarthritis patients2.  Although rosehips are not something commonly found in the local supermarket, there could be a day when more research allows trials of complementary rosehip treatments for those that suffer from joint ailments

Rosehips and other herbal or homeopathic remedies can one day help to slowly decrease the agonizing and often deadly side effects of current drugs and first-line treatments.  Until more concrete studies can be done and interactions thoroughly investigated, all supplements should be consulted with one’s primary care provider and pharmacist.  Nurses play a vital role in educating patients on the harm that can be done when patients fail to research or question the medications and supplements that are mixed in an effort to find relief.






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