Dog Rose (Rosehip)

Rosa Canina

The Dog rose is a climbing wild species of the rose family native to Europe. Considered a large shrub or small tree, it can grow up to 5m in height. The beautiful, delicate, 5 petaled flower matures into an oval red/orange fruit, or hip. Petals vary greatly in colour according to the quality of the soil and sun exposure. The stems have hooked prickles to aid in ascending and to protect the flowers from predators. Leaves are pinnate, with 5-6 leaflets.

Family: Roseaceae

Which probiotic is it in?: Dog rose is a key herb in Sustain, Sleep and Kids

Habit and cultivation: Grows in most areas of the world. Some governments consider it a pest as it has been known to displace native vegetation. Prefers a sunny, well drained, moist soil.

Actions (known for): Stimulant, carminative, astringent and anti-oxidant.


The name hip comes from the Anglo Saxon hiope meaning ‘flask-shaped’. Still used as a preserve in Germany and used to make wine. Medicinal uses have been discarded by the British Pharmacopoeia and so it is only used as a flavouring for other medicines. This wild rose was believed to cure a bite from a mad dog, or the thorns are similar to the shape canine of the dog…hence the name Dog rose. It has been used for centuries in the preparation of love potions. Also used in Bach Flower preparations.

Parts used:


Constituents (bio available chemicals):

Tannins, flavonoids, sugars, organic acids and fatty acids.

Nutritional constituents:

Vitamins: C, B1, B2. Minerals: potassium, selenium, thiamine and calcium.


Common cold, fevers, diabetes, urinary tract infections, skin conditions and wound healing topically.


Two and half teaspoons of sliced hips infused in hot water for 10mins and drunk. Tincture: (1:2): 10-60 drops 1-3 x daily.

British Herbal Pharmacopoeia

Dietary supplement as natural source of Vitamin C.

Cautions for therapeutic doses

The little hairs on the seeds can cause irritation to the mouth and digestive tract. Contra-indicated in those prone to thrombosi or endocarditis.

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