A rose hip is the fruit of a rose. Also known as rose haw or rose hep. The wild dog rose is the type of rose most often cultivated for their hips. This plant grows up to ten feet tall and bears a white, very fragrant flower. Once the flower has bloomed, and all the petals have fallen off, the hip is picked and used in a wide variety of preparations.
(Rosa canina) The hips (fruit) of the dog rose are a source of readily assimilated forms of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, including – vitamins C, A, B1, B2, B3 and K, bioflavonoids (including rutin), carotenoids, tannins, calcium, magnesium, silica, phosphorous and copper.
As well as being considered a dietary supplement, rosehips are often fed to horses recuperating from illness or injury as they help to restore the immune system and aid tissue repair. Feeding them as part of the daily diet is beneficial for preventing illness. The vitamin C in rosehips acts as a natural antihistamine, which can assist the allergy-prone horse. Bioflavonoids, as well as having potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, enhance vitamin C’s ability to strengthen blood vessel walls, and this effect contributes to rosehips’ reputation for encouraging healthy hoof growth. Rosehips can also help alleviate gastric inflammation and diarrhoea.
ACTIONS include: Dietary supplement, astringent (having a contracting and toning effect on mucous membranes and tissues), aperient (mildly laxative – promoting natural bowel function), anti-diarrhoeal.
DOSE: 1-2 tablespoons per day, depending on horse size and level of work. Large, hard working horses, and horses facing, or recuperating from, illness could require a higher dose – an equine herbalist can be consulted to determine the appropriate dose in these cases.