Rose Hips and Vitamin C

Rose Hips

The latest addition to my breakfast of chocolate pudding is wild rose hips. They are in season now, you will find them growing all over the place, a local, highly nutritious superfood.

First, gently squeeze the rose hip to check if it is ripe. If it is firm then it’s not ripe, you want to feel for the softness and only very gentle force to pull it from the plant.

Rose hips are full of seeds which can be hairy and irritating when ingested, although I find that when they are properly ripe they don’t cause problems. There is a technique to getting the seeds out – hold the hip in between thumb and finger with one hand, and with the other, gently break the skin around the closed end of the fruit then pull while squeezing with the other hand – if successful all the seeds will come out in a clump. The seeds are edible, they are high in vitamin E, just some of them are very hard.

Rose hips are amazingly high in Vitamin C, according to Wikipedia, rose hips have 2000 mg per 100g compared to oranges with 50 mg and dried goji berries with 73 mg. I just recently found out that most animals can make their own vitamin C within their bodies, humans along with the other primates are some of the only creatures who don’t have this ability and have to rely on food for their vitamin C supply.

It starts to get interesting when we look at how much vitamin C other animals make. According to this article by Bill Sardi “A 160-pound goat produces about 13,000 milligrams per day” and “A dog or cat will produce about 40 milligrams of vitamin C per kilogram of body weight per day, or the equivalent of 2800 mg per day if these animals were about the same size as humans.” Compare this with the RDA of 90 mg and you begin to think that something might be wrong. The Vitamin C Foundation suggest that humans might need 5000 mg per day. In the Sardi article, it is suggested that this kind of dose of vitamin C can increase our lifespan and health.

So it all starts to fit together, by eating a raw food diet you would generally be getting a lot more vitamin C than the RDA, but maybe we need even more than that. I did a rough estimate of one day’s vitamin C intake for myself and it came out at around 500 mg, nowhere near the suggested 5000 mg. But adding 100g of rose hips per day could take that up to 2500 mg, so that’s what I aim to do while they are free and in season.

11 thoughts on “Rose Hips and Vitamin C

  1. Hello,
    Hey, I think i picked rosehips that are not yet ripe.
    Can I still dry them or still use them as tea?
    And is it ok to just eat them raw? I scooped out the tiny hairs,but how do you get the seeds separated from them?
    Thank you,
    Cool post keep them up !

  2. I love your clear common sense advice. and useful information. I just used my intuition about rosehips in my garden and just decided to squeeze them to see. and taste . If I didnt fall down and die I knew I would be fine.

    Indeed, they are very soft , when just like a full plummy plum – they are ripe. Beautiful sunset orange flesh. Now I am going to add them to a summer pudding mixture with pomegranate to make it an Autumnal Pudding. Thank you. I so hope London rosehips do not taste of petrol fumes.

  3. I have a question about using dried rose hips. They are whole with the seeds still inside. Do I need to seed them before I use them, either in a tea, jam or just eating them?

    • If you are making tea, then you can leave the seeds in. If you are just eating them, you could eat them whole and spit the seeds out, or take them out first. I think if making a jam it would be best to take them out first, they are quite hard and wouldn’t be good in the finished product.

  4. I bought organic dried rose hips from a health food store and would like to eat them raw. Should they be soaked first? They taste pretty good right out of the package.

    • I’ve never purchased dried rosehips myself so can’t really comment, but if they taste good then I think you’ve answered your own question!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.