Rose hip is rich in vitamins, tasty in tea and good for the skin. Male model David Gandy swears by rose hip! In a recent interview, the former face of Dolce & Gabbana, says he favours rose hip oil over facials and Botox.

What is Rose hip?

As the name suggests rose hips come from the rosebush. They’re the orange or red fruit that develop after the petals have dropped off the flowers. Not all rose hips are usable - so unfortunately you can’t just cultivate them from any old rose bush in your garden. They need to come from specific varieties of rose. If you know what to look for you may be able to forage for them.

You can also buy rose hip tea readymade and in oil form.

Why do I need Rose hip?

Rose hip is a great source of nutrients with a high content of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B3, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K. It also contains minerals such as zinc, calcium and magnesium. What’s more, rose hips are low in sodium and a good source of dietary fibre. They are also rich in antioxidants including flavonoids. Antioxidants reduce inflammation and prevent and repair cellular damage in the body. Antioxidants are believed to be protective against ageing and diseases including cancer.Rose hip tea has traditionally been drunk to treat upset stomachs - including disorders such as diarrhoea, constipation and infections - particularly infections of the bladder.

Rose hip oil contains a high concentration of essential fatty acids including omega-3 and omega-6 - thought to promote cell growth and repair to keep skin radiant and supple. Some studies suggest rose hip powder might reduce cholesterol and blood pressure in people who are obese - more research is needed on this.

Rose hip may also alleviate some symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis but once again this requires further exploration.

Can Rose hip ever be bad for you?

Rose hip is generally considered safe but in high doses it might cause nausea and stomach upset. If you have an iron-related disorder such as anaemia consult your doctor before taking rose hip as vitamin C can increase iron absorption and may interfere with medication. The same applies with some other conditions - for example if you are taking blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin then check rose hip is safe as vitamin C in large quantities may decrease the effectiveness of your medication.

It’s worth knowing that during the manufacturing process rose hips tend to lose some of their vitamin C content, so some products are fortified with lab-made vitamin C to make up the difference.