Rosehips- Immunity Superfood August 20 2019, 0 Comments

rosehips provide natural joint support and senior horse care

This delicious “false” fruit of the ever popular rose plant is not only delicious in jams, but can also provide some great benefits to your horse’s immune system and overall health.  This tart little berry is an equine superfood- providing a whole host of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavonoids, and is especially helpful for senior horses.

Plant parts and uses

Rosehips are the fruit produced by the successful pollination of some species of wild roses, the most common one being Rosa rugosa.  Once the petals wilt and fall off, the rose hips start to grow and encapsulate the rose’s seeds.  Rosehips can be found in many species of wild roses throughout North America.  The medicinal benefits of the fruit is found in the flesh, which can be eaten raw (de-seeded), dried, or steeped in a tea.  Rosehips are a potent source of vitamin C, A, and K, several minerals, and have strong anti-inflammatory benefits that can ease arthritis symptoms.

Most common uses for horses

Rosehips is a popular supplement for immunity support and joint support in horses.  Because it contains several antioxidants and minerals that support the immune system, it is believed to help horses recover from illness.  Note that healthy horses produce their own Vitamin C, so it is more effective for helping a horse return to its natural balance or support older horses that can no longer produce enough of their own vitamins.  As for joint health, Rosehips have been shown to slow the degeneration of joint tissues and act as an anti-inflammatory agent.  You can supplement your horse’s diet with rosehips by sprinkling the dried or fresh fruit on his feed.  The fresh fruit will have much more vitamin C than the dried form. Be sure to remove the seeds from the fruit if feeding fresh, as it could irritate his digestive system. 

Home grown

Rosa rugosa prefers sunny locations with well-draining soil and limited competition from other shrubs and bushes. It is a very popular hedge in North America, as it is quite hardy, pest resistant, and only requires annual pruning.  Rosehips are typically harvested in the late summer or fall as the flowers are pollinated and wilt.

This is a re-print from the Herb Blurb Column I am writing in Equine Wellness Magazine, one of the largest publications in North America focused on natural and alternative therapies for horses.