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Painful joints? Consider Rosehip

3 min read

Last Updated: 6th December 2018

Many hundreds of thousands of people in Britain suffer from rheumatoid arthritis - a debilitating auto-immune disease that causes inflammation, swelling and pain in the joints. Over time, the body's own attack of the cells lining the joints can permanently damage the joint itself, the cartilage and the nearby bone. There is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis however, early diagnosis and treatment can control the symptoms.

The latest medication and 'smart' drugs which target different parts of the immune system are available, however an alternative herbal remedy which may help comes in the form of Rosehip tablets.

A powerful natural anti-inflammatory

Rosehip is a herbal medication with anti-inflammatory properties. Rosehip is also a good source of Vitamins A, C and E and carotenoids such as beta carotene, lycopene and lutein which scientists agree boost the immune system. It contains polyphenols and anthocyanins, which are believed to ease joint inflammation and prevent joint damage.

It is one of the most concentrated natural sources of Vitamin C - studies show its Vitamin C properties absorb twice as fast as synthetic supplements.

It is also a very powerful antioxidant, i.e. it combats harmful molecules called free radicals which are produced within your cells causing tissue damage or disease. 

Rosehip is also great for increased energy and motivation, boosting your immunity and general well-being.

Rosehip and rheumatoid arthritis

Research from Germany and Denmark looked at 74 sufferers, mostly females, over a 6 month trial. Just under half took a Rosehip remedy while the others took a placebo. Both groups continued to take their usual medication. According to results the number of joints causing pain or discomfort fell by 40%, but did not change for those treated with the placebo. Patients also reported a better quality of life and less pain.

In another trial, 89 participants with rheumatoid arthritis were randomly assigned 5g of Rosehip powder or placebo powder once a day for six months.Those who received Rosehip reported greater improvements in disease activity, quality of life, physical function and physical global assessment than the placebo group.

Rosehip and osteoarthritis

One of the most common forms of joint disease is osteoarthritis, which affects around 9 million people in the UK, causing pain, stiffness and reduced mobility. Almost anyone can get osteoarthritis but it’s more likely in people over 40, and even more so in women. Other influencing factors include genetics, weight, previous joint injuries, job type (i.e. physically demanding / requiring repetitive movement) or if your joints have been damaged by another disease, for example gout.

A study published in 2005 in the Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology found that Rosehip extract may help reduce pain in osteoarthritis patients. After just 3 weeks patients taking Rosehip extract found an 82 per cent reduction in pain.  An earlier study also found that those who took the supplement only needed half as many traditional painkillers.  

In another clinical trial the outcome of treatment with 5g Rosehip was compared with a placebo in 94 people with osteoarthritis. After 3 weeks of treatments, Rosehip resulted in a significant reduction in pain scores and painkiller use compared to the placebo. After 15 weeks, participants who were given Rosehip had a significant reduction in pain, stiffness, disability and painkiller use as well as a significant improvement in the overall severity of the disease compared to participants in the placebo group.

Both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis are conditions in which inflammation plays an important role. Rosehips contain chemicals called tannins, polypenols, flavonoids and fatty oils which are recognised by scientists for their anti-inflammatory properties.

A healthy balanced diet is the best way to consume all the nutrients we need. Sometimes however this isn't possible and then supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying any supplements or herbal medicines.