Background: The fruit of genus Rosa, known as "rose hip", is frequently used in different traditional medicines. Rose hips have long been used to treat kidney stones, gastroenteric ailments, hypertension and respiratory problems such as bronchitis, cough and cold.
Aim: This review is focused on the ethnopharmacological uses of rose hip as well as phytochemical and pharmacological aspects.
Results: Ethno-medical uses of rose hip have been recorded in many countries since a long time. Approximately, 129 chemical compounds have been isolated and identified from rose hip. This fruit contains some major active components such as flavonoids, tannins, anthocyanin, phenolic compounds, fatty oil, organic acids and inorganic compounds. Scientific studies have suggested a wide range of pharmacological activities for rose hip including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, anti-cancer, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, cardioprotective, antiaging, anti H. pylori, neuroprotective and antinociceptive activities. In particular, the rose hip powder and extract have been reported to exert therapeutic effects on arthritis.
Conclusion: Some of the ethnomedical indications of rose hip, such as nephroprotective and gastroproetctive actions, have been confirmed by preclinical pharmacological studies. Additional investigations on the pharmacological effects of rose hip as well as evidence from randomized controlled trials are essential to assess the therapeutic value of this natural product.
Keywords: Rosa canina, cornuside, anti-cancer, protocatechuic acid, gallic acid, liver and kidney protection, osteoarthritis, linoleic acid, quercetin, palmitic acid, shikmic acid, apigenin, catechin, β- naringenin hexoside, rose hip, R. multiflora, Rosaceae.