Rosa canina: properties, use, contraindications

Dog rose is a spontaneous species belonging to the Rosaceae family. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and vitaminizing properties, it is very useful in the treatment of conjunctivitis and asthma, but also for the absorption of calcium and iron . Let's find out better.








Properties of dog rose

The bud- derived of young shoots has immunomodulating properties, ie it regulates the body's immune response, giving the preparation an effective action against all forms of allergy. In particular, its intake improves the immune response at the respiratory level in those with an allergic tendency and in children.

The anti-inflammatory property finds an important therapeutic use in acute phlogosis which involves alterations of the nasal mucosa, of the eyes and of the first airways with consequent production of phlegm.

For these properties, the dog rose not only represents an excellent remedy in the prevention of allergies and in the treatment of rhinitis, conjunctivitis and asthma due to contact with pollen; but it is recommended in childhood diseases such as tonsillitis, nasopharyngitis, otitis, cough and cold of infectious origin.

The small fruits (berries) of the dog rose are considered the most concentrated " natural springs " in Vitamin C, present in quantities up to 50-100 times higher than oranges and lemons, and for this reason they can contribute to strengthening the natural defenses of the organism (100 grams of berries contain the same amount of vitamin C as 1 kilo of traditional citrus fruits).

The vitaminizing action is linked to the antioxidant action of bioflavonoids, contained in the pulp and peel, which act synergistically with Vitamin C, optimizing blood circulation.

This beneficial effect on the quality of the blood is due to its ability to promote the absorption of calcium and iron in the intestine, balancing the level of cholesterol and contributing to the production of hemoglobin; it also activates vitamin B9 (folic acid) with a slight antihistamine effect.

Since vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, cannot be synthesized directly by man (unlike what happens with other animals), it must be introduced either with food, if the diet is good and balanced, or with the food supplement, in cases where the diet is lacking, as normally happens.

The western lifestyle, industrial pollution, the influence of electronic devices and cigarette smoke are all factors that increase our needs, so supplementing with vitamin C is practically necessary.

In this sense, the rose hip is an excellent tonic to cope with exhaustion and fatigue, it helps to overcome stress; stimulates the elimination of toxins (especially uric acids, which cause gout and rheumatism) through diuresis.

The berries have an astringent action due to the presence of tannins, useful in case of diarrhea and intestinal colic.

The dog rose can also be used in the form of glycerine macerate for the care of our animal friends, and in particular to prevent the laryngitis of dogs and cats in the winter period.

The dog rose among the natural remedies for diarrhea: discover the others

Method of use

Always better to follow the instructions of the trusted herbalist and use quality and standardized phytotherapics:

  • Mother tincture : 45 drops 3 times a day between meals in cases of cold or flu,
  • Infusion: a cup of herbal tea to drink 3 times a day, useful for airway infections.
  • Macerated with petals (5 g in 15 ml of water for 24 hours): to add to honey (20 g) and to be taken in tablespoons, excellent for the throat.
  • Sprouted glycerine macerated: 40-50 gc in two daily administrations, far from meals.


No particular contraindications due to interactions with pathologies have been highlighted. The side effects listed are generally due to the overdose of the remedy, which provides a strong intake of vitamin C and which has diuretic effects: nausea, vomiting, headache, heartburn, diarrhea, fatigue.

It is not recommended for pregnant women and children.

The Rosa Canina has interaction with some drugs :

• antacids that may contain aluminum. Vitamin C in general favors its absorption. Better to avoid concomitant intake.

• The lithium taken in cases of mood regulation needs to be quickly disposed of by the body. Vitamin C can interact and slow down this phase of elimination.

Description of the plant

Thorny shrub, 100 - 200 cm tall. It has glabrous woody stems, with spines (red) robust, arched, elongated base, compressed. The leaves are composed of 5-7 oval or elliptic leaflets with toothed margins (simple teeth).

The pink flowers have large petals and are not very fragrant. It flowers in May and June. Its fruits are ovoid and fleshy berries, colored from yellow to intense red, called "rose hips" reach maturity in late autumn.

The habitat of the dog rose

The species is widespread in a large area in temperate areas around the world. It grows in the countryside and on hills up to 1500 m. of altitude. It is easily found in hedges, clearings, spots, along paths. It adapts to any soil as long as it is well nitrogenous and sunny.


This plant owes the botanical name " canine " to Pliny the Elder, who reported of a Roman soldier, bitten by a dog and cured of rabies, thanks to the assumption of a decoction of roots.

Dog rose was already appreciated for its effectiveness in strengthening the body's defenses against infections and particularly against the common cold.

In the Middle Ages it was commonly used in traditional remedies for respiratory problems, and the fruits were very popular in desserts.

Its use has played an important role in the supply of Vitamin C to British children during the Second World War to replace the normal citrus source.

The procedure used in the eighteenth century to reduce fruits in purée as a form of taking the plant, has given way to the infusion of its dried berries.

    A recipe with dog rose


    INFUSION: 1 tablespoon of wild rose berries, 1 cup of water

    Pour the plant into the water before it reaches the boiling point. Extinguish the fire. Cover and leave to infuse for 10 min. Filter the infusion and drink it when needed in case of flu or simply because of the delicious citrus flavor.


    The berries of wild rose among the natural remedies for conjunctivitis

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