We were at the beach this weekend, and because of global warming (who ever heard of going swimming in the ocean in New England in late October?) there were tons of wild rose hips all over the place. Not one to waste, I gathered a bunch because I like to make a vitamin-C rich tea or juice from these--rose hips also have a folk reputation as good for fertility. Plus, they are so pretty with their intense red color and just bursting with seeds. Now, isn't it interest that researchers have found it decreases TNF-alpha, an inflammatory that is also related to repeat miscarriages?
This is from the BBC.
Rose-hips could help some of the UK's 400,000 sufferers
Rose-hips could offer a cheap and effective way of treating debilitating rheumatoid arthritis, research from Germany and Denmark has suggested.
Seventy-four sufferers, mostly females, took part in the six-month trial.
Just under half took the rose-hip remedy LitoZin while the others took a placebo. Both groups continued to take their usual medication.
Activity among the first group improved by 20-25%, according to results presented at the annual Eular meeting.
The number of joints causing pain or discomfort fell by 40%, but did not change for those treated with the dummy.
"I think we were all surprised to see such meaningful results," said Professor Stefan Willich from the Charite University Medical Centre in Berlin, who conducted the German arm of the study.
"Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most difficult conditions I'm aware of. It's a tough disease, which makes it all the more remarkable to find such beneficial effects from this remedy ."
Anti-TNF (anti-tumour necrosis factor alpha) medication and the latest "smart" drugs which target different parts of the immune system are becoming available, but they are expensive, and there have already been complaints of "postcode lottery" access...
Researchers are unclear as to why exactly rose-hip has this effect, but the supplement appears to have both anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.
One of the key active ingredients in LitoZin - a type of sugary fatty acid called GOPO - was hailed by scientists involved in the research as a "plant version of fish oil", the supplement believed to have a host of health benefits.
Professor Alan Silman, the medical director of the Arthritis Research Campaign, said that if rose-hips were shown to have only limited side effects they could be a useful adjunct to conventional drug treatment for people with rheumatoid arthritis...
I think it's so funny that with pharma drugs we gloss over how powerful and toxic they can be, and here with rose hips look how bent out of shape they are about side effects! I wouldn't overdo it (and some people report a stinging sensation if they eat a bunch of whole rose hips), but in general they make great tea and jam.