Rosehips for Osteoarthritis ~ Cochrane approves

A recent review in the respected Cochrane Library, the gold standard for evidence based research, suggests there is evidence in favour of the natural anti-inflammatory Rosehip for Osteoarthritis.

In an Australian first, July 2012 saw the highly respected Australian medical journal Australian Family Physician publish a scientific research review Rosehip – An evidence based herbal medicine for inflammation and arthritis by the highly respected Professor Marc Cohen which suggests natural anti-inflammatory Rosehip may offer an effective first-line therapy for Osteoarthritis.

The comprehensive review considers Rosehip with a high safety profile and highlights a meta-analysis which concludes a patented Rosehip powder is more efficacious than glucosamine hydrochloride in reducing osteoarthritic pain.

According to Prof Cohen in the medical journal review,the anti-inflammatory power of Rosehip in a patented form is reported to be somewhat similar to that of a leading prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) although it’s mode of action is different[14].

“Rosehip has been found to significantly reduce inflammation and pain for people with osteoarthritis,” Prof Cohen said.

“The anti-inflammatory properties of patented Rosehip make it a viable replacement or supplement for conventional drug therapies in inflammatory diseases such as arthritis”, said Prof Cohen.

“More than 10 years of controlled studies of the Rosehip powder suggest that Rosehip may be an effective first-line therapy for osteoarthritis sufferers.”

Prof Cohen said Rosehip’s anti-inflammatory action has been attributed to high quantities of galactolipids, a class of compounds which have shown anti-inflammatory activity in various studies [4].

Prof Cohen said “A particular galactolipidnamed GOPO® has been shown to be responsible for the clinically observed anti-inflammatory properties of patented Rosehip powder”[16-19].

“Research shows Rosehip doesn’t have the potential side effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin and is suitable for people at increased risk from the gastrointestinal or cardiovascular side effects of NSAID” [19].

The Rosehip Studies based on the standardised Rosehip powder – What the Research Says:

Reduced pain scores for 287 patients in three randomized controlled trials. After three months patients who took Rosehip were twice as likely to have reduced pain scores than people who took sugar pills [32].
Rosehip is more effective than glucosamine in reducing osteoarthritic pain. A meta-analysis of six studies, involving a total of 1222 people, compared the pain reducing effect of glucosamine and Rosehip powder for osteoarthritis [33].
Rosehip reduced pain in 64.6% of patients in a randomised controlled trial involving 100 people with hip or knee osteoarthritis. People who took Rosehip also experienced improve hip flexion [21].

Significant reductions in pain were experience in another trial of 112 patients. In this study 66% of patients had reduced pain, reduced their consumption of pain medication and a small but significant reduction in total cholesterol [1].Patients in this study also experienced significant improvements in mood, wellbeing and sleep quality.  Another placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover trial involving 94 patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee found treatment with Rosehip resulted in a significant reduction in pain and use of medication’ after 3 weeks and significant reduction in disability, stiffness, and severity of the disease after 3 months of treatment [28].
Prof Cohen said the studies of the patented Rosehip powder also pointed to benefits for patients with back pain and rheumatoid arthritis.

A one year surveillance of 152 patients found that Rosehip provided significant pain relief for patients with acute chronic back pain [30]. Another study found modest benefits for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Larger studies are needed in this area [30]. Rosehip (generic) was recently added to Arthritis Australia’s Complementary Therapies Information Sheet with some evidence of effectiveness for osteoarthritis [27].

To view the Cochrane Library scientific research review visit

To view the AFP scientific review visit

Click to access 201207Cohen.pdf


Cohen, M., Rosehip – an evidence based herbal medicine for inflammation and arthritis, Australian Family Physician, July 2012.Vol 41, (7) 495 – 498

Click to access Complementary_Therapies.pdf

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