Regardless of whether February makes you think of black history month ✊🏾or love 😍 one thing is for certain it's the beginning of the end. The beginning of the end of winter (thank God), the month is usually peppered with blizzards, high winds and rain and eventually bustles out to sea bringing back warmer tides by mid March...
This month HOLC is starting a new series called "Oil of the Month" (yay!) this anthology will explore the origins and uses of the world's most powerful botanical ingredients. HOLC's mission to is to help black women create healthier more informed ways of life through radical self-care, botanical & historical knowledge.
Without further ado, we're here to discuss rosehip seed oil aka dog rose, brier rose, and dog brier hip oil ( rosa canina, roseacea). Its natural habitat is Europe, central Asia and Mediterranean North Africa. Over 400 years ago via their colonization efforts Europeans brought this species r. canina to the Americas, New Zealand, southern Australia & southern African where unlike many of the African slaves in these lands the rosa canina species of rosehip escaped captivity and thrived in its new habitat's nutrient rich soil. Rosa canina is considered to be an invasive species because of its aggressive adaptation to environments.
This botanical is a shrub but can grow into a small tree up to 9 feet in height. Its flowers range from white to pink and start to show between June and July, by September/October the pseudo-fruit or "hip" is red and plump. The fruit or seed of the flower is inside the hip of the rose and is only fertilized by either a bird or by seeds falling to the earth and funneling into the soil to spread its roots.
Worldwide there are more than 5 different types of rosehip sub-species that are specified for specific food or medicinal uses by different governing bodies such as the USDA, EPA, European Pharmacopeia, Central Asia Pharmacopeia and more.
Rosehip is a wonderful gift to us humans, its Latin name derives from hundreds of years B.C. when it was discovered in letters written to Greek physician Hippocrates from Naturalist Pliny the Elder about using wild r. canina root to treat rabid dog bites and was therefore named rosa canina ( Brinckmann & Engels, 2016). Rosehip seed oil is beneficial topically and internally. For thousands of years prior to its Latin naming humans had been ingesting and using rosehip for a number of ailments due to its antibacterial, anti-microbial, & astringent properties. Native Americans used rosehip roots in decoctions to alleviate nausea and muscle cramps, rheumatism, colds, sore throats, fevers, indigestion, and kidney ailments ( Maumee Valley, 2012).
Rosehip oil for the epidermis (skin) is a Queenmaker. She supplies copious amounts of vitamin C and Vitamin A aka Retinol; these vitamins are especially potent from plants and wild crafted from mountainous terrain as proven in a 2012 study on the r. canina species when grown at different feet above sea level. The higher up the mountain the plant grew the higher the vitamin C concentration( Brinckmann & Engels, 2016).
R. canina also includes linoleic and linolenic acid which help to strengthen skin cell walls preventing water loss therefore making this oil a master hydrator (Jay, 2019). In 2015 a double blind experiment on 34 women aged 35-65 was done in which 1/2 the women took rosehip powder (finely ground shells & seeds) in pill format for a total of 8 weeks after which significant differences in the moisture content, elasticity, and facial wrinkles of their skin was observed ( Phetcharat, Winther, Wongsuphasawat, 2015).
Due to the vitamin A (retinol) found in rosehip oil it encourages cell turnover acting as a natural exfoliant giving way for the vitamin c to encourage cell regeneration, revealing all natural gorgeously radiant skin (Jay, 2019) .
Adding rosehip oil to your skincare routine will not only preserve your epidermis but it will repair and renew it preserving your youth and buffing out the damage time has done.