Rosehips - The Brilliant Anti-Oxidant Food For Horses
Rosa Canina – Dog Rose is native to Europe and is considered a weed in parts of Australia which is unfortunate as it has such wonderful health giving properties for both ourselves and our horses. The hips of the dog rose were a popular sweetmeat in the Middle Ages. The term sweetmeats usually refers to candy or sweet confections. Doctors in the Middle Ages often concealed bitter medicine in candy form, so that it was more palatable to patients. However, many patients believed that medicine wasn’t working unless it tasted awful.
Description: Climbing perennial growing up to 3 metres. Has pink and white flowers with curved thorns and scarlet fruit called (“hips”). GROWING- In Australia Sweet Briar is the more widespread rose and Dog Rose is found in more scattered and older settlements. Dog rose is used for medicinal purposes and when mature the petals will fall off leaving the hip to be harvested. The hips are ready for harvesting as soon as they have attained full colour. They can be harvested from around mid-March to late May. The hips need to be dried quickly and at quite high temperatures. Constituents: Rosehips contain vitamin C , A, B 1, B 2, B 3 and K, flavonoids, tannins, invert sugar, pectin, plant acids, polyphenols, carotenoids, volatile oil and vanillin. Uses: Rosehips are a fabulous herb or fruit for ensuring great health for both horses and humans. Because of the Rosehips anti-oxidant properties they are a brilliant food for maintaining good health. Research has shown that antioxidants protect the body against certain diseases such as cancer, arthritis and cardiovascular diseases Antioxidants can protect against free radical cells which can damage tissues and are implicated in causing many diseases. Excessive free radicals are caused by poor nutrition , stress and damaged tissues. Infections will lower your horses vitamin c levels and this can also inhibit the growth and repair of cartilage and bone tissue if it is constantly deficient. Rosehips have an important role to play in neutralising free radicals therefore they are a wonderful food for keeping your horse healthy and in peak condition. Research has established Rosehips as the highest source of flavonoids and biotin which is great for strengthening horses’ hooves as well. Naturally occurring vitamin C has been found to be far more readily absorbed than artificial vitamin c, therefore the benefits of feeding rosehips to horses should be an obvious choice. Rosehips are a great source of Iron and can be used to rehabilitate weak kidneys. They are also a good tonic for liver based ailments and can help build a barrier against infection. Rosehips can be made into a tea by mixing 2 dessertspoons of granules into 1 liter of boiling water and steeped until cool. This tea is then poured over your horses feed. For those of you who don’t have time to make your own tea then Brookby Herbs have a Rosehip and Garlic tonic in cider vinegar already made up for you and available through selected stockists. If you would like to learn more about using herbs for your horses and get your free herbal guide please visit Brookyby Herbs.