Although nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin), the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib (Celebrex) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) are the standard fare for osteoarthritis (OA) pain relief, you know that they can cause an array of side effects, from stomach upset to liver damage and even cardiovascular risks. But what Europeans have known for years is that a common, poetic and romantically beautiful flower—the rose—holds the secret to safer relief of OA pain. A new study has even confirmed that a low dose of a powder made from rose hip (the fruit that grows once the blossom fades) provides true OA pain relief.
Yes, the rose—my favorite flower, scent and tea. Scandinavians and other Northern Europeans have known about it and have been studying its pain-relieving properties—specifically, from rose hip powder—for years. New Zealand and Australia have gotten into the act, too. But American medical news on this breakthrough is virtually nil. So—just for you—here is the latest from this year’s meeting of the Osteoarthritis Research Society International and more on the value of rose hip powder for OA.
EFFECTIVE AND SAFE
Rose hip powder is made from the ground shell and seeds of the fruit of a common species of rose—Rosa canina. Rose hip powder, of course, is widely available, but a standardized formulation of it, marketed as Litozin, is used in Scandinavia and other countries for OA pain relief. Is it any different from other rose hip powder supplements? It’s vitamin-C (80 mg per dose) and flavonoid–fortified, and the manufacturer says that only wild Chilean rose hips, which are particularly nutrient-rich, are used. But wild Chilean rose hip powder is easily found, even through Amazon.com, and it can certainly be taken with a bioflavonoid-fortified vitamin C supplement—which you might already be taking.
The standard dosage of rose hip powder is one-half to one teaspoon twice a day, equaling 5,000 mg to 10,000 mg per day. This dosage is based on studies such as those from the University of Copenhagen. Effects aren’t immediate, though…give it up to three weeks.
Rose hip powder can help you completely drop use of standard painkillers…or at least allow you to lighten up on how much and how often you use them, according to the research. Also, there are no known side effects associated with the standard dosages or even slightly higher dosages, but very high dosages beyond the standard dose have been shown to cause either diarrhea or persistent constipation in some people.
LESS IS MORE
One of the most recent scientific studies on rose hip powder and OA found that taking one teaspoon a day for three weeks and then reducing the dosage to one-half teaspoon effectively relieves pain and reduces inflammation—so, although “more” won’t hurt you, it is not necessarily “better.” (But be aware that the study used Litozin, so results may vary with another brand of rose hip powder.)
HOW WELL DOES IT WORK?
The value of rose hip powder for OA is widely recognized. In one study of hip and knee OA pain published in the Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology, 82% of patients receiving rose hip powder reported improvement compared with 49% of patients receiving placebo. Plus, patients receiving rose hip powder supplements cut their use of acetaminophen and mild opioid-based pain killers nearly in half, while use of standard painkillers increased among the folks receiving placebo. In another study that looked at wrist OA pain, which was published in the Open Journal of Rheumatology and Autoimmune Diseases, 90% of patients receiving rose hip powder reported improvement compared with 36% of patients receiving placebo.
If you are dealing with OA pain and are concerned about the damaging effects that long-term use of standard pain relievers can have on your heart, stomach and liver, talk to your doctor about trying this European standard—“flower power” rose hip powder—for a safe way to ease or completely give up your reliance on pharmaceutical pain relievers.