Are Rosehips Safe for Pregnant Women? Tea, Oil, Syrup & More

Herbal teas are popular with pregnant women, and no wonder. Hydration is really important during pregnancy, but water can get awfully boring after a while. Rosehips have been used for centuries to make tea, but are rosehips OK during pregnancy?

Are rosehips safe for pregnant women? The research into rosehip tea during pregnancy is limited, so it’s best to stick to occasional culinary amounts, preferably using a commercially-made tea blend. Pregnant women should avoid medicinal or supplement levels of rosehips.

If you’re a fan of using rosehips to boost your vitamin C levels or just as a caffiene-free drink, here’s the lowdown on its pregnancy safety.

Is Rosehip Tea Safe When Pregnant?

All herbal tea should be consumed in “food amounts” during pregnancy (source: APA).

The best way to do this is to stick to commercially-made blends, as they use carefully controlled quantities of ingredients, and they’re often portioned out in teabags.

The reason you should opt for teabags rather than bespoke, loose blends is that the blends can sometimes have too much of one ingredient, or far above a recommended dose.

A 1993 study in Australia found that around 3% of women drank rosehip tea during pregnancy. A common reason was to increase vitamin C levels (source: University of Wollongong).

However, the same thesis also pointed out that the safety of herbal tea in pregnancy is largely unknown due to the lack of proper trials. This was reiterated by researchers in 2003 (source: International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology).

The American Pregnancy Association states that there is insufficient reliable information as to the safety of drinking rosehip tea during pregnancy (source: APA).

All of the above doesn’t mean rosehip tea during pregnancy is necessarily unsafe, but it’s probably better to err on the side of caution and only drink rosehip tea in food amounts, and on occasion rather than having it regularly.

Is Rosehip and Hibiscus Tea Safe?

Rosehip tea is often sold as part of a blend. The most popular one is Rosehip and Hibiscus. Hibiscus-based teas should be avoided in pregnancy.

For more on this, read my article about the safety of hibiscus during pregnancy.

rosehip tea

Can I Have Rosehip Syrup, Jam or Jelly During Pregnancy?

Although scientific data and studies are limited, rosehips are likely to be safe in culinary (food) amounts, rather than as a supplement (source: WebMD).

This means that roseship jam or jelly is fine to have if you’re pregnant, as it only has a small amount of rosehips (usually blended with other fruits like apple to help it set, too).

Rose hip syrup is frequently taken as a remedy against colds and flu as it’s high in vitamin C (source: USDA). That said, it should still only be taken in small food amounts if you’re pregnant.

Try to stick to commercially-produced jellies, jams or syrup. These will be either pasteurized or sterilized, and the rosehips will have been thoroughly cleaned during the manufacturing process. Homemade rosehip products may contain unwanted pesticide residue.

If making rosehip jelly or syrup yourself, clean the rosehips thoroughly before use. You might find my article on washing produce in pregnancy helpful, too.

Are There Benefits of Rosehips During Pregnancy?

Although you should only stick to small food amounts, there are some benefits of rosehips as they are very high in vitamin C, and antioxidants (sources: PubMed, Science Direct).

However, much of the vitamin C in rosehips is destroyed when they’re processed (source: WebMD). It’s hard to tell how much vitamin C you’re really going to get in rosehip products.

If you’re pregnant it’s far better to get vitamin C and antioxidants from ingredients that are pregnancy safe in any amount, such as fresh veggies, fruit, and other nutrient-dense foods.

Small amounts of rosehips are unlikely to be harmful, but there are other sources of vitamin C that are more frequently recommended for pregnant women, such as dark leafy greens, bell peppers (you can read about the benefits of bell peppers in pregnancy here), broccoli and citrus fruits.

If you’re taking any medication containing lithium, then rosehips are best avoided completely. This is because their diuretic effect may increase the concentration of lithium in the blood (source: PubMed). Lithium is common in meds used to treat bipolar disorder, so bear this in mind if it applies to you.

rosehips

What About Rosehip Oil?

Although this site usually deals with food, there are common queries about rosehip oil applied to the skin during pregnancy.

Despite several claims about its effectiveness (particularly for stretch marks), there is, as yet, no solid scientific evidence to suggest that rosehip oil has any benefit during pregnancy when applied to the skin (source: WebMD).

As it’s a complementary or ‘alternative’ medicine, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider before using rosehip oil.

Overall, whether in tea, jelly, jam or syrup, rosehips haven’t been studied enough to recommend them in pregnancy. They’re unlikely to be harmful in small doses and might provide some vitamin C, but there are far better options to boost your nutrient intake during pregnancy.


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This article has been reviewed and approved for publication in line with our editorial policy.

Gina Waggott, Medically Reviewed by Janet Gordon RD, MBDA

Gina is the owner and founder of Pregnancy Food Checker. She holds a Certification on Nutrition and Lifestyle during Pregnancy from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and a Diploma in Human Nutrition. Articles are medically reviewed by Janet Gordon RD, MBDA, a Registered Dietitian specializing in maternal health, including diabetes and obesity in pregnancy.

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