Rose hip herbal remedy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis - a randomised controlled trial

Phytomedicine. 2010 Feb;17(2):87-93. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2009.09.003. Epub 2009 Oct 8.


Objective: To investigate if standardised powder made from rose-hip (Rosa canina) can reduce the symptom score in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Methods: In a double-blind placebo-controlled trial, patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) according to ARA/ACR criteria were randomised to treatment with capsulated rose-hip powder 5g daily or matching placebo for 6 months at two outpatient clinics in Berlin and Copenhagen. Primary outcome variable was Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) at 6 months, secondary outcome included DAS-28, physician's global evaluation of disease activity, RAQoL, SF-12 and concomitant pain medication.

Results: In a total of 89 patients (90% female, mean age 56.6+11.3 years, mean disease duration 12.8+9.6 years) HAQ-DI in the rose-hip group improved by 0.105+/-0.346, whereas in the placebo group it worsened by 0.039+/-0.253 (p adjusted=0.032). In the HAQ Patient Pain Scale no significant differences were observed between both groups. In the HAQ Patient Global Scale a trend was seen favouring rose-hip (p=0.078). The DAS-28 score yielded improvement in the rose-hip group of 0.89+/-1.32 and in the placebo group of 0.34+/-1.27 (p=0.056) indicating moderate clinical relevance. The Physicians Global Scale demonstrated more improvement in the rose-hip compared to the placebo group (p=0.012). RAQoL and SF-12 physical score improved significantly in the rose-hip group compared to placebo, whereas SF-12 mental score remained unchanged. Intake of pain medication was not different between the groups. Per-protocol analysis confirmed these results.

Conclusion: The results indicate that patients with RA may benefit from additional treatment with rose hip powder.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • Powders
  • Rosa*


  • Plant Preparations
  • Powders