Source, Etc

Hips are the fresh, ripe fruits of the dog rose, Rosa canina, Linne (N.O. Rosaceoe), and other indigenous allied species.

Description

The fruit of the dog rose consists of the hollowed thalamus on the inner surface of which a number of achenes are borne, each provided with a style and stigma, the whole forming a spurious fruit distinguished by the name ' cynarrhodon.'

The ripe fruit is ovoid, smooth and shining, and scarlet or red in colour. It is crowned with five calyx-teeth, beyond which a dense tuft of hair-like styles slightly protrudes. Cut longitudinally it is seen to consist of a fleshy, deeply concave receptacle, on the inner surface of which are borne a number of hairs as well as small, very hard, hairy achines. The fleshy receptacle has an agreeable acid taste, and is separated for pharmaceutical use from the achenes, etc, by beating the fruits in a mortar and rubbing the pulp through a hair-sieve.

The only other wild rose sufficiently common to serve as a source of the fruit is the field rose, R. arvensis, Hudson; it is distinguished from the dog rose by its trailing habit and globular fruits, from which the styles protrude in the form of a distinct column.

The student should observe

(a) The fleshy hollow receptacle,

(b) The small hard hairy achenes within it.

Constituents

The pulp contains citric and malic acids (3 per cent.), invert sugar (11 to 15 per cent.), and tannin (2 per cent.).

Uses

Confection of hips is occasionally used as a pill excipient, or mixed with water to form an agreeable acid cough linctus.