Long ago, rose hip bushes were used by the Spanish conquistadors as a natural barrier against intruders, and even up to a few decades ago it was considered a “bramble”. Today, however, it is known that rose hips possess magnificent cosmetic properties and uses that Chilean companies have known how to put to good use and have turned the country into its main producer worldwide.
According to the Fundación para la Innovación Agraria (FIA), an organization in charge of promoting innovation and transformation in agriculture and the rural economy of the country, this wild berry-like fruit of the rose bush is the main medicinal plant exported from Chile, reaching a volume of five thousand tons a year, mainly in dehydrated husk form. Germany, Sweden and the United States are the main recipient countries.
The pioneering companies
Carlos Amín began to export dehydrated rose hip husk to food, nutraceutical and cosmetic industries in Germany through his company Coesam. Today, after 30 years’ work, he not only markets the dry fruit but also a new export item: rose hip seed. The seed is a waste product from the dehydration process and is now in high demand all over the world for its active medicinal principles and tissue-regenerating properties.
But that isn’t all. In addition to raw materials, this company decided to market its own products made on the basis of rose hips, such as creams, shampoos and soap. Some of its most important markets are Mexico, Ecuador and Venezuela in America; Japan and China in Asia, and Spain in Europe.
Rosehip Oil, in turn, began to market rose hip oil in all its varieties in Chile over 20 years ago. It currently exports to Canada, United States, Europe, Latin America and also Japan, China, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Tissue regenerator and elixir of eternal youth
Rose hip is widely sought all over the world because of its tissue-regenerating features. According to a study conducted by the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacology of the Universidad de Concepción in Chile, the continuous application of the oil of this fruit effectively reduced scars on patients who had undergone surgery, suffered burns and other ailments.
Other properties are:
- Avoids skin dehydration due to its high content of fatty acids.
- Forestalls premature aging of the skin, delaying the onset of wrinkles and diminishing expression lines.
- Combats photo-aging effects, protecting and repairing the damage caused by excessive exposure to solar rays.
- Combats cellulite.
- Helps to stave off symptoms of the common cold, because the fruits are rich in vitamins A, B, C and E.