Rosa Canina.—Dog Rose.
The recent ripe fruit of Rosa Canina, Linné, and other related indigenous species.
COMMON NAMES AND SYNONYMS: Dog rose, Hip-tree, Wild brier; Cynosbata, Fructus cynosbati.
ILLUSTRATION: Bentley and Trimen, Med. Plants, 103.
Botanical Source.—Dog rose is a soft, branched, smooth bush, with long green curved root-shoots, covered with equal, remote, strong, compressed, falcate prickles. The leaflets, 5 to 9 in number, are ovate, firm, without glandular pubescence, and have acute, incurved and often double serratures. Flowers with leafy bracts. Sepals partly pinnated, and usually naked as well as the tube of the calyx. Petals white or pink, obcordate, and fragrant; throat of the calyx thick and quite closed up. Fruit red, succulent, ovoid, truncated, in consequence of the fall of the sepals (L.—W.).
History, Description, and Chemical Composition.—This plant is indigenous to Europe, and introduced into this country; it usually attains the height of 6 or 10 feet, and flowers in June and July. The flowers are succeeded by a scarlet fruit called hip. The fruit (Rosae Caninae Fructus) was official in Br. Pharm., 1885. It is inodorous, but possesses a rather pleasant, sweetish, acidulous taste, which is increased by the action of frost. The hip or fruit (not a true fruit) consists of the developed tube of the calyx, inclosing within its cavity numerous carpels or true fruits; these must be carefully removed before it is used for pharmaceutical purposes. After having been dried it contains gum, citric acid, malic acid, a large proportion of uncrystallizable sugar, various salts, and traces of wax, resin, and volatile oil. Its properties are preserved by beating the pulp with sugar (C.). The vanilla-like fragrance of the fruits is due to the presence of vanillin (Schneegans, Jahresb. der Pharm., 1890, p. 148).
Pharmaceutical Uses.—The conserve made by beating the pulp with sugar, is called conserve of dog rose, or conserve of hips (Confectio Rosae Caninae, Br.), and is tenacious, retaining its softness for a long time, even under exposure to the air. It is a useful material for forming pill masses, and, as it contains less tannic acid, may be used as a substitute for the conserve of red roses, when preparations of iron are to enter into the pill mass.