Gemmo Memo: Dog Rose

February 23, 2020

As you approach the forest edge, it’s hard to miss spotting the distinctive, thorned tangled of canes and delicate pink blossoms of Dog Rose. The prickly, arching stems commonly form hedgerows between pasture lands or support its climb up and over rock walls or other co-existing shrubs. Dog Rose thrives in all types of soil but prefers a terrain that is moist but well-drained. Its growth provides shelter and habitat for birds and small mammals such as hedgehogs. Rosa canina is known for attracting bees, beneficial insects, butterflies​/​moths and other pollinators with its nectar/pollen rich flowers.

Dog Rose Gemmotherapy extract is a tonic for the immune system. It activates the first line of defense of the immune system, the macrophage cells in the respiratory and the osteoarticular systems. Macrophage cells, a type of white blood cells, are capable of engulfing and destroying all pathogens in their path. 

In addition, it resolves allergic reactions and inflammation of the mucosa lining of the mouth, respiratory, and sinus areas and reduces histamines (although not as effective as Black Currant).

Dog Rose’s secondary effect is harmonizing for the Central Nervous System. It is also known to promote the healthy development of bones and teeth in children by stimulating the cells responsible for bone growth and mineralization.

In Practice

The benefits of Dog Rose Gemmotherapy extract are best received by honoring the order in which the body heals. Although frequent short term use of this extract in acute protocols is appropriate, when it is used to address chronic symptoms further consideration is required. Chronic inflammatory states addressed by Dog Rose need to be eliminated, and therefore elimination must be supported by an additional well-suited elimination extract. Taking this precaution will prevent aggravated symptoms that could include headaches, digestive disturbances, joint stiffness or skin inflammations. 

Although there are many variations to the individual who could benefit from Dog Rose extract, in general, this person may exhibit some or all of the following:

  • A child with symptoms involving teeth, bones, or growth
  • Child or an adult in a fragile state
  • A weak physical immunity, recurring acute respiratory symptoms
  • A weak emotional immunity, expressing a lack of emotional safety
  • Slow to recover from physical or emotional symptoms
  • Difficult to approach and connect with
  • Suffers from states of mild hysteria

When looking at extracts that boost immunity in children or adults, they are often also diuretic in nature, pushing the performance of the kidneys. There are cases in which this is not beneficial, when the body is too weak or the kidneys are in distress. This is when Dog Rose may be an excellent start. Pairing it with a partnering extract to facilitate the transportation and elimination of the pathogens destroyed is important. Common Alder is an excellent choice as it does not push the kidneys to work more efficiently. In those who are more robust and can benefit from kidney tonification, then Silver Birch Buds or Common Birch Buds could be considered. As in any action to resolve inflammatory states, support for the adrenals should be considered, and that could come from Black Currant or Oak.

There is much more to learn about Dog Rose as a Gemmotherapy extract, so be sure to listen to this 20-minute podcast. You will discover more about the plant itself, further uses of Dog Rose Gemmotherapy extract and a glimpse of it through the lens of Asian medicine.  

Consider subscribing now to my Restoring Immunity podcast on Spotify or ApplePodcast/iTunes. Or, if you prefer to watch videos, subscribe here to my YouTube channel.  

You can find Dog Rose, as well as other single extracts, for purchase on my Immunity store.


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  1. Lorie Schoch on March 10, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    I love the information you provide for us! Thank you for taking the time to do this.

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