The most interesting health benefits of rosemary include its ability to boost memory, improve mood, treat Alzheimer’s, heal cancer, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and protect the immune system. The herb also helps stimulate circulation, detoxify the body, protect the body from bacterial infections, prevent premature aging, and heal skin conditions.
What is Rosemary?
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a perennial woody evergreen herb native to theregion. It has fine needle-like leaves with a silver touch and pink, purple, white, or blue flowers. It is one of the most commonly found herbs in a spice rack. The herb has a warm, bitter, and astringent taste but yet it gives a wonderful flavor and aroma to soups, sauces, stews, roasts, and stuffing. It can be used in dried powder form or as fresh leaves. Its leaves can be used to prepare tea, essential oil, and liquid extract.
The herb is considered to be sacred by ancient Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, as well as Hebrews and is particularly prevalent in Italian cultural cuisine. It is also called as ‘Dew of the Sea’ or ‘Old man’.
According to USDA, fresh rosemary has a very high reserve of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, thiamin, folate, as well as minerals like magnesium, calcium, copper, iron, and manganese.It has abundant in its phenolic compounds such as diterpene, carnosol, and rosmarinic acid, as well as in its essential oils such as cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, α-terpineol, and α-pinene.
The herb has high dietary fiber. It is low in cholesterol and sodium but high in saturated fats.
Health Benefits of Rosemary
The top health benefits of rosemary include:
1. Hair Growth ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
The oil of rosemary promotes hair growth, prevents baldness, slows graying, treats dandruff, and dry scalp. A comparative study published in 2015 shows that rosemary oil is better than minoxidil 2% when it comes to treating androgenetic alopecia (permanent balding) cases by boosting hair growth.It also promotes healing by increasing microcirculation of scalp and decreases hair loss after shampooing.
2. Enhances Brain Function ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
One of the earliest documented uses of rosemary for health reasons was as a cognitive stimulant.It helped improve memory performance and quality. It is also known to boost alertness, intelligence, and focus.
3. Prevents Alzheimer’s ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
Rosemary prevents beta-amyloid plaques and suppresses acetylcholinesterase (AChE), which are primary causes of Alzheimer’s, ataxia and dementia.It has also been linked to stimulating cognitive activity in the elderly as well as those suffering from other acute cognitive disorders.
A research titled “Brain Food for Alzheimer-Free Ageing: Focus on Herbal Medicines” suggests that rosemary is one of the best foods you can include in your diet.
4. Neurological Protection ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
The carnosic acid in rosemary hasproperties. A 2016 study suggests that it helps to reduce oxidative stress and overstimulation in nerve cells, ultimately protecting the nervous system. It is also known to protect certain parts of the brain from tissue damage such as ischemic injury, heals nervous tissue, and reduce blood clots.
5. Liver Detoxification ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
Rosemary has been linked to lower levels of cirrhosis and a faster healing time of the liver, which is one of the slowest organs to heal. It also reduces plasma liver enzymes, which may cause type-2 diabetes. Carnosol prevents liver tissue distortion. It also prevents depletion of liver glycogen, the energy storage molecules.
6. Reduces Stress ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
A study conducted on the anti-depressant effects of rosemary concluded that the aroma of rosemary alone has been linked to improving mood and clearing the mind.It has a calming effect on those who suffer from chronic anxiety and depression. Furthermore, it reduces salivary cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, which helps ease tension in the body.
7. Balances Hormone ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
Carnosol in rosemary balances androgen and estrogen hormones in the body. It also lowers the release of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) hormone, which helps improve prostate health and enhance hair growth.
8. Prevents Cancer ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
The Nutrition and Cancer journal has published a study in 2015, which suggests that rosemary extract is very helpful in treating cancer.
Manganese, carnosol, rosmarinic acid, carnosic acid, and other rosemary extracts have antioxidant, anti-, antiproliferative, and anticancer properties. They selectively kill cancer cells. It has shown promising results in the treatment of various cancers including colon, blood, breast, prostate, ovarian, cervical, liver, lung, bladder, and pancreatic cancer.
9. Skin Care ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
The antioxidants in the essential oils of rosemary help improve the quality of the skin.It has a potent anti-aging effect and helps heal blemishes and increase the natural shine. Also, its extracts with citrus supplements prevent skin against UV light damage, much better than the supplements alone.
Dr. Alice L. Pérez Sánchez, in a research on the effects of rosemary extracts on skin damage, has found that the herb actually helps protect you against UV-induced damage.
10. Reduce Cough ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
The leaves of rosemary remove the phlegm and mucus from the respiratory system, providing relief from a cough, cold, flu, and even asthma.Rosmarinic acid prevents any kind of fluid accumulation in the lungs.
11. Limits Weight Gain ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
Rosemary extracts exert anti-inflammatory and anti-hyperglycaemic effects and promote weight loss.According to a study, carnosic acid-rich rosemary can be used as a preventive treatment for metabolic disorders.
12. Antibacterial & Antimicrobial ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
Rosemary is specifically powerful against bacterial infections.It is linked to preventing staph infections, which causes lethal boils and blisters, and is highly contagious. It also eradicates various gram negative and gram positive bacteria completely.
13. Prevents Blood Clot ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
Due to its abundant antioxidant profile, rosemary has an anti-thrombotic effect and helps prevent blood clots.
14. Antiulcer ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
Rosemary intake has been shown to prevent the growth of H. pylori bacteria, a dangerous pathogen that can cause stomach ulcers.
15. Boosts Immunity ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
The active components in rosemary are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-in nature. This represents a three-pronged attack against many different diseases and pathogens that could threaten the immune system or damage the integrity of the body.
16. Maintains Gut Health ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
Rosemary increases bile flow and keeps the gallbladder functioning at its optimal best.This, in turn, helps maintain gut health and fight gut diseases like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and colitis.
17. Aids Digestion ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
Rosemary, with strong anti-inflammatory properties, has traditionally been used as a natural remedy for upset stomach, constipation, gas, bloating, and diarrhea.Adding it to your diet can help you regulate your bowel movements and your system.
18. Freshens Breath ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
As a naturalagent, rosemary works as a wonderful breath freshener that improves your oral health.
Steep rosemary leaves in a glass of hot water and then gargle or swish the water in your mouth to eliminate bacteria, and you will have naturally fresh and clean breath all night!
19. Stimulates Blood Flow ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
Rosemary acts as a stimulant for the body and boosts the production of red blood cells and blood flow.
20. Relieves Pain ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
As an analgesic substance, rosemary is topically applied to the affected area to soothe the pain.When consumed orally, it acts as a pain reliever for headaches and migraines. It also relieves menstrual and stomach cramps, as well as kidney pain.
21. Anti-inflammatory ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
Carnosol and carnosic acids are two powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds found in rosemary that have been linked to reducing inflammation of muscles, blood vessels, and joints.This makes it an effective treatment for many things, including , gout, arthritis, and injuries sustained during physical exertion or surgery. It is effective in oral or topical form. Furthermore, the reduction in inflammation in the system can help boost heart health and prevent atherosclerosis from appearing.
22, Detoxifies the Body ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
Rosemary is slightly diuretic in nature, meaning that it can help flush out toxins efficiently during urination.Furthermore, by increasing the rate at which water leaves the body, it can also help push out pathogens, salts, toxins, and even excess fat when consumed regularly. It helps cure uremia, majorly seen in people with thyroid dysfunction.
23. Rich Source of Antioxidant ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
Antioxidant compounds in rosemary make a secondary line of defense behind the body’s own immune system. A significant amount of antioxidant in it include rosmarinic acid, caffeic acid, betulic acid, and carnosol.
24. Macular Degeneration ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
The presence of carnosic acid in rosemary helps to prevent age-related macular degeneration, which affects the outer retina of the eye.
25, Reduces Spasms ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
Antiepileptic properties of rosemary help reduce spams of involuntary muscles such as the heart.
26. Increase Movement ~ Health Benefits of Rosemary
Cineole in rosemary boosts body activities by enhancing locomotion, according to a study.
Side Effects of Rosemary
Although rosemary plant is classified as safe by the FDA even at higher concentrations, its long-term excessive use has side effects like:
- Skin irritation
- Itchy scalp in bald patients
- Increase blood glucose level in diabetics
- Induce convulsions like epilepsy
- Muscle spasms
- Pulmonary Edema: Too much fluid gets filled in the lungs.
- Reduce Fertility: Long-term consumption of rosemary may lead to a decrease in sperm count, density, and mobility in men. In pregnant women, it may lead to miscarriage and abortion.
- Drug Interactions: It may interact negatively with certain drugs like Warfarin ( ), Lithium (manic depression), Lasix (diuretic) and others.
- High doses of rosemary may cause miscarriage; therefore it is not advisable for pregnant women to take any supplemental rosemary.
Note: If you are allergic to other members of the mint family, you may experience discomfort if you consume or apply rosemary or its oil, but the reactions are typically mild.
Interactions with Rosemary
Rosemary can affect the activity of some medications, including:
- Anticoagulant drugs: These include blood-thinning medications, such as Warfarin, Aspirin, and Clopidogrel.
- ACE inhibitors: These are used for treating high blood pressure. They include lisinopril (Zestril), fosinopril (Monopril), captopril (Capoten), and enalapril (Vasotec).
- Diuretics: These increase the passing of urine and include hydrochlorothiazide and furosemide (Lasix).
- Lithium: This is used to treat the manic episodes of manic depression. Rosemary can act as a diuretic and cause lithium to reach toxic levels in the body.