There are many medicinal benefits of rosemary that have been known since ancient times. This herb was used by Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Jews. Rosemary, mixed with wine, was given to the Queen of Hungary in 16th century as medicine to alleviate her gout.
Rosemary is traditionally known as a culinary herb native to the Mediterranean. You can add it dried or fresh as a flavoring for many dishes including chicken, soups and roasted potatoes. It is very easy to make rosemary flavored salt, just add one stem to three cups of salt and let it sit for 15 days. To make rosemary butter just chop leaves finely and mix them with the melted butter. Rosemary infused oils are quite popular. Simmer two cups of olive oil and remove it from the heat, place a few rosemary springs in an airtight jar and pour the olive oil on it.
Rosemary is part of the Lamiaceae family, along with basil, thyme, lavender and oregano. Scientifically it is called Rosmarinus officinalis and it has silver-green needle leaves with white, pink, purple or blue flowers depending on the variety of rosemary. It is very easy to grow rosemary, so make sure to include it in your herb garden.
Medicinal benefits of rosemary can be taken advantage in different forms including tea, extracts and essential oil. Rosemary essential oil should not be used internally. Inhale it for aromatherapy or apply topically on the skin, but not on wounds.
Its essential oils are very powerful since they contain ingredients such as α-terpineol, α-pinene, cineol, camphene, borneol, and bornyl acetate. Fresh rosemary has very high levels of vitamin A, C, B6, thiamin and folate. It also has minerals which include iron, calcium and magnesium. Rosemary has plenty of antioxidants which include diterpene, carnosol, and rosmarinic acid.
Medicinal Benefits of Rosemary
Improve Digestion and Gut Health
One of the most known medicinal benefits of rosemary is its ability to treat indigestion. Its strong anti-inflammatory properties can cure an upset stomach, constipation, acid reflux, bloating, diarrhea and gas. Adding it to you diet can help regulate your bowl movements and gastrointestinal system.
Rosemary can also prevent foodborne illnesses and it has antibacterial properties that protect against H. Pylori (a bacteria which causes stomach ulcers). Treatment with rosemary extract can reduce colitis and colon lesions, while maintaining a healthy gut function.
Boost the Immune System
Active components of this herb have anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant properties. Boosting your immune system is one of the best medicinal benefits of rosemary since it can help your body fight a cold or a flu. Drinking rosemary tea will help you get rid of harmful bacterias and toxins in your body, as well as relieving any current illness.
Medicinal benefits of rosemary include a calming effect for people who suffer from depression and anxiety since it reduces cortisol (stress hormone). It may also improve sleep quality.
One of the most curious medicinal benefits of rosemary is its ability to balance hormones. Carnosol, a compound found in rosemary, can remove excess estrogen from the body. It can also balance your estrogen and androgen hormones. Too much estrogen can cause infertility and cancers. It can also lower DHT (dihydrotestosterone) hormone, thus improving prostate health and boosting hair growth. For this it is better to use it as an essential oil.
Rosemary is a natural cognitive stimulant that can improve one’s memory making a person more alert, focused and intelligent. Simply smelling rosemary can boost speed, performance, concentration and accuracy. It also improves a person’s mood. This herb can prevent brain aging, reducing the possibility of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and ataxia. Medicinal benefits of rosemary include a reduction of oxidative stress and enhancement of the nerve growth factor.
Boil rosemary in a large pot of water and inhale the steam (place a towel over your head) for 10 minutes to help alleviate migraines.
Rosmarinic acid, found in rosemary oil, can prevent the accumulation of fluid in the lungs. It can help with a myriad of respiratory problems including asthma, allergies, cough, flu and cold, since it flushes mucus and phlegm from the respiratory system. Breathing in the steam of boiled rosemary clears the lungs and throat, alleviating sinus and head pain.
Medicinal benefits of rosemary come from the components of the herb which include manganese, carnosol, carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid which can help kill off cancer cells. Studies have shown promise in treating cancers such as bladder, pancreatic, liver, lung, blood, colon, cervical, breast and prostate.
Rosemary is a natural liver cleanser because of it hepatoprotective and choleretic effects. It has been used for this purpose since the times of Hippocrates. Rosemary increments the amount of bile produced by the liver which can prevent liver damage. People with cirrhosis can also benefit from the extract of rosemary leaves which can inhibit functional changes and unwanted tissue.
Create a herbal mouthwash from rosemary to treat gum swelling and bleeding. Use twice per day after meals for about two weeks. It is as effective as antibacterial mouthwashes that contain chlorhexidine gluconate 0.2%. To get fresh breath you can also steep rosemary in hot water and rise as often as you like.
Carnosic acid promotes eye health and can be used to treat diseases that affect the outer retina, including age-related macular degeneration.
Carnosic acid and carnosol are two powerful anti-inflammatories than inhibit COX-2, an enzyme that causes pain and inflammation, as well as the production of excess nitric oxide. Medicinal benefits of rosemary include pain relief. Apply essential rosemary oil topically to treat sore muscles, joint pains and arthritis.
Skin Care and Anti-aging
Rosemary is also included in many anti-aging creams because of its anti-inflammatory properties which increase blood flow to the skin. Thus reducing puffiness, increasing firmness and stimulating cell regeneration.
Antioxidant effects of rosemary help protect the skin against UV light damage. A study showed that it works better when combined with citrus supplements. Rosemary helps heal blemishes and increase the natural shine of the skin.
You will find so many hair products containing rosemary because this herb can stimulate hair growth. Rosemary can treat dandruff, slow graying and prevent baldness. One study found that people with alopecia (a condition which causes hair to fall out) had significant regrowth after placing a combination of lavender, thyme, cedar wood and rosemary in their scalps for a period of seven months. This herb increases microcirculation of the scalp, helping it heal.
Mild diuretic properties is one of the many medicinal benefits of rosemary. This means that consuming this herb regularly can help increase the flow of urine and get rid of bloating and water retention. At the same time keeps kidney functioning at optimal level.
Another of the medicinal benefits of rosemary is its ability to stimulate the production of red blood cells and blood flow. It also prevents blot clots and has an anti-thrombotic effect.
Warnings of Consuming Rosemary
Pregnant women should not take advantage of the medicinal benefits of rosemary since this herb is abortive in large doses since it can cause uterine contractions. As well as women who are trying to conceive since it could prevent the attachment of the fertilized egg to the uterus lining. Rosemary is an emmenagogue, which means it stimulates or increases menstrual flow.
Those with high blood pressure should be cautious of the medicinal benefits of rosemary, since this herb may raise blood pressure. People who take diuretic, anticoagulant or manic depression (lithium) medication should also check with their doctors before using it.