Uses and benefits of rosemary leaves

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I love herbs for their ability to enhance any dish and support optimal health. Rosemary is no exception. Rosemary has many amazing benefits, from boosting hair health to even having some cancer-fighting properties.

Rosemary: The Mist of the Sea

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is Latin for “dew of the sea.” It usually grows naturally along sea cliffs. Today, rosemary is grown in many climates and is a very hardy herb. Rosemary leaf is a fragrant herb in the mint family that grows on an evergreen shrub. It is most commonly used in cooking but has a wonderful woody scent that is great for air fresheners and aromatherapy blends.

Benefits of rosemary

Rosemary is an amazing herb with many benefits (some surprising!) Its health benefits are often attributed to its high antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory properties. These antioxidants include carnosic acid, ursolic acid, carnosol, rosmarinic acid, and caffeic acid.

Improve cognitive function

Rosemary is a very aromatic herb, and as it turns out, its scent can help boost cognitive function.

In a controlled study, rosemary and lavender essential oils were investigated for their aromatherapeutic uses. Participants who performed cognitive assessment tests while inhaling rosemary essential oil were significantly more alert than the control or lavender groups. The rosemary and lavender groups had significantly higher concentrations than the control group.

Rosemary may also be used to inhibit some patients’ cognitive decline. Rosemary has been used traditionally to reduce cognitive decline during aging, and at least one study confirmed this link. What they found was that culinary doses of rosemary significantly reduced cognitive decline.

Interestingly, a high dose of rosemary had the opposite effect, suggesting that more is not always better.

May have anti-cancer properties

One of the great benefits of rosemary is its anti-cancer properties. In a study published in the journal PhytomedicineRosemary extract inhibited the proliferation of ovarian cancer cells.

In another study published in Letters from Cancer, Researchers found that rosemary holds promise as a treatment for many cancers, including:

  • Prostate
  • Breast
  • skin
  • Leukemia
  • Colon

They also found that the rosemary treatment seemed to affect only the cancer cells, but not the healthy cells.

Helps relieve stress

Stress is such a health hazard that even if you control everything else (diet, exercise, etc.), stress can derail your health goals. That’s why stress management is so important. A 2007 study found that inhaling lavender and rosemary essential oils reduced salivary cortisol levels. It also increases free radical scavenging activity.

Improves hair and skin health

One of the oldest uses of rosemary is for healthy hair and skin. An article published in Evidence-Based Complementary Medicine explains that rosemary essential oil can help with skin problems such as:

  • acne
  • infection
  • sebum imbalance
  • cellulite
  • Congestion and greasiness
  • dandruff
  • dermatitis
  • dry scalp
  • eczema
  • rosacea

Another study found that rosemary essential oil was just as helpful in hair regrowth as a conventional treatment (minoxidil).

Pain relief (menstruation)

Rosemary is helpful in relieving pain caused by dysmenorrhea (dysmenorrhea). Research shows it may also be safe to use along with pharmaceutical pain relievers.

Improve mental energy

Inhaling rosemary essential oil may benefit the brain. This study found that aromatherapy can stimulate the brain and influence brainwave activities, autonomic nervous system responses, and mood.

Supports stomach health

Rosemary has been used for centuries for stomach and intestinal problems although there is no research to support this use. However, a 1999 review article concluded that rosemary supports liver health by increasing bile production and protecting the liver from damage. When the liver is working properly, the digestive process will take place much more smoothly.

Using rosemary at home

Rosemary is a wonderfully fragrant herb that has many uses in the home and not just in recipes. Here are some ways I use it:

Uses of fresh or dried herbs:

  • Dried or fresh rosemary can be used in cooking. Rosemary is great with meat dishes (especially lamb). Add black pepper and other Italian herbs for a Mediterranean taste.
  • Rosemary can be infused with oils (such as olive oil) and used externally to treat skin irritations such as eczema and other irritations listed above.
  • A concentrated blend of rosemary leaves and nettle is an excellent hair remedy. It can help get rid of dandruff and speed up hair growth when used after every wash.
  • Rosemary oil is an intensive treatment for severe dandruff or hair loss and can be massaged into the hair, left on for at least an hour and washed. This really improves the condition of the scalp!
  • My favorite natural air freshener is to put a few sprigs of rosemary, a sliced ​​lemon or orange, and some vanilla in a pot and cook on low all day (see water level). It smells great and freshens the house for days.

Uses of Essential Oils:

  • Rosemary oil can be used externally on skin or hair (always dilute with a carrier oil first).
  • Rosemary is also helpful in repelling smaller pests like mosquitoes and is an ingredient in my Homemade Bug Repellent.
  • Used externally, rosemary oil can help calm the stomach and relieve pain caused by indigestion, menstrual cramps, or other difficulties.
  • Rosemary antioxidant extract is a very effective natural preservative that can extend the shelf life of homemade lotions, cosmetics or other homemade body products.

Where to buy rosemary leaves?

I want to buy my dried herbs from Starwest Botanicals and my essential oils from Botanical Therapy. Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs to grow. It’s easy to take care of if you follow a few tips:

  • As a Mediterranean plant, rosemary prefers sunny places.
  • It can even be grown indoors.
  • It can go for a long time without water.
  • Prune after the plants flower.
  • Prune regularly to keep the plant healthy and attractive.

Many people are not good with plants that can keep a rosemary bush alive – it’s so easy to grow!

Is rosemary safe?

Rosemary is considered safe for most people in culinary quantities and has few side effects. But there are some people who should avoid it in medicinal amounts.

  • Pregnant women should not use rosemary in large amounts (cooked is fine) and avoid essential oils.
  • Breastfeeding women should also avoid taking a lot of rosemary because there isn’t enough information on how it affects this population.
  • People who are allergic to aspirin should not take medicinal amounts of rosemary.
  • People with seizure or bleeding disorders should also avoid taking a lot of rosemary.
  • Rosemary can raise blood pressure, so it may not be safe for people with high blood pressure.

If you’re not sure, check with your doctor to see if rosemary is safe for you.

Rosemary Benefits and Uses: The Bottom Line

Rosemary leaves have many uses beyond cooking. Rosemary has been used by traditional communities for centuries, and science is only just beginning to back up some of these traditional uses.

Ever used rosemary for something other than cooking? Tell me about it below!

The source:

  1. Moss, M., Cook, J., Wesnes, K., & Duckett, P. (2003, January). Aromas of rosemary and lavender essential oils differentially affect cognition and mood in healthy adults. International Journal of Neuroscience113 (1): 15-38.
  2. Pengelly, A., Snow, J., Mills, SY, Scholey, A., Wesnes, K., & Butler, LR (2012, January). Short-term study of the effects of rosemary on cognitive function in the elderly. Food and Drug Magazine15 (1): 10-7.
  3. Tai, J., Cheung, S., Wu, M., & Hasman, D. (2012, March 15). Antiproliferative effect of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) on human ovarian cancer cells in vitro. Phytomedicine19 (5): 436-43.
  4. Johnson, JJ (2011, June 1st). Carnosol: A promising anticancer and anti-inflammatory agent. Cancer letters305 (1): 1-7.
  5. Atsumi, T., & Tonosaki, K. (2007, February 28). Smelling lavender and rosemary increases free radical scavenging activity and reduces salivary cortisol levels. Psychiatric Research150 (1): 89-96.
  6. Orchard, A., & van Vuuren, S. (2017, May 4). Commercial essential oil as a potential antibacterial agent for the treatment of skin diseases. Evidence-based alternative and free medicine.
  7. Panahi, Y., Taghizadeh, M., Marzony, ET, & Sahebkar, A. (2015, Jan-Feb). Rosemary oil and 2% minoxidil for the treatment of male hormonal alopecia: A randomized comparative trial. SKINMed Magazine13 (1): 15-21.
  8. Raskovic, A., Milanovic, I., Pavlovic, N., Milijasevic, B., Ubavic, M., & Mikov, M. (2015, January). Analgesic effects of rosemary essential oil and its interaction with codeine and paracetamol in rats. European Review of Medical Sciences and Pharmacology19 (1): 165-72.
  9. Sayorwan, W., Ruangrungsi, N., Piriyapunyporn, T., Hongratanaworakit, T., Kotchabhakdi, N., & Siripornpanich, V. (2013, April-June). Effects of inhaled rosemary oil on subjective sensations and nervous system activity. Pharmaceutical Science81 (2): 531–542.
  10. Al-Sereiti, MR, Abu-Amer, KM, & Sen, P. (1999, February 1). Medicinal properties of rosemary (Rosmarinus oificinalis Linn.) and its medicinal potentials. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology.

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