Rosemary is a very effective remedy for head/neck tension in addition to joint and muscle aches and discomforts. It can be used as well for enhancing memory, concentration and mental alertness. It also has an uplifting effect.
Used in many traditional cuisines, rosemary is good for a lot more than flavoring:
- Natural relief of bloating and water retention
- Encourages healthy hair and skin
- Promotes relaxation
Rosemary essential oil is a known iron chelator that has been proven to protect DNA. (23) It’s actually one of the most well-studied and promised detox oils. In one study rosemary outperformed other health and detox superstar oils oregano, thyme, sage, and clove. This is what the study found:
- The oxidative degradation of lipids is one of the main factors limiting the shelf-life of food products. In recent years, several undesirable disorders have been detected as side-effects of using commonly used synthetic antioxidants. Apart from their use as aroma additives in food, essential oils from aromatic plants have shown potential for use in small amounts in fat-containing food systems to prevent or delay some types of chemical deterioration that occur during storage. Using a multiple-method approach, the antioxidant activity of the essentials oils from several spices widely used in Mediterranean countries was tested: oregano (Origanum vulgare), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), sage (Salvia officinalis) and clove (Syzygium aromaticum). Their total phenolic compound content was also determined. The clove essential oil had the highest amount of total phenols and showed the highest percentage inhibition of DPPH radical and the highest FRAP value. The thyme essential oil produced the highest percentage inhibition of TBARS (89.84%). All the essential oils studied were capable of chelating iron(II), the rosemary essential oil producing the highest effect (76.06%) in this respect. The oregano essential oil had the highest antioxidant activity index in the Rancimat test. (24)
Four Favorite Benefits of Rosemary Oil
Alongside the exciting prospect of slowed cancer growth and inflammation spread, rosemary has effects that are useful for our more common needs as well. Here are four of the ways rosemary exhibits its strengths in our everyday lives.
1. Hair Growth
Stimulating for the scalp, rosemary is a dandruff and dry scalp treatment that may facilitate hair growth. Some even go as far as to say that it can prevent hair loss and graying.
Years ago, Francesc Casadó Galcerá patented a lotion for scalp and hair (US 6447762 B1), including a mixture of rosemary, hops, and swertia. H found that his blend was able to stimulate (2):
- New hair growth, by as much as 22%
- Stimulated “rapid” hair growth
- Improved scalp health via microcirculation
- Smoother hair
- Retained hair, with fewer incidences of loss after shampooing
Include rosemary essential oil in simple vinegar hair rinses or DIY shampoo and conditioner formulas for improved scalp health and hair growth.
2. Memory Retention
“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance, pray you love, remember.
~ Ophelia (Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”)
Rosemary has been known as the “herb of remembrance” for centuries. Greek scholars used it when taking exams to help recall important information, and allusions to its memory improvement have been peppered into poetry throughout the ages. The International Journal of Neuroscience published one study that confirmed these effects in recent science.
Over 140 participants were gathered for the study conducted by University of Northumbria, Newcastle. Aromatherapy including rosemary and lavender, as well as a control group were utilized to affect cognitive performance.
- Regarding lavender and it’s calming abilities, “lavender produced a significant decrement in performance of working memory, and impaired reaction times for both memory and attention based tasks.”
- On the other hand, as a memory stimulant, “rosemary produced a significant enhancement of performance for overall quality of memory and secondary memory factors.”
In other words, lavender made participants feel relaxed and complacent, while rosemary increased alertness and provoked memory retention. (3)
Test taking and alert feelings pale in comparison to the studies conducted on rosemary in relation to Alzheimer’s disease. One such study, published in Psychogeriatrics, evaluated the effects of aromatherapy on 28 elderly people suffering from dementia, with the majority also diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. They were given rosemary and lemon inhalations in the morning, then lavender and orange in the evening. Through multiple tests and forms of analysis, the “patients showed significant improvement in personal orientation” without any deleterious side effects. (4)
3. Liver and Gallbladder Support
The primary function of the liver is to detoxify the body, and with such heavy levels of toxins exposed to us on a daily basis, sometimes it can use a little help.
Traditional use of rosemary includes digestive and gastrointestinal relief. (5) Coupled with liver support, rosemary becomes a fantastic detoxifier. This has been confirmed in studies conducted in India, where it was observed helping the body increase its bile production and improve plasma liver enzyme levels. When these processes are inhibited, fat metabolism and detoxification are inhibited, and risks for type II diabetes increase.
With a properly functioning liver, gallbladder, and gastrointestinal system, nutrients are more readily absorbed and toxins released, bringing balance and wellness to the whole body.
4. Reduced Cortisol Levels
The Meikai University School of Dentistry in Japan conducted a study that monitored cortisol levels in saliva after just five minutes of rosemary and lavender inhalation. Twenty-two volunteers participated, and both essential oils had excellent results. Not only was the “stress hormone” cortisol reduced significantly, but free radical scavenging activities were increased as well. (6) So the oils help to prevent added stress, then go a step further to help erase effects of previous stressful exertion.
Implementing Rosemary Uses
Clearly a safe and effective oil, rosemary’s benefits can be implemented in many ways. Here are just some of my favorite DIY recipes for application:
Aromatherapy Use – Add 5 drops to your favorite diffuser, which typically contains four ounces of fluid.
Dietary Supplementation – Dilute 1 drop in a teaspoon of honey, maple syrup or coconut oil.
Culinary Use – Next time your recipe calls for rosemary, add a drop or two and experience a Heavenly burst of flavor!
Topical Application – Enjoy its antioxidant and antiseptic properties on the skin, but be sure to heavily dilute with coconut, almond, or jojoba oil before applying to skin.