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Online Wellness Community Natural Health and Anti-Aging News
Online Wellness Community Natural Health and Anti-Aging News
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ROSEMARY

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is widely used as a spice when cooking, especially in Mediterranean dishes. It is also used for its fragrance in soaps and other cosmetics. Traditionally, rosemary has been used medicinally to improve memory, relieve muscle pain and spasm, stimulate hair growth, and support the circulatory and nervous systems. It is also believed to increase menstrual flow, act as an abortifacient (causing miscarriage), increase urine flow, and treat indigestion. Almost none of these uses have been studied scientifically in humans, however.rosemary 150x150 ROSEMARY

In the lab, rosemary has been shown to have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants can neutralize harmful particles in the body known as free radicals, which damage cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Also in the lab, rosemary oil appears to have antimicrobial properties (killing some bacteria and fungi in test tubes). It isn’t known whether rosemary would have the same effect in humans.

Medicinal Uses of Rosemary

Indigestion

Rosemary leaf is used in Europe for indigestion (dyspepsia) and is approved by the German Commission E, which examines the safety and efficacy of herbs.

Muscle and Joint Pain

Applied topically (to the skin), rosemary oil is sometimes used to treat muscle pain and arthritis, and to improve circulation. It is approved by the German Commission E for this purpose. However, there is no scientific evidence that it works.

Alopecia

Historically, rosemary has been used to stimulate hair growth. Rosemary was used in one study of 84 people with alopecia areata (a disease in which hair falls out, generally in patches). Those who massaged their scalps with rosemary and other essential oils (including lavender, thyme, and cedarwood) every day for 7 months experienced significant hair re-growth compared to those who massaged their scalps without the essential oils. But the study was not well designed, and it is impossible to say whether rosemary caused the hair growth.

Improve Memory or Concentration

Rosemary is often used in aromatherapy to increase concentration and memory, and to relieve stress. One study suggests that rosemary, combined with other pleasant-smelling oils, may help reduce anxiety. However, in another study, people who inhaled rosemary said they felt more anxious than those who inhaled lavender and those who did not inhale a scent.

Plant Description

Native to the Mediterranean area, rosemary now grows widely in other parts of the world. It thrives in a warm and sunny climate. The plant takes its name from rosmarinus, a Latin term meaning “sea dew.” It is an upright evergreen shrub that can grow to a height of 6-and-a-half feet. The woody rootstock bears rigid branches with fissured bark. The long, needle-like leaves are dark green on top and pale beneath. Both the fresh and dried leaves are aromatic. The small flowers are pale blue. The leaves and parts of the flowers contain volatile oil.

Available Forms

  • Dried whole herb
  • Dried, powdered extract (in capsules)
  • Preparations made from fresh or dried leaves, such as alcohol tinctures, teas, and liquid extract
  • Volatile oil (to be used externally, not orally)

How to Take It

Pediatric

Because rosemary has not been studied in children, it is not recommended for medicinal use in those under age 18. It is safe to eat as a spice in food, however.

Adult

Listed below are the recommended adult doses for rosemary. Total daily intake should not exceed 4 – 6 grams of the dried herb. Do not take rosemary oil orally.

Tea: Steep 6 g of dried herb in 2 cups boiling water; strain and cool. Divide into 3 cups

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