At a glance, rosemary may look just like another herb in your garden. But there’s no mistaking that powerful aroma and woody scent. It adds a distinctive note to your roasted dish and herbal tea. Apart from that unique whiff, rosemary is also a goldmine when it comes to healthy benefits.
The leaves and flowers are great when cooking and baking, but don’t stop there. There’s more you can do with its essential oil. Essences are more concentrated than the plant they were made from. To give you an idea, it takes 100 pounds of rosemary plant to produce 1 pound of rosemary essential oil. That’s how pure and potent a drop of this oil is.
What does rosemary contain?
Rosemary contains natural chemical compounds called polyphenols. Most notable of these are flavonoids, phenolic diterpenes, and triterpenes. These are the stuff in plants that help protect the body from diseases. Not only that, they also have protective effects on the nerves, liver, and immune system.
Let’s talk about these benefits one by one.
Rosemary essential oil protects and stimulates the brain
Greek scholars in ancient times wore wreaths of rosemary around their head. The herb supposedly helped them perform better in their exams. Well, what do you know?
Recent studies linked the herb to reduced mental fatigue and enhanced memory and focus.
It seems those ancient scholars knew what they were doing after all.
In another study, patients with Alzheimer’s disease showed improved cognitive functions after a 4-week treatment that included rosemary essence. Carnosic acid, a polyphenol abundant in rosemary, is responsible for this effect. It stimulates brain function and improves the survival of mature neurons. This compound delays the aging of the cells and protects them from damage.
It calms and reduces anxiety
Rosmarinic acid is another polyphenol in rosemary. It acts as antidepressant. It is very useful as adjunct therapy for people with affective disorders. A few drops of rosemary oil in the aroma diffuser is all you need to calm down your nerves.
Rosemary also helps lower cortisol levels.
Your body releases cortisol during stress that’s why it’s called stress hormone. It’s not always a bad guy. In fact, it has a lot of job to do for the body. When there’s always a high level of this hormone, however, high blood pressure and heart disease can become a problem. Rosemary reduces cortisol levels and keeps things in check.
It fights bacteria, reduces inflammation, and aids healing
Rosemary has long been a favorite among physicians and herbalists, even as early as the 16th century. They used it to heal sick people. They burned rosemary sprigs to disinfect sick rooms. Carnosic acid, rosmarinic acid, and other compounds in rosemary (including 1,8-cineole, carnosol, caffeic acid, rosmanol, ursolic acid) fight off oxidation and inflammation caused by microbes and bacteria. Their combined strength makes rosemary an indispensable herb for treating various ailments.
Today, studies show that rosemary can even help inhibit infections caused by some drug-resistant bacteria.
It also assists in cell renewal and speedy healing. The herb may also find use for animals suffering from colitis and other inflammatory diseases.
It can be used to help fight cancer cells
Studies suggest that high levels of carnosol in rosemary oil show anticancer activities. The compound exhibits toxicity toward cancer cells but not toward healthy cells. It has promising uses in patients with a rare type of cancer called triple-negative breast cancer.
Rosemary essential oil protects the liver from the toxicity of some types of chemotherapy drugs.
Amazingly, it also has an ability to stop the growth and spread of cancer cells in colon and skin cancers. Another study showed rosemary’s anti-tumor activities in lung cancer. All these findings only tell us one thing. Rosemary has a powerful role to play for cancer treatment.
It strengthens the immune system
By reducing the damage of free radicals on human cells, rosemary helps boost the immune system. Rosemary oil is widely used in aromatherapy and massage therapy.
You may diffuse it in the air to support respiratory function and help fend off colds or rhinitis.
When added to your bath, it aids in digestion and waste elimination. You may also dilute it and use as massage oil to stimulate circulation. It relaxes the body and soothes muscle aches.
Rosemary has beauty and cosmetic uses
Rosemary affects you inside and out. Its antioxidative effects prevent premature aging of the skin and hair. Patients who had bald patches due to alopecia areata grew their hair back after using rosemary oil. They used diluted oil to regularly massage their scalp.
Rosemary restores dull hair back to life when used as hair mask. It may also help darken grey hairs.
This essence can be mixed with other herbal oils, such as geranium and lavender, to rejuvenate the skin. It may also be used with almond oil as eye serum to reduce puffiness of under-eye bags.
Your life can only get better with this herb
Rosemary essential oil has been very useful in improving the life of humans time and again. It treats diseases by getting rid of harmful pathogens. It maintains good health by protecting organs.
It improves quality of life by helping the brain and delaying aging.