Table of Contents
Rosmarinus officinalis which are commonly known as rosemary is a perennial evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean that now grows widely in much of the world, particularly in warm, sunny climates. Rosemary is a herb that is frequently used to provide a Mediterranean scent and flavor to various foods and for medicinal purposes. It is an herb that may be seen growing in many gardens. It’s typically recognized by its little nettle-looking leaves. It’s a plant which is bushy and flourishes in soil with moderate sun exposure.
Here are 15 nutritional and health benefits of rosemary:
1. Enhances memory and concentration
Rosemary has been considered to possess memory-improving qualities. One of the earliest reported uses of rosemary for health reasons was as a cognitive stimulant. It helped improve memory performance and quality. It is also known to boost intelligence, alertness, and focus.
Rosemary may be able to stimulate the brain, therefore, enhancing cognition. When used in aromatherapy, the fragrance of Rosemary passes directly to the brain and increases attentive span, concentration, and retentive memory. As it works its way to improving the functions of the brain, Rosemary may also help improve mood and alleviate depression and anxiety as well as bringing about a greater sense of accomplishment and well being. A study shows that rosemary aromatherapy can improve the quality, but not the speed of memory. Even the smell of rosemary can serve to enhance memory.
2. Immune Booster
Because of its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticarcinogenic properties, rosemary enhances the immune system. Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants thus, it may assist the body to boost the functions of the immune system as well as improve the circulation of substances that fight infections around the body. Studies show that the antioxidants found in Rosemary play an important role in neutralizing the harmful or damaging results that excessive free radicals cause in the human body and improve the immunity of the body to microbes. Our body’s health is preserved much more efficiently than hoping it carries out its mandate on its own. It also enhances the general well-being of your body due to its many healing abilities.
3. Prevents Cancer
A study suggests that rosemary extract is very helpful in treating cancer. Rosemary extract has the ability to fight cancer by inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells and regenerating damaged cells thereby stopping tumors from growing. Rosemary extract may also help in slowing down the spreading of human leukemia and breast carcinoma cells and is also used as an anti-tumor agent. In ovarian cancer, rosemary may help inhibit cell growth and eliminate existing cancerous cells and may be useful for preventing other kinds of cancer affecting different parts of the body including those of the bladder. One study found that rosemary helped prevent breast cancer; another study found similar effects with rosemary on colon cancer cell replication.
Rosemary contains two powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds known as carnosol and carnosic acid which are linked to reducing inflammation of muscles, blood vessels, and joints. It makes rosemary an effective treatment for many things, including blood pressure, gout, arthritis, and injuries sustained during physical exertion or surgery. It is effective in oral or topical form. The inflammation reduction in the cardiovascular system can help boost heart health and prevent atherosclerosis from appearing. One study found that these compounds also inhibited the creation of excessive nitric oxide, which is part of the inflammatory process.
5. Relieves Pain
Rosemary is applied to the affected area to soothe the pain. When consumed, it acts as a pain reliever for headaches and migraines. It not only helps alleviate the pain of migraines, but it has also been seen to work as an all-natural remedy for sore muscles, arthritis, and other joint and muscle pains. Rosemary can act as a pain relieving agent as such, it may be effectively used to fight painful menstruation and stomach cramps and as well as kidney pain. Rosemary is also regularly used in aromatherapy for relaxing the nervous system since it induces calmness while relieving pain caused by arthritis. The oil derived from Rosemary may also be used to massage pained areas and even in baths to provide relief from pain. This ability of Rosemary to relieve pain and modulate nervous system activity can also make it useful in treating intractable nerve pain.
6. Aids Digestion
Indigestion is usually the sign of an ailment and is characterized by discomfort in the upper abdominal region. To get relief from this discomfort, the Rosemary extract may prove to be helpful. This extract can effectively aid complete digestion of ingested food particles and is also suitable for treating stomach disorders that involve excessive acid production, or dysfunction, such as acid reflux.
Rosemary, with its strong anti-inflammatory properties, has been used as a natural remedy for upset stomach, constipation, gas, bloating, and diarrhea. A study shows that in Europe rosemary leaf is used for indigestion and is approved by the German Commission E, which examines the safety and efficacy of herbs. Adding it to our diet can help us regulate our bowel movements and our gastrointestinal system.
7. Detoxifies the Body
Rosemary is slightly diuretic in nature which means that it can help flush out toxins efficiently during urination. Further, by increasing the rate at which water leaves the body, it can also help push out pathogens, salts, toxins, and even excess fat when consumed regularly. It also helps cure uremia, majorly seen in people with thyroid dysfunction.
8. Liver Detoxification
Rosemary is often used when treating liver problems and has been for centuries now. This herb has also helped liver damage from tetrachloride to be prevented in mice and rats. Rosemary has been linked to lower levels of cirrhosis and a faster healing time of the liver, which is also one of the slowest organs to heal. It also helps in reducing plasma liver enzymes, which may cause type-2 diabetes. Carnosol prevents liver tissue distortion. It also prevents the depletion of liver glycogen, the energy storage molecules.
9. Protects The Skin and Nourishes The Hair
Rosemary may stimulate free blood flow to the skin and help in managing conditions like eczema, dermatitis and even fungal infections thanks to its antiseptic properties. Rosemary has also been used to support healthy hair growth and prevent hair conditions like alopecia and can be used to support managing dandruff on the scalp, especially when it is used in anti-dandruff lotions.
The antioxidants in the essential oils of rosemary also help in improving the quality of the skin. It has an anti-aging effect and helps heal blemishes and increase the natural shine. Also, its extracts with citrus supplements prevent skin against UV light damage, much better than the supplements alone. Dr. Alice L. Pérez Sánchez, in a research on the effects of rosemary extracts on skin damage, has found that the herb actually helps protect you against UV-induced damage.
10. Reduces Stress
Rosemary is used in aromatherapy to ease stress. A study conducted on the anti-depressant effects of rosemary concluded that the aroma of rosemary alone has been linked to improving mood and clearing the mind. It has a soothing effect on those who suffer from chronic anxiety and depression. It also reduces cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, which helps ease tension in the body.
A study suggests that the combination of rosemary with other oils could possibly lower cortisol levels and thereby lower anxiety, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMM). A study found that using essential oil sachets made of rosemary and lavender helped ease test-taking stress for nursing students. Other studies show that applying straight rosemary oil to the wrist can actually increase anxiety and tension while taking a test.
11. Prevents Alzheimer’s
Rosemary prevents beta-amyloid plaques and suppresses acetylcholinesterase which are primary causes of Alzheimer’s, ataxia and dementia. It has also been related to stimulating cognitive activity in the elderly as well as those suffering from other acute cognitive disorders.
A research titled “Brain Food for Alzheimer-Free Ageing: Focus on Herbal Medicines” suggests that rosemary is one of the best foods you can include in your diet.
12. Freshens your breath
As an antibacterial agent, rosemary works as a wonderful breath freshener that improves your oral health. Rosemary may also be used as a mouthwash and is thought by many to work perfectly. Keep rosemary leaves in a glass of hot water and then gargle the water in your mouth to eliminate bacteria, and you will have naturally fresh and clean breath all night.
A research has shown that rosemary contains some strong antibacterial properties. It is linked to the prevention of staph infections, which causes lethal boils and blisters, and is highly contagious.
14. Balances hormone
Carnosol balances androgen and estrogen hormones in the body. It also lowers the release of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) hormone, which helps improve prostate health and enhance hair growth.
15. Limits weight gain
Rosemary extracts have anti-inflammatory and anti-hyperglycaemic effects and promote weight loss. According to a research study, carnosic acid-rich rosemary can be used as a preventive treatment for metabolic disorders.
In rats fed high-fat diets, rosemary extracts decreased weight gain by 64% and fat gain by 57% compared to controls. Another study found similar results while the extract did not decrease food intake, it increased fat loss.