Considered sacred by the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Hebrews, rosemary (Latin name: Rosmarinus officinus) is far more than just an aromatic plant that tastes great on potatoes and roasted lamb. It is also one of the most powerful herbs and essential oils on the planet.
Rosemary has a woody, evergreen plant scent and is part of the mint family.
In recent studies, it has been shown to promote nerve growth factor (NGF, promotes the growth, development, differentiation, and maturation of central and peripheral neurons), and supports the healing of neural tissue and brain function.
This evergreen plant, native to the Mediterranean, has been used in folk medicine for thousands of years and has been used to:
- Improve memory
- Soothe the digestive tract
- Relieve muscle aches and pains
Recently, it has become a popular ingredient in many skincare and hair care products due to its antibacterial properties, and researchers are beginning to delve into its medicinal properties.
What is the ingredient that makes rosemary so amazing?
Rosemary has an antioxidant ORAC value (a measure of the in vitro antioxidant capacity of a food or nutritional supplement) of 11070. Foods with a high ORAC value are effective in neutralizing free radicals, which can improve diseases caused by free radicals, as well as anti-aging.
The chemical in rosemary is mainly sage phenol, which in addition to being a rich antioxidant, has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
Several studies have found that sage phenols target cells to reduce inflammation and also.
- Balance androgens and estrogens in the body
- Lower DHT (dihydrotestosterone) to improve hair growth and prostate health
- Reduce the risk of cancer
- Increase nerve growth factor and repair nerve tissue
It is selectively toxic to cancer and non-tumor cells and is well tolerated when administered to animals.
This means that sage phenol acts as a military sniper, taking out only the target enemy (bad cells) without destroying the surrounding normal cells, and in a “chemo-nuke” fashion, killing all cells along the way.
4 Benefits of Rosemary Essential Oil
In addition to eliminating inflammation and stopping the growth of cancer cells, studies have found rosemary essential oil to be very effective in several other areas.
Good for hair growth
Rosemary essential oil applied to the scalp helps stimulate hair growth. Many also claim that it prevents hair loss, slows down aging, and can be used to treat dandruff and dry scalp. Francesc Casadó Galcerá, after testing his patented shampoo, found that a mixture of hops, rosemary and Swertia had some pretty significant results, as follows:
- 22.4% increase in new hair.
- “Rapid” hair growth.
- Increased scalp microcirculation, promoting healing.
- Improved hair resistance to traction.
- Reduced hair loss after shampooing.
To experience the benefits of rosemary oil for hair growth, try a homemade DIY rosemary peppermint shampoo.
“Rosemary, it is to help the memory, dear, remember.”Ophelia (Shakespeare’s Hamlet)
To enhance memory, ancient Greek scholars carried rosemary with them when taking exams, and it has been known for thousands of years for its mental enhancement powers. A study published in The International Journal of Neuroscience highlights this phenomenon.
The University of Northumbria studied how the cognitive performance of 144 participants was affected by rosemary essential oil and lavender oil aromatherapy in a controlled study.
Researchers in Newcastle (a port city in the UK and home to the University of Northumbria) found that，
- Possibly because of its significant sedative effects, lavender caused a significant decrease in working memory performance and slowed both memory and attention-based task reaction times.
- Rosemary significantly improved overall memory quality and performance of secondary memory factors.
- Rosemary helped people become more alert.
- Lavender and rosemary helped volunteers feel a sense of “satisfaction”.
The study also found that rosemary essential oil helped treat and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Liver detoxification and improved gallbladder function
Rosemary has traditionally been used to help with gastrointestinal distress and is a miracle detoxifier.
Research from India reveals how supplementing with rosemary can greatly improve your body’s bile flow (vital for fat metabolism and detoxification) and reduce plasma liver enzymes (associated with type II diabetes).
Essentially, by helping to enhance the performance of the bile-producing gallbladder (as well as balancing the microbial community in the gut), proper peristaltic activity can be promoted, thereby facilitating nutrient absorption and helping to reverse/prevent toxic overload.
In an interesting study conducted by the Meikai University School of Dentistry in Japan, lavender and rosemary essential oils were aromatized for 5 minutes to assess their effects on salivary cortisol levels (a stress hormone) in 22 healthy volunteers.
After observing that both oils enhanced free radical scavenging activity, they also found that both oils greatly reduced cortisol levels, protecting the body from chronic diseases caused by oxidative stress.
6 Best Ways to Use Rosemary Essential Oil
It is clear from the research that rosemary essential oils are effective and safe in all applications.
When applying them to natural health and wellness, I recommend these following:
Mix 3 drops of rosemary essential oil with 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil and rub on your neck or diffuse for 1 hour a day.
You can massage your scalp with 5 drops of rosemary oil after bathing (10 drops with coconut oil is recommended) or mix rosemary and peppermint essential oils in your daily shampoo (you can mix your own oil drops in a 1:10 ml ratio).
For prostate treatment
Mix 2 drops of rosemary oil with 1/2 teaspoon of carrier oil and apply to the underside of the testicles.
To relieve pain
Mix 2 drops each of rosemary and peppermint essential oils with a teaspoon of coconut oil and apply to bruised or sore muscles, or sore joints.
To improve gallbladder function
Mix 3 drops of rosemary essential oil with 1/4 teaspoon of coconut oil and apply to the gallbladder area twice a day.
Heal’s neuropathy and neuralgia
Mix 2 drops of rosemary, 2 drops of perpetual flower, 2 drops of cypress essential oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of carrier oil and apply to the area of neuropathy.
Precautions for Using Rosemary Essential Oil
It is important to note that rosemary essential oil has very powerful effects and there are some contraindications to its use that should be taken with special care.
These contraindications come mainly from camphor, an important component of rosemary essential oil.
Camphor” (Camphor): also known as camphene, in rosemary essential oil (Daughtry products) contains 12%, is the second-largest component after “1,8-Cineole” (1,8-Cineole; 42%), this percentage in the same essential oil containing camphor is still relatively high, therefore should be used with caution.
What Are The Properties of Camphor?
- A mixture of strong and pungent, sweet and gasoline smell.
- Most of the mothballs in the market are chemically synthesized, the main component is “naphthol” or “p-dichlorobenzene”, the smell is similar, but it is a different substance with strong toxicity. In comparison, natural camphor in plants is much safer.
- powerful and fast effect, suitable for emergency use.
- Efficacy: strong antibacterial power; relieve skin diseases, stop itching; anti-inflammation; local anesthesia, pain relief, muscle/joint/bone pain; heart-strengthening and blood activation; insect repellent, antiseptic, etc.
- Camphor belongs to monoterpene ketone, which is a kind of monoterpene ketone with high neurotoxicity, and the side effects also come from this, and many aromatherapy books are marked as “prohibited for pregnant women, infants and children, epilepsy and sericea”.
Who needs special attention to use rosemary essential oil?
Pregnant women are prohibited, we know that the molecule of essential oil is small and permeable, camphor is likely to penetrate the placenta and reach the uterus, thus affecting the neurological development of the fetus.
It may cause miscarriage in serious cases.
Similarly, if you have pregnant women at home, you should avoid using commercially available mothballs.
Camphor will enter the mother’s milk through the mother’s circulatory system and then pass to the baby, the baby’s nervous system is not fully developed, so it should be avoided.
Infants and toddlers
It is prohibited for infants and young children (before 4 years old) because their nervous system is not fully developed on the one hand, and because it may cause acute hemolysis (refer to Sericea below) on the other.
High doses of topical application may cause respiratory distress and coma in infants.
Jean Valnet, a leading French aromatherapist, warns that “when used in high doses for the treatment of epilepsy, rosemary oil can cause seizures symptoms if used in high doses, but in low doses it is anti-spasmodic and suitable for the treatment of epileptics…”.
Because dosage is difficult for individual users to control, it is recommended that people with epilepsy avoid rosemary, as there are many other essential oils with “antispasmodic” properties.
For people with high blood pressure
Some aromatherapy books say that adding rosemary oil to bath water can cause a sudden rise in blood pressure.
However, there are differing opinions, and the book Essential Oil Safety concludes that there is insufficient evidence of effects on hypertension.
Until the verdict is in, it is not recommended for use in baths for people with high blood pressure.
Patients with Crohn’s disease
Contraindicated in patients with fava bean disease, a type of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency that manifests itself as a hemolytic anemia caused by the consumption of fava beans.
Camphor is also one of the ingredients that tend to cause hemolysis.
Rupture of red blood cells and escape of hemoglobin is called erythrocyte lysis, or hemolysis. It can be caused by a variety of physical and chemical factors and toxins.
In fact, do not be too nervous, high grade (CPTG level) of essential oils in the camphor content will be less, in addition to the above people are not recommended to use.
For most people rosemary is a powerful and practical essential oil, the key is the “use of the dose”, the premise of all the side effects is the use of large doses.
So please keep in mind the essential oil The key is the “dose” of use. And when buying essential oils, make sure they are of therapeutic quality.