Rosemary has been shown to potentially reduce the risk of cancer, support the immune system, and ease stress. Here are the details of how rosemary does these things.
Rosemary contains a powerful antioxidant called carnosic acid. There are studies showing that carnosic acid can slow the growth of cancer cells in the body and even lower the risk of developing tumors.
Carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid in rosemary have been shown in studies to have powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, making it a strong backup to your immune system. Having rosemary in your diet can possibly help lower the risk of infection.
Early studies show that rosemary can reduce anxiety and stress. A randomized trial conducted with university students showed that rosemary improved the subjects’ sleep quality and lowered anxiety levels, when compared with a placebo.
Rosemary’s phytochemicals may help to lower the risk of asthma, regulate liver function, and improve eye health.
Rosemary is one of the most popular essential oils on the market, with many uses in aromatherapy and even applied topically.
Besides simply inhaling over a bottle of essential oil or from a diffuser, try this method for getting the benefits of rosemary oil:
Combine 6 tablespoons of water with 2 tablespoons of vodka, add 10 drops of rosemary oil, and put it into a small spray bottle. Spray it at night on your pillow.
Among the uses of rosemary essential oil over the centuries is as a memory aid, which aromatherapy studies indicate may be true. One study found noticeable improvements in cognitive performance within 20 minutes of inhaling rosemary essential oil.
Research has also shown that inhaling the aroma of rosemary essential oil can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your blood. Stress and anxiety cause high cortisol levels, and when stress is chronic, high cortisol can cause high blood pressure, weight gain, and heart disease.
Relieving respiratory problems
In addition to reducing stress and enhancing memory, the aroma of rosemary oil also works as an expectorant when inhaled, relieving throat congestion. It can also fight respiratory infections because of its antiseptic properties, and its antispasmodic effect helps in treatment of bronchial asthma.
Research has also shown that a major constituent of rosemary oil, 1,8-cineole, can have a beneficial effect on those suffering from respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Use in a diffuser or add a few drops to a mug of boiling hot water and inhale the vapor up to three times per day.
Reducing pain and inflammation
In addition to serving as a memory enhancer, reducing stress, and helping with respiratory problems, rosemary oil has anti-inflammation and pain-relieving properties. Massage the oil on the painful area in a salve made of 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and 5 drops of rosemary oil, or add a few drops to a hot bath. It’s useful for headaches, muscle soreness, rheumatism, or arthritis.
Healing the skin
Rosemary oil’s antimicrobial properties also make it effective in treating skin problems such as eczema, acne, and dermatitis. And while it’s healing the skin, it’s also working as a moisturizer. Add a few drops of oil to facial moisturizer, or dilute 5 drops of rosemary oil in 1 teaspoon of a coconut oil and apply it to the site of problem skin. Rosemary oil will remove excess oil from the skin, too!
Promoting healthy hair
Rosemary stimulates scalp circulation and has been shown to increase the growth of new hair by 22% when massaged into the scalp. It is also thought to slow graying, enhance shininess, and reduce dandruff.
Fighting bad breath
Rosemary oil’s antimicrobial properties mean you can use it as a mouthwash—just add a few drops to water—to kill bacteria, thus fighting bad breath and also preventing plaque buildup, gingivitis, and cavities.
Perhaps the best news about rosemary oil is that its medicinal properties are without side effects! However, it is not recommended for use on children under 4 years old.
Other ways to use rosemary
To get the effects of rosemary’s beneficial properties, try these methods:
- Put a sprig of rosemary under your ironing board to release its fragrance with the heat.
- Make a tea of rosemary leaves to enhance memory.
- Use the dried leaves in linen sachets or potpourri to get the benefits of its scent.
Did you know that rosemary can be so healthful? Please tell us about healthy ways you use rosemary.