Rosemary Health Benefits, Uses, Quality & Best Products Compared

Author: Dr. Michael Tyler
Date: 01.10.2020
Reading time: 13:8 min

rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a plant from the genus Lippblüter. Its original distribution area extends around the Mediterranean.

Name Rosemary
Lat. Name Rosmarinus Officinalis
Synonyms Rosmarie, Buddleia, Broom, Coca.
Origin China
Price per 10ml 2,99

The name 'rosemary' is derived from the Latin 'ros marinus' and roughly translates as '' dew of the sea ''. Rosemary is now a widely used medicinal herb and a popular spice in the kitchen. It has been known for millennia for its healing properties and its oil is widely used today in cosmetic and medical products.

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Psychological impact

Rosemary oil is said to have a immense effect on memory. A study by the British University of Northumbria showed that the memory performance of subjects who were exposed to the scent of rosemary oil was 60-75% higher than that of subjects who were not exposed to the fragrance. Cineol is responsible for this. The blood of both test groups was examined, and it was noted that the cineol content of the test group with the higher memory performance was significantly increased.

Rosemary oil for dementia and Alzheimer's

In people with dementia, an increased breakdown of acetylcholine will be noted, among other things. This messenger substance is responsible for the transmission of information between nerve cells. A lack of acetylcholine causes disruptions of information exchanges via synapses - communication gaps between nerves. The geraniol contained in rosemary oil is said to be able to directly influence the formation of acetylcholine. The plant's active ingredient 1,8 cineol, a substance from the group of limonene oxides, also improves brain functionality.

This study by Northumbria University mentioned above showed that the participants were able to use rosemary oil to perform tasks faster and more precisely. That is why rosemary oil is the subject of numerous research projects in Alzheimer's and dementia research.

Physical effect

The strong scent of rosemary influences health in several ways. This plant has a spectrum of active ingredients that kill numerous pathogens. This is how rosemary oil destroys dangerous bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, which are known for their resistance to antibiotics. For these reasons, colourless and odourless components of rosemary oil are often used as a preservative for perishable foods, including meat and sausages.

In countries of the European Union up to 400 mg of rosemary extract is permitted per kg of food. There is almost no aspect of the human body that rosemary oil does not benefit. It protects the liver and helps a balance blood sugar. It has relaxing and pain-relieving properties, strengthens blood circulation and strengthens the immune system.

For hair and scalp care

Rosemary has always been a proven home remedy for hair loss. Owing to the rosemary's circulation-promoting properties, the scalp is better perfused with nutrients. This in turn leads to a strengthening of the hair follicles. Rosemary oil is also able to bind oxygen to itself and thus improves the supply of oxygen to the scalp. It also counteracts dandruff and cares for the dry and cracked areas of the skin, which prevents dry skin from peeling off.

For low blood pressure

Circulatory disorders, such as low blood pressure (hypotension), can certain become a rapid problem for those affected. Although it is not as critical a disease as high blood pressure, it can also lead to cardiac arrhythmias and become life-threatening.

This problem can be counteracted by the relatively high camphor content in rosemary oil. Camphor has a strong vasoconstricting effect, which improves blood pressure. This makes rosemary oil a very good alternative to conventional medication. If you experience poor or low blood pressure, or other circulatory disturbances, you should consult a doctor to ascertain the cause of your problem.

For detoxification

The organs that are primarily responsible for the removal of poison from our bodies are the liver, kidneys and gallbladder. Rosemary promotes secretion of bile and thus empties the bile itself out of the gallbladder into the duodenum. In addition, rosemary has positive effects on our liver.

It increases blood perfusion of these organs and thus leads to increased activity of the liver and has an additional diuretic effect, which results in faster removal of the toxins from the kidneys. These properties make rosemary oil ideal for detoxification cures. Rosemary is able to alleviate temporary symptoms of poisonings, such as increased alcohol or medication consumption.

For the skin

Rosemary oil has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which makes it very good for skin conditions such as pimples, and acne and eczema and also promotes wound healing. Antifungal properties of rosemary oil are also well known. It can therefore be used successfully against athlete's foot. A special property of rosemary oil is that it contains pH buffers. Buffers are substances that are able to maintain balanced pH values. Rosemary oil helps with oily skin but also with acidic or basic skin. Affirmed: well suited for skin care.

Reduce cellulite

Cellulite is partially the result of weak connective tissue, and partially due to poor lymphatic drainage. Rosemary oil has beneficial effects on cellulite, by improving blood flow to the region applied. Any excessive deposits of fluids in the connective tissue can be removed by a massage with rosemary oil.

Against cancer

Rosemary oil can help support cancer therapies. Several studies have shown that rosemary can slow the growth of human cancer cells. Among others, cells from prostate and breast cancer were tested.

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Menstrual disorders

Rosemary oil is a popular, herbal home remedy for menstrual disorders and inconsistencies, especially if the cause of the disruption is psychological. The oil is supportive and balances the psyche, especially in cases of absent (amenorrhea) or less frequent (oligomenorrhea) menstrual periods.

Its fragrance has anxiolytic and stress relieving effects, which counteracts psychological causes of menstrual disorders (e.g. too much stress).

Side effects

Rosemary oil should never be used during pregnancy, as it is known to cause contractions. If the dosage is too high, rosemary can be toxic and lead to intoxication. Taking more than 50 ml of the essential oil can cause severe liver damage. Because of its central nervous system stimulatory properties, it can also lead to sleep disorders. Rosemary oil is not suitable for pregnant women, babies or toddlers. Epileptics and people with high blood pressure should avoid rosemary oil because the high camphor content increases blood pressure.

Application | Use

Because rosemary oil is well tolerated by the skin and because of its properties that promote blood flow, it is an excellent massage oil. The oil should not be used directly in the massage, but in a diluted form. A mixture with a carrier oil such as almond oil is suitable. It helps with physical complaints and other clinical insults, including muscle tension, cramps, muscle pain, myalgias, torn muscle fibers, spasticity, rheumatism, migraines and certain circulatory disorders. You can also treat yourself to a rosemary bath. Utilisation of rosemary herbal oil is also common practice in aromatherapy and natural cosmetics.

To inhale the oil, put 10 drops of the oil in a bowl of water, at a minimum of 80 degrees Celcius. The correct temperature is vital because the necessary ingredients of the oil only evaporate at this temperature. While holding your face over the bowl and inhaling the oil, you should place a towel over your head to help collect the vapours, and to promote their inhalation. Always keep your eyes closed during inhalation to prevent potential irritation.

Recipes with rosemary oil are ideal for add a certain zest to your dishes. 1-3 drops of the oil, mixed in 100ml olive oil or mixed into a honey dressing should do the trick. You should only use organic quality oil for eating. For ingestion, various preparations containing rosemary oil, such as: rosemary oil capsules, are available for purchase in most pharmacies.

Manufacturing

Rosemary essential oil is obtained by steam distillation. One litre of essential oil is obtained from approximately 50 kg of rosemary branches.

Make edible rosemary oil yourself

However, quality rosemary oil can easily be made at home. All you need is pure alcohol, a mason jar and enough rosemary. Place the plant, with the alcohol, in the mason jar and leave it in a warm place for 3 weeks.

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After three weeks, the alcohol will absorb all of the oil from the rosemary. You can now transfer the liquid into a bowl and wait until the alcohol has completely evaporated. The residue is the home-made rosemary oil. Note, however, that this oil does not have the same therapeutic effects as traditionally made rosemary oil.

Storage and shelf life

Make sure to always store the rosemary oil in a dark, cool and dry place. Always store the oil out of the reach of children. If the oil solidifies when stored, this is not an indication of a loss of quality, but in fact the contrary. Pure, high quality oils tend to solidify in the cold. If this happens, simply heat the oil slightly as necessary, and use it normally.

Even if the oil has become cloudy, it does not mean that it is no longer edible; this can also be an indication of quality. The unfiltered, high-quality oils still contain certain substances that cause opacity. If the oil smells rancid, trust your nose because the smell is obvious. If mold develops, dispose of the oil immediately.

Chemical composition

Generally, there are 3 subtypes of rosemary: rosemary borneon, rosemary cineol and rosemary verbenon. These subtypes will often differ in terms of their chemical composition. However, this depends on many environmental factors, such as the duration of sun exposure, soil conditions and harvest time.

The Borneon type is usually Spanish in origin, Cineol is mainly native to North Africa and the Verbenon subtype is mainly found in France. Due to their different active ingredient concentration, the different chemotypes of rosemary may have different activity spectra. When buying essential rosemary oil, you should therefore always make sure that the respective chemotype or the area of origin of the rosemary oil is specified.

In general, every rosemary oil consists of the same components, only the concentration of the ingredients differs. The following biologically active substances can be found in rosemary oil:

Pinene

In high doses, this is classified as a health hazard, due to its irritation to eyes, respiratory tract and skin, and possible neuro- and nephrotoxic effects. It has demonstrated antimicrobial effects in vitro.

Myrcene

Serves for the essence of fragrances and flavours, which are used in the production of perfumes and in pharmacology. In addition, this terpene has a calming and relaxing effect. It also inhibits inflammation and relieves pain.

Limonene

Is a classic fragrance that is often used in cleaning agents and detergents. It lifts mood, relieves anxiety and promotes digestion. In addition, limonene can inhibit the growth of numerous types of cancers and dissolve gallstones that contain cholesterol.

p-Cymol

Inhalation of p-Cymol causes dizziness, sleepiness and vomiting. When taken orally, the liquid leads to diarrhoea, headache, nausea, loss of consciousness, vomiting and drowsiness.

1.8 Cineol

Expectorant and bactericidal. In asthma, the use of pure cineol can improve lung function. With COPD (smoking lung), pure cineol as an additional medication to standard therapy can also improve lung functionality. In dentistry, it is used for root fillings. This substance also improves the cognitive performance of the brain.

Terpineoles

Are fragrances. You will find it for example in soaps. The most common reason for terpeniol use is for intense lilac aromas.

Linalool

Used as a flavouring agent and for its smell. In chemistry, it is used to synthesize vitamin E. This terpene also has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anxiety-relieving and relaxing effects.

Geraniol

Due to its strong antioxidant effect, it is used in many skin creams to protect the skin. The scent also repels insects.

Borneol

Is a strong fragrance and is mainly used in the perfume industry. In addition, camphor relieves itching, helps with fungal skin infections and relieves pain, even for joint pain caused by arthritis.

Verbenon

Serves as a fragrance and also as an insect repellent.

Bornyl acetate

It provides an aroma and flavouring. It is used in soaps, sprays and various foods.

History

The wide-ranging effects of rosemary were known to the ancient Romans. According to Pliny, rosemary tea was effective for the upset stomach. In ancient Greece, wreaths made of rosemary were placed on the head of children because it was believed that this increased concentration and thinking ability. In ancient times, rosemary was considered a plant dedicated to the divine. It was especially associated with the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. In ancient Egypt, the scent of the rosemary was meant to accompany the dead, and sweeten the journey into the afterlife. For this reason, rosemary sprigs were left in their hands.

Rosemary was part of the '' Hungarian Water '' perfume, which was first registered in 1370 and is considered to be one of the first distilled fragrance waters and owes its name to Queen Elizabeth of Hungary, for whom it was manufactured. According to legend, a hermit handed over the scented water to the queen and assured her that the perfume would maintain her beauty forever.

Botany

The rosemary bush grows to a height of approx. 0.5 to 2 m, is evergreen and forms bushy branches. It has an intense smell and is typically aromatic. Older branches of rosemary have slightly peeling bark. The leaves of the rosemary bush are up to 40 mm long and about 3 mm wide.

They are always mutually arranged and narrow leaves. The top of the leaves is dark green and wrinkled. They are covered with a thick epidermis, which protects them from drying out. The underside of the leaves is covered with white felt and hairs. The leaf edges are curved slightly downwards, acting as sun protection.

The rosemary bush blooms all year round. The calyx of the flowers forms a bell shape, has two lips and becomes significantly larger at the time of fruition. The upper lip is divided into two, the lower lip is divided into three, with a greatly enlarged central lobe. The colour of the crown ranges from light blue to pink to white. It is approx. 11-12 mm long and has two lips, the upper lip being slightly bent back. The flower has two stamens that protrude far in order to be easily accessible to insects.

Cultivation

Rosemary herbs are usually propagated through cuttings, since sowing requires a very warm climate. If rosemary is propagated over seeds, it has a germination time of about 4 weeks. Rosemary prefers humus rich and well drained soils because it is very susceptible to waterlogging. The plant thrives much better in dry conditions. In general, the rosemary is a very resilient plant, which copes well in high temperatures and even throughout long-lasting droughts.

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Due to its area of origin, rosemary is not very hardy, and it can only tolerate milder Mediterranean winters. It can be harvested all year round: whole branches should not be harvested, but rather individual needles. In order to achieve the bushy growth of the plant, it is usually cut back slightly in late winter - i.e. in the months of February or March.

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