Belonging to the mint . Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is an aromatic, evergreen herb that is found in the Mediterranean and Asia. It has needle-like leaves and its flowers can be pink, white, purple or blue. Since it looks pretty, it is widely used as an ornamental plant.
Rosemary holds a special place in gourmet cooking due to its wonderful fragrance and unique bitter flavor, especially when it comes to dishes that include any kind of roasted meat.
Rosemary essential oil contains a ton of beneficial components like 1,8-cineole, alpha-pinene, and camphor. These lend it its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, analgesic, and expectorant properties and help promote better digestion, circulation, and breathing.
1. Increases Circulation
The topical use of rosemary oil has been found to improve blood circulation in that area . Improved blood circulation can offer a host of other benefits like relieving pain and aiding rapid blood clotting, which could, in turn, speed up wound healing and promote hair growth.
2. Cures Headaches
Are frequent headaches and migraines making you miss school/work? Then, all you need to do is rub a couple of drops of rosemary oil between your palms and cup them over your nose and mouth. The pain relieving property of this potent essential oil has been found to be very effective in reducing headaches .
3. Relieves Cough, Cold, And Flu
Time for a little quiz. What’s the common factor between a cough, a cold, and a flu? Yep, they’re all caused by bacterial or viral infections. Rosemary essential oil, when inhaled, acts as a potent antibacterial agent and fights off these infections .
4. Helps To Improve Respiratory Activity
If you want to breathe easy, it’s time you picked up a bottle of rosemary essential oil. This powerful oil has been found to provide significant relief when it comes to respiratory disorders.
The eucalyptol (1,8-cineole) and camphor present in rosemary oil help dilate the bronchi in your lungs and aid better flow of air. Thus, it helps in relieving a number of respiratory problems like clearing the chest and nasal congestion, reducing cough, cold, and sore throat, and treating symptoms of respiratory allergies and sinusitis. Rosemary oil also possesses an antispasmodic property (relieves muscular spasms) that works well in treating bronchial asthma.
5. Lowers Stress
Whenever you feel stressed or have that all too familiar “fight-or-flight” urge, it’s nothing but the hormone cortisol that is being released into your body. Anyone who suffers from chronic stress can have an excess of cortisol being released in their body, which could ruin the delicate hormonal balance and disturb the normal metabolism, thus giving way to a number of other diseases. But there’s good news! Smelling rosemary oil has been found to reduce the level of cortisol in saliva significantly. So, the next time you feel like the stress of day-to-day life is getting to you, indulge in some aromatherapy with rosemary oil.
6. Helps Fight Cancer
A lot of research is currently going on to test the effect of rosemary oil on cancer. Carnosol, a component of rosemary oil, has shown particularly promising results in fighting cancer . Extensive research done on animals has also proven the anti-cancer effect of rosemary oil on the colon, pancreas, breast, prostate, cervical, bladder, ovarian cancer, and leukemia . It has also been shown to inhibit the spread of liver carcinoma and slow down the growth of tumors . However, there is still a long way to go before an undisputed link is found between rosemary oil and its anticancer effects.
7. Removes Bad Odor
We all know that rosemary oil emits a lovely fragrance that is unmatched by any other scent. But what you probably didn’t know is that it’s the volatile compound myrcene found in this essential oil that lends it this pleasant fragrance. Rosemary oil is extensively used in room fresheners, diffusers, and scented candles to remove bad odors. It is also used in cosmetics, scented bath products, and perfumes.
8. Prevents STDs
Rosemary essential oil contains two very important compounds – beta-pinene and limonene – that possess antiviral properties. These two components have been found to reduce the infectivity of the herpes virus by an astonishing 100% when tested in-vitro . However, extensive research still needs to be done to see how effective the oil would be when inhaled or used topically to actually reduce the symptoms and infectivity of STDs in a real-life scenario.
9. Boosts Oral Health
Half a teaspoon of rosemary oil mixed in a cup of distilled water works as an excellent mouthwash. The antibacterial activity of rosemary oil helps prevent cavities, gingivitis, and plaque build-up. It even gets rid of the bacteria that takes root in your tooth cavities and is a major cause of tooth decay .
10. Aids Liver Detoxification And Enhances Gallbladder Function
Multiple research studies have proven that the antioxidant property of rosemary oil helps in healing injured liver cells in rats and also stops the spread of cancerous cells in liver cells in-vitro . Inhaling rosemary has also been known to regulate the production and storage of bile by the liver and gallbladder, thus improving the functioning of the digestive system.
11. Improves Cognitive Function
The next time you find yourself getting distracted while studying for an exam or just can’t seem to focus on the work assignment at hand, inhale some rosemary oil or add a few drops of it in your room diffuser. Not only does it help improve concentration, but it is also great for boosting memory .
12. Helps In Relieving Anxiety
Here’s some great news for all you nervous test takers out there! A research study had shown that inhaling rosemary oil before a test helped reduce test-taking stress and the overall level of anxiety in nursing students
13. Reduces Acne And Fights Signs Of Aging
The topical application of rosemary oil has been found to reduce the inflammation caused by acne. But that’s not all! It also reduces under-eye puffiness and improves circulation to give you glowing skin. Additionally, it fights against sun damage and free radical damage and tightens your skin to combat signs of aging .
14. Enhances Hair Health
Say goodbye to all your hair worries with rosemary oil. It infuses new life to thinning hair, gives you thicker locks, and helps treat dandruff. Additionally, this essential oil has also been found to stimulate hair growth and treat alopecia .
15. Acts As A Mosquito and Insect Repellent
Constantly pestered by mosquitoes and other bugs? Well, I say, no more! Rosemary essential oil contains limonene and camphor that work wonders in repelling all sorts of insects, especially mosquitoes .
Uses Of Rosemary Oil
- To Clear Out Phlegm: Rosemary oil works as an excellent expectorant. Just rub a couple of drops between your palms and cup them over your mouth and nose for a couple of minutes to expel phlegm from your chest.
- For Thick Hair: We already know that rosemary oil is a godsend for people with thinning hair. But if you want to boost its hair thickening properties even more, simply add a few drops of rosemary essential oil to a tablespoon of castor oil and two tablespoons of coconut oil and massage it into your hair.
- Enhances Prostate Health: The anti-inflammatory property of rosemary oil works great in enhancing prostate health. Just add a couple of drops of rosemary essential oil to a teaspoon of any carrier oil (coconut or olive oil are good options) and rub it under the testicles.
- Relieves Muscle And Joint Pains: Let the anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties of rosemary essential oil work their magic on your sore muscles and joint pains. Combine a couple drops each of rosemary and peppermint oil with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Massage this concoction on the problem areas for a few minutes to relieve the pain.
- Essential Oil Diffuser: The pleasant aroma of rosemary oil can provide relief from a number of respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, and the nasal congestion from a common cold. Just add 5 or more drops of rosemary oil to your room diffuser or vaporizer.
Interesting Facts About Rosemary Oil
Besides providing a range of mental and physical health benefits, rosemary makes for a quite an interesting plant in terms of its origin and usage. Here are a few interesting tidbits:
- The name rosemary originates from the Latin word rosmarinus, which means ‘mist of the sea.’ This is probably because it doesn’t need much water to grow and can survive on the humidity provided by the sea. This explains why it grows so well on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
- A rosemary plant can grow up to 5 meters in height, which is pretty amazing considering it’s a shrub.
- Rosemary has been used as a symbol of remembrance and scattered on graves since olden times.
- This sweet plant has long been considered a symbol of fidelity and a good omen for marital bond. This is why sprigs of rosemary were fashioned into a headdress worn by the bride while the groom wore a twig on his chest.