Rosemary is a herb that is especially known for its fragrance and value in the culinary world. The scientific name of Rosemary is Salvia Rosmarinus, and it belongs to the mint family Lamiaceae. It is a woody, perennial herb with needle-like leaves with white, pink, purple, or blue flowers. Rosemary has a fibrous root system. It is an aromatic evergreen shrub that is native to the Mediterranean and Asian regions. Rosemary is famous as the key ingredient of essential oils and is widely used in perfumes, soaps, candles, and other fragrant and delicate items. It adds great value to the culinary industry as it has a unique taste and smells, which enhances food, and is also used to decorate dishes.
Though most widely talked about in western culture, Rosemary is a herb used by Indians for a long time in Ayurveda. It is known as Rujamari in Ayurveda and known for its numerous magical benefits. The Ancients were well-acquainted with this medicinal plant as it had a strong reputation for improving memory. It was also a symbol for fidelity between lovers in some cultures.
The Origin of the Word Rosemary
The name ‘rosemary’ is derived from Latin ‘ros Marinus,' which literally translates to ‘Dew of the Sea.' The plant is also sometimes known as Anthos, translated from the ancient Greek word ἄνθος, which means 'flower.' Another synonym for Rosemary is the previously known scientific name for it, Rosmarinus officinalis.
Historical Use of Rosemary
Traditionally Rosemary was mainly used to strengthen and improve memory. This was known to be a magical plant that was used as a solution to tons of problems in traditional Ayurveda. It was given as a medicine for headaches, stomach upset, insect bites, skin problems like rashes and eczema, other skin infections, and Halitosis. Rosemary also happens to cure acne and is an excellent tonic for hair and skin problems. The rosemary flowers' oil was also an answer to dental issues, respiratory disorders, inflammation and pain, urinary problems, gastronomical problems, and a weak immune system. It was used for aromatherapies, which is a solution to stress and anxiety and can also induce better quality sleep. It was an essential must-have medicine in the cabinet which addressed many problems in the household.
Historically it was also used as fragrant decorations in weddings and funerals. In some cultures, and folklores Rosemary is also used for magic spells and was considered sacred. It is the herb of promise and remembrance in many traditions.
Benefits of Using Rosemary
Rosemary is an herb hailed for its medicinal properties from ancient times rich in iron, calcium, and vitamin B-6. The herb contains several phytochemicals, including rosmarinic acid, camphor, caffeic acid, ursolic acid, betulinic acid, carnosic acid, and carnosol. It is essential to alleviate muscle pain, improve memory, boost the immune and circulatory system, and promote hair growth.
Rosemary has a bunch of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which give a boost to our bodily workings. Laboratory studies have proved that Rosemary plays an important role in neutralizing harmful particles called free radicles. Rosemary also provides neurological protection as it contains an ingredient called carnosic acid, which fights any damage in the brain. The herb enhances digestion and improves memory and concentration. It also significantly helps prevent brain aging, thus reducing the chances of Alzheimer's. It also shields against macular degeneration, and the carnosic acid significantly promotes eye health. Rosemary might also be an anti-tumor agent and slows down the spreading of carcinoma cells in the breast and blood.
Treating Diseases /Health Problems using Rosemary
• Cognitive Enhancer
Rosemary has memory enhancing properties that help increase the number of certain compounds in the brain that improves its working and function. Rosemary is rich in antioxidants that protect the neuronal cells against damage. Rosemary does improve memory and cognition, and regular intake prevents memory loss and brain aging. Patients with neurological disorders are advised to consume rosemary tea as it helps the nerves and fights depression and anxiety. Rosemary also is a sleep inducer, thus encouraging quality sleep, which results in better cognitive function.
• Age-Related Memory Loss
Age-related decline in mental abilities is something that Rosemary can fight against. The anti-oxidants in this herb prevents the brain from losing its vitality. It protects the neurons of the brain and spine and stands as a shield against the loss due to free radicals, and even increases the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain that are involved in enhancing cognition. Research conducted in the field of Medicine on participants in the age group 60 to 90 years or older has demonstrated that regular users of these herbs have had excellent brain health and fitter bodies with lesser age-related health problems. Excellent microcirculation in older citizens of this world is another positive effect of this herb.
• Diabetic Kidney Diseases
Rosemary might help treat Diabetic nephropathy, also known as Diabetic kidney damage. This is a very common occurrence in a diabetic patient whose kidney gets affected in a little advanced stage. Rosemary contains anti-inflammatory properties and a large number of antioxidants, which help protect the kidney cells against damage caused by free radicals. This, as a result, reduces the inflammation in the kidney, protecting it from further damage.
• Low Blood Pressure
Rosemary possibly helps to manage Hypotension as it constitutes anti hypotensive property. Certain constituents and components of rosemary help decrease the contractility of blood vessels and increase blood pressure. The herb also enhances circulation, and blood function, thus regulates blood pressure and keeps a healthy heart rate.
• Opioid Withdrawal
Opioid withdrawal is a very difficult process and has unpleasant side-effects. Rosemary may help ease out the process as it contains anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have suggested that this herb reduces opioid withdrawal symptoms like muscle jerks, convulsions, and musculoskeletal pain ( pain in muscles, ligaments, bones, tendons, etc. ). It is also a psychostimulant agent that helps deal with mental functions and, in turn, improves physical health. It is used in aromatherapy to reduce stress and anxiety-related to the process of withdrawal. It also eases the nerves and induces healthy sleep.
Rosemary has carminative properties that might help manage gas problems. The regular use of this herb prevents the formation of gas and assists in the expulsion of excessive gas from the gastrointestinal tract. Thus Rosemary helps get rid of flatulence and helps people who suffer from regular gas issues.
Be it migraines or headaches related to overworked eyes or workload and stress; Rosemary may help relax those pain-causing nerves. The herb reduces the dilation of blood vessels, which is the main reason for all types of headaches. Drinking Rosemary infusion helps to relax the brain and catalyzes the relieving of headaches.
Rosemary influences the digestive system in the right way as it has digestive properties. It improves food absorption by stimulating digestion and manages indigestion. It can also calm an upset stomach. It is a carminative ( aromatic digestive tonic ), helping relieve gas and induce better digestion.
• Menstrual Bleeding
Rosemary helps in increasing blood flow during menstruation. Most women suffer due to irregular uterine contractions and cramps during periods. Rosemary helps gain some minor relief as it stimulates uterine contractions. The increased contractions cause a smooth flow, removing major clots that cause the pain. The herb also helps to relax the smooth muscles and relieve menstrual cramps.
Rosemary oil is used as a key element in aromatherapy to provide relief from mental tiredness and exhaustion. It acts as a brain tonic and nervine, which stimulates brain activity and improves its multiple functions.
• Inflammation of Gums
Rosemary has used a toothpaste ingredient as it might help in some gum diseases such as Gingivitis. This aid is possible for its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. It destroys the activity of oral bacteria and reduces the gum's inflammation and relieves some of the pain.
Rosemary is full of anti-stress properties and thus is useful in managing stress. Inhaling Rosemary essential oil lowers the level of cortisol, i.e., the stress hormone. It also increases the level of dopamine, a neurotransmitter. This, in totality, helps lower stress levels and is vital for mental well-being.
Rosemary has anti-inflammatory properties, which might help in relieving the pain on the bones and muscles related to arthritis. Rosemary oil can be added to baths and hot compress to inhibit the mediators responsible for the inflammation.
Patchy hair loss, the main symptom of Alopecia, can be helped by Rosemary. Application and massaging of the oil in the affected area improves blood circulation and can promote hair growth.
Forms of Rosemary in Ayurveda with Recommended Dosage
Rosemary is used in Ayurvedic Treatment for more than three thousand years in mainly three forms mentioned below. Each has its specific dosage and can be mixed in other mediums for various treatments. It is always better if a physician is consulted about the dosage as it may differ from person to person as per their need and age. But if you are not consulting a professional, the following are the dosages you can use perform of Rosemary available-
o Rosemary Powder- 500 milligrams twice daily.
o Rosemary Leaves–750 milligrams of chopped dried leaves or 2 to 4grams of leavesextract.
o Rosemary Oil- 4to 5 drops.
o Rosemary Capsule- 1 capsule twice a day after heavy meals
Types of Ayurvedic Care with Rosemary
Rosemary can be consumed in varied forms to help with many issues. Please consult your doctor before consuming Rosemary in specified dosages to ensure you are not allergic to the herb. Let’s see in which ways Rosemary can help us-
Rosemary to Improve Memory
-Take 3-5 g of Rosemary leaves (dried or fresh)
-Add 1-2 cups of water
-Boil the mixture for 5-10 minutes to make Rosemary Tea
-Strain the leaves and have it twice daily
-Regular use can improve memory
Rosemary to prevent Age-related mental decline
-Take 1 Rosemary capsule daily twice after meals or as directed by the physician
-Regular use can prevent brain aging.
Rosemary for Headache
- Take some fresh Rosemary leaves in a cup
- Add hot water to that cup
- Cover it with a lid and let it soak for 10-15 minutes
- Drink the hot Rosemary infusion to get relief from a nagging headache.
Rosemary for Immunity Boost
- Rosemary leaves can be chopped and added to daily meals or roast along with food.
- This adds garnishing and flavor as well as keeps us protected
Rosemary for Arthritis
- Take five drops of rosemary oil or as per your requirement.
- Add 1 drop of olive or mustard oil to it.
- Massage the affected areas for 10-15 minutes before sleeping
- Get relief from the pain and inflammation and get a good night’s sleep.
Rosemary for Hair Loss
- Take a few drops of Rosemary oil
- Make a mixture of coconut oil and rosemary oil
- Apply it evenly on the scalp once or twice a week
- Noticeable sprouting hair and a decrease in the amount of hair loss can be seen.
Rosemary to manage weight
-Take 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary leaves in a pan
- Add 1 cup of water to it
- Simmer the mixture for 5-7 minutes to prepare the Rosemary tea
- Can add honey as a sweetener, do not add sugar
- Consume daily as a supplement to exercise and notice the difference.
Rosemary for Depression
- Take a few drops of Rosemary oil on a cotton swab or tissue or cloth.
- Bring it near your face or not and deeply inhale
- take deep breaths and inhale the aroma to elevate your mood
Side Effects of Rosemary
Though Rosemary is a magical herb that can be used to relieve so many ailments, it too should not be overdone. Rosemary took for internal usage more than the specified dosage can be harmful. Certain harmful side effects of Rosemary are listed below-
• Kidney Irritation
• Uterine Bleeding
• Increased Sun sensitivity
• Skin Redness
• Allergic reaction
• High Blood Pressure
• Pulmonary edema
• Excessive bleeding
Before using Rosemary in excessive amounts, please consult your physicians as to your body’s capabilities of accepting the herb and your physical conditions.
Severe Medical Interactions
The herb rosemary has the potential to hamper or accelerate the workings of other drugs it comes in close contact with. If taken for internal use, it can interact with other medications in the bloodstream. Doctors should be consulted before the consumption of Rosemary if you are already under certain medications as both may not suit together. Some potential mingling is-
Rosemary can interact with Aspirin as both of them share the common active component "salicylate." Their usage together may lead to a potentially harmful overdose.
Suppose anti-platelet or anti-coagulant medications are already in use. In that case, it's advisable to avoid the use of Rosemary as it may cause excessive bleeding due to its anti-thrombotic behavior. This can cause a potential life-risking situation.
Rosemary should not be consumed while taking anticonvulsant medication as it can worsen seizures. It is recommended to avoid usage during the use of such medicines completely.
Precautions to be taken while using Rosemary
Doctors and Ayurvedic experts always advise to dilute Rosemary oil for internal use, used in the strong, pure form; Rosemary oil might cause gastroenteritis, spasms, vomiting, and irritation kidneys. Therefore, it's always advised to check the concentration of Rosemary oil before use.
There are some other certain specified precautions for the usage of Rosemary oil as mentioned below-
Allergy: People who are allergic to Aspirin should be prohibited from also consuming Rosemary in any form as it contains the same chemical component, "salicylate." It might cause the same problems as an Aspirin allergy. Aspirin and Rosemary oil should not be used together to cause an overdose-like reaction to the body.
Breastfeeding: Very little is known about the reaction of Rosemary on infants. Thus it is recommended to avoid using uncontrolled amounts of the herb while women are breastfeeding. This might cause gastroenteritis, spasms, vomiting, and irritation to the kidneys. Infants might not react positively to the exposure of Rosemary in their daily diet.
Pregnancy: Rosemary is not recommended for pregnant women for internal use at all as it may have severe effects such as gastric problems, including vomiting and spasms. It may also lead to uterine bleeding or even miscarriage. However, aromatherapy using Rosemary oil does help relieve stress in women carrying babies. Also, women trying to get pregnant should avoid using Rosemary as it can alter hormones and the conditions of the uterus.
1. Does Rosemary cause Iron Deficiency?
A: No, Rosemary does not cause iron deficiency. However, it does reduce the level of iron absorption of the body. Therefore, it is advised to avoid Rosemary if you are taking iron supplements and are iron deficient.
2. Does Rosemary cause Gastric Ulcers?
A: No, Rosemary does not cause gastric ulcers. In fact, it contains certain active compounds that protect the body against peptic ulcers.
3. Where would I get Rosemary?
A: Rosemary is readily available in the market in different forms such as powder, oil, capsule, or dried leaves. If you want to use Rosemary regularly, you can also plant one sapling at your own home. It is a very diverse herb that can be used in a variety of ways. Eat it, apply it, smell it, decorate with it, cook with it. It is a very versatile herb.