Rosemary – Latest Research Included

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Rosemary is an ingredient that provides a savory aroma to food items. Many believe that rosemary will alleviate muscle pain, improve immunity, and enhance memory. However, it could be a problem when combined with other medications.

The rosemary plant is a fragrant herb from the Mediterranean. It is used for its culinary purposes, to make body fragrances, and for its health benefits. It's part of the mint family Lamiaceae, along with several other herbs, including thyme, oregano, basil, oregano, and lavender.

The herb is not just great in food dishes, like rosemary chicken or lamb; it's also a great source of calcium, iron, and vitamin B-6.

It is generally prepared as a dried plant or a dried powdered extract. Dried or fresh leaves can be used to prepare teas or liquid extracts.

This herb has been revered since the beginning of time for its healing properties. Rosemary was a popular herb for easing muscle pain, improving memory, increasing circulation and immune system, and boosting hair growth.

Quick facts about rosemary:

  • Rosemary is a perennial flower (it can last for more than 2 years).
  • The leaves are frequently used for cooking.
  • Health benefits could include improved concentration, digestion, and the brain's aging.
  • Extremely high doses can cause vomiting, coma, or pulmonary edema.

The Medical News Today Knowledge Center feature is part of a series of articles about the health benefits of everyday foods.


Rosemary is a potent source of potential health benefits.

Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances

Rosemary is an excellent source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. These compounds are believed to boost the immune system and increase blood circulation.

Research in the lab has shown that rosemary is rich in antioxidants. These are essential as they neutralize dangerous particles known as free radicals.

Improving digestion

In Europe, rosemary is widely utilized to combat ingestion. In fact, Germany's Commission E has approved rosemary for treating Indigestion. However, it must be noted that there is no scientifically valid evidence to support this assertion at present.

Building memory, concentration, and focus

According to research presented in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, the scent of rosemary can enhance a person's concentration, speed, performance, and precision and, to a lesser degree, improve their mood.

Protection of the brain

Researchers have discovered that rosemary is beneficial to the brain. Rosemary is a source of carnosic acid, which combats damage caused by free radicals in the brain.

A few studies on rats have revealed the possibility that rosemary can be helpful to those who have had an accident that caused a stroke. Rosemary is believed to protect against brain damage and may aid in recovery.

Prevent the aging of the brain.

Certain studies have suggested that rosemary could significantly slow the brain's aging process. The potential therapeutic value of rosemary in preventing Alzheimer's disease shows promising results, but further studies are required.


The research, published in Oncology Reports, discovered that a “crude extract of ethanolic rosemary (RO)” decreased the growth of leukemia cells in humans and breast cancer cells.

Another study, published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, concluded that rosemary could be effective as an anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor drug.

A study released in the Journal of Food Science revealed that adding an extract from rosemary to ground beef helps reduce the development of cancer-causing agents that can be created when cooking.

Protection against macular degeneration

A study published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Vision Science, authored by Dr. Stuart A. Lipton, Ph.D., and colleagues at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, discovered that carnosic acid, a significant ingredient in rosemary, could positively impact eye health.

This may have clinical applications for conditions that affect the retina's outer layer, such as age-related macular degeneration, the most frequent eye condition in the United States.

Side effects

Rosemary is generally safe when used in moderate doses. However, excessive doses could cause severe side effects, but this is not often the case.

Some of the side effects are:

  • vomiting
  • spasms
  • Coma
  • Pulmonary swelling (fluid in the lung)

The high doses of rosemary can cause miscarriage. Therefore, it is not recommended for women expecting to become pregnant to take any rosemary supplements.

Drug interactions

Rosemary may affect how certain medicines work. Rosemary can alter the effects of some drugs, including:

  • Anticoagulants They are blood-thinning drugs, such as Warfarin, Aspirin, and Clopidogrel.
  • Ace inhibitors: Ace inhibitors treat high blood pressure in the vessels. They comprise lisinopril (Zestril), fosinopril (Monopril), captopril (Capoten) as well as enalapril (Vasotec).
  • Diuretics The effects of these diuretics are to boost the rate of urine passing and include furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide (Lasix).
  • Lithium is used for treating manic depression episodes. Rosemary is diuretic and can cause lithium levels to become toxic in the body.
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