7 Health Benefits of Rosemary Leaf [Infographic]
Rosemary leaf is well known as an aromatic and citrusy culinary herb but not many people may be aware of its medicinal uses. According to various research studies, the herb may aid digestion, improve memory and concentration, protect the skin, prevent diabetes and heart disease, and treat anxiety and depression. Some researchers have also found that it supports weight loss.
What is the rosemary leaf?
Rosemary is a popular culinary herb and a decorative plant that is widely cultivated around the world. It is also a well-known medicinal herb and has been used to improve memory, relieve muscle pain, stimulate hair growth and support the circulatory and nervous systems. In traditional medicine of India, extracts and essential oil from flowers and leaves were used to treat a variety of disorders. The Virgin Mary was said to have spread her blue cloak over a rosemary bush when she was resting, turning the flowers blue. The shrub became known as the "Rose of Mary" and the name rosemary was eventually derived.
The health benefits of rosemary leaf according to research
1. Digestive Health
Rosemary is currently approved by the German Commission E (Germany’s equivalent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) to support healthy digestion. According to a study published in 2015 in Food & Function, a journal published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, rosemary extract could help prevent inflammatory bowel disease.
2. Energy & Brain Support
Rosemary is used as a traditional remedy in Europe to stimulate blood flow and is thought to promote blood flow to the head, and improve memory and concentration. Researchers in the US have found that the aroma of rosemary alone has positive effects on mood, alertness and math computations.
The herb may also have effects against Alzheimer’s disease, according to researchers in Japan. Another study found that rosemary herbal tea results in a reduction in stress and signs of fatigue, and occupational burnout.
3. Hair & Skin Health
Rosemary may have effects against skin cancer. The herb contains constituents such as carnosol and ursolic acid which have been shown to inhibit skin cancer formation. According to a human in vitro study conducted in 2015, an extract from rosemary was able to efficiently reduce the spread of human melanoma cells. Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer and the risk of developing it has been increasing in people under 40, especially women.
Another study published in the European Journal of Dermatology found rosemary extract has a protective effect on human skin cells against UV-induced damage.
4. Heart and Circulatory Health
Rosemary consumption may promote overall cardiovascular health and prevent diabetes and heart disease. A study published in Phytotherapy Research in 2011 established that rosemary has anti-inflammatory effects and contains many active compounds that support healthy circulation. A small clinical trial undertaken in 2006 in Germany showed that rosemary helps raise blood pressure in those suffering from high blood pressure. Rosemary extracts have also demonstrated significant activity against diabetes in animal studies.
5. Immunity and Overall Health
Laboratory studies have shown rosemary to have antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Dried rosemary leaves have also demonstrated effectiveness against treating Staph infection without developing resistance, according to animal studies that have been conducted.
A study published in July 2016 in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that plant-derived compounds found in rosemary were effective for fighting inflammation and pain. Researchers concluded that these compounds may be useful for treating inflammatory and cancer diseases and further justifies the use of rosemary in traditional medicine.
Several studies suggest that rosemary extract may inhibit tumor growth by preventing cancerous cells from replicating. One study found that rosemary, on its own and in combination with curcumin, helps prevent breast cancer. Another study found similar effects of rosemary on colon cancer cells. Laboratory research conducted in 2013 found that diterpenes, constituents found in rosemary, strongly stimulated nerve growth factor, suggesting that rosemary may help with nerve repair. These constituents were indicated to have ‘promising results of anticancer activity’, according to Cancer Letters in 2015.
6. Stress & Mood Support
Rosemary has been used in herbal medicine to treat stress and mild and moderate depression. Modern research suggests that rosemary has antidepressant effects, supporting its traditional use. One animal study published in 2015 reported that rosemary tea has an effect against anxiety and depression.
7. Weight Loss and Metabolism
Rosemary extract has been found in several studies to reduce weight gain induced by a high fat diet and may have benefits against metabolic disorders related to obesity such as diabetes. A study published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2015 found compounds in rosemary known as carnosic acid was able to significantly reduce body weight gain, percentage of fat, blood sugar levels, and free fatty acid levels in animal studies.
* These are some of the pharmacological actions that have been observed or are under study in various evidence-based research studies. Herb may have other properties not listed here.
The statements on this page are for educational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare practitioner prior to the use of any herbal products, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have allergies or medical conditions.
The information has been sourced and extracted from scientific papers, academic journals, research abstracts, and other sources. While Purify Tea makes every effort to present accurate and reliable information on this website, Purify Tea does not endorse, approve, or certify such information, nor does it guarantee the accuracy, completeness, efficiency, timeliness, or correct sequencing of such information. Use of such information is voluntary, and reliance on it should only be undertaken after an independent review of its accuracy, completeness, efficiency, and timeliness. While many traditional or folkloric remedies have a long history of use, modern research has only begun to investigate and substantiate their effectiveness. Research is still ongoing in many areas therefore conclusions are subject to change.
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