Usage of rosemary dates back to 500 bc. It was used as a culinary and medicinal herb by the ancient Greeks and Romans. It is an herb, and native to the Mediterranean region. It is now grown worldwide. The leaf and its oil are used to make medicine.
Rosemary is used for improving memory, indigestion, arthritis-related joint pain, hair loss, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.
In foods, rosemary is used as a spice. The leaf and oil are used, and the oil is used in beverages. It’s oil is also used for its fragrance in soaps and perfumes.
Although it’s not clear how rosemary works for hair loss, applying it to the scalp irritates the skin and increases blood circulation.
Memory. Taking rosemary by mouth may mildly improve memory in young adults. Using rosemary aromatherapy seems to improve some measures of memory. Rosemary aromatherapy also seems to increase alertness.
Early research shows that taking powdered rosemary leaves might improve memory speed in healthy, older adults. But higher doses seem to worsen memory. Other early research shows that taking a product containing rosemary, lemon balm, and sage improves memory in healthy adults 62 years or younger. But it doesn’t seem to improve memory in adults 63 years or older.
Male-pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia). Early research suggests that applying rosemary oil to the scalp is as effective as minoxidil for increasing hair count in people with male-pattern baldness.
Fatigue. Early research shows that taking rosemary does not improve attention or mental energy in adults with low energy levels.
Low blood pressure. Early research shows that taking rosemary oil three times per day increases the top number in a blood pressure reading (systolic blood pressure) and the bottom number (diastolic blood pressure) in people with low blood pressure. Blood pressure seems to return to pretreatment values once rosemary use is stopped.
Withdrawal from heroin, morphine, and other opioid drugs. Early research suggests that taking rosemary leaves along with methadone, improves opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Stress. Some early research suggests that rosemary and lavender oil aromatherapy may reduce pulse rates, but not blood pressure, in people taking tests. But other research shows that applying rosemary oil to the wrist increases feelings of anxiety and tension during testing.
Patchy hair loss (alopecia areata).
Kidney damage in people with diabetes (diabetic nephropathy).
A mild form of gum disease (gingivitis).
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
High blood pressure.
Increasing menstrual flow.
Liver and gallbladder problems.
When taken by mouth: Rosemary is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in amounts found in foods. Rosemary leaf is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth as a medicine in doses up to 6 grams per day. But taking undiluted rosemary oil or very large amounts of rosemary leaf is LIKELY UNSAFE. Taking large amounts of rosemary can cause vomiting, uterine bleeding, kidney irritation, increased sun sensitivity, skin redness, and allergic reactions.
When applied to the skin: Rosemary oil is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when applied to the skin for medicinal purposes. It might cause allergic reactions in some people.
When inhaled: Rosemary is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when inhaled as aromatherapy for medicinal purposes.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy: Rosemary is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts. Rosemary might stimulate menstruation or affect the uterus, causing a miscarriage. There isn’t enough reliable information to know if rosemary is safe when applied to the skin when pregnant. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Aspirin allergy. Rosemary contains a chemical that is very similar to aspirin. This chemical may cause a reaction in people who are allergic to aspirin.
Bleeding disorders: Rosemary might increase the risk of bleeding and bruising in people with bleeding disorders. Use cautiously.
Do not use for Seizure disorders
Dosing: The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
BY MOUTH: For memory: 500 milligrams of rosemary extract twice daily for one month has been used.
INHALED AS AROMATHERAPY:
For memory: Four drops of pure rosemary essential oil has been applied to an aromatherapy diffuser pad 5 minutes before testing.
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