Native to the Mediterranean region, rosemary is an evergreen herb with a wonderful fragrance and popularly used in various cuisines all around the world. In addition to being a super herb, rosemary is loaded with nutrients that benefit your health in many ways. This herb is available in the fresh form as well as in the dried and powdered form. Belonging to the mint family, rosemary has long been used for its culinary and medicinal properties. Rosemary oil, which is extracted from this herb is not only popular for its herbal and culinary benefits, but is also widely used for the numerous health benefits it offers. Rosemary is a well-liked medicinal herb with a history that dates back to thousands of years.
Nutrition facts of Rosemary
Rosemary is low in calories, contains no cholesterol and provides good amounts of dietary fiber. It is exceptionally rich in vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C and B complex vitamins like riboflavin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and folic acid. This herb is a good source of minerals like calcium, potassium, manganese, iron, copper and magnesium. It also contains phytonutrients that is found to have several health benefiting and disease preventing properties. The flower tops of rosemary contain rosmarinic acid, a phenolic antioxidant as well as essential oils such as camphene, cineol, borneol, a-pinene etc. These essential oils have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial and antiseptic properties.
Health benefits of Rosemary
Not only is rosemary a flavorful herb, but it is also capable of improving your overall health and well-being. Nowadays rosemary oil is used in the preparation of various medicines. It is a super antioxidant herb that helps to keep away diseases and lets you live a healthy and active life. Read on to know more about the various health benefits of this herb:
Rosemary and skin care benefits
Rosemary offers a load of benefits for the skin. In addition to moisturizing your skin, it also stimulates the production of collagen, thus keeping your skin look soft and supple. It tightens loose and sagging skin, making it more elastic and firm. The antioxidant properties of this herb help in neutralizing the effects of free radicals and in preventing the development of aging signs like wrinkles and fine lines. Rich in nutrients and antioxidants, rosemary is used as an ingredient in soaps, facial cleansers, creams and toners. Rosemary has antibacterial and antiseptic effects that can help prevent acne and pimples. Massaging the essential oil on the face helps in improving the skin complexion and in removing blemishes and dark spots. This herb is also effective in curing skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.
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Rosemary aids digestion
One of the important uses of rosemary is its ability to improve the digestive health. It is often used as a remedy for digestive problems such as gas, bloating, and indigestion. Rosemary essential oil helps in relieving upset stomach by reducing the frequency of muscle spasms and providing a calming effect. Rosemary oil when massaged on the stomach is thought to be helpful in providing relief from constipation. This oil is also effective in increasing your appetite. According to research, rosemary oil can help in detoxifying the liver as well as in producing and releasing bile, which is very important for the process of digestion. It also increases circulation by stimulating the flow of blood, which helps in improving digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Rosemary provides pain relief
Rosemary is effective in relieving pain, which is why it is used as a remedy for treating various types of pains such as muscle pain, headache etc. All you have to do is massage the affected area with rosemary essential oil and see the difference. Rosemary offers pain relief by stimulating the flow of blood.
Rosemary has anti-inflammatory properties
Rosemary is found to have anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it beneficial for the treatment of arthritis. A study conducted on mice suggests that the rosmarinic acid, a phytochemical present in this herb is capable of inhibiting the progression of arthritis in these animals. In Germany, the application of rosemary oil is an approved treatment method for arthritis. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of rosemary helps in reducing pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, joint aches and sprains.
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Hair benefits of rosemary
In addition to its skin benefits, rosemary is also popular for promoting healthy hair growth. Rosemary oil improves blood circulation and stimulates cell division, which in turn stimulates the hair follicles to produce new hair. This oil also has the ability to darken hair, and hence is a better option when compared to the various harmful chemicals available that may damage your hair. Rosemary oil helps prevent baldness and scalp related problems like dandruff, dry scalp and itchiness. It is also a great conditioner that helps keep your hair soft and manageable.
Rosemary as a stress buster
Cortisol, the stress hormone is secreted in higher levels by the adrenal gland when the body undergoes the fight or flight response to stress. Studies reveal that inhaling rosemary oil for about five minutes is helpful in lowering the levels of cortisol and in activating the relaxation process of the body. This helps in elevating your mood, calming your nerves and in allowing your body to returns to its normal state after the stressful situation.
Rosemary improves your immune health
The high levels of nutrients and antioxidants in rosemary can give a terrific boost to your immune system. Studies suggest that the antioxidants in this herb are helpful in fighting off diseases and infections. The active components in rosemary have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties as well. The regular use of rosemary supports the health of the immune system and protects the body against diseases. Drinking rosemary tea is a great way to give your immune system a boost and keeping you fit and disease-free.
Rosemary is a memory booster
Rosemary has been associated with brain health and memory since the ancient times. Studies reveal that inhaling the scent of rosemary helps in increasing the memory by about 75%. Rosemary oil has been found to promote mental clarity and significantly improve memory. The volatile components such as terpenes found in rosemary essential oil enters the bloodstream and acts on the enzymes in the body, helping to enhance memory.
Rosemary and cancer prevention
The two main ingredients in rosemary – rosmarinic acid and caffeic acid are strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents, which protects the body from the damages caused by the free radicals. This herb is high in carnosol, an anti-cancer compound that can help prevent the development of various types of cancers. According to research, rosemary inhibited the growth and proliferation of breast, prostate, liver and blood cancer cells. Scientists have confirmed that the antioxidant components in rosemary such as ursollic acid and carnosol are effective in preventing melanoma, the deadly skin cancer.
Rosemary may prevent Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is a disease caused by the degeneration of dopamine producing cells in the brain due to age or trauma. According to a study published in the 2010 issue of Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, rosemary was found to prevent the damage of human dopamine cells. Carnasol, a major component of rosemary has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and studies indicate that this component has the potential to be used as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
Rosemary for blood pressure
It is important to keep your blood pressure levels under control in order to lower your risks of stroke, heart attack and heart disease. Rosemary has diuretic properties that help in lowering blood pressure. Diuretics or water pills help in getting rid of excess water and salts from the body by increasing the frequency of urination. Thus by reducing fluid volume, diuretics help reduce blood pressure levels as well.
Rosemary can help eliminate bad breath
The wonderful fragrance of rosemary makes it an effective remedy for bad breath or halitosis. An infusion of rosemary can be gargled to eliminate bad breath. A natural mouthwash can be made with this herb by steeping fresh rosemary leaves in boiled water. Strain this liquid and then use it daily as often as you like.
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Rosemary for respiratory problems
Rosemary is also a great remedy for various respiratory problems. Inhaling the aroma of rosemary essential oil is beneficial in providing relief from colds, flu, allergies and respiratory infections. Steam inhalation of rosemary infused water is a great way to remove congestion and clear the throat and lungs. Rosemary oil also has expectorant properties, which makes it useful in the treatment of respiratory problems like cough, asthma and sinus infection.
Rosemary has antimicrobial properties
Rosemary possesses strong antibacterial properties that help in controlling the growth of numerous pathogenic bacteria without harming the good bacteria in your body. This herb has been found to be effective in getting rid of fungal infections as well.
With a pungent flavor and wonderful smell, rosemary is a great herb for adding flavor to sauces, soups and many other dishes. It’s amazing flavor and numerous health benefits makes rosemary a must-have ingredient in every household. Rosemary oil happens to be one of the most important essential oils that are used for a wide range of health benefits. These health benefits have made rosemary a very vital and popular herb over the years.