Rosmarinus officinalis (sometimes also referred to as Salvia rosmarinus) is the botanical name for a shrub. This shrub is commonly known as rosemary. It is a perennial evergreen shrub in the mint family (Lamiaceae) and this shrub is native to the Mediterranean region. Rosemary Essential Oil has always been well-known for its aromatic leaves. These leaves are used as a seasoning in cooking, particularly in Mediterranean cuisine. But, nowadays cuisines around the world have started using rosemary herb for seasoning. Just to remind the readers, we are talking about the herb and not the oil.
Besides its culinary uses, rosemary plant and its parts have been traditionally used for various medicinal purposes, including improving digestion, lowering inflammation and enhancing memory. These properties were extracted and trapped in a tiny bottle as essential oil of rosemary. This oil is used in aromatherapy and as a natural insect repellent.
Rosemary had many purposes in traditional uses; however, modern research has shown that rosemary contains many compounds with potential health benefits. Some of these compounds are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. However, more research and human trials are needed to fully understand the mechanisms and potential benefits of these compounds. The compounds in the oil include Terpinen-4-ol, p-cymene, linalool, gamma-terpinene, thymol and beta-pinene.
Let’s talk about Rosemary essential oil now.
How is Rosemary Essential Oil Extracted?
Rosemary oil is extracted from the leaves of the rosemary plant through a (common) process called steam distillation. Here the leaves of the rosemary plant are harvested and collected in the morning, usually after the dew has evaporated. The leaves are then washed and dried. To optimize the efficiency of the distillation, process the dried leaves are ground into a powder. Next, the ground rosemary leaves are put in a distillation apparatus with water.
The mixture is heated, which generates steam that passes through the powder, and carries with it the essential oil. Later, the mixture enters a condenser, where it cool and condenses into its liquid form where the essential oil floats on top of the liquid. In the liquid form the oil separates from the water and is segregated. Then the process of filtering and storing are completed.
Benefits of Rosemary Essential Oil
1. It is Good for Immunity
Regular use of rosemary oil may boost the immunity. Better immune power of the body protects it from diseases. One of the compounds of the oil is myrcene which is known to have strong antioxidant properties. Good amounts of antioxidants in the body can fight against the free radicals in the body and prevent infections and diseases. Simply inhaling the aroma of rosemary oil can boost the immunity.
2. It has Anti-inflammatory Properties
The oil of rosemary has anti-inflammatory properties that are useful for dealing with aches and pains, especially the chronic ones. Simply massaging the affected parts of the body with rosemary oil will relieve the pain. The reason for the potent anti-inflammatory properties of this oil is the presence of the agent alpha pinene.
The peer-reviewed scientific journal Acta Veterinaria published a 2009 study in which the anti-inflammatory properties of rosemary oil was found. The research was done on lab mice (1).
3. Good for Digestion
Did you know that simply rubbing rosemary oil on the abdomen has its benefits? Yeah, it does. Applying rosemary oil on the stomach and your feet can boost or improve digestion. This is because the oil can boost the mount of gastric acid discharge, thereby increasing the production of bile by the liver. Both these components are crucial for digestion. As a result, rosemary may alleviate conditions such as constipation, stomach cramps, and bloating.
4. Lower Muscle and Joint Pain
This oil has the compounds 1,8-cineole, alpha-pinene, and camphor, which are essential in combating pain and aches and soreness. Rosemary oil possesses pain-reducing, pain-blocking and swelling-reducing properties. These properties have been historically used in alleviating muscle pain, joint pain, sprains, and other physical injuries. It is even used for lowering the symptoms of arthritis. Several researches have been conducted on rosemary oil which have conclude that the oil is effective for treating these conditions, and its effects have been demonstrated in rats. However, there is no definitive evidence to support these claims in humans.
A study published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences on 2015 supports the use of rosemary oil in managing pain. It was found that the compounds camphor and alpha pinene lowered the pain in mice. It was also seen that rosemary oil was more effective than some OTC medicines or ointments (2).
A study conducted on lab mice found that it had analgesic properties which could lower pain and discomfort. In some cases it was better that prescription medicines.
5. Boosts Blood Circulation
Applying rosemary oil on the body (skin / scalp) has shown to improve the blood circulation. A thorough massage will also boost the blood flow to the particular part of the body. Why is more blood flow better? More blood flow to a part of the body will nourish the body and lower problems including pain and inflammation. It also promotes wound healing, hair growth and radiant skin.
6. Good Against Cold, Cough, Flu and Headache
Headaches, migraines and other factors may cause you to miss out on important work or school. The same is true with coughs, colds, and the flu. Fortunately, you can find relief just by rubbing a few drops of diluted rosemary oil between your palms and inhaling its aroma by bringing the palms close to the nose and mouth. The pain-relieving or analgesic properties of this powerful oil are effective in reducing headaches. These ailments are caused by bacteria or viral infections, but rosemary essential oil is a potent antibacterial agent when inhaled.
7. Overall Respiratory Function
A bottle of rosemary essential oil is all it takes to improve your breathing and respiratory functions. Research has shown that this oil provides significant relief from respiratory disorders. It has eucalyptol and camphor compounds that are known to dilate the bronchi in your lungs, thereby allowing improved flow of air through the airways. Doing this can alleviate a number of respiratory issues such as chest and nasal congestion. Common ailments including coughs, colds, and sore throats can also be taken care off with rosemary oil. The essential oil of rosemary also has antispasmodic properties, thus making it effective in treating bronchial asthma.
8. For Stress Free Life
Ever heard of cortisol? It is the hormone released by the body that causes stress. With more stress, more cortisol is present in the body. Individuals experiencing chronic stress will have too much of cortisol released in their body. This can disrupt the hormone equation of the body and normal metabolism, which may potentially lead to various health conditions.
Nevertheless, not all is gloomy! Research has shown that simply inhaling the aroma of rosemary oil can significantly lower cortisol levels in saliva. So, the next time you find yourself struggling with the stresses of day-to-day life, consider aromatherapy with rosemary oil.
Stress can hamper the outcome of education. A study published in the journal Holistic Nursing Practice showed the positive effect of rosemary and lavender essential oils on test taking graduate nursing students. (3)
9. A Nice Smelling Oil
Rosemary oil has a delightful aroma which is why it is popular in the first place. Its pleasing fragrance is attributed to a volatile compound known as myrcene present in this essential oil. The fragrance of rosemary oil makes it a popular ingredient in room fresheners, diffusers, and scented candles for meditation. Additionally, it is commonly used in cosmetics, scented bath products, and perfumes.
10. May Prevent STDs and Infections
How? It has two active ingredients with potent antiviral properties. These ingredients are beta-pinene and limonene. When test in-vitro, the success rate of these compounds was astonishing. The success rate was high against the herpes simplex virus. However, it needs to said here that more research is needed to ascertain the mode of intake and the dose of rosemary oil in dealing with different infections and STDs. Human trials are the need of the hour.
11. Improves Dental Care
Rosemary oil is used as an ingredient in several mouthwashes. It can also be used as a standalone oil by mixing with a glass of warm water for gargling. Rosemary oil as a mouthwash has two qualities. First it removes mouth odor and second it has antibacterial properties that drives out the bacteria. Studies have shown that this oil is helpful against the Streptococcus sobrinus bacteria responsible for the painful cavities.
12. Excellent Liver Detox Agent
Rosemary oil as a liver detoxifier has been used for some time now. And there is some evidence to suggest that this essential oil may be effective for liver detoxification. The liver is responsible for filtering toxins from the bloodstream. But it needs to be healthy to function properly. If the liver is left uncared then it becomes overwhelmed, which can cause variety of health issues.
Rosemary oil has carnosol and rosmarinic acid as active ingredients. These ingredients have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may protect the liver from damage caused by toxins; it also reduces inflammation in the liver. Some studies suggest that rosemary oil may stimulate bile flow, thus improving digestion. And like always more research is needed on this topic.
13. Boost Your Cognitive Function
Rosemary oil may have cognitive benefits, but it should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment. Having said that, Rosemary oil has potential benefits for cognition and mental clarity. Many studies have shown that by simply inhaling the aroma of rosemary oil a person can improve cognitive performance, which includes memory and alertness. The presence of the compound 1,8-cineole is responsible for boosting the brain function.
Inhaling the aroma of rosemary oil increases the levels of this compound in the brain, which then improves cognitive function. It may also have neuroprotective properties. What does that mean? It means that this oil could help prevent cognitive decline by improving brain health. And like always more research is needed to fully understand rosemary oil for cognition.
14. Goodbye Tiredness and No More Nervousness
Can smell get rid of tiredness? Yes, says the many people who were subjected to a test of aromatherapy under tiredness. When feeling tired or tensed, inhale rosemary oil as it can act as a stimulant, which elevates blood pressure and breathing, which can lead to a feeling of increased freshness and energy.
15. A Good Antidepressant
Rosemary oil is good for mental health as it is an antidepressant. Research suggests that the presence of carnosol and betulinic acid in rosemary oil makes it an antidepressant. This research was done on rats. Aromatherapy using rosemary oil helps individuals relax and lower symptoms of stress and depression.
16. Anxiety No More
This has been researched. Those who inhaled the aroma of rosemary before a big interview or test were less anxious than those who did not inhale any aroma at all. Aromatherapy has a quick effect on the senses which lowers anxiety.
17. Stops Ageing
Well, not exactly. But, the antioxidants due to the compounds in the oil can fight the free radicals that fastens the ageing process. It also gives protection against sun damage to the skin.
18. Anti Acne
Applying diluted rosemary oil to the face will lower the inflammation caused due to acne. It improves blood circulation and results in a glowing skin.
19. Boosts Hair Health
Infuse new life in your hair with essential oils including rosemary oil. The oil has many ingredients that nourishes the hair. It keeps the hair hydrated and protects it from damage.
20. Get Rid of Uninvited Guests – The Bugs
No one would welcome bugs and mosquitoes into their homes. However, these pests do find their way in and pesters the residents. The aroma of rosemary repels the uninvited guest. The presence of the compound limonene is responsible for this benefit of rosemary.
So, as you can see, rosemary essential oil has many benefits and can be used for a wide range of purposes. Let’s check out the uses.
Uses of Rosemary Essential Oil
We have seen the benefits of rosemary essential oil. Now let’s see how the benefits can be materialized into real world scenarios.
1. Aromatherapy For Stress & Anxiety
One of the most popular uses of any essential oil including rosemary oil is in aromatherapy. Inhaling the aroma of rosemary oil may help reduce stress and anxiety. On top of that it improves cognitive function and enhances mental clarity. Some people also find the scent of rosemary oil to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.
2. Rosemary Oil for Hair Care
Rosemary oil is an ingredient in many hair care products including shampoos and conditioners. However, a few drops of the oil can be added to any hair oil and massaged on the scalp to nourish and moisturize it. One study has found that daily scalp massage with diluted rosemary oil can increase hair growth over a six-month period.
3. Skin Care with Rosemary Oil
Rosemary oil is an ingredient in many skin care products including lotions and face masks. A few drops of the oil can be added to face masks and gels and massaged into the face and skin to protect, nourish and moisturize it. One study found that rosemary oil-based gel was effective in reducing acne. It can also be used as an anti-ageing agent.
4. Drive Away Insects with Rosemary
Rosemary oil is used as a natural insect repellent, and it is particularly effective against mosquitoes. It may also help to repel other insects such as ticks and fleas. It can be mixed with water and stored in a spritzer.
5. Pain Relief Essential Oil
Rosemary oil may have analgesic properties. When applied topically the oil may relieve muscle and joint pain. It reduces inflammation of the joints and muscle soreness. It is helpful for people with arthritis.
6. Oral Care with Oil of Rosemary
Add a few drops of rosemary oil on the toothpaste and brush the teeth for added benefits of rosemary for the teeth. Gargle with a few drops of rosemary oil in lukewarm oil for getting rid of bacteria and odor.
7. General Respiratory Health
Rosemary oil may have antibacterial and antiviral properties. Inhaling the aroma of rosemary oil regularly may open up the airways and alleviate respiratory symptoms such as coughs and congestion. The oil’s aroma could help fight respiratory infections.
8. EO for Digestive Health
Rosemary herb is used in cooking for its aroma, flavor and medicinal benefits. Rosemary oil also has benefits for the digestive health. The oil may stimulate the digestive system and improve digestion. It definitely reduces bloating and gas.
9. Rosemary for Heart
The two benefits of rosemary are in reducing high blood pressure and improving blood circulation. For this, the oil may be used in aromatherapy or in massage. A study found that the oil of rosemary was good for people with hypertension.
These are the some of the benefits and uses of rosemary essential oil. Essential oils when used regularly improves the quality of life. However, these oils must not be used as a replacement for any medical treatment.
DIY Recipes with Rosemary Essential Oil Blends
Recipe# 1 – Topical Application Blend for Face
- 5 drops of rosemary essential oil
- 3 drops of cedarwood essential oil
- 2 drops of Mandarin essential oil
- 5 drops of frankincense essential oil
- 3 tablespoons of Virgin olive oil
- Add all the ingredients in a bottle.
- Mix it well before use
- Take 5 drops of the blend and apply on the face.
- Massage it on the face
- Store in a dark and cool place
Recipe# 2 – Meditative Aid
- 2 drops of rosemary essential oil
- 3 drops of lavender essential oil
- 2 drops of vetiver essential oil
- Add all the ingredients to an aroma diffuser.
- Diffuse it 10 minutes before meditation.
- Focus on the aroma while meditating.
Recipe# 3 Relaxation Remediation
- 2 drops of rosemary essential oil
- 4 drops of lavender essential oil
- 1 drop of ylang ylang essential oil
- Add the oils to a diffuser blend
- Use it to overcome tiredness and fatigue
Rosemary essential oil helps with a lot of medical ailments. Rosemary oil benefits the body’s immunity, skin, promoting hair growth and even the heart. Rosemary oil’s ability to be useful in health-related issues stems from its chemical constituents that have been well researched. The herbaceous oil has been used in traditional medicine, in skincare and even for taking care of baldness. Mixing rosemary oil with a carrier oil and applying on the skin has a soothing and therapeutic effect.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is rosemary essential oil good for?
Rosemary essential oil is a popular essential oil that has several uses. Here are some of the common uses of rosemary essential oil:
1. Aromatherapy: Rosemary oil is often used in aromatherapy to improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
2. Hair care: The oil is believed to stimulate hair growth, prevent dandruff, and nourish the scalp.
3. Skin care: Rosemary oil may help improve skin tone, reduce wrinkles, and treat acne and other skin conditions.
Can we apply rosemary oil directly on hair?
Rosemary essential oil is commonly used for hair care, but it’s not recommended to apply it directly to the hair and scalp without diluting it first with any carrier oil. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can cause skin irritation if used in their undiluted form.
To use rosemary oil for hair care, it’s best to mix a few drops of the oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, or olive oil.
Can rosemary oil be applied directly to skin?
No, it is not recommended to apply rosemary essential oil directly to the skin without diluting it first. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can cause skin sensitization if applied undiluted to the skin. It is best to dilute rosemary essential oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, or almond oil. Before using rosemary oil or any essential oil on your skin, it’s important to perform a patch test.
Can rosemary oil grow hair faster?
There is limited evidence to support the claim that rosemary essential oil can grow hair faster. Some studies suggest that it may improve hair growth in people with hair loss, but more research is needed to confirm these findings. Topical application of diluted rosemary oil may stimulate hair growth.
How to use rosemary for hair regrowth?
Rosemary essential oil can be used for hair regrowth by diluting it with a carrier oil and applying and massaging it to the scalp, leaving it on for a few hours before washing it off.
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Rosmarinus officinalis Essential Oil in Mice https://actavet.vfu.cz/78/1/0121/
- Analgesic effects of rosemary essential oil and its interactions with codeine and paracetamol in mice https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271591611_Analgesic_effects_of_rosemary_essential_oil_and_its_interactions_with_codeine_and_paracetamol_in_mice?enrichId=rgreq-a7539ffc51e7cafa559adddf439e69fd-XXX&enrichSource=Y292ZXJQYWdlOzI3MTU5MTYxMTtBUzoxOTIzNDk1MDQxMDY0OThAMTQyMjg3MTEwMzkzMw%3D%3D&el=1_x_3&_esc=publicationCoverPdf
- The Effects of Lavender and Rosemary Essential Oils on Test-Taking Anxiety Among Graduate Nursing Students. https://journals.lww.com/hnpjournal/Abstract/2009/03000/The_Effects_of_Lavender_and_Rosemary_Essential.5.aspx