On the planet earth, there are 300,000 higher plant species that are distinctly different in chemical constituents. Out of the 300,000 only 10% of them have been studied for their constituent medical properties. Out of that 10% of plants only 2% have been studied and used in the practice of Aroma Therapy. Rosemary (rosemarinus officialis) essential oil contains a half-dozen constituents that have been studied to help stop the breakdown of acetylcholinein in the body. Medical studies have suggested that the body breakdowns or elimination of acetycholoinein have been shown to slow down or retard mental functions. In the United States, the average American diet is very poor in essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Not getting the daily amount of nutrients causes the body to develop a key lack of particular vitamins and minerals in the body and in return the body cannot heal itself on a cellular level and goes into a state of decline.
Aroma Therapists and herbalists throughout history have used rosemary to help get rid of free radicals by using the high antioxidant properties of rosemary. Rosemary has been found to have awakening properties to the mind and has a long history of enhancing the thought process. Rosemary is rich in vitamins A, B-complex (folic acid, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine and riboflavin) and is high in antioxidant vitamin C. Rosemary is often called “the super spice” because it not only has a great source of vitamins but also has earth giving minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium. All together a great gift from mother earth and one that should not be forgotten in one’s Essential Oil and herbal first aid kit.
Both the leaves and the stems of the plant have been used for cooking and for medicinal purposes for centuries. Here’s a look at some of the ways rosemary might help your health:
Memory and concentration
Rosemary has long been linked in folk medicine to better memory. Reportedly in ancient Greece, students would place rosemary sprigs in their hair while they studied for tests. It is used in aromatherapy to help with concentration and age-related cognitive decline. Some studies show that rosemary aromatherapy can improve the quality, but not the speed of memory, reports WebMD. Early evidence in other studies suggest that taking just 750 mg of powdered rosemary leaves in tomato juice might improve memory speed in healthy, older adults. However, taking higher doses may make memory worse.
Rosemary is also used in aromatherapy to ease stress. One study suggests that the combination of rosemary with other oils could possibly lower cortisol levels and thereby lower anxiety, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMM). A similar study found that using essential oil sachets made of rosemary and lavender helped ease test-taking stress for nursing students. Other studies, however, show that applying straight rosemary oil to the wrist can actually increase anxiety and tension while taking a test.
For ages, rosemary has been linked with hair growth in many cultures. Some early research shows that applying a combination of rosemary oil, lavender, thyme and cedarwood oil to the scalp can help improve hair growth, according to WebMD. In one study, people with a disease where hair falls out in patches (alopecia areata) experienced significant hair regrowth when they massaged their scalps with rosemary and other essential oils compared to those who just massaged their scalps with no oils. However, the study was poorly designed, UMM points out, so researchers aren’t sure if the rosemary was responsible for the hair growth.
Indigestion and other gastric issues
here isn’t a lot of scientific evidence that rosemary helps with problems like stomach upset, gas or indigestion. However, UMM reports that in Europe rosemary leaf is used for indigestion and is approved by the German Commission E, which examines the safety and efficacy of herbs.
Muscle pains and aches
Some early studies show that taking a combination of rosemary, hops and oleanolic acid may help ease the pain associated with arthritis, according to WebMD. Rosemary oil is also approved by the German Commission E as a topic treatment to treat muscle and arthritis-related pain and to improve circulation.
Rosemary’s smell is unmistakable. And if you’re bored or a little uninspired, maybe a whiff of the pungent herb can help. A 2013 study looked at the effects of inhaled rosemary oil on feelings and activities of the nervous systems. Among its findings: “All the data has collectively shown a medicinal benefit of rosemary oil when inhaled, by the removal of feelings of boredom and by providing fresh mental energy.”