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Researchers found that their memory of images and numbers improved when the essential oil of rosemary was sprayed in the room. One study involved 80 adults who drank milliliters of rosemary water or mineral water. Those who drank the rosemary water demonstrated improved cognitive functioning as compared to those who drank the mineral water. Several other studies have been published in peer reviewed journals about the effect of rosemary consumption, with results that fairly consistently show benefits in memory associated with rosemary.
However, those studies were performed with rats and mice, and it is unknown if those benefits would hold true to humans. Thus, they're not included in this summary of research. It's unknown for sure why there may be a benefit from rosemary, but one theory is that rosemary appears to have some antioxidant properties which may offer some healing for the damage in our bodies known as free radicals.
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Another idea cited by the University of Maryland Medical Center is that rosemary appears to lower anxiety , which in turn, may increase the ability to concentrate. While rosemary shows some promise for boosting our brain power, it's important to check with your doctor before you begin supplementing your diet with it. It does have the potential to interact with other medicines including blood thinners, ACE inhibitors for treating high blood pressure , lithium , diuretics such as Lasix and diabetes medications.
Additionally, the case for rosemary needs to be strengthened by additional research in humans that demonstrates consistent cognitive benefits. Learn the best ways to manage stress and negativity in your life. There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. Acute ingestion of rosemary water: Evidence of cognitive and cerebrovascular effects in healthy adults.
Does Rosemary Actually Improve Your Memory and Cognition?
Journal of Psychopharmacology. More in Brain Health.
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Rosemary is also used as a perfume and added to shampoo, conditioner and soap. Here's what research has found about rosemary and its effects on cognitive function. When 20 young adults were asked math questions in a small room diffused with rosemary oil, their speed and accuracy increased in direct proportion to the duration the oil was diffused. Additionally, their blood levels of certain rosemary compounds likewise increased — illustrating that rosemary can enter your body through breathing alone 6. Similarly, nursing students who breathed rosemary oil while taking a test reported increased concentration and information recall compared to breathing lavender oil or no essential oil at all 8.
One of the most common types of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia, better known as male pattern baldness, though it can also affect females Rosemary oil treats androgenetic alopecia by preventing a byproduct of testosterone from attacking your hair follicles, which is the cause of this condition When men with androgenetic alopecia massaged diluted rosemary oil into their scalp twice daily for six months, they experienced the same increase in hair thickness as those who used minoxidil Rogaine , a common hair regrowth remedy.
Additionally, those who used the rosemary oil reported less scalp itching compared to minoxidil, which suggests that rosemary may be more tolerable In folk medicine, rosemary is utilized as a mild pain reliever Additionally, an animal study determined that rosemary oil was slightly more effective for pain than acetaminophen, a common over-the-counter pain medication For deterring harmful insects that may bite you or infest your garden, consider rosemary oil as a natural alternative to chemical products.
Rosemary also helps repel certain blood-sucking insects that can spread harmful viruses and bacteria.
When rosemary oil was measured against 11 other essential oils, it had the longest repellent effect on Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which spread the Zika virus. A dilution of Many factors can cause stress — including school tests.
Inhaling rosemary oil may help reduce test anxiety. Because increased pulse rates reflect short-term stress and anxiety, rosemary oil may naturally reduce stress Increased cortisol levels can suppress your immune system, contribute to insomnia and cause mood swings, among other potential problems If you experience cold fingers and toes — even in relatively warm temperatures — rosemary oil is worth considering. These effects were confirmed by thermal imaging Rosemary oil may help by expanding your blood vessels , thereby warming your blood so that it reaches your fingers and toes more easily More research is needed to confirm these effects — but rosemary may prove a worthwhile, low-cost experiment.
Rosemary oil is commonly used for mental strain and fatigue in folk medicine This increase in alertness corresponded to changes in brain waves and increases in heart rate, breathing and blood pressure 1.
Applying diluted rosemary oil to your skin may provide similar benefits, as it can reach your brain via this route In one study, applying diluted rosemary oil to the skin caused 35 healthy people to feel significantly more attentive, alert, energetic and cheerful after 20 minutes than when using a placebo oil Preliminary evidence suggests that rosemary oil may help reduce tissue inflammation that can lead to swelling, pain and stiffness 4 , It may do so by stemming the migration of white blood cells to injured tissues to release inflammatory chemicals In a clinical study, low oral doses mg of dried rosemary leaf powder improved memory speed in elderly patients, while higher doses 6 g impaired memory speed.
Studies evaluating rosemary as aromatherapy used 3 to 4 drops for inhalation. Generally recognized as safe GRAS when used as food. Avoid dosages above those found in food because safety and efficacy are unproven. Rosemary may have emmenagogue and abortifacient effects.
14 Benefits and Uses of Rosemary Essential Oil
Dermatitis and allergy to rosemary have been reported. Although case reports of seizures due to rosemary are lacking, the potential for toxicity exists, possibly due to the ketone content of the plant. Information is limited. As with most essential oils, ingestion of large amounts can be toxic.
Antigonadotrophic activity has been described in mice, and an anti-implantation effect has also been described in rat experimentation. The plant has small, pale blue flowers that bloom in late winter and early spring. Although rosemary is native to the Mediterranean, it is now cultivated worldwide, with more than 20 varieties described. Rosemary is a widely used culinary spice.
Rosemary has sometimes been traditionally said to grow only in gardens of households where the "mistress" is truly the "master. Extracts and the volatile oil have been used to promote menstrual flow and as abortifacients. Rosemary has a wide variety of volatile and aromatic components. Flavonoids in the plant include diosmetin, diosmin, genkwanin, luteolin, hispidulin, and apigenin.
Rosemary oil has significant in vitro antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.
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Clinical data regarding the use of rosemary oil or extracts for antibacterial or antifungal use is limited. A report on the use of rosemary to treat head lice found it to be ineffective, although it has been traditionally used for this purpose. Antioxidant activity has been described for rosemary, with the chemical constituents carnosol and carnosic acid accounting for the majority of the antioxidant properties. Although there is no clinical data regarding antioxidant use of rosemary oil or extracts, antioxidant activity may be the underlying mechanism of action for other pharmacological effects.
In vitro and animal studies have demonstrated anticancer effects of rosemary extracts especially carnosol and carnosic, ursolic, and rosemarinic acids , with a variety of mechanisms of action proposed, including induction of apoptosis, radical scavenging, and inhibition of tumorigenesis.
Although in vitro studies have assessed use of rosemary extract on human cancer tissues, including human ovarian cancer cells, 20 there is no clinical data regarding the use of rosemary in cancer, except as adjuvant therapy. A neuroprotective effect was demonstrated in vitro, and rosemary extract enhanced the synthesis of nerve growth factor in T98G human glioblastoma cells. Studies have examined the aromatherapeutic effects of rosemary oil, with improved recall demonstrated in at least 2 small, randomized controlled trials.
Two studies have suggested that the effects of rosemary essential oil in managing pain may have been due to altered perceptions rather than direct analgesia.