Therapeutic Properties Described in The Aromatherapy Literature
From The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy1:
- Analgesic, Antidepressant, Astringent, Carminative, Cordial, Digestive, Diuretic, Hepatic, Stimulant, Tonic
- Used for respiratory conditions, such as bronchitis, asthma, and sinusitis
- Considered a tonic of the heart and liver
- “cheerful, youthful, and sincere”
From The Art of Aromatherapy2:
- Rosemary water was used as a rejuvenating, beautifying, and cleansing facial wash by Queen Elizabeth of Hungary and is one of the classic ingredients of Eau-de-Cologne
- Used to strengthen the memory and ease the nerves and headache
- Strong antibacterial and antiseptic activity
Rosemary in Research
Rosemary, like many herbs, has been scientifically shown to have significant antioxidant3 and antibacterial3 activities. Studies have also found that rosemary has wound-healing4, anti-diabetic5, anti-depressant6, and hair-growth promoting properties7,8.
Summary of Research Studies
- Numerous compounds found in rosemary essential oil, including cineol and verbenone, were found to have significant antibacterial and antifungal activity in vitro. Verbenone was one of the compounds with the strongest antimicrobial activity.3
- Rosemary essential oil had a significant beneficial effect on wound healing in diabetic mice.4
- A study in diabetic rabbits showed that rosemary extract has high antioxidant activity and significant antidiabetic activity, lowering blood glucose levels and increasing serum insulin concentration.5
- Rosemary essential oil was found to have antidepressant-like effects in mice.6
- Rosemary was found to promote hair growth in mice with induced hair regrowth interruption.7
- In a clinical trial, rosemary essential oil, in combination with thyme, lavender and cedarwood oils, was found to be effective in treating alopecia (balding) when applied daily directly on the scalp.8
Rosemary c.t. verbenone is generally considered non-toxic, a non-irritant and non-sensitizing. It is a powerful oil, however, and dilution is strongly recommended. This oil should be avoided by pregnant women and individuals with a history or family history with epilepsy.
1 Battaglia, Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. International Centre of Holystic Aromatherapy, 2003.
2 Tisserand, Robert. The Art of Aromatherapy: The Healing and Beautifying Properties of the Essential Oils of Flowers and Herbs. Healing Arts Press, 1994.
3 Santoyo, S., et al. “Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Activity of Rosmarinus Officinalis L. Essential Oil Obtained via Supercritical Fluid Extraction.” Journal of Food Protection, vol. 68, no. 4, Apr. 2005, pp. 790–795., doi:10.4315/0362-028x-68.4.790.
4 Abu-Al-Basal, Mariam A. “Healing Potential of Rosmarinus Officinalis L. on Full-Thickness Excision Cutaneous Wounds in Alloxan-Induced-Diabetic BALB/c Mice.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 131, no. 2, 15 Sept. 2010, pp. 443–450., doi:10.1016/j.jep.2010.07.007.
5 Bakırel, Tülay, et al. “In Vivo Assessment of Antidiabetic and Antioxidant Activities of Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) in Alloxan-Diabetic Rabbits.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 116, no. 1, 28 Feb. 2008, pp. 64–73., doi:10.1016/j.jep.2007.10.039.
6 Machado, Daniele G., et al. “Antidepressant-like Effects of Fractions, Essential Oil, Carnosol and Betulinic Acid Isolated from Rosmarinus Officinalis L.” Food Chemistry, vol. 136, no. 2, 15 Jan. 2013, pp. 999–1005., doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.09.028.
7 Murata, Kazuya, et al. "Promotion of hair growth by Rosmarinus officinalis leaf extract." Phytotherapy Research, vol. 27, no. 2, 2013, pp. 212-217.
8 Hay, Isabelle C., et al. “Randomized Trial of Aromatherapy. Successful Treatment for Alopecia Areata.” Archives of Dermatology, vol. 134, no. 11, Nov. 1998, pp. 1349–1352., doi:10.1001/archderm.134.11.1349.