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14 benefits and uses of rosemary essential oil, along with research references


14 Evidence-Based Benefits and Uses of Rosemary Essential Oil

Derived from the leaves of the rosemary plant, rosemary essential oil has been used for centuries in folk medicine and continues to be investigated by modern research. The oil contains active compounds like 1,8-cineole, camphor, borneol, verbenone, and rosmarinic acid that account for rosemary oil’s extensive therapeutic properties and health benefits.


Here are 14 research-backed ways rosemary essential oil may be beneficial:


  1. Hair Growth

Multiple studies demonstrate rosemary oil’s ability to increase hair growth when applied topically. The aroma compounds stimulate blood circulation to the scalp while the antibacterial activity creates an optimal environment for strong hair. In one trial, rosemary oil resulted in subjects experiencing over 20% more hair growth compared to those given a placebo.


  1. Enhanced Memory

Inhaling rosemary oil has been shown in human trials to boost speed and accuracy on memory tests. Brain scans also reveal increased brain activity after exposure to rosemary aroma. The oil contains compounds that boost neurotransmitter activity involved in memory formation.


  1. Pain Relief

Rosemary acts as a mild analgesic thanks to compounds like caffeic acid, rosmarinic acid, and carnosol. Massaging diluted rosemary oil onto sore muscles, joints, or headaches provides a warming, numbing sensation to relieve pain.


  1. Anti-Anxiety

Rosemary oil exhibits anti-anxiety effects in research, calming nervousness, relieving stress, and uplifting mood. In studies, students exposed to the aroma before exams experience less test-taking anxiety. For depression, rosemary boosts focus and curbs rumination.


  1. Liver Support

Carnosol and carnosic acids in rosemary are potent antioxidants that protect the liver from toxins and oxidative stress. Rosemary enhances the detoxifying function of the liver while boosting bile flow and enzyme activity. This optimizes metabolism and liver health.


  1. Anti-Cancer Activity

The carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid of rosemary oil display cytotoxic effects in lab studies that destroy or inhibit cancer cell proliferation. Although human data is still needed, the antioxidants protect healthy cells while selectively fighting cancerous ones.


  1. Diabetes Management

Rosemary has antidiabetic effects, according to research. The antioxidants improve insulin secretion and lower inflammation in diabetes. By balancing glucose metabolism, rosemary helps regulate blood sugar in diabetic patients.


  1. Skin Treatment

Applied topically, rosemary essential oil’s antimicrobial action treats acne and eczema flare-ups. It controls oil production, hydrates skin, accelerates wound healing, and fades dark spots. The antioxidants and anti-aging compounds benefit the complexion.


  1. Gastrointestinal Aid

The anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antispasmodic activity of rosemary oil alleviate gut issues like IBS, indigestion, and bacterial infection when taken orally in small doses. It provides smooth muscle relaxation and pain relief.


  1. Immunity Booster

Rosemary’s antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties bolster the immune system against infection-causing pathogens. The antioxidants further support immunity by neutralizing free radical damage involved in disease.


  1. Respiratory Relief

Inhaling rosemary essential oil deeply can help relax bronchial airways, relieve chest congestion and open breathing passages. This makes it beneficial for allergies, colds, asthma, bronchitis and more. It also exhibits expectorant effects to clear mucus.


  1. Oral Health

Rosemary oil’s antimicrobial properties combat bacteria implicated in cavities, gingivitis, and bad breath. Adding it to oral care products like mouthwashes provides infection-fighting effects that maintain healthy teeth and gums.


  1. Aromatherapy and Mood Lifting

The sweet, herbaceous scent of rosemary oil is linked in studies with improved mood, relaxation, and decreased stress. Diffusing it boosts alertness while reducing nervousness and fatigue. Its aroma therapeutic effects uplift and energize.


  1. Mosquito Repellent

Rosemary oil contains compounds that drive away insects like mosquitos due to their strong aroma. Applying diluted oil to skin or outdoor spaces helps deter bug bites without DEET chemicals.


Thanks to its broad spectrum therapeutic activity, rosemary essential oil can benefit nearly every system in the body. With responsible use, it is a valuable natural health tool for overall wellness. However, always consult your doctor before using essential oils if you have any underlying health conditions or take any medications.


References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4289931/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7502186/

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/2/286

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169117302333

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6165237/

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/13880209.2011.614327https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/acm.2009.0546

https://bmccomplementmedtherapies.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12906-017-1671-y

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/9/2241

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8834628/

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