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Salvia rosmarinus

What is Rosemary?

Rosemary, scientifically known as Salvia rosmarinus, is an aromatic shrub known for its perennial nature, needle-shaped leaves that remain green all year round, and the white and pink to purple or blue flowers it produces. Perhaps most famously, in cooking, rosemary is a popular ingredient for its distinct fragrance and flavour and it is often used to enhance the taste of various dishes. Rosemary is also used in supplement form for its potential health benefits. Rosemary supplements contain concentrated extracts of the plant, which may include the leaves, stems, or flowers.

What does rosemary do? What are the benefits of rosemary?

Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds[i].

Antioxidant potential

Rosemary is rich in antioxidants, including rosmarinic acid. These compounds help protect cells from oxidative damage, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases while supporting well-being[ii][iii].

Anti-inflammatory benefits

Rosemary contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may help reduce inflammation in the body. This can be beneficial for conditions associated with chronic inflammation, such as arthritis and cardiovascular disease[iv].

Cognitive support

Some studies suggest that rosemary has cognitive-enhancing properties. It may help improve brain fog and memory, concentration, and overall cognitive function, potentially benefiting conditions associated with age-related cognitive decline or certain neurological conditions[v][vi].

Digestive health

Rosemary has traditionally been used to support digestion. It may help stimulate digestion, relieve gastrointestinal discomfort and reduce symptoms like bloating or indigestion[vii].

Rosemary in skincare

Rosemary is popular in skincare due to its potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties, which may benefit the skin's health and produce a glowing appearance[viii][ix].

Please note: rosemary essential oil should never be applied directly to skin as it can cause severe irritation. Please always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil, such as almond oil or coconut oil, prior to application.

Antioxidant protection

Rosemary is rich in antioxidants that can help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals, such as pollution and UV radiation. This may help reduce signs of ageing and maintain youthful-looking skin[x].

Anti-Inflammatory properties

Rosemary contains anti-inflammatory compounds that can help soothe and calm irritated or inflamed skin. It may be beneficial for conditions such as acne, rosacea, or eczema[xi].

Antimicrobial effects

The antimicrobial benefits of rosemary make it potentially helpful for people with acne or other skin infections[xii].

Hair and scalp health

Rosemary extract is popular in shampoos, conditioners and treatments due to its potential to stimulate hair growth, improve scalp health, and combat common problems such as dandruff and hair loss[xiii][xiv].


Rosemary is believed to have a toning effect on the skin and can help improve circulation and the appearance of varicose veins and cellulite. This can contribute to a healthier complexion and a more radiant appearance[xv].


The pleasant aroma of rosemary can have a calming and uplifting effect on mood and can be used in aromatherapy practices to promote relaxation to relieve stress[xvi][xvii]. It may also be beneficial for blocked sinuses.


Skin sensitivity

Rosemary essential oil or concentrated extracts can cause skin irritation. It's recommended to perform a patch test before using rosemary on skin, especially if you have sensitive skin[xviii].

Digestive issues

In some people, high doses of rosemary or concentrated rosemary supplements may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, including stomach upset, acid reflux, or diarrhoea. If you experience any digestive issues, it's required you reduce the dosage or discontinue use[xix].

Interactions and contraindications

Interactions with medications

Rosemary supplements may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners, codeine, paracetamol, anticoagulants, and anticonvulsants[xx][xxi]. If you are taking any medications, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting rosemary supplements[xxii].

Gastrointestinal disorders

Rosemary supplements may cause gastrointestinal discomfort in some individuals. If you have severe gastrointestinal conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before using rosemary supplements[xxiii].

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

The safety of using rosemary supplements or essential oil during pregnancy or breastfeeding has not been well established in research. Avoid high-dose or concentrated rosemary supplements during these periods, as they may have potential effects on hormone levels or uterine contractions. Therefore, it's best to consult with a healthcare professional before using rosemary in supplement or concentrated form if you are pregnant or breastfeeding[xxiv].

Recommended For

Brain Fog , Hair Loss - Women , Hair Health , Varicose Veins , Cellulite , Sinusitis , Detoxification

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