Rosemary Oil Uses, Benefits and Side Effects

Rosemary oil, one of the most popular essential oils out there is extracted from Rosmarinus officinalis, which is well known in the Mediterranean region for its herbal and culinary benefits and has been widely used for a myriad of health and wellness purposes.

Relative to mint and similar to lavender, rosemary has flat pine needle-like leaves touched with silver. It gives off a citrus-like forest aroma that has become a staple in many kitchens, gardens, and apothecaries around the world. Its name is derived from the Latin words ros (“dew”) and marinus (“sea”) or “dew of the sea”.

Rosemary oil has a refreshing herbal aroma, is light in color and watery in viscosity. It is extracted from fresh flowering units through steam distillation, yielding 1.0 to 2.0 percent.

Rosemary Oil Uses, Benefits and Side Effects

Its health benefits made it a favorite of Paracelsus, a German-Swiss physician and botanist who greatly contributed to the understanding of herbal medicine in the 16th century. He valued rosemary oil for its ability to strengthen the entire body, which included the healing of sensitive organs such as the liver, heart and brain.

Rosemary Oil Uses

The A-Z list of books on the uses of rosemary oil covers many health concerns, including the following:

  1. Lucidity – Add a drop to your hands, rub it together and place it over your mouth and nose for one minute. You could also apply a drop topically to the sore parts of your head.
  2. Cough – Massage one or two drops onto your chest and throat every few hours
  3. Headache – Add a drop on your hands and place them in your mouth and nose for one minute. You could also apply a drop topically to the sore parts of your head.
  4. Learning and memory – Using a diffuser spread the oil throughout the room, inhale directly from the bottle, rub it on your temples or apply it to your toes regularly.
  5. Vaginal infection – Massage one to two drops into or around the vagina, making sure to test for sensitivity before using internally.

Both rosemary oil and tea are added to shampoos and lotions. Regular use of the oil helps to stimulate the follicles, helping to have long and strong hair. You can also massage your scalp to nourish it and remove dandruff.

Rosemary oil can also be used on your pets as a hair growth stimulant and to help produce shiny coats.

This essential oil is a disinfectant and is often used as a mouthwash, helping to eliminate bad breath. By killing oral bacteria, rosemary oil prevents cavities, plaque buildup, and other dental problems.

The mesmerizing scent of rosemary is also very worthwhile, making it an excellent inhalant. Rosemary oil is used in candles, perfumes, bath oils, flavorings and cosmetics to increase mental energy when inhaled.

Used at a 50:50 dilution, Rosemary Oil can be applied to the ankles and wrists (two to four drops), applied to chakras or vitaflex points, inhaled directly, used in a diffuser, or as a dietary supplement.

Benefits of Rosemary Oil

Rosemary oil has been widely used and studied since ancient times for a variety of health benefits. Today, it is included in many medicinal preparations, with many potential benefits. Organic Facts cites some of them:

1. Indigestion

Rosemary oil is often used to relieve flatulence, stomach pain, constipation, and bloating. The essential oil is also considered to be helpful in stimulating appetite.

Research shows that rosemary essential oil can help detoxify the liver and help regulate the creation and release of bile, a key part of the digestive process.

2. Stress relief

In addition to its aromatherapeutic benefits, rosemary oil reduces the level of cortisol, one of the hormones released during the body’s fight-flight response to stress, in saliva.

According to a 2007 study, inhaling rosemary and lavender oil for five minutes significantly reduced cortisol levels in the saliva of subjects, potentially reducing the dangers of chronic stress.

3. Pain relief

Rosemary essential oil is touted for its ability to relieve pain, which is why it is widely used to treat headaches, muscle aches, and even arthritis.

Massage the affected area with the essential oil, you can also add it to steam baths for the treatment of rheumatism.

Its anti-inflammatory qualities make it a good way to treat pain caused by sprains and joint pain.

4. Boost the immune system

The same 2007 study that found reduced cortisol levels after simultaneously massaging and inhaling rosemary essential oil found that this also significantly increased free radical scavenging activity.

Antioxidants are a valuable weapon in fighting infection and disease, so this benefit of rosemary oil is great news – regular use or inhalation can boost immunity and help you fight free radical-related diseases.

5. Respiratory problems

The aroma of the oil has been shown to offer relief from throat congestion and in the treatment of respiratory allergies, colds, sore throats and flu.

Its antiseptic action also makes rosemary oil useful for treating respiratory infections. Due to its antispasmodic effect, it is also used in certain treatment programs for bronchial asthma.

6. For anxiety

Rosemary oil also seems to work wonders for anxiety.

A study published in Holistic Nursing Practice in 2009 found that using sachets containing lavender and rosemary essential oil helped reduce anxiety related to having an exam.

7. Brain health

Using this essential oil also appears to benefit brain health.

A study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, involving 144 volunteers, found that rosemary oil helped improve mood in healthy adults.

It also has a suggested positive effect on Alzheimer’s patients – a small 2009 study found that a month of aromatherapy with essential oils of rosemary, lemon, lavender, and orange improved cognitive function, especially in Alzheimer’s patients.

Side Effects of Rosemary Oil

Sometimes rosemary oil could also cause allergic reactions, so you should consult your doctor for proper use. It is volatile in nature, which means it can cause vomiting and spasms. Therefore you should not ingest it.

Again, it is recommended that pregnant and nursing women avoid the use of rosemary essential oil, as it can affect the fetus or cause miscarriage.