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paul hanaoka

Rosemary Essential Oil- Benefits, Uses, and Origin

Rosemary may seem like another kitchen spice used to season meats and vegetables. But this herb is so much more than that. It is yet another widely cultivated plant for the many medicinal properties it holds, from easing muscle pain to avoid infections to growing healthy locks of hair.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) belongs to the Lamiaceae family, also known as the mint family. The term Rosmarinus was derived from a Latin term which means ‘dew of the sea’. This small evergreen shrub is native to the Mediterranean regions. It has dark and elongated leaves with white or purple blossoms. Its leaves give off a pungent aroma with a bit of a bitter taste. It is commonly used in seasoning food and making drinks.

The plant is packed with many vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, as well as minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium. Its pale yellow oil is derived from the flowering tops and leaves through steam distillation. Rosemary essential oil’s key components are α-pinene, 1,8-cineole, limonene, linalool, camphor, and camphene.

Traditional Uses of Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary oil has been used since ancient times as a food flavoring and for treating medical conditions. Rosemary was a symbol of remembrance and fidelity since the ancient Greek and Roman times. It was also believed to strengthen the memory and prevent nightmares; it is why they often put it under their pillows.

Ancient healers have noted rosemary’s positive effects in the treatment of brain, liver, heart, and eye conditions.

In ancient Egypt, rosemary were used for embalming and the plants were placed on tombs to remember the dead.

Rosemary was used as incense during the Medieval times. It was also burned to purify the air and cleanse hospitals. It has been used to relieve muscle pain, digestive issues, and eliminate bacteria. Even grave robbers used it as an ingredient in a concoction they used to protect themselves from the plague.

Benefits of Using Rosemary Essential Oil

Promotes hair growth

Rosemary essential oil was found to treat patients suffering from androgenetic alopecia, commonly known as male pattern baldness. It stimulates the hair follicles and promotes better circulation on the scalp. This helps grow hair and strengthen it and prevent hair loss.

Based on a study, a blend of rosemary oil, lavender, thyme, and cedar wood diluted in jojoba and grapeseed oil helped treat men who suffer from androgenetic alopecia. It was massaged to the scalp twice a day. The result showed an increase in hair thickness in about six to seven months.

Using rosemary essential oil on the scalp also showed positive effects on people suffering from alopecia areata. Rosemary oil mixed on shampoo can help moisturize the scalp and control dandruff and oily hair.

For pain relief

Rosemary oil used in aromatherapy helps relieve pain. It can stimulate the central nervous system and blood circulation, which helps alleviate muscle pains. It is commonly blended to a carrier oil and massaged on sore areas of the body.

As an anti-inflammatory

Rosemary oil helps relieve joint pain. This is through reducing the inflammation of the tissues, which eventually lead to the swelling and the pain. It works against rheumatoid arthritis as well.

For the skin

The oil’s antimicrobial, antiseptic, and antioxidant properties are effective in treating certain conditions such as dermatitis, acne, and eczema. It works for all skin types and is used as a component in soaps, toners, and moisturizers to help hydrate the skin and reduce the signs of aging.

Several studies have shown the effectivity of rosemary essential oil against certain strains of bacteria, including E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus. So aside from keeping the skin hydrated, it also keeps it away from infections.

Reduces stress

Rosemary oil, when used in aromatherapy, can help lower cortisol level in the body, the stress hormone. This helps reduce anxiety, which is most often a factor that causes stress.

Aids digestion

Rosemary Essential Oil helps relieve bloating, cramps, and flatulence. And since it can stimulate proper circulation, it also boosts nutrient absorption which promotes healthy digestion.

Relief for respiratory conditions

The camphor content of rosemary essential oil can soothe inconveniences caused by respiratory problems. By helping clear the respiratory tract, it can relieve a sore throat and nasal congestion.

Helps create a positive mood

Rosemary essential oil helps boost mental alertness and clarity. Through this, concentration is enhanced and information retention improved. When one is alert, heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure is increased, which helps boost one’s mood.

Safety Tips and Precautions

Rosemary essential oil is nontoxic, nonsensitizing, and nonirritant when diluted.

For people with hypersensitivity, it is best to avoid the use of rosemary essential oil as they may cause dermatitis.

Rosemary’s epileptogenic property can cause seizures so people who suffer from epilepsy should avoid this.

Ingesting large amounts of rosemary can irritate the stomach and intestines and can cause kidney damage.

For pregnant women, rosemary in food can be ingested but the use of essential oil should be avoided. The oil should be kept out of reach of children.

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