Rosemary is an aromatic herb that has been used for centuries for its culinary and medicinal properties. Modern research is now confirming many of the traditional health benefits attributed to this Mediterranean wonder plant. In this article, we will explore 9 evidence-based ways rosemary can improve your health.
Improves Blood Circulation
Rosemary contains compounds that dilate blood vessels, lowering blood pressure. The antioxidants in rosemary also improve microcirculation and blood flow to the tissues. This increases oxygen supply while removing waste products. Rosemary further reduces the risk of dangerous blood clots by inhibiting platelet aggregation.
Together, these circulatory benefits can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Those recovering from a stroke may also benefit from improved circulation and reduced brain damage.
Supports Digestive Health
Rosemary has traditionally been used to relieve gas, bloating, intestinal cramps and other digestive complaints. Its antispasmodic properties help relax the smooth muscles along the digestive tract. This can relieve bowel spasms while enabling better digestion.
The anti-inflammatory actions of rosemary also soothe inflammatory bowel disorders like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. As a prebiotic, it feeds healthy gut bacteria essential for proper digestion. The antimicrobial properties of rosemary also restrict the overgrowth of harmful microbes.
Boosts Brain Function
Rosemary has long been associated with enhanced memory and cognition. While historical use was largely anecdotal, modern studies confirm rosemary’s brain-boosting abilities.
The increased circulation we discussed earlier brings more oxygenated blood to the brain, possibly protecting against dementia and age-related cognitive decline. Rosemary’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities also shield neurons from damage.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Rosemary increases cellular sensitivity to insulin while enabling better glucose uptake. This is beneficial for those with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. By improving how your body processes sugars, rosemary can help regulate blood sugar levels within a normal range.
Soothes Joint Pain and Inflammation
The anti-inflammatory actions of rosemary make it an effective remedy for arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, joint and muscle aches. You can use it as part of marinades, teas, essential oils and topical rubs. There’s even evidence that inhaling the aroma of rosemary oil can reduce musculoskeletal pain.
Rosemary is rich in antimicrobial substances like carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid. These compounds restrict viral replication and fight infection-causing bacteria. Rosemary is also used as a natural food preservative, thanks to these antimicrobial effects.
By bolstering your defenses, rosemary extract can reduce your risk of common illnesses like colds and flu. It also enables faster recovery by supporting immune response.
Protects the Liver
Rosemary protects the liver from fatty infiltration that occurs with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Its anti-inflammatory actions also shield liver tissue from drug or toxin-induced cell damage.
If you have a liver condition, check with your doctor before taking rosemary supplements. Used appropriately, rosemary can support liver function and cellular renewal.
Improves Skin and Scalp Health
Rosemary is rich in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial compounds that benefit the skin and scalp. It increases circulation to nourish hair follicles, stimulate growth and prevent hair loss. The enhanced blood flow also reduces puffy eyes and dark undereye circles.
Rosemary treats various inflammatory scalp conditions like dandruff and dermatitis. When applied topically, it can diminish acne breakouts and soothe eczema flareups. The increased tissue oxygenation likewise accelerates wound closure and healing.
Protects Against Heterocyclic Amines
When meat is cooked at high temperatures, harmful compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are formed. Studies reveal marinating meats with rosemary before grilling or broiling can reduce HCA formation by as much as 90%.
While avoiding burnt meats is ideal, adding rosemary provides protection if you occasionally char your burgers or steaks. Rosemary’s antioxidants help neutralize this potential carcinogen.
Prevents Vision Loss
Rosemary contains the antioxidants carnosol and rosmarinic acid that appear to protect the eyes from oxidative damage contributing to macular degeneration and cataracts. By suppressing inflammation and injury to the ocular tissue, rosemary shows promise in preventing vision loss.