Used in aromatherapy, Rosemary Oil helps reduce stress levels and nervous tension, boost mental activity, encourage clarity and insight, relieve fatigue, and support respiratory function. It is used to improve alertness, eliminate negative moods, and increase the retention of information by enhancing concentration. The scent of Rosemary Essential Oil stimulates the appetite and is also known to reduce the level of harmful stress hormones that are released when involved in tense experiences. Inhaling Rosemary Oil boosts the immune system by stimulating internal antioxidant activity, which in turn fights ailments caused by free radicals, and it relieves throat and nasal congestion by clearing the respiratory tract.
Diluted and used topically, Rosemary Essential Oil is known to stimulate hair growth, reduce pain, soothe inflammation, eliminate headaches, strengthen the immune system, and condition hair to make it look and feel healthy. Used in a massage, Rosemary Oil’s detoxifying properties can facilitate healthy digestion, relieve flatulence, bloating and cramps, and relieve constipation. Through massage, this oil stimulates circulation, which allows the body to better absorb nutrients from food. In cosmetics for hair care, Rosemary Essential Oil’s tonic properties stimulate hair follicles to lengthen and strengthen hair while slowing the graying of hair, preventing hair loss, and moisturizing dry scalp to relieve dandruff. Traditionally, Rosemary Oil combined with Olive Oil in a hot oil hair treatment has been known to darken and strengthen hair. The anti-microbial, antiseptic, astringent, antioxidant, and tonic properties of this oil make it a beneficial additive in skincare products that are meant to soothe or even treat dry or oily skin, eczema, inflammation, and acne. Effective for all skin types, this rejuvenating oil can be added to soaps, face washes, face masks, toners, and creams to achieve firm yet hydrated skin that appears to have a healthy glow that is free of unwanted marks.
Rosemary Essential Oil’s refreshing and energizing aroma can be diluted with water and used in natural homemade room fresheners to eliminate unpleasant odors from the environment as well as from objects. When added to recipes for homemade scented candles, it can work the same way to freshen the scent of a room.
In ancient Greece and Rome, rosemary was thought to strengthen memory (Source).
When 20 young adults were asked math questions in a small room diffused with rosemary oil, their speed and accuracy increased in direct proportion to the duration the oil was diffused.
Additionally, their blood levels of certain rosemary compounds likewise increased — illustrating that rosemary can enter your body through breathing alone (Source).
Similarly, nursing students who breathed rosemary oil while taking a test reported increased concentration and information recall compared to breathing lavender oil or no essential oil at all (Source).
Other research suggests that breathing rosemary and other essential oils may improve brain function in older adults with dementia, including those with Alzheimer’s disease (Source).
Keep in mind that more research is needed.
One of the most common types of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia, better known as male pattern baldness, though it can also affect females (Source).
Rosemary oil treats androgenetic alopecia by preventing a byproduct of testosterone from attacking your hair follicles, which is the cause of this condition (Source).
When men with androgenetic alopecia massaged diluted rosemary oil into their scalp twice daily for six months, they experienced the same increase in hair thickness as those who used minoxidil (Rogaine), a common hair regrowth remedy.
Additionally, those who used the rosemary oil reported less scalp itching compared to minoxidil, which suggests that rosemary may be more tolerable (Source).
Other research indicates that rosemary oil may fight patchy hair loss, or alopecia areata, which affects up to half the population below age 21 and about 20% of people above 40 (Source).
When people with alopecia areata rubbed a rosemary essential oil blend into their scalp each day for seven months, 44% showed improvement in their hair loss compared to only 15% in the control group, who used the neutral oils jojoba and grapeseed (Source).
Rosemary is a fragrant herb that is native to the Mediterranean and receives its name from the Latin words “ros” (dew) and “marinus” (sea), which means “dew of the Sea.” It also grows in England, Mexico, the USA, and northern Africa, namely in Morocco. Known for its distinctive fragrance that is characterized by an energizing, evergreen, citrus-like, herbaceous scent, Rosemary Essential Oil is derived from the aromatic herb Rosmarinus Officinalis, a plant belonging to the Mint family, which includes Basil, Lavender, Myrtle, and Sage. Its appearance, too, is similar to Lavender with flat pine needles that have a light trace of silver.
Historically, Rosemary was considered sacred by ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Hebrews, and Romans, and it was used for numerous purposes. The Greeks wore Rosemary garlands around their heads while studying, as it was believed to improve memory, and both the Greeks and the Romans used Rosemary in almost all festivals and religious ceremonies, including weddings, as a reminder of life and death. In the Mediterranean, Rosemary leaves and Rosemary Oil were popularly used for culinary preparation purposes, while in Egypt the plant, as well as its extracts, were used for incense. In the Middle Ages, Rosemary was believed to be able to ward off evil spirits and to prevent the onset of the bubonic plague. With this belief, Rosemary branches were commonly strewn across floors and left in doorways to keep the disease at bay. Rosemary was also an ingredient in “Four Thieves Vinegar,” a concoction that was infused with herbs and spices and used by grave robbers to protect themselves against the plague. A symbol of remembrance, Rosemary was also tossed into graves as a promise that loved ones who passed away would not be forgotten.
It was used throughout the civilizations in cosmetics for its antiseptic, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties and in medical care for its health benefits. Rosemary had even become a favorite alternative herbal medicine for the German-Swiss physician, philosopher, and botanist Paracelsus, who promoted its healing properties, including its ability to strengthen the body and to heal organs such as the brain, heart, and liver. Despite being unaware of the concept of germs, people of the 16th century used Rosemary as incense or as massage balms and oils to eliminate harmful bacteria, especially in the rooms of those suffering from illness. For thousands of years, folk medicine has also used Rosemary for its ability to improve memory, soothe digestive issues, and relieve aching muscles.
Sometimes all you need to destress is a soothing scent. Rosemary oil is often used in aromatherapy, and this rosemary and spearmint tincture works well to help clear your mind.
One study of 20 adults published in Scientia Pharmaceutica found that inhaling rosemary oil can increase brain wave activity, decrease drowsiness, and even improve your mood.
Other research, an animal study, published in the journal Fitoterapia indicates that rosemary leaf extract might be able to treat and prevent dementia. Another study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food indicated that rosemary might improve cognitive function among older people.
In addition to the benefits rosemary has on your mental state of mind, it can also fight serious physical problems. According to one study done on mice reported in the journal Cancer Research, rosemary could possibly be used in skin cancer treatments to help reduce the spread of cancer cells. The study found that the application of rosemary extract helped block skin tumor cells.
Rosemary extracts have also been found to inhibit the growth of some cancer cells, such as the cells in lung carcinoma. Another study published in the journal Biofactors revealed that rosemary works as an antioxidant by protecting healthy cells.
Alopecia is a disease that causes hair loss, and it can be uncomfortable for many people.
However, rosemary has been shown in some instances to help treat the disease. In one study, published in the Archives of Dermatology, 43 people with alopecia massaged their scalps with essential oils of rosemary, thyme, lavender, and cedarwood daily for seven months. Almost half of them saw hair growth. Researchers concluded that these essential oils are a safe and effective treatment for alopecia.