Beyond the flavour rosemary can add to your cooking there are a huge range of benefits you can get for for mental and physical wellbeing. Its benefits are nothing new; it was used by people in ancient Greece, as well as during traditional ceremonies throughout England and Hungary. Read more to discover eight of the most exciting ways in which rosemary—which is related to the mint family—can improve your health.
Feeling more forgetful lately? Experts say that simply taking a whiff of rosemary can improve memory. In ancient Greece, students were known to place sprigs of the herb in their hair while studying for exams. Today, it’s not much different. While we may not be walking around with sprigs of rosemary in our hair, researchers have discovered that when participants sniff this herb, they experience memory improvements. Sniffing its essential oils can also boost memory and enhance concentration levels.
Rosemary has the ability to diminish elevated levels of cortisol—the hormone responsible for stress. It also reduces anxiety in certain instances. For example, one intriguing study showed that nurses—who are often in busy, stressful situations—experienced less stress while taking tests.
May help reduce cancer risk
This fragrant, tasty herb has been found to play a role in keeping both breast and colon cancer cells from replicating. Although effective on its own, it’s known to be especially beneficial when used with curcumin. Therefore, some experts advise turning to rosemary extract.
Fights hair loss
Alopecia areata—a disease that makes people’s hair thin or fall out—can improve through rosemary oil treatment. In one study, experts found that rosemary (along with other essential oils such as thyme and cedarwood) helped people experience increased hair growth when they massaged their scalps with the oils on a daily basis for seven months. Those who did not do this were said to have no improvements in hair growth.
If you suffer from excessive gas, intestinal cramping or other signs of irritable bowel syndrome, rosemary oil may help to ease these symptoms.
Offers cold and flu relief
Rosemary oil’s anti-inflammation properties make it an ideal natural way to ward off respiratory issues caused by allergies, colds and the flu. The oil is also said to provide an effective way to sooth sore throat pain.
Keeps food-borne illnesses at bay
We’ve all heard stories about people who became very sick from foodborne pathogens, whether the issue was due to improper food storage, handling or not following proper cooking methods. Well, there’s good news. According to many studies, rosemary helps inhibit food-borne pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes—a serious infection caused when the bacterium makes its way into the food chain.
Fights free radicals
Free radicals are oxidative stress that wreaks havoc on your cells, causing new health problems or intensifying old ones. At the very least, free radicals are known to accelerate the aging process. However, antioxidants like rosemary help fight free radicals so that your cells and body stay in the best shape possible. The risk of everything from macular degeneration and heart disease to arthritis and diabetes may be lowered when incorporating more fresh rosemary and rosemary oils in your life.
Using more rosemary in your daily routine is a healthy, natural alternative to pills or other methods for improving physical and mental health. In tandem with healthy eating patterns, obtaining regular exercise, and maintaining a positive attitude, rosemary may vastly contribute to improved health.
Of course, however, you should always consult with a medical professional to address the situation whenever a new health problem appears. Your doctor may offer treatment methods that, when combined with rosemary, work as a complementary therapy to help you heal more effectively and comfortably.