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Rosemary - Rosmarinus officinalis

The results of a study suggest that carnosic acid, found in rosemary, may shield the brain from free radicals, lowering the risk of strokes and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's.

Today, this circulatory tonic and antioxidant is still used by millions worldwide to support memory and concentration.

Herbalists agree that Rosemary makes a very useful addition to any herbal medicine cabinet. Why? This truly versatile kitchen spice strengthens stomach functions and soothes indigestion and gas; offers uncommon support for head well-being; and is especially beneficial for easing stress, restlessness, and nervous tension. Herbalist Laurel Dewey also recommended Rosemary tea for "those recovering from an illness and are having a difficult time regaining their strength".

Rosemary contains a number of potentially biologically active compounds, including antioxidants such as carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid. Other bioactive compounds include camphor (up to 20% in dry rosemary leaves), caffeic acid, ursolic acid, betulinic acid, rosmaridiphenol, and rosmanol.

Contemporary scientific research suggests that rosemary may be useful for: Alzheimer's disease- phytochemicals in rosemary may prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a chemical that allows neurons within the brain to communicate with each other. Cancer- several laboratory studies suggest that rosemary contains compounds that prevent carcinogenic chemicals from binding to and inducing mutations in DNA. Circulatory problems- the camphor content in finely chopped rosemary or essential oil of rosemary to bath water helps stimulate blood circulation the skin. Eczema- increased circulation in the skin after application of rosemary may carry away inflammatory chemicals. Indigestion. And Rosemary can help prevent abdominal cramps. Irritable bowel syndrome- Rosemary relieves intestinal cramps and spasms by stimulating the release of bile that helps digest fat. It also relieves bloating and gas. Menstrual cramps- antioxidant compounds in rosemary prevent uterine spasms. Yeast infection- Rosemary is not fungicidal but also diuretic. It stops growth of yeast and helps remove yeast cells from the lining of the urinary tract.

Tonic, astringent, diaphoretic, stimulant. Oil of Rosemary has the carminative properties of other volatile oils and is an excellent stomachic and nervine, curing many cases of headache. It is employed principally, externally, as spiritus Rosmarini, in hair-lotions, for its odour and effect in stimulating the hair-bulbs to renewed activity and preventing premature baldness. An infusion of the dried plant (both leaves and flowers) combined with borax and used when cold, makes one of the best hairwashes known. It forms an effectual remedy for the prevention of scurf and dandruff.

The oil is also used externally as a rubefacient and is added to liniments as a fragrant stimulant. Hungary water, for outward application to renovate the vitality of paralysed limbs, was first invented for a Queen of Hungary, who was said to have been completely cured by its continued use. It was prepared by putting 1 1/2 lb. of fresh Rosemary tops in full flower into 1 gallon of spirits of wine, this was allowed to stand for four days and then distilled. Hungary water was also considered very efficacious against gout in the hands and feet, being rubbed into them vigorously.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant evergreen needle-like leaves. It is native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, which also includes many other herbs.

This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.