15 Awesome Benefits from Using Rosemary Essential Oil

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

One of the most widely used plant extracts is rosemary, scientific name Rosmarinus officinalis, which is derived from the Latin word ros (dew) and marinus (sea). It belongs to the mint family, which includes sage, lavender, basil and myrtle. It has leaves that look like flat pine needles with silver touches, and has a citrusy, woody aroma.

It is believed that Mother Mary has spread her blue cloak over a bush while she stopped to rest. This turned the white flowers to blue. From then on, the herb has been known as the “Rose of Mary.”

In the earlier times, rosemary was considered sacred by the Romans, Hebrews, Greeks and Egyptians. In the Middle Ages, this shrub was used to ward off evil spirits and even to protect the people from the plague.

This popular herb is so aromatic, and has a refreshing smell, that it is often used to add a delectable flavor to pork, lamb, turkey and chicken dishes.

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However, this evergreen shrub is not only popular for its culinary applications but also for its numerous health benefits. In fact, it has been extensively researched, studied and applied for a variety of health benefits since the ancient times. This is why its extract is used as one of the ingredients for various medicinal preparations, especially in the Mediterranean region.

Rosemary Oil Composition

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The oil or extract of the rosemary is clear in color, viscous and has that revitalizing smell. It is collected from the flowering tops via steam distillation. The main chemical composition of this essential oil includes borneol, bornyl acetate, camphor, limonene, b-pinene, a-pinene, camphene and 1,8-cineole. A study published in Chemistry of Natural Compounds found 30 volatile compounds of rosemary essential oil cultivated at the Algerian Sahara. These represented 98.2% of the extract, with camphor (11.5%), 2-ethyl-4, 5-dimethylphenol (12%) and 1,8-cineole (29.5%) as the major components.

These are the nutrients that people can benefit from, if they use rosemary essential oil:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Folates
  • Niacin
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Pyridoxine
  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamin
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Zinc
  • Sodium
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Copper
  • Manganese

Some of the products that use rosemary essential oil as their base element include toothpaste, inhalers, candies, chewing gums and breath fresheners. Aside from these applications, though, rosemary essential oil is used by many people around the world for its incredible healing powers that minimize or help treat certain illnesses.

Rosemary Essential Oil Nutritional Profile

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Like goji berries, this wondrous shrub is also an excellent natural remedy for fighting free radicals. It has an antioxidant ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value of 3,300. Carnosol, a phenolic diterpene also found in mountain desert sage, is the chemical primarily responsible for this quality in rosemary extract. Because it is a potent antioxidant, this component also has effective anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, which is why rosemary is a powerful herbal medicine.

In addition to being an anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer component, carnosol can also:

      Lower DHT (dihyroxytestosterone), which improves prostate health and aid in hair growth

      Create a balance in androgen and estrogen levels

      Heal damaged nerve tissue by increasing nerve growth

Benefits of Rosemary Essential Oil to Health

Improves Digestion

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Studies have shown that rosemary essential oil can help correct the digestive process, as it helps improve blood circulation, ensuring better absorption of nutrients from the food you eat. If you are suffering from flatulence, bloating, constipation or stomach cramps, extracts from this medicinal herb can help relieve your condition. It is also believed that this shrub can ease symptoms of dyspepsia, as well as stimulate a person’s appetite. Aside from that, it also detoxifies the liver, regulating bile release, which is a crucial part of digestion and metabolism. This is one reason that the leaves of this plant is added to certain dishes for better digestion of meat, like lamb, pork and beef. Additionally, rosemary is traditionally used in treating gastrointestinal problems and reducing plasma liver enzymes. This is primarily done by improving the gallbladder, preventing toxic overload.

Relieves Stress

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Stress is one of the biggest causes for certain diseases, including cardiovascular disorders, obesity, high-blood pressure and more. By adding some rosemary essential oil to a diffuser, you can instantly feel relaxed and be relieved of stress. According to a study conducted in 2007, smelling rosemary oil can decrease stress levels. With reduced cortisol, which is one of the causes of weight gain and high cholesterol levels, the person suffering from stress can be saved from the dangers of such condition.

Cures Migraine or Headache

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This essential oil improves blood flow and circulation in your system when applied to the skin. This is why it can naturally cure a throbbing headache or migraine.

Rub some rosemary oil in your hands. Then, cup your hands over your mouth to inhale the refreshing scent of this plant. You can also apply a drop to your temples or any aching part of your head for pain relief.

Treats Cough, Cold, Flu and Other Respiratory Problems


Apply one to two drops of rosemary essential oil on your chest every few hours if you are suffering from stuffy nose, congestion and cough, which are symptoms of flu. This herbal plant has antiseptic properties that make it useful in treating respiratory infections.

In addition to cold, cough and flu, rosemary extracts can aid in treating other respiratory diseases, including throat congestion and allergies. In fact, it can also treat bronchial asthma, thanks to its antispasmodic qualities.

Boosts Immune System

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The study made in 2007 also revealed an increased activity in the eradication of free radicals in the test subjects’ bodies by simultaneously massaging and inhaling rosemary essential oil. In other words, regular use of this herbal extract can help strengthen people’s immune system, combating all diseases caused by too much free radicals in the body, such as heart ailments and all types of cancer.

Relieves Pain

Aside from treating migraine and all sorts of headaches, rosemary extracts can relieve rheumatism and even arthritis, as well as muscle pains. All you need is to massage the affected area with the essential oil for a quick pain relief. To alleviate the discomfort brought about by rheumatism and joint pain, experts advise vapor baths mixed with rosemary oil. This medicinal plant has anti-inflammatory qualities that can help treat sprains and aching joints. Plus, it has components that can regulate blood flow, making wounds heal faster.

Sharpens the Mind

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To get a quick boost in memory, concentration and mental awareness, inhale rosemary oil on a daily basis. This essential extract has components that help sharpen people’s mind. This is why it is used by many students in preparation for their exams. In fact, this ability of rosemary essential oil has been known for thousands of years.

Aside from boosting mental alertness, this plant is an excellent mood enhancer, as well as effective remedy for depression, anxiety, tension, lethargy and forgetfulness. What’s more, it can help you rest your brain and prevent lethargy.

Treats Dental Problems

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Thanks to rosemary’s antibacterial properties, it can effectively treat dental conditions, including gingivitis, plaque build-up, bad breath and cavities. This is also why this essential oil is used in mouthwash to keep teeth and gums healthy.

Rejuvenates Skin

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Too much exposure to the sun can be harmful to your skin. Rosemary oil can help rehydrate and tone your skin, reducing wrinkles and bags under your eyes. This is due to the fact that this herb has properties that aid in cell regeneration, treating visible skin imperfections and replacing damaged tissues. Furthermore, it can tighten the skin, minimize sagging and make it firmer. To have a youthful, healthy glow free from acne, scars and age spots, massage the oil on your skin regularly.

Protects Skin from Infections

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If you have eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis, this powerful extract can treat such conditions with its anti-inflammatory components. It can also reduce puffiness as well as heal burns.

Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease

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Studies proved that this essential oil can help prevent one of the world’s most dreaded diseases, Alzheimer’s disease. This is because it enhances people’s cognitive functioning. As a result, it can slow down the onset of the disease.

Treats Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Recent studies reveal that rosemary oil’s antimicrobial properties can reduce the effects of herpes, as well as well cure recurring inflammation caused by the virus. It has also reduced the symptoms of the disease among test subjects. Additionally, research has shown that rosemary can minimize the contagiousness of the virus.

Improves Reproductive Health

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Claims have been made about rosemary essential oil being beneficial to the reproductive system, treating conditions like urine flow, sperm mobility, menstrual cramps and the like. A study was also performed to prove that rosemary extracts can prevent certain types of cancer.

Stimulates Hair Follicles

This oil helps your hair grow stronger and longer, making your follicles produce more hair. As a result, you have thicker mane. Plus, it has components that darken your locks, which prevents you from dyeing your hair with products with harmful chemicals. Massage rosemary oil on your scalp, especially if you grey hair, to have a shinier, more beautiful tresses. Furthermore, it treats dry, flaky scalp, which can cause premature baldness. To make it more effective, you can mix it rosemary with tea tree and basil oils.

Minimizes Cellulite and Stretch Marks

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Thanks to its amazing properties that improve blood circulation, rosemary essential oil can also help you get rid of cellulite. Use a few drops of this extract and fennel essential oil with three teaspoons of jojoba, almond, coconut and olive oil. Massage the mixture into the affected areas to say good-bye to cellulites and stretch marks for good.

Oils that Compliment Rosemary Essential Oil

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To harness the full power of this unbelievably potent plant extract, rosemary oil is best blended with other essential oils, including:

Basil – it is also used as a remedy for sore muscles and joints. It can also help in improving breathing, cooling the skin and promoting mental alertness. In addition, it can also aid in treating anxiety.

  • Lavender – it is a strong essential extract that can improve skin conditions, treat skin irritations, ease muscle tension and calm and relax nerves.
  • Frankincense – this oil can help soothe skin problems, improve cellular health, minimize scars and stretch marks and build and strengthen immune system.
  • Eucalyptus – just like rosemary oil, eucalyptus extract helps in improving breathing, purifying your system, supporting respiratory health and soothing sore muscles.
  • Peppermint – it can also help improve digestion and promote healthy respiratory function. Aside from that, it uplifts and rejuvenates the heart and mind, lifting a person’s mood and relieving stress.

Some Tips on Maximizing the Amazing Benefits of Rosemary Essential Oil

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  • To improve memory

Mix 3 drops of rosemary extract with ½ teaspoon coconut oil. Rub mixture on upper neck, or place into diffuser for an hour each day.

  • To heal prostate

Add ½ teaspoon of carrier oil (basil, lavender, eucalyptus, etc.) to 2 drops of rosemary oil. Then, massage underneath testicles with the mixture.

  • To relieve pain

Use 1 teaspoon coconut oil, 2 drops peppermint oil and 2 drops rosemary oil. Mix them all together and apply on sore muscles or joints.

  • To make hair thicker

On your scalp, put five drops of the oil and massage after you shower.

  • To heal neuralgia and neuropathy

Rub on area of neuropathy with a mixture of 2 drops of rosemary extract, ½ teaspoon carrier oil, 2 drops of cypress oil and 2 drops of helichrysum oil.

  • To improve gallbladder function

Mix half ½ teaspoon coconut oil with 3 drops of rosemary oil. Then, massage gallbladder area twice a day using the mixture.

  • To improve digestion

Rub a few drops on stomach or the bottom of your feet.

  • To reduce stress, fatigue or tension

Put a few drops into a diffuser, or use topically.

  • To calm the nerves

Put 1 drop of rosemary oil to your hands, rub them together and cup over your nose and mouth to soak up the refreshing feeling, helping calm your nerves.

  • To prevent wrinkles

Mix equal parts frankincense, sandalwood, rosemary, lemon, geranium and lavender essential oils. Dilute if necessary, and apply topically.

Safety Precautions

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Use only therapeutic grade rosemary essential oils. But if you have high-blood pressure or have episodes of seizures, it is best to avoid this plant extract. Also, children under 4 years old and pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use this oil.

In addition to not being advisable for pregnant woman and children, rosemary oil is also not allowed to be used in pets. This is because there are certain components that may toxic to your cats or dogs. You will need to consult a veterinarian before applying essential oil.

Additional Information

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At home, rosemary essential oil is used in many home applications, aside from being a medicinal plant. Here are some of the wonderful uses of this powerful shrub:

  • Natural air freshener – pour 30 drops of rosemary oil with 20 drops of lemon or citrus to 150 liters of water. Shake well until everything is blended well.
  • Kitchen cleaner – dissolve 1 cup baking soda in 2 cups water. Add 15 drops of rosemary and thyme extracts. This mixture will be an excellent natural scrub for your sink, stovetops and countertops.
  • Antiseptic cleaning agent – take advantage of rosemary’s antiseptic and disinfectant properties to get rid of bacteria and disease-causing viruses in your home. Pour a few drops into diffuser to deodorize and eliminate foul odor.
  • Car freshener – fill a sprayer with 300 ml water. Add 20 drops each of rosemary, lavender and lemon essential oils. Shake well and use on your car’s interior.
  • Bathroom deodorizer – pour ½ cup of liquid soap to a container. Add 1 cup baking soda and 2 tablespoon rosemary essential oil. Sprinkle the mixture on bathroom tiles and let sit for 1 minute. Scrub away the stains and rinse with clean water.
  • Furniture cleaner – in a container, add ½ cup olive oil. Put 10 drops each of rosemary and tea tree essential oil. Whisk everything together until blended well. Using a cloth dipped in the mixture, wipe furniture surfaces and let dry for 10 minutes. Then, wipe with a clean, dry cloth to make your furniture look brand new again.

By using natural remedies like rosemary essential oils, you can be at your peak of health without the adverse effects of pharmaceutical drugs. Likewise, using extracts of this marvelous plant as a home cleaner helps you ensure that your house is clean in a very natural way, minimizing harmful chemicals and toxins in your abode. As a result, you and your family can be healthy and safe at all times. So aside from using rosemary in your dishes, consider taking full advantage of its amazing benefits by concocting natural remedies using such herbal medicine.

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.