The Health Benefits of Rosemary
Rosemary is a fragrant herb native to the Mediterranean region. It has a warm, bitter taste and it provides a nice flavor and aroma to many foods.
Rosemary is not only known for its taste and smell; it is also renowned for the many health benefits it possesses. A good source of iron, calcium and vitamins A, C, and B-6, rosemary has been used for its medicinal purposes for centuries.
Some of the many potential health benefits of rosemary include:
The carnosol in rosemary can help balance androgen and estrogen hormones in the body. If your doctor has diagnosed a hormone imbalance, ask if rosemary may be useful. Aromatherapy is the easiest way to use rosemary to balance hormones. If you choose to use a diffuser, be sure to follow the directions, as excessive amounts can cause a variety of unwanted symptoms.
Physical appearances make us unique. Just like the color of our eyes and the tone of our skin, hair is individual to all of us. To keep your hair looking healthy and full, try adding some rosemary to your diet by seasoning your dishes or even drinking it with hot water. The oils in the leaves act as a natural disinfectant that protects the scalp from harmful bacteria that adversely affect the hair follicles, keeping your scalp healthy and your hair shiny. A few gray strands? No worries -- rosemary could also prevent premature graying.
Rosemary oil has the ability to improve circulation and stimulate nerve growth in the scalp, which can help with a variety of hair problems including hair loss. Studies show the oil in rosemary works better than some alopecia medications. By preventing excess oils on the scalp, rosemary helps keep the skin in this area clean and healthy, which in turn facilitates the efforts of the hair follicles.
The sun is both beautiful and powerful. Plants and animals rely on the warm rays to help with food cycles. However, too much sun can be damaging and cause skin distress that can lead to severe conditions such as cancer. Rosemary can lend the skin its phytonutrient properties. Just like hair, rosemary offers the same natural disinfectant for skin, helping prevent damage from the sun and free radicals. Dealing with stubborn pimples and acne? Rosemary even has natural anti-inflammatory properties that help keep the redness at bay.
Rosemary has been proven to help lower stress and anxiety. You can diffuse rosemary essential oil and it will have a calming effect on your body. It also has anti-depressant qualities. Consult your doctor before using rosemary as an alternative to traditional medications for anxiety and depression. Every person is different, and rosemary may not work for some.
Rosemary has three active components that can give the immune system a boost: anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, and anti-carcinogenic. Rosemary can help you to avoid getting sick during times of the year when colds and flu are running rampant. You can add rosemary to tea, especially if you feel a cold coming. Rosemary may also help reduce coughs and the accumulation of phlegm in the respiratory system when you are sick.
Aging is inevitable and is happening to everyone every second of the day, and keeping a sharp brain is important. The powerful mint and pine aroma of rosemary is said to boost our ability to concentrate, focus, and maintain overall brain performance. Rosemary also contains carbonic acid, which attacks free radicals in the brain, and can help prevent and heal brain damage in people who have had strokes. Another reason rosemary should be a part of your daily diet: it could help slow the aging of the brain and potentially prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Rosemary has some powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce pain, and when added to topical creams can be placed directly on the problematic area. When consumed in foods or as a tea, the herb may help reduce pain associated with migraines, menstrual cramps, and arthritis. Two chemicals in rosemary -- carnosol acid and carnosic acid -- are useful in reducing inflammation.
Iron is an important factor in maintaining good health. The essential mineral ensures the body has enough oxygen by helping produce oxygen-carrying red blood cells and aiding in the transportation of oxygen throughout the body. With too little iron, people tend to become easily fatigued and experience frequent headaches. Iron is also a key player in maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Vitamin B6 is extremely useful in regulating hormones. It plays a big role in keeping mood high and helps lower stress by encouraging the production of serotonin and norepinephrine. Vitamin B6 also helps produce the hormone melatonin, which regulates the internal clock, letting our bodies know when it is bedtime. Being deficient in B6 may lead to cracked skin on the lips, exhaustion, and even mood swings. Rosemary helps regulate these hormones.
The gut can be sensitive, and it is important to take note of what your stomach can handle. Adding rosemary can help alleviate troubles such as indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and even ulcers. Ulcers are caused by the bacteria H. pylori, but thankfully, rosemary can prevent the growth of this bacteria. The herb also fights other bacteria known to cause IBS and colitis, a chronic inflammatory disease in the digestive tract.
The liver's job is to detoxify the body, getting rid of all the unneeded and harmful things that are ingested or absorbed throughout the day. It also filters the blood from the digestive tract before sending it back out through the rest of the body. Rosemary helps lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and cirrhosis, scarring of the liver tissue that accompanies liver disease. Rosemary can also speed liver recovery.