Rosemary: what is it for and side effects

This content is part of the Alternative Medicine category and may contain information that lacks scientific studies and/or medical consensus.

Among the main benefits of rosemary are improved digestion , aid in the treatment of depression and anxiety and blood pressure control.

These are some of the beneficial effects mentioned by the fitness muse and nutritionist, Bella Falconi. “Also called the herb of joy , this is one of the ones that offer the most benefits for health and that has been the target of numerous scientific researches”, he highlights.

In addition to these cares, rosemary also has properties that help in hair care . Therefore, it can be considered a friend of health and aesthetics.

Even though it is versatile in terms of benefits, there is still room to be a wild card on a daily basis. That’s because it can be used in recipes and used to make tea or essential oil . But, of course, just like every product, natural or not, it has contraindications and side effects.

Rosemary benefits

According to Bella Falconi, the positive effects of this herb are the result of its rich composition in minerals and antioxidants. In addition, rosemary acts as a diuretic , detoxifying and relaxing .

Improves digestion

The fitness muse explains that the digestive property present in the plant helps to fight bad digestion . But not only that, it also helps with the treatment of gastritis, ulcers, stomach pain and diarrhea.

As it is a digestive stimulant, it reduces inappetence, popularly known as lack of appetite. It is also carminative, so it works by eliminating gases. ( 1 , 2 , 3 )

Helps to fight anxiety

Rosemary is indicated to control anxiety and nervousness, as it acts as a tranquilizer . However, this is just one of the plant’s beneficial actions for the central nervous system.

According to Bella Falconi, the herb is able to increase blood flow in the brain, improving memory . In fact, this action is used long before science proves it, as Greek students used it during tests in order to reinforce the memorization of the contents.

It is also recommended to prevent mental (and physical) fatigue , as it has tonic and stimulant properties. Not to mention essential oils, which according to the nutritionist, are essential in the “production of neurotransmitters responsible for the feeling of well-being.”

Another important discovery is that rosemary is related to cognitive function, so much so that patients with Alzheimer’s disease can benefit from aromatherapy based on this plant.

Like Alzheimer’s, other problems that affect the central nervous system can be alleviated. Depression and Parkinson’s are examples, since the herb has rosmarinic acid, a substance with potential against neurodegenerative diseases.

Furthermore, this same compound acts on neuromuscular terminations and inhibits acetylcholinesterase. In other words, it prevents the breakdown of molecules that allow the passage of nerve impulses from neurons to muscle cells.

Other problems that can be treated with this vegetable are: headache, migraine, nerve problems, dizziness and epilepsy. ( 1 , 2 , 4 , 5 )

Helps control blood pressure

“The benefits of rosemary in treating high blood pressure have been known for a long time. Today science already knows why. Rosemary has compounds that help improve blood circulation, ” explains Falconi.

But the fact is that the plant manages to balance the pressure, as it also acts in cases of hypotension ( low pressure ). In 2014, a study carried out in Spain showed the anti-hypotensive effect of the essential oil extracted from the herb.

With this control, the cardiac system only tends to win. Diseases such as thrombosis, angina pectoris , stroke and atherosclerosis can be avoided. ( 1 , 2 , 5 )

Fight oral problems

Bad breath, thrush and gingivitis are problems that can be treated with rosemary, according to Bella Falconi. All this because the plant is considered antiseptic, helping with oral cleaning.

Also, inflammation in the mouth, toothache or inflamed tooth can be fought. That’s because the herb acts as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic. ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 5 , 6 )

Relieves cramps

“The tea made with rosemary leaves relieves menstrual cramps ”, highlights the nutritionist. The plant has an emmenagogue property, increasing the menstrual flow without the woman having more contractions in the uterus. In addition to being recommended to treat colic in babies and kidney colic. ( 1 , 2 , 4 )

Helps in weight loss

Despite decreasing inappetence, this herb also has diuretic properties . In practice, tea made with it can increase the elimination of fluids that were retained in the body, causing swelling.

According to Falconi, this benefit is due to the rich composition of minerals present in the plant. Potassium, calcium, phosphorus, sodium and magnesium are some of the examples mentioned by the professional.

cleanse the liver

Considered an antioxidant of the liver , this species of vegetable is capable of protecting the organ against the action of free radicals. The latter enter the body and act by destroying (oxidizing) cells.

For this same reason, it is considered a hepatoprotector. Thus, it protects the liver against toxic substances from a low quality diet and/or other bad lifestyle habits. ( 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 7 )

take care of the hair

As it is an antiseptic, the essential oil of this plant works by cleaning the entire scalp, helping to treat dandruff , a very common problem among people.

It is also a stimulant in this region, so it helps to control alopecia, which is nothing more than hair loss. And, at the same time, it stimulates hair growth . ( 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 )

Helps prevent cancer

As in the case of the liver, the antioxidants present in this herb act by preventing the deterioration of cells, thus preventing the appearance of one of the best-known degenerative diseases, cancer.

But in addition to preventing this condition, the plant also prevents the development of tumors . Among the types of cancer most related to this action are breast, skin, colon, liver and leukemia. ( 2 , 5 , 6 )

Reduces pain and inflammation

Headache and colic pain are not the only ones treated by rosemary. In fact, it acts on pain in general, as it is a natural analgesic and, in addition, an anti-inflammatory.

Thus, it can be an ally in combating rheumatic pain in the legs and spine . And externally it can also contribute as a healing accelerator. ( 1 , 2 )

Fight micro-organisms

According to a study published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine in 2018, the plant in question is proven to be antibacterial.

Therefore, it fights gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, such as Salmonella (causes food poisoning) and Streptococci (causes pneumonia, infections and pharyngitis). ( 7 )

Helps in the treatment of diabetes

As we know, diabetes mellitus is a chronic and incurable disease, but medications can help patients live with this condition. However, in search of drugs that do not cause as many adverse effects, new studies are being carried out.

In these collections, rosemary proved to be a therapeutic hope, as it has carnosic acid and carnosol. Both are compounds that help control blood glucose . ( 6 )

How is this herb used?

The plant can be used as a natural remedy, as an aesthetic ally or as an ingredient in various dishes. Follow how to use!

rosemary tea

According to the Medicinal Plants Manual Pharmacy Verde, tea is made by infusing one to two tablespoons of the leaves in 150 ml of hot water.

Once ready, it should be ingested from one to two cups a day. But it can also be used for topical use, applying to the affected area daily up to twice. ( 8 )

hair oil

To enjoy the hair benefits, the oil must be added to the shampoo normally used. In addition to cleaning the scalp, this mixture will induce hair growth.

But the oil can also be used in baths or massages to treat rheumatic pain or injuries. ( 3 )

in food

The plant is used to flavor and improve the flavor of food. Therefore, it serves as a therapeutic seasoning in meats, potatoes, rice and even breads . In addition to serving as a flavoring in pasta cooking water and in oils. ( 9 )

Contraindications and side effects

It should not be consumed in excess as it can be toxic in these situations. Drowsiness, spasms, nervous irritation and gastroenteritis are other problems that can arise after large doses.

In addition, pregnant women should not use the herb , as it stimulates menstruation, it can be abortifacient. ( 2 )

How to plant rosemary?

Landscaper Lucia Borges, from the Vida no Jardim channel, teaches all the care that rosemary needs to grow. In addition to explaining how to plant, the professional also gives tips on the amount of watering, the type of land used and the amount of sunlight that the plant requires. Check out:

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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