Rosemary Essential Oil – Health Benefits

If you have ever had Italian food, you know the aromatic herb rosemary. Whether it is added to breads or meats, rosemary leaves behind a distinct smell and taste. It not only enhances the palatability of the food, it also improves its nutritional value. Imagine how nutritious and therapeutic the essential oil of this herb would be?

 Rosemary Essential Oil

How is the Oil Produced?

Though the leaves of the rosemary herb are used in the kitchen, it is the flower of this plant that is used for extracting the essential oil. The beautiful but tiny flowers are steam distilled to obtain this precious, aromatic oil. The oil has a complex chemical composition and the main chemicals that give it its distinct property include a-pinene, b-pinene, bornyl acetate, camphor, camphene, borneol and limonene among many others.

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What are the Health Benefits?

Rosemary oil was considered sacred in the ancient Roman empires and was used for its therapeutic properties to ward off plagues. It was burnt in hospitals and the fumes were used to cleanse the hospital environment of disease causing pathogens. In the modern day too, the essential oil is considered very therapeutic and can be used in a lot of therapeutic contexts.

Relaxant: Rosemary oil is the perfect remedy for those who feel very stressed at work. If you and your family members lead very busy lives and find it difficult to unwind after a stressful day at work, simply vaporize this oil at home and enjoy its fragrance. The oil reduces the levels of cortisol produced in the body as a response to stress, therefore reducing both stress and anxiety. Rosemary oil can be mixed with lavender oil to maximize its benefits.

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Improved brain function: Since ancient times, rosemary has been linked to memory. Recent research has found that our ancestors based this belief on a scientific premise. In fact, the aroma of rosemary can successfully enhance prospective memory. This means that when you diffuse rosemary oil in your home, you increase your ability to remember potentially important things for the rest of the day. Diffusing the oil in your home in the morning can help you improve overall brain functioning. You will find yourself to be more focused and have a heightened ability to absorb information and retain it.

Prevent Alzheimer’s disease: As rosemary oil improves brain functioning, it also helps prevent age related brain degeneration and conditions like Alzheimer’s. Aromatherapy using rosemary oil can successfully improve cognitive functioning and delay the onset of dementia as well as other disorders related to declining cognitive functioning due to age.

Analgesic: Rosemary oil can be successfully used to treat pains and caches. Mixing the oil with other analgesics and complementing oils, and massaging the aching areas of your body can help you get relief from pain. This is a great remedy for relief from symptoms of internal injuries, muscle soreness or other impact related pains.

Astringent: Rosemary oil has astringent properties and can be really beneficial for your skin. You can use this oil for treatment of oily skin. It can also be used for the treatment of acne and acne related scars and blemishes.

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In addition to these, rosemary essential oil can be used for its carminative digestive, diuretic and stimulating properties.

How to Use?

Rosemary oil, with all its benefits, can be used topically, orally and can also be diffused. However, the oil should not be consumed during pregnancy without the supervision or guidance of a medical practitioner. In addition, rosemary oil should also not be used by those who suffer from epilepsy or high blood pressure. The oil can be successfully blended with cedar wood oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil, geranium oil and citronella oil. It is most commonly used for therapeutic purposes upon blending with lavender essential oil. You can add a few drops of the oil in a lotion or cream of your choice for its astringent and antiseptic properties.

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Neha started her career as a research associate with the Azim Premji Foundation and went on to lead several development programs with various NGOs. In her free time she loves travelling and writing.

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