• Name : Rosemary
  • English Name :Rosemary
  • Scientific Name :Rosmarinus officinalis


A woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region.1

Morphology Description:

Rosemary is an aromatic evergreen shrub that has leaves similar to hemlock needles. The leaves are used as a flavoring in foods such as stuffings and roast lamb, pork, chicken and turkey. It is native to the Mediterranean and Asia, but is reasonably hardy in cool climates. It can withstand droughts, surviving a severe lack of water for lengthy periods.[5] Forms range from upright to trailing; the upright forms can reach 1.5 m (5 ft) tall, rarely 2 m (6 ft 7 in). The leaves are evergreen, 2?4 cm (0.8?1.6 in) long and 2?5 mm broad, green above, and white below, with dense, short, woolly hair. The plant flowers in spring and summer in temperate climates, but the plants can be in constant bloom in warm climates; flowers are white, pink, purple or deep blue.1

Parts Used:            Leaves


Rosmarinus officinalis essential oil was separated into its hydrocarbon and oxygenated fractions. The major compounds in the hydrocarbon fraction were alpha-pinene (44.2%), camphene (24.5%), and limonene (11.7%), while in the oxygenated fraction they were 1,8-cineole (37.6%), camphor (16.5%), and bornyl acetate (21.4%).2

The most important constituents of rosemary are caffeic acid and its derivatives such as rosmarinic acid. These compounds have antioxidant effect. The phenolic compound, rosmarinic acid, obtains one of its phenolic rings from phenylalanine via caffeic acid and the other from tyrosine via dihydroxyphenyl-lactic acid. Rosmarinic acid is well absorbed from gastrointestinal tract and from the skin. It increases the production of prostaglandin E2 and reduces the production of leukotriene B4 in human polymorphonuclear leucocytes, and inhibits the complement system. It is concluded that rosemary and its constituents especially caffeic acid derivatives such as rosmarinic acid have a therapeutic potential in treatment or prevention of bronchial asthma, spasmogenic disorders, peptic ulcer, inflammatory diseases, hepatotoxicity, atherosclerosis, ischaemic heart disease, cataract, cancer and poor sperm motility.3

Pharmacological Actions:

It is used for flavouring food, a beverage drink, as well as in cosmetics; in folk.medicine it is used as an antispasmodic in renal colic and dysmenorrhoea, in relieving respiratory disorders and to stimulate growth of hair. Extract of rosemary relaxes smooth muscles of trachea and intestine, and has choleretic, hepatoprotective and antitumerogenic activity.3

The primary pharmacological actions of Rosemary are summarized as under:

Central Nervous System: 

i. R. officinalis might potentially serve as an agent for prevention of several human neurodegenerative diseases caused by oxidative stress and apoptosis.4

ii. The antidepressant action of the extract of R. officinalis is mediated by an interaction with the monoaminergic system.5

iii. Improves long-term memory, which can be partially explained by its inhibition of AChE activity in brain.6

Digestive System: 

i. Possess anti-colitic activity, which makes it an important remedy for inflammatory bowel diseases in traditional medicine.7  

ii. Exerts spasmolytic activity.8

Endocrinal System: 

i. Due to its potent antioxidant properties, the Rosmarinus officinalis extract exerts remarkable antidiabetogenic effect.9

ii. Exerts protective effect on tissues, especially Liver in Diabetes.10

iii. Rosemary potentially increases liver glycolysis and fatty acid oxidation by activating AMPK and PPAR pathways.11

Cardiovascular System: 

i. Carnosic acid (CA), the main bioactive compound of Rosmarinus officinalis extract, blocks adipogenesis and could be beneficial in the prevention and/or treatment of obesity.12

ii. Phenolic compounds from rosemary ameliorate the antioxidant defense in different tissues and attenuate oxidative stress in diet-induced hypercholesterolemia.13

Urinary System: 

i. Oral administration of the aqueous extract of rosemary prior to ischemia-reperfusion was observed to be effective in reducing functional and histopathological complications associated with acute kidney failure.14

Skin and Hair: 

i. Chronic UV exposure is responsible for long term clinical manifestations such as photoaging and photocancers. One of the major events involved in the development of skin photodamage is up-regulation of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1). Roseamry extract inhibits UV-induced MMP-1 and exhibits potential benefits in preventing cutaneous photodamage.15

ii. The extract has been observed to be useful in the management of acne.16

iii. Topical administration of Rosmarinus officinalis leaf extract improves hair regrowth; they inhibit the binding of dihydrotestosterone to androgen receptors.17


i. The essential oil possesses anti-inflammatory and peripheral antinociceptive activity.18

ii. The major components of rosemary oil exert antimicrobial activity against oral pathogens.19


 Depression, Fatigue, Stress and Anxiety

 Memory and Cognitive disorders

 Excessive Hair Fall


1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosemary

2. Pintore G, Marchetti M, Chessa M, et al. Rosmarinus officinalis L.: chemical modifications of the essential oil and evaluation of antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. Nat Prod Commun. 2009 Dec;4(12):1685-90.

3. Al-Sereiti MR, Abu-Amer KM, Sen P. Pharmacology of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis Linn.) and its therapeutic potentials. Indian J Exp Biol. 1999 Feb;37(2):124-30.

4. Park SE, Kim S, Sapkota K, Kim SJ. Neuroprotective effect of Rosmarinus officinalis extract on human dopaminergic cell line, SH-SY5Y. Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2010 Jul;30(5):759-67.

5. Machado DG, Bettio LE, Cunha MP, et al. Antidepressant-like effect of the extract of Rosmarinus officinalis in mice: involvement of the monoaminergic system. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2009 Jun 15;33(4):642-50.

6. Ozarowski M, Mikolajczak PL, Bogacz A, et al. Rosmarinus officinalis L. leaf extract improves memory impairment and affects acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase activities in rat brain. Fitoterapia. 2013 Dec;91:261-71.

7. Minaiyan M, Ghannadi AR, Afsharipour M, Mahzouni P. Effects of extract and essential oil of Rosmarinus officinalis L. on TNBS-induced colitis in rats. Res Pharm Sci. 2011 Jan;6(1):13-21.

8. Ventura-Mart?nez R, Rivero-Osorno O, G?mez C, Gonz?lez-Trujano ME. Spasmolytic activity of Rosmarinus officinalis L. involves calcium channels in the guinea pig ileum. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Oct 11;137(3):1528-32.

9. Bakirel T, Bakirel U, Keleş OU, et al. In vivo assessment of antidiabetic and antioxidant activities of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) in alloxan-diabetic rabbits. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Feb 28;116(1):64-73.

10. Ramadan KS, Khalil OA, Danial EN, et al. Hypoglycemic and hepatoprotective activity of Rosmarinus officinalis extract in diabetic rats. J Physiol Biochem. 2013 Dec;69(4):779-83.

11. Tu Z, Moss-Pierce T, Ford P, Jiang TA. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) Extract Regulates Glucose and Lipid Metabolism by Activating AMPK and PPAR Pathways in HepG2 Cells. J Agric Food Chem. 2013.

12. Gaya M, Repetto V, Toneatto J, et al. Antiadipogenic effect of carnosic acid, a natural compound present in Rosmarinus officinalis, is exerted through the C/EBPs and PPARγ pathways at the onset of the differentiation program. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Jun;1830(6):3796-806.

13. 13.Afonso MS, de O Silva AM, Carvalho EB, et al. Phenolic compounds from Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) attenuate oxidative stress and reduce blood cholesterol concentrations in diet-induced hypercholesterolemic rats. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2013 Feb 2;10(1):19.

14. Changizi Ashtiyani S, Zohrabi M, et al. Oral administration of the aqueous extract of Rosmarinus officinalis in rats before renal reperfusion injury. Iran J Kidney Dis. 2013 Sep;7(5):367-75.

15. Martin R, Pierrard C, Lejeune F, et al. Photoprotective effect of a water-soluble extract of Rosmarinus officinalis L. against UV-induced matrix metalloproteinase-1 in human dermal fibroblasts and reconstructed skin. Eur J Dermatol. 2008 Mar-Apr;18(2):128-35.

16. Tsai TH, Chuang LT, Lien TJ, et al. Rosmarinus officinalis extract suppresses Propionibacterium acnes-induced inflammatory responses. J Med Food. 2013 Apr;16(4):324-33.

17. Murata K, Noguchi K, Kondo M, et al. Promotion of hair growth by Rosmarinus officinalis leaf extract. Phytother Res. 2013 Feb;27(2):212-7.

18. Takaki I, Bersani-Amado LE, Vendruscolo A, et al. Anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive effects of Rosmarinus officinalis L. essential oil in experimental animal models. J Med Food. 2008 Dec;11(4):741-6.

19. Bernardes WA, Lucarini R, Tozatti MG, et al. Antibacterial activity of the essential oil from Rosmarinus officinalis and its major components against oral pathogens. Z Naturforsch C. 2010 Sep-Oct;65(9-10):588-93.

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