Rosemary is a renowned herb native to the Mediterranean region. It is a fragrant evergreen spice used in food as a condiment, in aromatherapies, and has few potential health benefits. Do you want to know those health benefits and accrue advantages of this herb? If yes, then keep reading!
Rosemary belongs to the mint family, Lamiaceae that includes other medicinal herbs like thyme, basil, lavender, etc. It is a beautiful-looking plant that is used as a decorative piece in gardens. It contains various phytochemicals like rosmarinic acid, camphor, carnosic acid, etc., which give rosemary its unique scent.
Along with being used in food, perfumes, shampoos, etc., rosemary is also used in medicines. The following are some potential health benefits of rosemary. It includes:
1. Has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
Rosemary is an excellent source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. It helps prevent oxidative stress and inflammation, which are the significant reasons for chronic diseases like cancer, type-2 diabetes, etc. Rosemary gets these properties from polyphenolic compounds rosmarinic & cornosic acid, which are also used to preserve perishable goods.
2. Sharpen memory & focus
Rosemary is known to boost memory and improve performance by sharpening focus and alertness. As per a study, students who inhaled rosemary before the exam performed better at the cognitive test than others. The research conducted by Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology has also found rosemary to be a cognitive stimulant.
3. It helps to reduce stress
Anxiety, tension, and stress have become common these days. Rosemary can help to reduce stress and keep your mood calm & relaxed by balancing stress hormones. It also helps to improve sleep quality that is one of the main reasons for increasing anxiety.
4. Improves digestion
Rosemary is believed to treat indigestion & improve gut health, which includes intestinal gas, loss of appetite, liver problems, etc., from an ancient period. Although the research is still lacking on its use, people have been using it to promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria.
5. It might support brain health
Various animal and test-tube studies have shown that rosemary extract may support your brain health by preventing brain cell damage and protecting against neurodegenerative disease. Apart from preventing cell damage, it might also help to recover from issues like attacks, stroke, which can lead to brain damage.
6. It might improve vision & eye health
Although there is no concrete evidence that rosemary can improve eye health, few studies have found that some compounds of rosemary may benefit the vision. However, remember, these studies have used concentrated extract; hence, it is not clear if the benefit is entirely from rosemary. Therefore, take a professional opinion before using rosemary for the eyes.
Side Effects of Rosemary
Like other herbs, it is safe, but it might be an exception for some people. Some individuals might need to be cautious before consuming rosemary due to drug interaction. Medications that may react negatively with rosemary are:
- ACE inhibitors
Also, you should consume rosemary in small and controlled portions as large portions can trigger side effects like spasms, vomiting, coma, pulmonary edema (fluid in lungs), miscarriage. Therefore, pregnant women should try to avoid rosemary.
How to add Rosemary to the diet?
- You can make fragrant herbal tea with rosemary.
- Rosemary and potatoes are a popular combination.
- You can sprinkle some leaves over chicken, beef for more flavor & garnish.
The Bottom Line
Rosemary is a beneficial and aromatic herb that will keep your mood light & calm and supports your overall health. You can add rosemary easily to your diet. However, make sure that you don’t have any allergies before incorporating rosemary into the diet.