Rosemary is a wonderful herb that has many uses, including as an antioxidant, for memory, hormone issue/PMS, and nerve issues. Discover some of the research behind Rosemary benefits here.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) – Indigenous to southern Europe
Parts used: rosemary oil (topical only) and leaves.
I use fresh rosemary leaves for their antioxidants and anti-spasmotic effects. They help with muscle cramps, stomach discomfort, and PMS symptoms. It usually only takes 2-4 fresh leaves plus a couple of fresh peppermint leaves (which also contain rosemarin, the main antioxidant and best of rosemary benefits) on the first day of my period to relieve cramps!
I started using fresh herbs when I went on a low carb (keto) diet back in 2017, and with these changes I had an immediate improvement in my tendonitis – going off low carb and using fresh herbs less (winter) caused an increase in tendon issues, which I’ve now started to manage with Cissus quadrangularis. I’m not sure whether the tendon improvement was due to rosemary’s antioxidant or other effects, or whether my low carb diet simply reduced the amount of inflammation I was experiencing.
Up to 500mg twice daily for 30 days has been used successfully to improve memory 1
Antioxidant, cold and flu: any time I’m feeling a bit sluggish, some fresh rosemary leaves are a huge help for me – fresh leaves and elderberry stop a cold before it gets bad.
Neuralgia and neuritis: fresh rosemary helped me get passed a months-long episode of painful nerves in my hands, face, and scalp (Reynauld’s-type symptoms).
For Horses and Pets:
Rosemary is an excellent calmer for the digestive system, especially during times of stress and nervous tension. It’s helpful for liver function and has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Dosing is up to 1 handful of fresh leaves daily or 15 grams of dried herb. I feed my horse 8-10 fresh leaves on occasion, but did use this amount daily for over 6 months to pull him through a stressful time.
Fresh rosemary is also a culinary herb and is wonderful in Mediterranean and other dishes. Cooking with fresh leaves is one of the best ways to get a ton of benefits from this and many other herbs!
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Historical uses that I’ve found through herbal study:
- Blood pressure regulation
- Circulation issues
- Colds and flu
- Digestive issues
- Female tonic
- Muscle pain
- Nervine during stress (strengthen and regulate the effects of the nervous system)
- Neuralgia and neuritis
- Rheumatism pain
- Tension relief
Note: These uses are for fresh and dried leaves – oil is extremely concentrated and can be toxic, and should only be used for topical applications.
Growing rosemary is fairly straightforward, with a few caveats. This herb needs well-drained, sandy soil and at least 6-8 hours of sunlight or grow lighting. Unless you buy a cultivar specific to your zone, rosemary needs minimum temperatures of 30*F and warmer. If you’re in zone 5 or above you can trim down your plants and cover with 4-6 inches of mulch, removing the mulch once new growth begins in spring to help them survive colder temps.
You can also grow them under lights through the winter months to have fresh leaves available throughout the year (I’ve done this with great success for several years). Once established, rosemary doesn’t like to have it’s roots disturbed, and I’ve lost a few established plants due to pots tipping over, with the plant roots not being able to recover. I also have better luck planting seeds where I intend to let them grow rather than replanting seedlings once they’re established.
Large doses can cause stomach upset, kidney irritation, uterine bleeding, increased sun sensitivity, and allergic reactions.
Seek medical advice if you are pregnant or breast feeding, have an allergy to aspirin, have a bleeding disorder, or have a seizure disorder.
Where To Purchase:
I typically grow rosemary from seed – it can be a bit finicky and isn’t a fast grower, but you’ll have decent sized plants for light use within a few months. I’ve also bought larger plants from the store, but seem to have less luck – possibly due to repotting or getting too dry as their root system literally can’t recover from major stress (clearance plants almost never survive). That said, you can buy powdered rosemary from many sources that carry herbs.
You can typically buy small plants or plant cuttings in your local supermarket as well, but look for organic plants and cuttings to avoid pesticides and other potential issues.
Note: I earn a commission on some links, at no cost to you. Purchasing through these links is a great way to support this site!
If you’re looking to buy seeds to grow your own, Mountain Rose Herbs has a ton of different herb seeds, including rare finds you won’t get at your local stores! This is where I buy a lot of my herb seeds due to their sustainability policies and their clean products.
- Comparison of Rosemary and Mefenamic Acid Capsules on Menstrual Bleeding and Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Clinical Trial – Rosemary capsules reduce the menstrual bleeding and primary dysmenorrhea the same as mefenamic acid capsules.
(SEE MY POST ON PEPPERMINT FOR SIMILAR RESEARCH)
- Moreover, activation of redox-dependent signalling pathways such as Nrf2-dependent transcriptional regulation is known to take part in the antioxidant response of rosemary – Moreover, activation of redox-dependent signalling pathways such as Nrf2-dependent transcriptional regulation is known to take part in the antioxidant response of rosemary… The antibacterial effect of rosemary has been widely demonstrated in several food studies…