Nutrition facts & Health benefits of Rosemary
Rosmarinus officinalis belonging to the family Lamiaceae, well known by the name “Rosemary”,is awarded as the herb of the year in 2001 by International Herb Association.Itis a sacred, woody, herbaceous perennial plant filled with fragrance in its flowers and consist of needle shaped leaves.The History says that Virgin Marry rested near a rosemary bush and spread her blue cloak over theshrub, thus surprisingly the white flowers change its colour to blue, from that day onwards it is “Rose of Mary”. By virtue of its high resin, tannic acid, volatile oils and flavonoids contents, Rosemary is reported to have a wide array of pharmacological potentials.
Health benefits of Rosemary
From past few years, people have been using rosemary as a main ingredient for culinary purpose. It is a rich source of phytochemicals. As we know thatthe phytochemicals generally contributes to make a plant filled with pharmacological activities or benefits.Various reports have unraveled the ability of this plant as a powerful antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and anti-carcinogenic agent. Several diseases related to central nervous, cardiovascular, urinary, reproductive and respiratory system has been cured by this plant.Further, it has been used as a carminative, rubifacient, stimulant and also flavouring agent for liniments, hair lotions, inhaler, soaps and cosmetics.
Rosemary essential oil
To obtain essential oil of the highest quality, plants should be in bloom and only from the flowering tops extraction is carried out by steam distillation. Morphological appearance indicates that it is colourless to pale yellow with characteristic flavour and camphoraceous taste. The oil is insoluble in water, however soluble in 10 volume of 80% alcohol.Topical application of rosemary essential oilis able to reduce headache and widely used in body massage.
Benefits of Rosemary tea
Rosemary plant is indigenous to south Europe and Asia, but it is also cultivated in India and Mediterranean basin. It is widely used as a spice in cuisines. This evergreen shrub has a pungent aroma making it a perfect flavoring agent. Beneficial effects of rosemary tea is supported with its activity of improving digestion, promote cognitive function and embedded with antioxidant property. So a sip of tea can protect people from heart disease and deadliest diseases like cancer.
Rosemary essential oil, with its warm and penetrating aroma, is one of the most stimulating oils used in aromatherapy,where it is blended with different essential oils and applied in combination.Its pleasant smell decrease the level of cortisol, a hormone which is released during stress. A combinatorial treatment with Rosemary and lavender are used for patients suffering from chronic stress. It works well in aromatherapy massage by relieving stiff and tired muscles. Rosemary essential oil has also been widely used in cosmetic preparations, where it act as a strong astringent and toning agent for skin.
Benefits of Rosemary oil
The bioactive compounds of crude rosemary oil includes camphor(5-31%),1,8-cineol(15-55%)borneol(1.5-5%), camphene(2.5-12.0%), pinene(9-26%), limonene(1.5-5.0%), verbenone(2.2-11.1%), caryophyllene(1.8-5.1%) and myrcene(0.9-4.5%). Individually, the aforementioned compounds possess significant medicinal properties which are also used in a variety of traditional medicinal systems.Treatment of various ailments like arthritis, gout, muscular pain, neuralgia and wound. Moreover, itpotentiates the hair growth and prevents alopecia.So application of this oil is very beneficial.
Side effects of rosemary:
Rosemary is a safe plant when consumed in lower doses. But in higher dose it can lead to side effects:
- Pulmonary edema
Precautions to be taken:
The following precaution should be taken:
1. Rosemary essential oil are emmenogogue, so it is strictly avoided during pregnancy.
2. It can be hazardous in the patients suffering from epilepsy and high blood pressure.
3. Drug interaction is seen with drugs such as
- Anticoagulant- warfarin, aspirin, clopidogrel
- Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors- Lisinopril captopril
- Diuretics – furosemide
Rosemary – “dew of sea” is enriched with many active principle. More than 20 varieties of Rosemary plant are cultivated in gardens and slopes. Strong invigorating fragrance of Rosemary oil makes it the most popular essential oil to be widely used in aromatherapy. It also possess multiple medicinal benefits in diseases like cancer, skin diseases, depression, stress, wounds, arthritis, gout, muscular pain, neuralgia. Moreover, enhances growth of hair and used as a treatment in alopecia. Rosemary tea is used as a healthy tea for people, as it is rich with phytochemicals.