Ah, rosemary. Almost everyone is familiar with the woodsy aroma of this native Mediterranean herb. Needlelike leaves and beautiful blue flowers adorn this evergreen plant with a rich history of culinary and medicinal use. Rosemary is a member of the Lamiaceae family of plants, including mint, oregano, lemon balm, and basil.
Packed with medicinal properties, rosemary is a powerful herb and a beautiful plant all wrapped into one. Rosemary can even help lift you up when you are feeling blue and help you remember where you left your keys.
Besides the fact that rosemary is a beautiful plant to grow, here are some reasons why you should enjoy rosemary.
Free radical protection – Antioxidants are compounds that behave like a shield against damaging free radicals that cause oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. These can all lead to chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants along with herbs like rosemary. Compounds found in rosemary tea have antimicrobial properties which can help your body beat infections. The rosemary plant leaves are used in traditional medicine for their antibacterial and wound healing effects.
Blood sugar regulator – High blood sugar, left untreated, can cause damage to your eyes, heart, kidneys, and nervous system. Research shows that compounds in rosemary tea helps to lower blood sugar. Animal and test-tube studies indicate that compounds in rosemary tea can increase the absorption of glucose into muscle cells which reduces blood sugar.
Mood booster and memory enhancer – Stress is, unfortunately, all too common these days. Research clearly makes a connection between the therapeutic properties in rosemary and a reduction in stress and improvement in mood. In one study it was found that drinking 2 teaspoons of rosemary in ⅔ cup of water improved job-related burn-out fatigue. Another study found that inhaling rosemary improved mental test concentration, performance, and mood in young adults. Rosemary also can improve mood by promoting healthy gut bacteria and reducing inflammation in the part of the brain related to memories and learning.
Brain health protector – Studies conducted on aminals have discovered that rosemary tea may protect brain health by preventing brain cell death. Additional studies show that rosemary can help persons recover who have suffered conditions leading to brain damage such as a stroke. There is also some evidence that rosemary can help offset the negative impacts of brain aging and help protect the brain from neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s.
Protect eye health and vision – Animal studies have discovered that the addition of rosemary extract to other oral treatments can slow the progression of age-related eye diseases. Experiential studies demonstrate that rosmarinic acid in rosemary delays the onset of cataracts.
Cancer risk reduction – Researchers studying the effects of rosemary in relation to cancer have found that it may inhibit tumor growth. Rosemary has been shown to reduce the formation of cancer cells by preventing the replication of cancerous cells. This has been documented regarding prostate, breast, and colon cancer cells. A mice study published in PloS ONE found that when rosemary extract was administered orally, tumor growth was suppressed by 46 percent in comparison to mice not receiving rosemary treatment. The is especially significant because many food products now use rosemary extract as a natural preservative.
Additional benefits of drinking a cup of rosemary tea
May promote heart health – One study found that rosemary extract can reduce the risk of heart failure following a heart attack.
May promote good digestion – Although research is limited, rosemary extract has been used to help support digestion because of its ability to promote healthy gut bacteria and reduce inflammation.
May help with hair growth –There is loads of anecdotal evidence supporting the use of homemade rosemary tea hair rinse to promote hair growth. Studies show that applying rosemary oil or extract on the scalp can help slow hair loss.
May accelerate weight loss – An animal study using rats found that rosemary prevented weight gain – even when rats were fed a high-fat diet.
Migraine relief – Rosemary has also been found to reduce pain significantly. You can apply rosemary oil directly to your temples for headaches and migraines, inhale the vapor from oil, or use it in tea.
Ease dry scalp – Rosemary and peppermint essential oils have several benefits for hair. Both of the oils will help to eliminate dandruff caused by a dry scalp, which is especially common during the winter or if you live in an arid climate.
Rosemary and Peppermint Shampoo
With so many amazing benefits, this easy-to-make natural shampoo will soon be a favorite in your home. You don’t need very much to start getting the help you are looking for. Plus, the cost is minimal compared to conventional hair products.
What you need
- 1/2 cup castile soap
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- 15 drops peppermint essential oil
- 20 drops rosemary essential oil
- Pump type bottle or bottle of your choice
How to make it
- Gather the supplies and the container to put the natural shampoo in.
- Combine them and enjoy!
As always, speak with your healthcare provider before using an herbal remedy.
-Susan, CBHC and Master Gardener