Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Anticancer, cardioprotective, anti-Alzheimers disease, antitoxin, anti-allergy
The leaves of this hardy Mediterranean plant are used to flavor a variety of dishes and
beverages, and are added to some cosmetics. In its long and colorful history, rosemary
has been used, among other things, as a symbol of fidelity and a guard against evil
spirits and bad dreams. It has also gained an important place in traditional medicine,
including its use as an antiseptic and as a treatment for respiratory problems, stomach
cramps and arthritic pain. Rosemary is also believed to enhance the memory. More
recently, it has become clear that rosemary is a valuable preventive agent against
several chronic diseases and is one of several spices that contribute to the healthpromoting effects of the Mediterranean diet.
Rosemary contains significant quantities of several antioxidants which exhibit potent anti-tumorigenic properties. These include apigenin, salicylates, caffeic acid and ursolic acid.
Cardiovascular Disease and Blood Lipids
Like oregano, rosemary has cardioprotective, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
effects, and two of its compounds, carvacrol and rosmarinic acid, directly prevent the
formation of atheromatous plaques in the arteries. Oleanolic and ursolic acid reduce
the risk of atherogenesis even further by lowering abnormal blood lipid levels, while
caffeic acid prevents platelet aggregation.
Rosmarinic acid has shown promising preventive and, in some cases, therapeutic
effects against Alzheimers disease. Although its mechanisms are not fully
understood, like the phytochemicals in garlic and turmeric, rosmarinic acid prevents
the deposition of amyloid plaque in the brain and may also contribute to its
Rosemary has specifically been shown to protect the liver from damage by
environmental toxins. More broadly, potent antioxidants present in rosemary, such as
rosmarinic acid and caffeic acid, are effective scavengers of free-radical toxins and
assist in the prevention of inflammatory diseases, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
The traditional use of rosemary as a treatment for respiratory problems has now been
validated by clinical studies investigating its anti-allergenic properties. These have
demonstrated that rosemary is an effective therapy for hay fever and asthma-causing
allergies, and these anti-allergenic properties may well extend to other types of
(The above article has been copied directly from the book: Medicinal Seasonings by Dr. Keith Scott). Thank you for this information