Rosemary is a fragrant evergreen herb native to the Mediterranean. It is used as a culinary condiment, to make bodily perfumes, and for its potential health benefits.
Fast facts on rosemary
- Rosemary is a perennial plant (it lives more than 2 years).
- The leaves are often used in cooking.
- Possible health benefits include improved concentration, digestion, and brain aging.
- Very high doses may cause vomiting, coma, and pulmonary edema.
Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds
Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which are thought to help boost the immune system and improve blood circulation.
In Europe, rosemary is often used to help treat indigestion. In fact, Germany’s Commission E has approved rosemary for the treatment of indigestion. However, it should be noted that there is currently no meaningful scientific evidence to support this claim.
Enhancing memory and concentration
According to research outlined in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, the aroma from rosemary can improve a person’s concentration, performance, speed, and accuracy and, to a lesser extent, their mood.
Scientists have found that rosemary may also be good for your brain. Rosemary contains an ingredient called carnosic acid, which can fight off damage by free radicals in the brain.
Protection against macular degeneration
A study published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, led by Dr. Stuart A. Lipton, Ph.D. and colleagues at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, revealed that a carnosic acid, which is a major component of rosemary, can significantly promote eye health.