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Botanical Name

Rosmarinus Officinalis

Common Name

Rosemary, Polar plant, Dew of the Sea, Compass weed



Parts Used

Aerial parts

Native To

Mediterranean region

Harvesting Guidelines

Trim plant on a continuous basis and use leaves.


Rosemary is a fragrant herb that belongs to the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is a small shrub that is native to the Mediterranean region and has been used for centuries for various purposes. The ancient Greeks used it to adorn young women, while the Romans used it as hedges. In Egyptian tombs, rosemary was also found as a symbol of remembrance. The name of the species, rosmarinus, means "dew of the sea," which refers to the sea spray that accumulates on the leaves of plants growing near the sea in its native Mediterranean region.(1)

Rosemary is a versatile herb that has both stimulating and restorative properties. Its taste is a combination of pungent, sweet, and slightly bitter flavors. In Ayurveda, the sweet taste is associated with nourishment and building, while the pungent taste is linked to warmth and stimulation. Rosemary's taste profile reflects its dual nature, as it simultaneously moves energy inward and downward while also dispersing it upward and outward. Its various actions, such as aiding digestion, promoting urination, and stimulating menstruation, correspond to its inward/downward movements, while its nervine, diaphoretic, and rubefacient actions correspond to its upward/outward movements. Ultimately, rosemary's effects are felt in the head, stomach, and heart, making it a valuable herb for overall health and well-being.(2)

Rosemary is not just a flavorful herb, it also has a number of health benefits. One of its most notable benefits is its ability to improve memory and mental function. This is due to its ability to increase blood flow to the brain and stimulate brain activity. Additionally, rosemary has been used as a natural remedy for a variety of conditions, including anxiety, depression, insomnia, fatigue, stress, headaches, and migraines. In fact, herbalist Judith Berger believes that rosemary can help to dispel sluggishness in both the body and spirit. A clinical study of 144 volunteers found that exposure to rosemary odor resulted in a significant enhancement of overall memory quality and secondary memory factors, but also impaired speed of memory compared to controls.(3)

Rosemary has a variety of health benefits, including its ability to stimulate and restore the heart as a cardiotonic and arterial stimulant. It also has a calming effect on the nervous system, which is closely linked to the heart, and can help to uplift the spirit and alleviate depression. Additionally, research has shown that rosemary may have anti-inflammatory properties that could be beneficial for those with atherosclerosis, a progressive inflammatory disease. Specifically, carnosic acid found in rosemary has been identified as a potential antiatherosclerosis agent that may help to prevent cell migration.(4)

Rosemary is a versatile herb that has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. Its volatile oils have antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, making it a valuable tool for fighting infections in both the human body and in households and hospitals. Drinking hot rosemary tea or using rosemary essential oil in a steam can help prevent and alleviate symptoms of colds, sore throats, flu, coughs, and chest infections. In fact, rosemary has been historically used to purify the air in homes, hospitals, and streets. Recent studies have shown that rosemary essential oil may even be effective against drug-resistant infections caused by gram-positive bacteria and fungi.(5)

One of its benefits is its ability to act as a diaphoretic, which means it can help stimulate the movement of heat outwards, making it useful in reducing fever. Additionally, rosemary's stimulating properties can also be used to warm up the extremities when there is no fever present.

Rosemary has long been used as a traditional remedy for cancer, and recent scientific studies have provided evidence for its effectiveness as a cancer treatment. Research conducted from 1996-2010 found that rosemary extract, as well as its active constituents carnosol, carnosic acid, ursolic acid, and rosmarinic acid, have anticancer properties that can suppress the development of tumors in various parts of the body, including the colon, breast, liver, stomach, melanoma, and leukemia cells.(6) These findings suggest that rosemary and its active constituents could be useful in clinical cancer chemo-prevention trials. Another review in 2014 found that carnosol, a phenolic diterpene present in rosemary, has the potential to prevent certain types of cancer by inhibiting carcinogenesis and exhibiting anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, and apoptosis-inducing properties. Additionally, carnosol can enhance the sensitivity of chemoresistant cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents.(7)


Adult Dose (8)

1-2 ml (1:5 in 40%) 3x per day; Infusion: 1-2 tsp dried herb, 1 cup boiling water, steep covered 10-15 minutes, 3x per day.


Rosemary is a popular herb used for culinary flavoring, but pregnant and breastfeeding women should be cautious when using it. While it is safe to use in small amounts for cooking, it is not recommended to drink rosemary tea or use the essential oil during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. It is always best to consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbs or supplements during these times.





(1)McIntyre, Anne. (1996). Flower Power. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, Inc.

(2)Holmes, Peter. (1997). The Energetics of Western Herbs, Volume 1, Revised Third Edition. Boulder, CO: Snow Lotus Press.

(3)Moss M, Cook J, Wesnes K, Duckett P. (2003). Aromas of rosemary and lavender essential oils differentially affect cognition and mood in healthy adults.Int J Neurosci. 2003 Jan;113(1):15-38.

(4)Chae IG, Yu MH, Im NK, Jung YT, Lee J, Chun KS, Lee IS. (2012). Effect of Rosemarinus officinalis L. on MMP-9, MCP-1 levels, and cell migration in RAW 264.7 and smooth muscle cells. J Med Food. 2012 Oct;15(10):879-86. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.2162. Epub 2012 Sep 17.

(5)Luqman S, Dwivedi GR, Darokar MP, Kalra A, Khanuja SP. (2007). Potential of rosemary oil to be used in drug-resistant infections. Altern Ther Health Med. 2007 Sep-Oct;13(5):54-9. Review.

(6)McIntyre, Anne. (1996). Flower Power. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, Inc.

(7)Chun KS, Kundu J, Chae IG, Kundu JK. (2014). Carnosol: a phenolic diterpene with cancer chemopreventive potential. J Cancer Prev. 2014 Jun;19(2):103-10. doi: 10.15430/JCP.2014.19.2.103. Review.

(8)Hoffman, David. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.


Scientific Research:

Information offered on Achula and on this page is for educational purposes only. Achula makes neither medical claim, nor intends to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Women who are pregnant or nursing, and persons with known medical conditions, should consult their licensed healthcare provider before taking any herbal product. Links to external sites are for informational purposes only. Achula neither endorses them nor is in any way responsible for their content. Readers must do their own research concerning the safety and usage of any herbs or supplements.


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