13 Health Benefits and Uses of Rosemary Oil (Backed by Evidence)

Don’t you just love the soothing scent of rosemary oil?

Rosemary oil, a pale yellow or colorless oil extracted from the leaves and flowers of the rosemary plant, has been used in folk medicine for various purposes [1].

It is an antispasmodic, analgesic, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, hepaprotective, anti-inflammatory and antirheumatic [1].

Needless to say, it has long been used to relieve many forms of human ailments.

Let’s get to know more about the practical uses of rosemary oil for our health.

1. Rosemary Oil Can Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease

Aging is a part of life we can’t run away from.

The best thing we can do is to make sure we’re in top health as we grow older, so we can avoid aging-related problems such as Alzheimer’s disease.

This condition characterized by deterioration of mental skills commonly affects middle to old aged adults [2].

Memory decline, poor problem solving skills and inability to perform simple regular activities are some of the most common hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease [2].

This degenerative brain disease, which is the most common cause of dementia, can fortunately be remedied by natural methods like aromatherapy [2, 3].

In a 2009 study involving 28 elderly patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, it was found that those who used aromatherapy showed significant improvement in cognitive skills [3].

Not only that, none of the participants exhibited any adverse reactions to the treatment [3].

Rosemary oil was among the essential oils used for this purpose [3].

Key Takeaways:

  • Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive mental ailment that causes memory loss and inability to carry out simple tasks.
  • The common victims of this disease are middle-aged and old-aged adults.
  • Aromatherapy is a potential adjunct treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
  • Rosemary oil is one of the essential oils found to have positive impact on patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

2. Rosemary Oil Can Boost Cognitive Performance

There’s no need to wait for Alzheimer’s disease to set on before you start using rosemary oil.

In fact, one study found that rosemary oil can greatly improve cognitive performance among 144 healthy participants [4].

Researchers discovered that this oil worked to enhance memory [4].

Another study that assessed its pharmacological benefits reported that exposure to high concentrations of rosemary oil can boost both speed and accuracy of cognition [5].

This was revealed after 20 participants who were made to inhale the scent of rosemary performed very well in visual information processing and serial subtraction tasks [5].

So if you feel like you’re not doing well in school or your productivity at work seems to have been declining, rosemary oil can come to your aid.

Key Takeaways:

  • Rosemary oil boosts overall cognitive performance including memory.
  • It can help improve not only accuracy but also speed of cognition and mental processing.

 

3. Rosemary Oil Can Reduce Risk of Cancer

Cancer is defined by Wikipedia as a group of diseases characterized by abnormal cellular growth that spreads to other healthy tissues in the body.

Many people know that it’s one of the leading causes of death worldwide.

If you ask around, you’ll find out that almost everyone knows at least one to two people who have cancer, or who have died from it.

The good news is, cancer if caught at an early stage can be treated successfully.

Apart from medical treatments, there are also many natural methods that have been found effective in treating or reducing the risk of various forms of cancer.

One of these is aromatherapy using rosemary oil.

Various studies have confirmed that rosemary oil has anti-proliferative effects that can suppress the growth and spread of cancer cells, and prevent cancer altogether [6, 7].

Researchers explain that the diterpenes in rosemary extract such as carnosol, rosmanol and carnosicacid demonstrate anti-cancer activities [6].

It has also been found to be well-tolerated by animal subjects in various laboratory experiments [6].

A 2013 study published in the Archives of Biological Sciences cites that rosemary oil has moderately strong toxic effects on cancer cells [7].

Key Takeaways:

  • Cancer is a serious ailment that can be prevented with rosemary oil.
  • Rosemary oil has anti-proliferative effects that can stop the cancer cells from growing and spreading.
  • Its anti-cancer activities can be attributed to the presence of diterpenes including carnosic acid, rosmanol and carnosol.

4. Rosemary Oil Can Treat Urinary Tract Infection

More women suffer from urinary tract infections (UTI) than men, according to WebMD.

And it’s probably because the structure of a woman’s genital area makes it easier for bacteria from the rectum to get to the vagina.

This condition, which usually affects the urethra and bladder, is commonly caused by bacteria.

It’s a good thing certain natural remedies like rosemary oil work effectively.

Findings of a 2013 study stated that this oil serves as a potent bactericide against microorganisms that cause UTI such as Entercoccus faecalis and Staphylococcus epidermidis [8].

Key Takeaways:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI) more commonly affects women than men.
  • This condition is usually an infection of the bladder or urethra caused by bacteria.
  • One of the best natural remedies for this infection is rosemary oil, which combat UTI-causing bacteria like Staphylococcus epidermidis and Entercoccus faecalis.

5. Rosemary Oil Can Help Reduce Stress

Sometimes, stress can be a good thing, as it can help you think or act quickly in times of emergency.

However, when stress becomes chronic and persistent, it can have an adverse effect on your health, reports Mayo Clinic.

Chronic stress has been known to increase certain forms of ailments including heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, asthma, diabetes, depression, anxiety, and headaches, among others.

To reduce stress and lower the chances of developing any of these ailments, it’s a good idea to start using rosemary oil.

Several studies verify rosemary oil’s ability to reduce the stress hormone called cortisol, stabilize blood pressure levels, and increase breathing rate [9, 10].

This isn’t hard to imagine as simply inhaling the scent of this oil can immediately relax your senses and make you feel better.

Key Takeaways:

  • Stress can negatively affect one’s health and should therefore be toned down.
  • Chronic stress has been linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, headaches, anxiety, depression and many others.
  • One way to relieve stress is to make use of aromatherapy techniques such as rosemary oil.

6. Rosemary Oil Can Relieve Anxiety

Anxiety is closely related to stress.

Like stress, it’s also normal to feel anxious from time to time, but it becomes a problem once it interferes with one’s daily life [11].

Aromatherapy has always been considered an effective technique for managing anxiety.

Many studies show that rosemary oil has significant positive effects on people who suffer from anxiety and its symptoms [12, 13, 14].

Key Takeaways:

  • Anxiety can lead to serious ailments if not given immediate attention.
  • It can be alleviated using aromatherapy with rosemary oil.
  • Rosemary oil has been proven in several studies to have potent anxiolytic effects.

7. Rosemary Oil Can Reduce Pain and Inflammation

Pain and inflammation are some of the things that can prevent you from performing to the best of your abilities.

These can have an adverse effect on your work, greatly reducing your productivity.

Rosemary oil’s analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties have been the subject of some scientific studies [15, 16].

Research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food explained that rosemary oil can successfully inhibit pain and inflammation [15].

A separate study released similar results but focused more on the oil’s anti-inflammatory effects [16].

These results show that rosemary oil has the potential to become an alternative treatment for pain and inflammatory disorders.

Key Takeaways:

  • Since pain inflammation can hinder your productivity and affect your performance at work, it’s a must to do something about these problems.
  • With its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, rosemary oil can be used to relieve painful and inflammatory conditions.

8. Rosemary Oil Can Boost the Body’s Immune Response

The immune system is more important than most people realize.

It’s the body’s defense against diseases that wards off infection-causing pathogens such as parasites and viruses [17].

Rosemary oil is one of the natural substances that you can use to strengthen your immunity.

According to studies, rosemary has the ability to strengthen immune resistance with its high concentrations of antioxidants [18, 19, 20].

Key Takeaways:

  • Rosemary oil can power the immune resistance with its powerhouse of antioxidants.
  • It can make the body’s defense against infectious diseases stronger.

9. Rosemary Oil Can Relieve Arthritic Pain

If you’re suffering from the debilitating pain and discomfort of arthritis, you can find relief from rosemary oil.

Rosemary oil is in fact one of the primary ingredients used in making a proprietary blend designed to treat arthritic pain [21].

Findings of the pilot study probing the blend’s efficacy showed that among the 54 patients with rheumatic arthritis, up to 50 percent experienced significant reduction in pain [21].

Rosemary oil has been proven to have antinociceptive effects, which means that it can block pain signals in the brain [22].

All these are useful for people who complain of arthritis and other conditions that cause pain and inflammation.

Key Takeaway:

  • Rosemary oil has antinociceptive properties that can help block the signals of pain and relieve symptoms of arthritis.

10. Rosemary Oil is an Effective Mosquito Repellent

Mosquitoes are known carriers of many serious and potentially fatal diseases like West Nile Virus, dengue fever, yellow fever, malaria and Zika virus, among many others [23].

Alarmingly, these and other mosquito-borne diseases affect up to 700 million people and kill over a million each year [24].

Many people make use of commercial insect repellents as a preventive measure, but these are known to contain a harmful chemical called DEET that causes adverse side effects on health [25].

The best way to keep mosquitoes at bay is with the use of natural repellents like rosemary oil, which has been proven effective and safe by a 2009 study published in the Pest Management Science [26].

Using natural insect repellents keeps harmful insects at bay without exposing you to chemicals that can just be as harmful to your health.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mosquitoes transmit dangerous diseases like dengue fever, malaria, Zika virus and West Nile virus.
  • The safe way to protect yourself from these diseases is by using natural insect repellents like rosemary oil that are completely free of harmful chemicals.

11. Rosemary Oil Can Control Bacterial Infections

Bacteria are one-celled living things that appear like rods, spiral or balls under the microscope [27].

While most of these are not harmful but are actually helpful, a few can make you ill like E. coli, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus [27].

Antibiotics are commonly used for treating bacterial infections but since this can lead to antibiotic resistance, it’s better to make use of natural antibacterial agents like rosemary oil.

Rosemary oil has been found to have inhibitory effects on bacterial strains such as Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and E. coli [28, 29].

It can combat these and many other forms of bacteria without endangering your health with strong and harmful chemicals.

Key Takeaways:

  • Some strains of bacteria can make you ill.
  • To fight off these disease-causing bacteria, make use of natural bactericidal agents that pathogens have not yet grown resistant to such as rosemary oil.

12. Rosemary Oil Can Treat Candida Infections

WebMD explains that there are many types of candiasis or candida infections.

Candida species can infect the mouth, genitals, blood and skin.

Antifungal medications are usually recommended but you can also try using natural techniques like rosemary oil, which is just as effective.

Studies have shown that shown that rosemary oil can successfully suppress the activities of Candida albicans to prevent infection [28, 29].

Not only does this remedy work effectively, it’s also safe to use as long as you dilute it first in a carrier oil before applying on infected skin.

Key Takeaway:

  • Candida infections can be treated using natural antifungals like rosemary oil.

13. Rosemary Oil Can Promote Hair Growth

Worried about hair fall?

Hair loss is a condition that can be caused by hormonal changes, genetics, underlying medical conditions, or medications, explains Mayo Clinic.

Rosemary is one of the essential oils that is believed to stimulate growth of hair, and can therefore help in this problem [30].

A study involving 84 participants with alopecia areata found that those who used rosemary oil and other essential oils in massaging their scalp showed significant improvement [31].

It did not only reduce hair loss but it also improved the condition of the hair and scalp.

Key Takeaway:

  • Use rosemary oil to combat hair loss, and improve the health of hair strands and roots.

Rosemary oil has many wonderful benefits that you should make use of.

It can efficiently ward off ailments, strengthen the immune resistance, and promote health and wellness.

Apart from being highly effective, it is also very safe to use even for long-term.

Just make sure that you carefully follow the directions for preparing and using this oil.