Native to coastal areas of the Mediterranean, this powerful healing herb has been used for centuries for everything from cleansing energy in sacred spaces to aiding digestion or easing the pains of migraines and even arthritis.
Rosemary also contains salicylic acid, a main ingredient in aspirin. For this reason, rosemary is a powerful anti-inflammatory for people who suffer from migraines, arthritis, or any other type of inflammation. Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Rheumatology in 2003 concluded that rosmarinic acid stopped the progression of arthritis in laboratory mice. To reap the benefits of rosemary in treating pain, apply it in the form of an oil on the skin once a day until inflammation has subsided.
In addition to reducing inflammation, studies have concluded that a major compound in rosemary, carnosic acid, can protect against macular degeneration. Stuart A. Lipton, M.D., Ph.D. and colleagues at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute reported in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science that carnosic acid can improve eye health by reversing damage done by free radicals, compounds that destroy cell membranes.
The researchers exposed laboratory cultures of retinal cells to hydrogen peroxide in order to prompt oxidative stress, a possible contributing factor to the onset of eye conditions such as macular degeneration. They discovered that the cells exposed to carnosic acid activated antioxidant enzyme production in the cells, which consequently lowered levels of reactive oxygen and nitrogen compounds (free radicals).
Emerging evidence suggests that rosemary is also effective in improving memory and enhancing brain performance. Mark Moss and Lorraine Oliver, researchers working at the Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre at Northumbria University in the UK, conducted an experiment on 20 human subjects to test if the amount of 1 ,8 cineole (a major chemical component in rosemary) would improve cognitive performance.
Four drops of rosemary oil were applied to a diffuser pad five minutes before each participant entered the cubicle where the tests were performed. After completing various tasks to test brain performance, the researchers found that speed and accuracy improved dramatically in the participants who had the most exposure to the rosemary. Although less significant, they even found that moods improved in the subjects whose blood revealed higher levels of 1 ,8 cineole.
You can buy a diffuser pad to mimic the effects found in the study, or just use incense for 5–10 minutes a day to improve brain functions.
Finally, food scientists have found that using culinary herbs such as rosemary can even help manage type 2 diabetes. Researchers found that polyphenols and flavonoids in both dried and greenhouse-grown rosemary can inhibit two enzymes, called DPP-4 and PTP1B, involved in insulin secretion and signaling. Add rosemary to salads for an easy way to absorb the nutrients.
-The Alternative Daily