The effects of the humble kitchen herb rosemary are far reaching and potent when prescribed in a therapeutic dose and setting. Clinical trials have found a number of uses for the extract such as improving memory recall in the elderly, improving sleep and reducing anxiety and depression, decreasing cell proliferation in some cancerous states, and improving muscle uptake of glucose, regulating blood sugar.
What makes this herb interesting is its ability to increase blood pressure, improve circulation, stimulate weak hearts and enhance flow to micro-vessels throughout the body. Topically, rosemary has also been studied as an effective treatment to enhance circulation in Raynaud’s disease which indicates a potential topical use in other conditions involving reduced circulation such as headaches or migraines. It is thought that the constituent rosmarinic acid is responsible for anti-inflammatory effects and is a valuable compound for the treatment of neuropathic pain and neurological disorders associated with inflammation.
Another action that makes rosemary particularly useful is its antioxidant capacity, relieving inflammatory stress on the body and working on the liver and detoxification pathways. Rosemary has been shown to decrease lipid peroxides and stabilise red blood cell membranes in subjects with liver cirrhosis. Animal studies have also shown that rosemary can limit weight gain and the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver in high-fat diets. These hepatoprotective effects make this herb a favourable choice for those who may be suffering from both chronic liver states but also in those who may have sluggish livers or added stress showing up in other areas of their life such as hormonal imbalance, skin changes, digestive disturbances or poor diets.