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Health benefits of rosemary
Rosemary, scientifically known as Rosmarinus Officinalis, is an ancient herb known to have spiritual, culinary as well as medicinal uses. Initially a Mediterranean herb, it is now cultivated almost all across the world. It is a perennial plant available all throughout the year. Rosemary grows up to a height of 1.5 m to 3 m and can be grown even in your kitchen garden. All you need is well-drained alkaline soil, prevention from strong winds, and good sunny weather. It has dark green, needle like leaves and fragrant, light blue flowers that blossom in early summer.

Rosemary herb is a prime ingredient in several food items as well and its use has been known to preserve food for longer periods. Not only that, with its mint like flavor it enhances the taste of any food. Sprinkle some on your pasta or salad, or brush some on your grilled chicken. You may be using rosemary as just a flavor enhancer for your food, but unknowingly you are protecting yourself from several health-related problems and issues.

Health Benefits

Here's how the regular consumption of rosemary benefits you.
  • Defense Against Cancer: Rosemary herb is rich in antioxidants that protect the human system from the impairment caused by free radicals. Human DNA is susceptible to damage by free radicals. If untreated, these can cause cancerous cells to multiply uncontrollably, thereby increasing the risk of cancer. In women, rosemary works as a natural remedy to prevent breast cancer by stimulating liver enzymes that control the estrogen hormone levels in the body.
  • Prevents Cataract Formation: Consumption of rosemary in the form of tea or capsules has been believed to prevent the formation of cataract in the eyes. Though this effect is not backed by scientific research, one may still consume it to check for its benefits because this herb is rich in vitamin A that has antioxidant properties essential for good vision.
  • Delays the Aging Process: Rosemary extract is known to protect skin cells that prevent age-related changes in skin such as wrinkles and the formation of dark spots. For this purpose, the essence of this herb can be used in face masks. The effect of stress and toxins on skin is also taken care of by rosemary, by safeguarding a protective protein known as HSP70.
  • Increases Energy Levels and Optimism: Antioxidant properties of this herb have been found to eliminate harmful toxins from the liver by enhancing the production of detoxifying enzymes, thereby increasing energy levels in human beings. It can be said that it also flushes out all negativity caused by the collection of toxins in the body. Thus, this herb also enables quick recovery from any disease or dysfunction. When used in aromatherapy, rosemary works as a stimulant that rids the body of fatigue and cures depression. A cup of rosemary tea will also help you recover from a bad hangover.
  • Memory Enhancement: This herb contains substances that prevent the breakdown of neurotransmitters in the brain and has therefore, traditionally been believed to be a natural memory enhancer as it enhances the function of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine that helps improve memory. It has been found that people who were exposed to rosemary fragrance have felt more alert and have shown marked improvements in the case of long-term memory. You may try this for yourself by getting a massage with rosemary oil or adding some of it to a bath. Even drinking rosemary tea will work to help memory in the long run. Carnosic Acid found in this herb has been found to lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease.
  • Prevents Water Retention: Rosemary herb works as a diuretic that accelerates the rate of urination and improves kidney function, thereby preventing water retention in the body that causes bloating. It is more effective than other tablets that control water retention because rosemary preserves essential minerals such as sodium, potassium, etc. that are necessary for the body, while tablets tend to flush out these as well.
  • Helps Avoid Body Odor: Add a few sprigs of rosemary to your bath water, and it will help you rid the bacteria and fungus that cause body odor. It may also be used as a mouthwash by diluting some rosemary powder in water and gargling with it.
  • Promotes Menstruation: For those of you who are facing a problem with delayed periods, consuming rosemary tea on a daily basis will help your cause. It is known that the herb has substances that induce cramps in the uterus thereby stimulating menstruation. Because of this very property, pregnant women should NOT consume rosemary in any manner.
  • Digestive Benefits: It has the ability to heal several digestive problems such as constipation, stomach cramps and bloating. It is also an appetite stimulant. With its effect on the liver, it enables the release of bile, which aids digestion.
  • Prevents Infections: Rosemary is rich in vitamin C. Upon consumption, it enables the body's immune system to become stronger and active. It prevents the growth of infectious agents, both, internal and external. So one may even say that it helps prevent the infamous common cold. Rosemary also has antiseptic properties. When added to bath water, rosemary will help wounds heal naturally and prevent the likeliness of an infection.
  • Stimulates Blood Circulation: Being a rich source of iron, rosemary helps increase the oxygen carrying capacity of blood. Thus, blood circulation improves; and enhanced blood circulation itself is a cure for several problems such as skin disease, and memory loss.
  • Improves Hair Shine and Cures Dandruff: The application of rosemary oil on hair stimulates hair follicles and circulation to the scalp. Even a hair rinse with water that has rosemary simmered in it for 30 minutes will work as a natural conditioner for the hair. This makes it strong and restores its lost shine and luster. Increased circulation to the scalp will also prevent dandruff and baldness.
It is important to note that one should limit the intake of this herb and consume or use it in moderate amounts as consumption of large amounts of rosemary can be poisonous. A dose of 5 grams of chopped leaves or leaf powder is normal. Do not consume concentrated rosemary oil. Always mix it with a carrier oil such as almond or olive oil before using it.

Apart from its culinary and medicinal uses, it is said that rosemary is also a plant of remembrance that symbolizes friendship and loyalty, and is therefore used at weddings and funerals. In ancient times, brides wore wreaths made of this plant as a symbol of fidelity. Rosemary flowers are used for decorative purposes, as well as for their fragrance. The herb is also an active essential oil used in aromatherapy.

All these bountiful benefits can help you rid yourself of many minor and major health problems. Use this miraculous herb and see the difference it makes to your overall health and well-being.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informational purposes only and does not intend to replace the advice of an expert. It is best to consult a qualified herbalist to learn more about the dosage and usage of this herb.